Asetek Demonstrates Liquid Cooling For Laptop And All-In-One PCs

Subject: Mobile | March 20, 2012 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: SFF, liquid cooling, gaming laptop, asetek, alienware

The rise of mATX boards designed for high powered gaming machines, laptops with serious mobile GPU power and All-In-One Systems have increased the problem of heat generation in small systems.  A SFF system used to be a moderately powerful system good for use as a workstation or HTPC but now it could well be a multi-GPU gaming beast and the same goes for laptops.  

In an effort to stop baking laps and shortening the life of components in SFF systems Asetek has been working on liquid cooling systems for these types of systems.  You can see an example of a watercooling Alienware laptop on the YouTube video they produced and be sure to check out the links on this page if you are looking for more information.

 

Asetek Inc., the world leading supplier of liquid cooling for the computer industry announced today a new and groundbreaking slim form factor liquid cooling technology for extreme performance and workstation grade laptops and All-In-One PCs. Slim form factor liquid cooling enables laptop and AIO PC manufacturers to deliver mobility and sleek industrial designs without sacrificing performance.

“We see a growing need for higher performance personal computers, driven by ever more powerful modeling software for engineering, scientific and financial work, and for content creation and gaming,” said André S. Eriksen, Founder and CEO of Asetek. ”We also see high performance hardware expanding to more portable, sleeker devices like the highly successful M-series of notebooks from Alienware.”

“For laptops and AIOs to deliver workstation and gaming PC performance, these machines must be able to take full advantage of desktop grade performance hardware. We have identified this need and designed our cooling solution to target these thinner machines,” continued Eriksen.

The fundamental challenge in cooling desktop replacement laptops and All-In-One PCs is the lack of space for a proper thermal solution. Consequently, previous attempts at liquid cooling laptops have offered no performance improvement over traditional heat-pipe based heat sinks.

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“Asetek successfully cracked the code of improving acoustic and thermal performance in a notebook without increasing the form factor,” said Ole Madsen, VP of Engineering. “Our patent protected technology allows better utilization of the thermal modules used to cool the CPU and GPUs. That, along with our optimized coldplate technology enables the use of much more powerful hardware than air cooling could ever allow”.

Asetek is showcasing its new technology in an Alienware M18x notebook with the CPU overclocked from 3.5GHz to 4.4Ghz and the GPUs overclocked from 680Mhz to 800Mhz. In addition, the M18x achieved a 23% improvement in Futuremark’s 3D Mark Vantage benchmark while reducing the noise output of the stock air-cooled laptop. A video demonstration can be found at Asetek.com.

Source: Asetek

So you want to build an octocore mATX beast?

Subject: Systems | March 15, 2012 - 06:50 PM |
Tagged: ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE X79, SFF, mATX, hd7970, Intel Xeon E5-2690

The mATX ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE X79 motherboard can hold more power than you might assume from its size, as you can see at VR-Zone.  Even though the board looks tiny compared to the heatsink needed to cool the Xeon E5-2690 and the triple slot HD7970 seems to barely fit beside the OZC Revodrive 3 X2 480GB, the components do work at full speed making this beast a real power house.  As Yoda said, "Size matters not."

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"What if I have about US$5000 to spend - Could I have a true 8-core/16-thread CPU in a small form factor setup without compromising on storage, thermals or online gaming prowess?" Well, we show that we can!"

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Source: VR-Zone

Zotac Launches Three New ZBOX Mini PCs At CeBIT 2012

Subject: Systems | March 10, 2012 - 02:15 AM |
Tagged: zotac, zbox, SFF, PC, hardware

In a recent press release, Zotac unveiled three new ZBox small form factor computers, including one PC that features a blu-ray optical drive. Specifically, the new models include the ZBOX ID82, ZBOX Nano ID61, and the ZBOX Blu-ray AD05. In addition, the company offers "plus" versions of the three ZBOX computers that add 2GB of RAM and a 320 GB hard drive to the hardware package. Carsten Berger, marketing director for ZOTAC stated that the company is constantly pushing the small form factor envelope and the latest Intel Core i3 Sandy Bridge processors "enables us to give demanding users the performance edge they need."

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The ZBOX Nano ID61

The ZBOX ID61 is the smallest of the three PCs and is the latest in their Nano form factor. It is powered by a dual core Intel Celeron 867 processor, a single DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, and an integrated multimedia card reader. Connections include HDMI, Displayport, 2 USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, 1 eSATA port, Bluetooth 3.0, and a built in IR receiver. The ID61 plus further features 2 GB of DDR3 1333 MHz laptop RAM and a 320 GB SATA III (6Gbps) hard drive.

