Monday, March 05, 2012

CompuLab create tiny, fanless Core-i7 Intense PC


I’m no stranger to building very small PCs, which usually rely on the use of a mini-ITX board. However, to build such a tiny machine you ultimately end up making a compromise on the processor used due to a lack of space for cooling.

CompuLab seem to have overcome that issue and managed to squeeze a Core-i7 PC into a case no bigger than your router.

It’s called the Intense PC and measures just 7.5 x 6.3 x 1.57-inches. Inside you will find anything from a Celeron 827E 1.4GHz processor right up to a second-generation Sandy Bridge Core-i7 1.5GHz chip. Coupled with that you can have up to 16GB of RAM, and an internal 2.5-inch HDD or SSD. The only limiting factor seems to be the on-board graphics as there’s no Nvidia or AMD options, just Intel HD Graphics 2000 or 3000.

On the back of the Intense PC there’s access to 2 eSATA ports, HDMI, mSATA, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 ports, Wireless-n with 2 antennas, and 7.1 channel sound. In other words, this is a very capable machine in a very small package.

CompuLab boasts that the Intense PC uses just 8 watts when idle, yet the Core-i7 chip can use Turbo Boost to reach 2.4GHz for when you need some serious processing power.

As for pricing and availability, CompuLab are only saying that the Intense PC will be available in the second quarter of this year. Prices will start at $399, which I assume will get you a 1.4GHz Celeron-based system carrying 1 or 2GB of RAM.

The Intense PC will be offered through fit-PC, who aren’t new to the tiny PC market. In 2008 they released the fit-PC Slim, which measured just 4.3 x 3.9 x 1.2 inches and ran a 500MHz AMD Geode LX800. Then in 2009 we got the fit-PC2, which upped the processor to an Intel Atom Z5xx running at 1.2GHz. The Intense PC is yet another step forward in terms of the processing power on offer