Logic Supply ML100G-50 Fanless Skylake vPro Industrial NUC Reviewby Ganesh T S on February 27, 2017 8:00 AM EST
Performance Metrics - I
The Logic Supply ML100G-50 was evaluated using our standard test suite for low power desktops / industrial PCs. Not all benchmarks were processed on all the machines due to updates in our testing procedures. Therefore, the list of PCs in each graph might not be the same. In the first section, we will be looking at SYSmark 2014 SE, as well as some of the Futuremark benchmarks.
BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE
BAPCo's SYSmark 2014 SE is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation and data/financial analysis. In addition, it also addresses the responsiveness aspect which deals with user experience as related to application and file launches, multi-tasking etc. Scores are meant to be compared against a reference desktop (the SYSmark 2014 SE calibration system in the graphs below). While the SYSmark 2014 benchmark used a Haswell-based desktop configuration, the SYSmark 2014 SE makes the move to a Lenovo ThinkCenter M800 (Intel Core i3-6100, 4GB RAM and a 256GB SATA SSD). The calibration system scores 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system. Since the Logic Supply ML100G-50 is one of the first passively cooled PCs to be subject to the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmark, we only have the reference system to compare against in this subsection.
SYSmark 2014 SE also adds energy measurement to the mix. A high score in the SYSmark benchmarks might be nice to have, but, potential customers also need to determine the balance between power consumption and the efficiency of the system. For example, in the average office scenario, it might not be worth purchasing a noisy and power-hungry PC just because it ends up with a 2000 score in the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmarks. In order to provide a balanced perspective, SYSmark 2014 SE also allows vendors and decision makers to track the energy consumption during each workload. In the graphs below, we find the total energy consumed by the PC under test for a single iteration of each SYSmark 2014 SE workload and how it compares against the calibration systems.
The U-series Core i5-6300U is not going to be competitive against a full-blown 65W TDP desktop processor, but, in terms of energy consumption, the ML100G-50 is a lot better compared to the reference desktop.
Futuremark PCMark 8
PCMark 8 provides various usage scenarios (home, creative and work) and offers ways to benchmark both baseline (CPU-only) as well as OpenCL accelerated (CPU + GPU) performance. We benchmarked select PCs for the OpenCL accelerated performance in all three usage scenarios. These scores are heavily influenced by the CPU in the system. The Core i5-6300U enables the ML100G-50 to come out on top in all of the Futuremark benchmarks when compared with fanless systems evaluated earlier using the same methodology. The closest competitor is the Zotac ZBOX CI523 nano based on a Core i3-6100U.
Miscellaneous Futuremark Benchmarks
The Intel HD Graphics 520 is also one of the most powerful GPUs we have seen in fanless computing systems in this form factor, as shown by the 3DMark benchmarks in the above graphs.
3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15
We have moved on from R11.5 to R15 for 3D rendering evaluation. CINEBENCH R15 provides three benchmark modes - OpenGL, single threaded and multi-threaded. Evaluation of select PCs in all three modes provided us the following results.
In the single-threaded version, the ML100G-50 performs similar to the ML100G-30 despite the 100 MHz bump in the core clock. However, the multi-threaded version gives it a clear lead. In the OpenGL version, the Zotac ZBOX CI53 nano using the Core i3-6100U with the same graphics configuration (HD Graphics 520 operating at 300 MHz / 1 GHz) has a slight lead.
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ddriver - Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - linkYet the fins are oriented in the worst possible manner convection wise. Vertical fins on the sides would be far more efficient than the horizontal fins on top. That assumes it is oriented as pictured. If the box itself is mounted so that the fins are perpendicular to the ground then it will be fine.
DarekLogic - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - linkHi ddriver, Darek here from Logic Supply, thanks for your comment. The fin designs for our chassis are partly driven by manufacturing methods. We utilize one-piece extrusions for their superior material properties and cost efficiencies (over say, casting or straight CNC). That does limit us somewhat in the orientations of our fin structures. Ultimately the layouts we go with are designed/tested for a balance of forced and natural convection (as well as installation flexibility for our customers and, to a lesser extent, aesthetics) in multiple orientations - like you said, with the chassis mounted on a vertical surface the fins are optimal, and that's very often how our customers deploy our systems.
ddriver - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - linkSure, you are extruding stuff like heat sink fins, it would be crazy to machine that. But you can just extrude the box with the sides flat, then bolt on auxiliary vertical fins, in that case you are set for both unit orientation cases.
Or you could punch series of square C holes to the sides and bed the inner part outward, maybe not all the way to 90 degree, like 45 or so would do it, creating less of fins and more of a cool looking "ribs".
Both solution in case you want to increase the cooling capacity, visual aesthetics aside, the way it is looks tidier. But you can't always have it both pretty and efficient at the same time.
There is a third option - hide the fins. In that case they will be more like pipes, essentially cover up the fins but leave holes on the bottom for air to come it. Also, air expands as it gets hotter, so making the holes wider towards the top will be beneficial to increasing the air flow rate.
ddriver - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link*bend, not bed
AnonymousEngineer - Saturday, March 4, 2017 - linkI can't speak for this particular device, but I've bought similar-looking industrial PCs for field use in the past (made by Advantech), and they're typically mounted vertically in a cabinet or on a wall using a DIN-rail mount.
SkipPerk - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - linkWe do the same thing. It keeps them safely out of the way.
dave_the_nerd - Monday, February 27, 2017 - linkI think there may be a typo on the last page:
"Logic Supply's ML100G-50 is a solid step up from the Broadwell-based ML100G-50"
Don't you mean the Broadwell-based ML100G-30?
evilspoons - Monday, February 27, 2017 - linkSeems like a pretty capable and up-to-date industrial PC for the money. I'm used to working with ones that are many, many more generations behind the curve.
As an electrical engineer who builds panels for machinery I loathe the idea of an AC-DC power adapter and a barrel plug, but it looks like you can order it with DC terminals on-board so that's fine. Not bad then!
mattlach - Monday, February 27, 2017 - linkThe only thing I'd use one of these for would be a nice compact and power sipping pfSense router box.
IN order for me to do that, I'd need dual Intel NIC's though.
Why do all of these NUC's insist on either having only one NIC or using inferior Realtek NIC's you'd never want to use in a server-type setting?
DarekLogic - Monday, February 27, 2017 - linkHi mattlach, Darek here from Logic Supply. Because we don't currently do any board-level development, we're limited to the motherboards available on the market. We are in talks with a number of motherboard manufacturers about creating additional options because we also see value in offering dual NIC connectivity in this form factor with Intel Core processing.
That said, our ML100G-10 system does provide 2x Intel-based LAN ports (https://www.logicsupply.com/ml100g-10) and we have a number of clients using that system for various networking applications.
Thank you for your comment.