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The ZBOX ID82

The ID82 represents the latest ZBOX PC, and while it is a big bulkier than the Nano series, it packs a lot more punch with an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3-2330. The new Intel CPU is a dual core 2.2 GHz processor which further includes Hyper-Threading tech for a total of four virtual cores. Further, the PC has two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, DVI-I, and Bluetooth 3.0. The ZBOX ID82 Plus includes 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 320 GB laptop hard drive.

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The ZBOX Blu-ray AD05

Finally, the ZBOX Blu-ray AD05 is a small form factor PC that moves to AMD for their processor and GPU with the AMD E-450 APU with integrated Radeon 6320 GPU. The extra hardware horsepower provides the "oomph" needed to support smooth blu-ray playback. The mini PC holds a 4x Blu-ray reader that doubles as a 8x DVD +/- writer. It includes support for two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots and an 2.5" SATA II hard drive. Connections include HDMI, DVI, two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, and one combo USB 2.0/eSATA port. The ZBOX Blu-ray AD05 Plus version further includes 2 GB of memory and a 320 GB hard drive.

All three of the mini ZOTAC ZBOX PCs (wow, that's a lot of caps) also feature Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and a bundled Media Center remote and USB IR receiver. No matter the model, the user is still responsible for providing an OS as one does not come bundled. Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing or availability.

Source: Zotac

Xigmatek thinks big with their new mATX Gigas enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 2, 2012 - 03:01 PM |
Tagged: xigmatek gigas, xigmatek, SFF, mATX

When you build a machine based on an mATX board, you tend to be aiming for a compact system that can be hidden away or is at least small enough that it is unobtrusive.  Xigmatek decided to toss that style away when they designed the Gigas, quite possibly the only mATX enclosure which weighs more than 20lbs.  At 10.94" x 12.68" x 15.59" you have a lot of space to work with and will find space for a lot more drives than you might expect even with a full size GPU and 1kg+ heatsink.   This is a perfect enclosure for some of the high end mATX board for sale currently, but as TechPowerUp points out in their review there are no grommets for watercooling if you wanted to upgrade your cooling solution.

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"Is it a mATX chassis? No! Is it a mid-tower case? No! What is it? It is the Xigmatek Gigas! Too big to be a compact mATX cube, but too compact to be considered a mid-tower. Will the Gigas end up being the Frankenstein of cases, or manage to impress with this new approach?"

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Source: TechPowerUp

A SFF case from Lian-Li you can pick up in stores now

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 11, 2012 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: SFF, PC-TU200, Lian-Li

One frustrating thing about seeing all of the great new products at CES is that you can't always get your hands on them as many products are unreleased as the companies are showing off prototypes.  Take a break from the unobtainable with Think Computers who just wrapped up a review of the Lian-Li PC-TU200.  It is a squarish mini-tower, measuring 220mm x 320mm x 360mm (8.7" x 12.6" x 14.1") and will house Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX style motherboards.  Thanks to some decent spacing, you can fit many varieties of discrete GPUs and there is room for four 3.5" drives and a pair of 2.5" drives for those who want to include an SSD.  The exterior features a carrying handle, two USB 3.0 ports and eSATA connections, making it great for LAN parties and other purposes.  Check out the full review here.

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"I have to say I am a huge fan of small form factor (SFF) cases. Not only because they are small but I am amazed at all of the features they can pack into such a small case. Today’s case is no exception. It fits Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards, has internal USB 3.0 and eSATA compatibility, a large 140mm intake fan, room for both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch hard drives, a really cool side panel release system and even a handle on top for easy transportation. The case I’m talking about is the PC-TU200 from Lian Li. Read on as we have the review."

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Fractal Design thinks small with their Define Mini MicroATX Tower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 15, 2011 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: fractal design, Define Mini, MicroATX, SFF

SPCR has reviewed a case for those designing mATX cases, a shrunken version of the Fractal Design Define R3, the Define Mini.  The case is 210mm x 395mm x 490mm (8.3" x 15.5" x19.3") and places the PSU at the bottom which in this case made add stability to the design.  Careful attention was paid to the acoustical qualities of the case, with the stock fans cooling the system it produced 16dBa which should easily be drowned out by background noise.  Even in such a small case there is still room for six easy-to-access hard drives, six large fans, large CPU heatsinks, long graphics cards and the cable management holes will help make your build tidy.  No wonder this case received a recommendation from Silent PC Review.

