Want to get tiny fanless system for streaming

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
Hi folks...

I'm looking into fanless systems to use for audio and video streaming around my house. Currently, I have a full-on HTPC under my TV, running Windows 7 x64, chock full of storage and great audio and video cards. The issue is, 1) it uses lots of power, 2) I have to remember to turn it on if I want to use it for streaming, 3) I've been getting lots of BSODs on it (most likely due to a faulty memory stick that I've since removed, but I'm still getting BSODs sometimes). I'd like a "Turn it on and leave it running forever" fanless system that I'd probably put Linux on.

The most interesting prebuilt systems I've seen out there were:

  • Gigabyte BRIX IOT
  • Zotac CI549 nano
  • Zotac CI660 nano

Unfortunately, the I can't find the BRIX IOT for sale ANYWHERE, even though it's supposed to be available; and the Zotac CI660, though announced long ago, still hasn't been released.

I'm thinking of getting a CI549 for now, and hope it works for what I want.

Has anyone out there got a good idea of what might best suit my needs? I'm having a hard time finding any good fanless options out there, except the ones mentioned above.
 

illram

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
1,473
Intel NUC? I have one in my office from 2015 that I never turn off, fanless, still runs great. Should be configurations that work for streaming.
 

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
Intel NUC? I have one in my office from 2015 that I never turn off, fanless, still runs great. Should be configurations that work for streaming.

I was looking at those; I was hoping to get a current model with the latest hardware they come with (most highly specced), but couldn't find one that was fanless. Are you aware of fanless models that are recent?
 

illram

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
1,473
Hmmm....I could have sworn the non NUC8 models don't have fans. I have never heard mine, if it has a fan....lol.
 
Last edited:

illram

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
1,473
The lower end ones are the ones I'm familiar with. But it seems even those have fans...I genuinely didn't think they did since mine is so silent. (Oops)
 

brinstar117

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
206
There are third party fanless cases for current Intel NUCs like the Akasa brand. It involves taking the motherboard out of the Intel NUC case and installing and running heatpipes to the integrated heatsinks built into the Akasa case. They aren't cheap though.

I don't have any firsthand experience with these cases but they definitely piqued my interest as I vastly prefer silent computing. There are other brands like Streacom that offer fanless case solutions if you're willing to use ITX motherboards. They are a bit bigger than NUCs and again they aren't cheap either.
 

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
There are third party fanless cases for current Intel NUCs like the Akasa brand. It involves taking the motherboard out of the Intel NUC case and installing and running heatpipes to the integrated heatsinks built into the Akasa case. They aren't cheap though.

I don't have any firsthand experience with these cases but they definitely piqued my interest as I vastly prefer silent computing. There are other brands like Streacom that offer fanless case solutions if you're willing to use ITX motherboards. They are a bit bigger than NUCs and again they aren't cheap either.

Thanks! Yeah, some folks on other sites were recommending Akasa cases or going to an ITX solution.

The Akasa cases come with these "thermal pads" that look like they're supposed to take care of heat transfer; so that's not enough, you don't think? I'd need to search around for some heat pipes that would fit to make it work well?

- Tim
 

brinstar117

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
206
I think I was mistaken about the heatpipes for the Akasa NUC cases. I was probably confusing them with ITX fanless cases. Other brands like the Streacom and some of the cases featured on this site use heatpipes which are included with the case.

Heatpipes are more likely to be found in cases that support ITX motherboards as the CPU socket position will vary between motherboards. Heatpipes would be needed to "bridge" the heat transfer to the heat dissipating fins on the outside surfaces. NUCs have proprietary layouts so I'd imagine each fanless NUC case will be designed for each specific NUC motherboard.
 

bAMtan2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 16, 2008
Messages
1,480
Nvidia Shield is the obvious answer, but fitlet2 is fanless if you absolutely must have fanless x86. The atom chip has more graphics cores than the celeron.
 

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
I think I was mistaken about the heatpipes for the Akasa NUC cases. I was probably confusing them with ITX fanless cases. Other brands like the Streacom and some of the cases featured on this site use heatpipes which are included with the case.

Heatpipes are more likely to be found in cases that support ITX motherboards as the CPU socket position will vary between motherboards. Heatpipes would be needed to "bridge" the heat transfer to the heat dissipating fins on the outside surfaces. NUCs have proprietary layouts so I'd imagine each fanless NUC case will be designed for each specific NUC motherboard.

Ahh, thanks for the info!

- Tim
 

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
Nvidia Shield is the obvious answer, but fitlet2 is fanless if you absolutely must have fanless x86. The atom chip has more graphics cores than the celeron.

Yeah, I want to stick to x86 as I'm most familiar with all the software platforms that I need, and I may want to do some stuff that's more than Atom processors and similar can handle. I don't play any games, though, only care about possible 4k video playback. But any extra "oomph" is welcome.

Thanks for your suggestions, tho', especially the fitlet2!

- Tim
 
Top