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Logic Supply ML100G-10 Fanless NUC PC

Logic Supply ML100G-10 Fanless NUC PC

June 14, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Logic Supply ML100G-10

Fanless NUC PC
Manufacturer
Price
US$479 (base)

US$559 (as configured)

Over the past couple of years, Logic Supply has sent us a few review samples of silent mini PCs for the industrial/commercial market. Outfitted with fanless aluminum cases, solid state drives, and low TDP processors, they're well-suited for this application. With no moving parts (drive motors, fans) and no easy way for dust and debris to enter, they require no maintenance. Furthermore, these systems are typically left on 24-7, so the low power profile means you worry less about overheating, and there will be energy savings which can be significant if the units are deployed in large numbers.



The ML100G-10, front.



Back.

The ML100G-10 is the latest model to enter our lab. It doesn't look quite the same as earlier SKUs we've reviewed. Like the ML300, it uses Intel's NUC platform, but the ML100G-10 has a smaller footprint, employing a taller, bulkier chassis with more pronounced fins compared to the skinny and broad cases used by the majority of Logic Supply's lineup. It's powered by a quad core Intel Celeron N2930 Bay Trail SoC which is typically used in entry level notebooks. It's no speed demon, but should still be fast enough for most commercial applications. TDP is a mere 7.5W, so it's probably very efficient and cool running, even for a NUC. Logic Supply has an additional variant, the ML100G-30, which ships with a newer, more exciting Broadwell chip.

The system can take a single DDR3L SO-DIMM, an mSATA drive, and a half-height mini PCI-E card (an Intel wireless card comes pre-installed). The most basic configuration has 2GB of RAM and no storage, while the maximum sports 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Our sample is somewhere in-between, packing 4GB of RAM and a 128GB Transcend MSA370 SSD. The enclosure offers one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port at the front and a serial connector. The latter is a horribly antiquated option for a consumer PC but it's actually fairly useful for hooking up specialized hardware in a variety of industries. At the back, there's a single line-out jack, two HDMI outputs, two more USB 2.0 connectors, twin gigabit ethernet ports (Intel 82583V controller), and WiFi antenna hookups at each top corner.



Package contents.

As it's not geared toward regular consumers, the packaging is as plain as it gets, just a plain cardboard box with the system cradled in foam and a smaller box inside filled with accessories including screws, stick-on rubber feet, a reusable strap-tie for wrangling the power cable, a pair of wireless antennae, and a Seasonic 12V/60W AC-DC power adapter (model no. SSA-0601D-12).

Relevant Specifications: Logic Supply ML100G-10

(from the
product web page
)
System Grade Industrial
Motherboard Form Factor NUC
Included CPU Cooler Heatsink (fanless)
Front I/O 1 USB 2.0 port

1 USB 3.0 port

1 RS-232/422/485 COM port

Power button
Rear I/O 2 USB 2.0 ports

2 Gb LAN port

1 Line-out connector

2 HDMI ports

1 DC-Jack
Processor Model: Intel Celeron N2930

Speed: 1.83 GHz

Socket: Onboard (BGA)

Generation: Bay Trail

Cores: 4
Graphics/GPU Intel HD Graphics
Memory Type: DDR3L SO-DIMM (non-ECC)

Capacity: 8GB

Speed: 1333 MHz

Slot: 1
Expansion Type
PCIe Mini Card (half-height)
Storage Options mSATA
LAN Controller Intel 82583V PCIe GbE
Audio Controller Realtek ALC887 Audio Codec
Input Voltage 9~24 V
Power Input Onboard DC jack
Operating Temperature Range 0°C ~ 50°C
Dimensions (WxHxD) 142 x 62 x 107 mm

5.6" x 2.4" x 4.2"
Case Type Compact

Fanless
Case Material Aluminum Extrusion

Steel
Port Punchouts 2x Antenna Holes
Mounting DIN-mount

VESA-mount

Wall-mount
Included Accessories AC Adapter

Rubber feet
Certifications & Ratings CE

FCC

RoHS
Warranty 1 year warranty on parts and services
VESA Mounting MIS-D 100

TESTING

System Configuration:

  • Intel Celeron N2930 processor (embedded) - 1.83~2.16 GHz, 22 nm, 7.5W, Intel HD Graphics
  • Samsung memory - 1x4GB, DDR3-1600 SODIMM @ 1333 MHz, CL9, 1.35V
  • Transcend MSA370
    solid state drive - mSATA, 6 Gbps, 128GB
  • Seasonic DC power adapter - 12V, 60W
  • Microsoft
    Windows 7 Home
    operating system, 64-bit



Test configuration device listing.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Timed CPU Benchmark Test Details

  • Adobe Photoshop: Image manipulation using a variety of filters, a derivation
    of Driver Heaven's Photoshop
    Benchmark V3
    (test image resized to 4500x3499).
  • Eset NOD32: In-depth virus scan of a folder containing 32 files of varying
    size with many RAR and ZIP archives.
  • WinRAR: RAR archive creation with a folder containing 68 files of varying
    size (less than 50MB).
  • iTunes: Conversion of an MP3 file to AAC.
  • TMPGEnc Xpress: Encoding a XVID AVI file with VC-1.
  • HandBrake: Encoding a XVID AVI file with H.264.

3D Performance Benchmarks

Testing Procedures

Our main test procedure involves recording various temperatures and fan speeds, power consumption, and noise level with the system in various states as we deem appropriate. This includes idle, H.264 and Flash playback, video encoding with TMPGEnc, and full CPU and GPU load using Prime95/CPUBurn and FurMark. This is followed by a series of both CPU (timed tests of real-world applications) and GPU-centric (gaming tests and synthetics) benchmarks.

