The ML100 series of passively cooled PCs from Logic Supply utilize the NUC / UCFF (ultra-compact form factor) motherboards. Currently, that lineup includes Bay Trail, Broadwell, and Skylake-based units. The ML100G-50 that we are looking at today is the Skylake vPro version.

Introduction and Product Impressions

The ML100G-30 released in early 2015 came with a Broadwell vPro processor and used one of the Intel Broadwell NUC motherboards (NUC5i5MYBE). Logic Supply's expertise in passively cooled systems enabled the replacement of the fan in the kit with an effective fanless thermal solution. The ML100G-50, however, is equipped with an ASRock board that is similar in many ways to the one found in the ASRock Beebox-S 6200U. The main differences between the internals of the ML100G-50 and the Beebox-S 6200U are the processor (vPro-capable Core i5-6300U vs. non-vPro Core i5-6200U), the Wi-Fi card (Intel AC7260 in our review sample vs. Intel AC3160), and the Ethernet controller (I219-LM vs. I219-V, the former being necessary for vPro features). The internal layout (not the motherboard itself) is also slightly different, with the full-metal solution of the ML100G-50 making it necessary to have a couple of RP-SMA connectors in the rear panel. In terms of physical dimensions, the ML100G-50 is the same as the ML100G-30. Due to the thermal solution and the need for RP-SMA Wi-Fi antenna connectors, the dimensions are slightly larger than the ASRock Beebox-S 6200U (142mm x 107mm x 62mm vs. 119mm x 110mm x 46mm)

The full specifications of our Logic Supply ML100G-50 review configuration are summarized in the table below.

Logic Supply ML100G-50 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-6300U
(2C/4T @ 2.4GHz (Turbo 3.0 GHz), 14nm, 3 MB L2, 15W)
Memory Transcend TS1GSH64V1H DDR4
15-15-15-36 @ 2133 MHz
2x8 GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 520
Disk Drive(s) Transcend MTS600 TS128GMTS600
(128 GB; M.2 Type 2260 SATA III; Micron 20nm; MLC)
Networking Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
(2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps)
Intel Gigabit Ethernet Connection I219-LM
Audio 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI)
Display 2x HDMI (1x 2.0a, 1x 1.4b)
1x Display Port 1.2
Miscellaneous I/O Ports 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
3x USB 3.0
Operating System Retail unit is barebones, but we installed Windows 10 Pro x64
Pricing $871 (barebones) / $926 (default configuration)
$1141 (as configured)
Full Specifications Logic Supply ML100G-50 Specifications

Logic Supply allows the ML100G-50 to be customized prior to shipping. By default, the unit comes with 4GB of DDR4-2133 RAM and a 32GB M.2 2260 SATA SSD. There is no WLAN support in the default configuration. Based on the purchase options, Logic Supply can pre-install up to two SO-DIMMs of 8GB each and a Transcend M.2 2260 SSD up to 512GB in capacity. Customers can opt to install their own SO-DIMMs (in which case, they can go up to 32GB of RAM) and/or M.2 2260 SSDs (Note that only M.2 2260 SSDs are officially supported - unlike the Beebox-S which allows M.2 2280 SSDs using an add-on plastic riser tab). Both SATA and PCIe drives are supported, though M.2 2260 PCIe SSDs are relatively rare in the market.

Other customization options include the WLAN card (the Intel AC8260 is available on the Logic Supply purchase page, though our review unit came with the AC7260). wall / VESA and DIN rail mounting kits, port and dust blocking kits, and choice of OS (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Windows 8.1 Embedded, Windows 10 Home / Pro / IoT Enterprise LTSB). While the standard warranty is 2 years, $99 extends that to 3.

We installed Windows 10 Pro x64 for the review process, and almost all drivers were available via the regular Windows Update process. The CIR driver (for the IR receiver) and the thermal framework drivers (Intel DPTF) had to be downloaded from ASRock's website for the Beebox-S 6200U

In addition to the main unit, the other components of the package include a 65 W (19V @ 3.42A) adapter, a US power cord, two 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz antennae for the Wi-Fi feature, adhesive rubber feet for the unit's base and a cable management tie along with some screws (probably for the wall mount / VESA mount - which is supported, but not included in our review package). The gallery below takes us around the chassis and also a view of the customer-accessible portion of the internals that allows the DRAM and SSD to be changed.

