Setup Notes and Platform Analysis

Assembling the Helix HX500 is a trivial task. In any case, OnLogic pre-configures the system in a manner suitable for immediate deployment, if the end-user so desires.

The Helix HX500 sports an Insyde H20 BIOS offering multiple configuration knobs meant for system administrators in business settings - including Management Engine configuration for AMT support. One of the interesting aspects we had not seen in the BIOS of earlier OnLogic systems is the activation of the memory tester upon every boot-up / reboot. The video below presents the entire gamut of available options.

The AIDA64 system report for the hardware configuration provided the following information:

  • [ South Bridge: Intel Comet Point-H Q470 ]:
    • PCIe 3.0 x1 port #6 In Use @ x1 (Intel I210 Gigabit Network Connection)

The CPU PCIe lanes, and most of the other PCIe lanes off the PCH are left un-used, but the upgraded Helix HX600 / HX610 (not tested) does put them to use. We also managed to get a pictorial representation of the internal bus structure in relation to the external ports.

It can be seen that all the high-speed I/O ports in the HX500 are from the Q470 PCH. CPU communication with multiple peripherals simultaneously can get bottle-necked by the DMI link between the PCH and the CPU. However, industrial PC use-cases are probably going to be fine with that limitation.

Thanks to the B2B focus of OnLogic, a detailed block diagram of the Helix HX500 / HX600-series motherboard is available.

Components such as the PCIe x16 connector are usable only in the Helix HX600.

In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems that we are comparing the OnLogic Helix HX500 against. Note that they may not belong to the same market segment. The relevant configuration details of the machines are provided so that readers have an understanding of why some benchmark numbers are skewed for or against the OnLogic Helix HX500 when we come to those sections. It must also be noted that we do not have any fanless PC with an industrial focus in the list - in fact, this is the first industrial PC we are reviewing with our test suite that was revamped in 2018.

Comparative PC Configurations
Aspect OnLogic Helix HX500
CPU Intel Core i7-10700T Intel Core i7-10700T
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 630 Intel UHD Graphics 630
19-19-19-43 @ 2666 MHz
2x16 GB
InnoDisk M4S0-AGS1O5IK DDR4-2666 SODIMM
19-19-19-43 @ 2666 MHz
2x16 GB
Storage Transcend TS256GMTS800
(256 GB; M.2 Type 2280 SATA III; MLC NAND)
Transcend TS256GMTS800
(256 GB; M.2 Type 2280 SATA III; MLC NAND)
Wi-Fi N/A N/A
Price (in USD, when built) $887 (base configuration)
$1694 (as configured / No OS)
$887 (base configuration)
$1694 (as configured / No OS)

In the next set of sections, we take a look at some performance benchmarks.

Introduction and Product Impressions Performance Metrics
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  • eastcoast_pete - Saturday, September 18, 2021 - link

    Does this setup have anything resembling an IPx7 or X8 rating, i.e. is it sealed against water and dust ingress? Those would be among the reasons that might justify the price. Without any such protection, I wonder just how long it'd actually last in an environment that requires a fanless setup.
  • Tomatotech - Saturday, September 18, 2021 - link

    I run a K39 PC, which is the smallest cheap PC case on the market & only cost a few dollars from China, not the $1000 this HX500 costs. The K39 contains a standard mITX mobo, flex PSU, and a full size GPU. Works fine. My K39 isn't passively cooled, but if I left out the GPU and put in a low power chip then maybe it could be passively cooled.

    I also bought in the same package a K19, which is the same form factor as the HX500 (ie no GPU) possibly a little bit smaller and a K29 which is the same form factor as the HX610. Haven't built them yet, but these cases are really tiny, only cost a few dollars, and you can run anything from an iGPU to a full i9 / Ryzen 9 in them.

    The cases are all-metal, and being so small, act as part of the radiator for the system. Easy enough to add some fins if needed. Definitely not waterproof or weatherproof but neither is this system.
  • Arnulf - Sunday, September 19, 2021 - link

    "A few dollars" comes out to what, $200 shipped for cheap perforated aluminium box with dodgy PSU, and you are somehow comparing that to a complete PC (motherboard, CPU, RAM, SSD included) with chassis that actually works as a heatsink? Mind boggles ...
  • The_Assimilator - Monday, September 20, 2021 - link

    Which part of "The K39 contains a standard mITX mobo" was unclear to you?
  • iammrr - Sunday, January 16, 2022 - link

    How to buy this pc?
    Learn latest technology through whatsapp group-
  • FLORIDAMAN85 - Saturday, September 18, 2021 - link

    Oh, look: an $800.00 Raspberry Pi.
  • nandnandnand - Saturday, September 18, 2021 - link

    An i7-10700T is somewhere between 5 and 50 times faster.
  • Meteor2 - Sunday, October 3, 2021 - link

    The $800 model comes with a Celeron
  • BedfordTim - Monday, September 20, 2021 - link

    Not having a 24V power input is disappointing.
  • Wrs - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - link

    Err, the specs page clearly states 12-24v input. The adapter they sell is 20v.

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