Logic Supply Core-ML320 Fanless Industrial NUC Reviewby Ganesh T S on April 30, 2014 3:45 PM EST
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