Note that there is a thick thermal pad right above the M.2 SSD. This should definitely help the drive keep its cool when subject to disk-intensive workloads. The all-metal construction and the finned structure of the chassis sides and top also help in drawing the heat away from the internal components. As usual, we will quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of the thermal solution in a later section.

In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems that we are comparing the Logic Supply ML100G-50 against. Note that they may not belong to the same market segment. Of particular interest are the Logic Supply ML100G-30, the Logic Supply Core ML320, the Zotac ZBOX CI523 nano and the Zotac ZBOX CI540 nano - all of which are passively cooled U-series UCFF PCs. 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 Logic Supply ML100G-50 when we come to those sections.

Comparative PC Configurations
Aspect Logic Supply ML100G-50
CPU Intel Core i5-6300U Intel Core i5-6300U
GPU Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM Transcend TS1GSH64V1H DDR4
15-15-15-36 @ 2133 MHz
2x8 GB
Transcend TS1GSH64V1H DDR4
15-15-15-36 @ 2133 MHz
2x8 GB
Storage Transcend MTS600 TS128GMTS600
(128 GB; M.2 Type 2260 SATA III; Micron 20nm; MLC)
Transcend MTS600 TS128GMTS600
(128 GB; M.2 Type 2260 SATA III; Micron 20nm; MLC)
Wi-Fi Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
(2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps)
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
(2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps)
Price (in USD, when built) $871 (barebones)
$1141 (as configured)
$871 (barebones)
$1141 (as configured)
Performance Metrics - I
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  • DarekLogic - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    Here's that ML100G-10 link without the errant parenthesis: https://www.logicsupply.com/ml100g-10 Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    Logic Supply sells the DA-1000 which has two Intel ethernet adapters and is passively cooled. Though it's CPU is based on the Bay Trail Atom, for a pfSense router project, it's probably sufficiently powerful AND would likely be a bit more efficient than a Skylake-based system. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    That huge white block is a thermal pad? Reply
  • DarekLogic - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    Darek here from Logic Supply. That's correct, that's a thermal pad for the SSD. As silly as it may look, in our testing it resulted in a roughly 6-12°C drop in SSD temperature depending on what the system is doing.

    Thanks for the question.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    I haven't ordered anything from Logic Supply in a few years, but I have done business with the company a few times for small orders. They were easy to deal with and I'd happily vouch for them putting together good fanless systems. Reply
  • Ranger1065 - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    Yawn. Reply
  • Valantar - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    As usual for these UCFF reviews, I (sorely!) miss pictures of the actual cooling solution. I get that you don't want to disassemble it before testing (having to replace thermal paste and so on), but can't you at least do it afterwards? Does it take more than removing the four screws in the motherboard? I'm very interested in seeing the actual implementation of the passive cooling solution here. Reply
  • Valantar - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    As usual for these UCFF reviews, I (sorely!) miss pictures of the actual cooling solution. I get that you don't want to disassemble it before testing (having to replace thermal paste and so on), but can't you at least do it afterwards? Does it take more than removing the four screws in the motherboard? I'm very interested in seeing the actual implementation of the passive cooling solution here. Reply
  • Spartacus00 - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    Would love to see comparisons to additional manufacturers. We have used Tangent for their Rugged Mini PC's and had great success. They were able to send us a demo unit, which Logic Supply was not; and were very flexible with the types of configurations we wanted in the machines. Worth looking into for anyone who is shopping for industrial fanless. Reply
  • fanofanand - Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - link

    I still can't wrap my head around a $450 PC selling for $1150 because it's small. I get it, I understand all the reasons why, it still just doesn't make sense to me for 99.9999999% of consumers. Nobody has an extra 5 liters of space ANYWHERE around their desk? Reply

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