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SFF PC from Compulab is a fanless rig with an Intel i7 processor and a GTX 950

By Chester Labaco & Koh Wanzi - on 2 Feb 2016, 8:18am

SFF PC from Compulab is a fanless rig with an Intel i7 processor and a GTX 950

Compulab Airtop

Powerful, small form factor PCs are hardly anything new, but fanless ones might still be something of a novelty. So when the Israel-based Compulab recently unveiled Airtop, a fanless desktop PC that is capable of dissipating up to 200 watts with no moving parts at all, we were fairly impressed to say the least. The Airtop is an absolutely quiet system, with the ability to house up to an Intel Core i7 processor and an EVGA GeForce GTX 950 SC+ Gaming graphics card.

Of course, that’s nowhere close to the power offered by a card like the GeForce GTX 980 in other actively-cooled compact systems, but it would be unreasonable to expect that class of components in a fanless system. Compulab probably chose the GeForce GTX 950 because of its relatively low 90 watt TDP. Furthermore, the card isn’t even that poor a performer – it’s tuned for MOBA games like Dota 2, but it is still capable of pushing playable frame rates on other more graphically intensive games, provided you run them at 1080p with the eye candy turned down.

The Core i7 CPU in question is another power-efficient model, a Broadwell Intel Core i7-5775C (3.3GHz, 6MB cache) with a TDP of 65 watts.

Compulab says that all this is possible thanks to a patent-pending heat exchange system that reportedly stimulates airflow without requiring any moving parts. It highlighted something called natural air-flow (NAF) cooling, claiming that the Airtop’s 200 watt cooling capacity actually exceeds that of similar desktops with active cooling.

Furthermore, NAF technology supposedly scales according to volume, unlike conventional fanless cooling that scales with surface area. According to CEO Gideon Yampolsky, this means that the technology could potentially be scaled up more effectively, making it a solution for many real-world cooling problems.

Compulab is also releasing the 7.5L Airtop in two other configurations, as a workstation and server system, or the Airtop-W and Airtop-S respectively (the gaming setup is called the Airtop-G).

The Airtop-W features an Intel Xeon E3-1285L v4 processor (3.4GHz, 6MB cache) and a full-height NVIDIA Quadro M4000 professional graphics card that is capable of handling high-performance computing tasks in design, animation and video applications. The Airtop-S uses the same Xeon E3 processor, but now boasts 32GB of ECC RAM, six internal drives (four of which are configured in RAID) and six Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Compulab has intended for the Airtop to be easily upgradeable, with features like tool-free opening, easily detachable hard drives, and quick access to the memory modules and expansion cards.

The side panel opens like a clamshell for easy access to the internal components. (Image Source: Compulab)

The available SKUs and their prices are listed below:

  • Airtop-DIY (CPU not included) starting from US$1,128
  • Airtop-S (Xeon E3 V4 and 6 Gbit Ethernet ports) starting from US$1,810
  • Airtop-G (Core-i7 and GTX 950) starting from US$1,968
  • Airtop-W (Xeon E3 V4 and Quadro M4000) starting from US$2,999

Samples are now available for reviewers and select business customers, and Compulab is accepting pre-orders for the non-barebones models starting this quarter.

Source: Compulab