Motherboard Features & Thermal Design

The Intel D54250WYB "Wilson Canyon" Haswell i5 NUC motherboard has been covered extensively in our review of the Intel D54250WYK NUC kit. Logic Supply retains the features of the motherboard, but does away with the heat sink and the fan. Instead, the chassis lid makes contact with the CPU using a liberal amount of thermal paste to aid help dissipate the heat. Unlike the chassis of the Habey BIS-6922, the grooves on the ML320 are neither deep, nor do they have a bigger surface area. Keeping in mind that the TDP of the passively cooled component is under 20W, this is quite acceptable (as long as the system doesn't throttle due to thermal issues).

The gallery above gives an idea of the extensibility of the NUC platform for those who require customization from Logic Supply. While the standard NUC ports of 2x USB 3.0 on the front front, 2x USB 3.0, a mini-HDMI and a mini-DP port as well as a RJ-45 port on the rear remain, there are some interesting aspects to note. First off, the width of the unit is almost double that of the standard NUC. This allows for the rear panel to accommodate explicit antenna jacks for the wireless module. The standard NUC uses the chassis as an antenna, but that is not possible with the passive design.

The wider rear panel also provides support for the placement of a COM port (using one of the internal USB 2.0 headers along with a pin-header adapter  and a RS232 converter) and UPS systems (redundant DC power input jacks). A panel mount 3.5mm audio breakout extension cable can also be used to provide audio capabilities in the rear panel.

Inside the unit, we find that the Core-ML320 takes advantage of the SATA port on the motherboard to support a 2.5" drive placed adjacent to the motherboard in a horizontal manner. This is in contrast to the BRIX S and NUC H-models where the 2.5" SATA drive is placed against the chassis lid on top of the motherboard. Access to the DRAM (SODIMM modules) and the SATA drives / wireless card is achieved by simply taking out the four screws on the rear panel. The mSATA card and WLAN card are stacked on top of each other and have their own heat sink mechanism to prevent the sort of situation which caused overheating problems with the first version of the Intel NUC. The industrial PC credentials of the Core-ML320 are further strengthened by the use of a wide-temperature range Emphase SSD

Introduction Performance Metrics - I
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  • PCfan720 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    The base system is around $650, which is only a couple hundred bucks more than the standard NUC with a fan that Intel offers. A couple hundred bucks isn't bad for a completely sealed and fanless unit.
  • WithoutWeakness - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    The NUC is also barebones. The price of comparable RAM and an MSATA SSD should be included in the price of the NUC for a fair comparison.
  • eBob - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    This isn't really intended for a home or office user. When you have things running on the factory floor, reliability becomes a more overriding concern. These systems often end up running ten and even twenty years and often without software updates. I would imagine that a lot of these systems are destined to be locked in control cabinets with other hardware and forgotten about unless something goes wrong.
  • Morawka - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    how did you build a NUC for under 300 when the barebones is $365? and that's not even counting $50 RAM, $70 Intel Wireless and $60 hard drive + $6 Power Cord
  • Hrel - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    What's gong on with the Habey on the 7zip test? Shouldn't Gigabyte still be way ahead?
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    We weren't able to run 7-Zip on the BRIX Pro (1) configuration because we no longer have access to that particular configuration. You can see updated benchmarks in our second part of the BRIX Pro review that will use different DRAM / storage. I will be posting that shortly.
  • senthil.c - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    It is very disappointing that most NUC does not comes with the IR sensor built-in, since these kind of PC's are mostly used in home theatre environment, IR sensor is a must needed feature.
  • PCfan720 - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    The ML320 does have an IR sensor, it's pictured in the main image and listed in the spec table on the Logic Supply site ( Did you just mean that in general most NUC systems don't have one?
  • Antronman - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    Wouldn't make bad HTPCs.

    No IR, but not bad. A little bit on the pricey side though...for 1000-1300USD you're not looking at an HTPC, but a low-end gaming PC.
  • harshw - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    There's also the Akasa Newton H. It's smaller, cheaper ( in the UK at least. US prices are a laugh ) and with a bit of modding for LEDs - it is perfectly acceptable as a HTPC

    Mine does 41c/50c for the CPU/SSD at an ambient of 27c

    The default LEDs for all these cases are usually a blindingly bright blue for power and an anemic green/yellow for HDD. I modded mine to have a warm daylight dim white LED for power and a dim blue for HDD activity. Wish manufacturers had more sense ...

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