Logic Supply ML400G-50 Fanless m-ITX PC

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Logic Supply ML400G-50
ML400G-50 Fanless mini-ITX system
Logic Supply
Base Price

While fanless PCs have been around for well over a decade, it's only in recent years that their full silent potential came to fruition with the descent of solid state drive pricing into affordability. Logic Supply has been working this sector for many years, with a signficant portion of their catalog devoted to small, fanless, silent PCs, particularly for industrial and commerical use. These systems are more powerful than ever before, despite their small size and low power profile, thanks to improvements in CPU energy efficiency and sheer computing power.

The latest of Logic Supply fanless system samples to arrive at SPCR is a mini-ITX system sporting an Intel Core i5-4200M (Haswell) 2.5 GHz Processor, a middle-class dual-core mobile processor launched in Q2 2013. The dimunitive 2.2 liter case is the heatsink for the CPU; it siphons the heat to the all-aluminum cover for convection cooling. The silver and bright orange may look familiar; it is the same motif featured in the Logic Supply ML300, a fanless NUC-based system.

Familar silver & oraange color motif for the ML400G.

Specifications: Logic Supply ML400G-50*
(from the product web page)
Dimension 196 x 57 x 202 mm (2.25 liters)
7.71" x 2.24" x 7.95"
Motherboard mini-ITX (ASRock IMB-180)
CPU Intel Core i5-4200M (Haswell) 2.5 GHz Processor: Socket G3
Chipset Intel® QM87
Memory Transcend SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 8GB
LAN Intel I210 GbE
Intel I217LM GbE with vPro
Audio Realtek ALC269
Graphics Intel HD 4000
Resolution (Max.) HDMI: 4096x2304 @ 24 Hz
Mini DP: 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz
Expansion Slots 1 x mSATA slot
1 x Half-size mini-PCIe slot occupied by the WiFi+BT card
1 x SATA slot
Front I/O 2 USB 2.0 ports
Power Button
Rear I/O 1 HDMI port
2 DisplayPort
1 VGA port
4 USB 3.0 ports
2 Gb LAN ports
3 RS-232/422/485 COM ports
2 Audio jacks; line-out, mic-in
Storage Emphase Enterprise MLC mSATA SSD G5 128 GB
Power Supply Power Adapter DC 12 V, 8.33 A, 100 W Level V efficiency
Mounting DIN-mount
Environment Operating Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
*Different CPU, RAM & SSD options available. Price of the above config at time of writing (w/o OS) was $1,077.85

The main advantage of a mobile processor is that it usually runs cooler than a similar desktop part. The dual-core, hyperthreaded Intel Core i5-4200M has a TDP of 37W, which is low, but not oustanding. The closest desktop comparables in the Haswell lineup are Core i5-4570T and Core i5-4570TE, 2.9 and 2.7 GHz variants of the same part, both rated at 35W. Interestingly, the volume price on the 4200M is $225 while the prices of the 4570 desktop parts are lower, $192. Admittedly, TDP isn't the only factor that determines the cooling challenge in a CPU. In Haswell and Ivy Bridge desktop CPUs, for example, the use of TIM (instead of solder) between the heatspreader and the actual die has made them run hotter than previous generations, despite similar TDP ratings. The mobile 4200M may be easier to cool because it doesn't feature a heatspreader; the die makes direct contact with the heatsink base, eliminating one layer of potential thermal loss.

To use a mobile processor, the ASRock IMB-180 board in this system is fitted with a rPGA947 socket. The ASRock board is surprisingly full featured, with two gigabit LAN ports, 4x USB 3.0, 8x USB 2.0, and a full complement of 4x SATA3. Of course, there is room for only one drive in the case, so all those extra SATA ports will remain buried and unused.

The system came safely double-boxed in a plain cardboard carton.

Package contents: The ML400G, Seasonic "Level V" efficiency 12VDC 80W power brick, VESA brackets, power cord, screws and zip ties.

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