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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  • toyotabedzrock - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    You temp readings on the outside of the case do not have correct celsius to fahrenheit conversion. In the first image on the left you will see conversion errors.
  • tarqsharq - Friday, May 2, 2014 - link

    Also, they really need to do a border around the font to make it more legible...
  • Thermalzeal - Friday, May 2, 2014 - link

    I have some industrial clients that we've been looking at upgrading their PC's. After Kabini's launch and that awesome DC 19v mobo by Asrock, I've specked a system for $475 with all passive cooling. $1300 is way too high. My system has a 240GB SSD, 8GB of ram and the best processor in the Kabini lineup.
  • Wall Street - Saturday, May 3, 2014 - link

    I like the dropdown menu for the comparison table. Very cool.
  • PaigeKnowleskag - Saturday, May 3, 2014 - link

  • hollovoid7 - Saturday, May 3, 2014 - link

    I work in a large factory and can see these things working out very well in the equipment there. There is quite a bit of dust in some areas, and most machine cpus fall victim to it from the cooling fans getting plugged up, then fried as a result. As it is, nearly all PLC's now a days are fanless for that reason, the computer that drives the control interfaces should be as well.
  • Roy2001 - Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - link

    Pay extra $1000 for fanless?
  • seamanjeff - Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - link

    We have 4 of these in use displaying production schedules in a dirty/wet paper mill environment. The i3 was overkill so we went back to the Atom - with Ubuntu LTS, openbox and Chromium they are pretty sweet systems. Work like greased lightning. I no longer even see Windows in the rear-view mirror.
  • M/2 - Friday, May 9, 2014 - link

    I have a Mac Mini Server w/ i7 Quadcore and 2 SSDs that costs the same or less, has the same or better performance, and doesn't look like an industrial black box.
  • nerd1 - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    I am actually among their target audience, and personally I think being fanless is not a big deal compared to being weatherproof. Are there ANY weatherproof embedded computer out there?

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