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"The Fractal Design Define Mini is a smaller version of the popular Define R3. It might just be the answer to those looking for a solid microATX tower with all the trappings and conveniences of a modern ATX case."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

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DeepCool's new heatsink has a shallow footprint

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 14, 2011 - 06:25 PM |
Tagged: SFF, quiet, IceEdge 400XT, Deepcool

At only 127x100x85mm and 585 grams the new Deepcool IceEdge 400XT heatsink seems rather small, as does it's 92mm fan.  It is not quite half the size of top end coolers but is certainly less than 2/3rds the size.  FrostyTech tested to see how the reduced weight and surface area impacted the effectiveness of this cooler in their latest review. The results placed it in the middle of the pack for both cooling performance and noise levels, with many other low noise heatsinks providing better cooling; however they also tend to be much larger.  If you are cooling a i5 or Llano based system with limited space then Deepcool's new heatsink is worth looking into.

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"Deepcool's IceEdge 400XT heatsink is a mid-size tower cooler that stands a modest 127mm high and weighs 585 grams. At its heart are four, 6mm diameter copper heatpipes and a 92x100mm stack of dark nickel plated aluminum fins. As with DeepCool's other heatsinks, the IceEdge 400XT ships with a novel rubber clad 92mm PWM fan. Every bit of the fan frame that makes contact with the heatsink is covered in a rubbery material so motor vibrations are greatly diminished. The 92mm DeepCool brand fan spins at 2200-900RPM and moves ~40CFM air according to the maker."

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Source: Frosty Tech

Good things come in small ZBOXes; a tiny present from Zotac

Subject: Systems | October 21, 2011 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: zotac, ZBox Nano AD10, SFF, llano

The mini PC has been growing in popularity as its capabilities grow from barely being able to play back standard definition streamed flash to smoothly displaying HD content from a Blu-Ray drive.  One of the long standing members of this market, Zotac, fired off a ZBOX Nano AD10 Mini PC to Think Computers so that they could test it out.  At only 5"x5"x1.77" it is tiny and inside hides an AMD E350, AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 7.1 channel audio, and a 320GB HDD, external USB 3.0 and eSATA plus both 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.  At $300 fully loaded Think Computers highly recommends this box for those needing a tiny PC.

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“We have seen quite a few different Mini PC’s lately. They make great Internet surfing and media machines for home theater setups. Not that long ago we took a look at Zotac’s ZBOX HD-AD02 mini PC, which proved to be a great and very function mini PC, but was a little on the large side. Today we have the ZBOX Nano AD10, which has to be one of the best-looking and smallest mini pc’s we have looked at. I know you are going to say it so we will say it now, it looks like a Mac Mini only smaller! Inside this small design you have an AMD E350 CPU, AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 2GB of DDR 3 and a 320GB hard drive. Let’s check out the ZBOX Nano and see if performs as well as it looks!"

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Zotac really does offer you a hand held PC with their ZBox Nano AD10

Subject: Systems | September 8, 2011 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: ZBox Nano AD10, zotac, SFF

Zotac really takes small form factor PCs seriously.  The new ZBox Nano AD10 that you can see below costs $320 fully loaded and hides an AMD E-350 with Radeon HD 6310 on a Hudson M1 motherboard with 2GB DDR3-1066 and a 5,400 RPM 320GB HDD.  As Josh mentioned on the podcast it also has a proper antenna to make sure you get a solid WiFi signal, thought there is a gigabit ethernet port if you need it.  It might not produce incredible benchmarks but its video playback is perfect.  The Tech Report loves this Nano, it is an OS away from being a complete machine and is available for a very reasonable price.

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"Zotac's Zbox Nano AD10 puts AMD's Brazos platform quite literally in the palm of your hand. Join us for a closer look at the new standard in enthusiast-friendly ultra-mini PC."

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Thermaltake's new case proves that good things can come in small packages

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 26, 2011 - 01:09 PM |
Tagged: SFF, mITX

The Thermaltake Element Q Mini-ITX case measures just 13" x 8.7" x 5.1" but still manages to have space for a DVD/BluRay drive along with the rest of the required parts of your PC, though you are going to have a hard time using anything but onboard graphics.  The price is also small, $65 for a miniITX case is a great deal, especially when it looks as good as teh Element Q.  For any sort of SFF or HTPC project this case is a great way to start; as The Tech Report proves in their recent review.

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"For just $65, Thermaltake's Element Q Mini-ITX chassis offers a 200W PSU, support for 5.25" optical drives, and subtle styling reminiscent of the Golf GTI. We take a closer look to see if this really is the PC equivalent of a hot hatchback."

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