Certain services and features like Superfetch and System Restore are disabled to prevent them from affecting our results. We also make note if energy saving features like Cool'n'Quiet and SpeedStep do not function properly.

TEST RESULTS

CPU Performance



The Celeron N2930 is similar to the N2815 found inside the Asus X200MA netbook. It has the same clock speeds (1.86~2.13 GHz) but twice as many cores and double the cache as well. Thus, it performs slightly better in single-threaded applications overall, and blows the N2815 away in multithreaded encoding applications. The more common desktop Bay Trail chip, the J1900 (2.0~2.4 GHz) is noticeably faster.

To compare overall CPU performance, an equally-weighted score has been applied to each benchmark, with a total of 100 being assigned to the ML100G-10 as a reference point. In our test suite, the N2930 is about 23% faster than the N2815 thanks to its quad core architecture and larger cache, and 17% slower than the J1900 primarily due to differences in clock speed.

As for subjective performance, I have no complaints as it's very responsive with no noticeable lag compared to systems with higher-end hardware. When it comes to day-to-day operations, having a quad core processor and an SSD makes up for the slower underlying CPU architecture.

GPU Performance

The N2930 features Ivy Bridge class Intel HD Graphics but with only four EUs (execution units) and a maximum clock speed of 850 MHz, it's basically the lowest tier of integrated graphics you can get in a system with modern hardware. This is fine for a system meant for industrial use though.

SSD Performance

The Transcend MSA370 solid-state drive Logic Supply ships with the ML100G-10 isn't exactly a high-end model. A quick test with CrystalDiskMark reveals fairly disappointing performance with 512K block sizes, both with sequential and random data. It's no match for a mainstream 2.5 inch SSD like the Crucial MX100, but like the integrated GPU, there really isn't a need for high performance in this area.

Energy Efficiency Comparison (externally powered systems)

The ML100G-10 is one of the more energy efficient NUC/SFF PCs under light load, idling at just 7W and using 9~10W when playing high definition video. Fanless systems typically consume more power due to higher temperatures (which results in lower power efficiency) but it's effectively canceled out by using a low power processor. CPU usage during playback is about 14% playing local H.264 content, and around 25% playing Flash.

The Celeron N2930 doesn't pack much of a punch but its 7.5W TDP is certainly advantageous. Under heavier loads, it beats every recent mini PC we've tested, edging out the J1900-powered ML210G-10 by 1~2W in every test.

Thermal Performance

System Measurements (Extended Use)
System State
Avg. Core Temp
SSD Temp
Ext. Temp*
System Power (AC)
Idle
28°C
50°C
32°C
7W
MPC-HC H.264 Playback
30°C
50°C
32°C
9W
TMPGEnc Video Encoding
34°C
59°C
35°C
11W
Prime95
38°C
59°C
38°C
12W
Resident Evil 5 Benchmark
38°C
59°C
39°C
14W
Prime95 + FurMark
45°C
64°C
44°C
18W
*measured at the hottest point of the exterior

Ambient temperature: 20°C.

With such an extensive heat dissipation area outside the case, CPU cooling is a complete non-issue. Even when stressed far beyond the limit of normal operation using Prime95 and FurMark, the average core temperature stabilizes at 45°C at room temperature, so the processor runs at optimal speed with no risk of throttling. The warmest point on the exterior tops out at 44°C which is low enough that a bare hand can be comfortably placed on top of the unit for an indefinite amount of time.

The SSD is a bit of a concern, as 64°C isn't far off from its rated maximum operating temperature of 70°C, but this is during an extraordinary stress load that would never occur in real life. It's also possible that the Transcend model used simply runs hot. Previous review samples from Logic Supply used Emphase mSATA drives.

Boot Performance

For boot performance we record the time required to reach the Windows 7 loading screen (we stop here because this is the point where the speed of the drive becomes a factor). Prior to this test, the BIOS/UEFI is optimized by setting the hard drive recognition and other delays set to minimum, taking care not to disable common functionality like full USB support, POST messages, etc.

Like many SFF systems, the ML100G-10 boots up quite quickly, hitting the Windows 7 loading screen in under seven seconds. Depending on how quickly the display wakes up from sleep, you may not see the POST screen at all.

Wireless Performance

Our wireless performance test is a simple timed 700MB file transfer both ways to a gigabit-connected desktop on our lab's 802.11n network. There's nothing special about our setup as it consists of basic consumer networking gear.

The included Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 adapter is surprisingly fast, attaining an average transfer speed of about 80 mbps both up and downstream which easily surpasses every other wireless controller tested in our lab.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The ML100G-10 is the most energy efficient fanless system from Logic Supply we've examined thus far, edging out the ML210G-10 thanks to its use of a mobile variant of Intel's Bay Trail Atom architecture. Under normal use, the power consumption should not exceed 11W. With such low power demands, the substantial cooling system built into the chassis is more than sufficient, with the exterior remaining cool enough to touch, even when the machine is under the most unlikely of synthetic loads.

The Celeron N2930 is definitely slower than the higher clocked desktop-grade Celeron J1900 found in the ML210G-10, but with a quad core architecture and a SSD, the machine is quite responsive and maintains an acceptable level of performance for basic industrial/commercial applications. It's particularly suited to harsh environments given its heavy duty construction and lack of moving parts and vents. It could easily operate in dirty and dusty locales or even in a vehicle traversing rough terrain.

Our thanks to Logic Supply
for the ML100G-10 sample.

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