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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  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - link

    Most people have that extra space, but these systems aren't intended for desktop use. They're targeted at industrial environments where dust ingestion due to active cooling would contribute to the early demise of a conventional computer. Consumers rarely need this kind of hardware unless they're doing something like HAM radio or another chore that needs a passively cooled design. Reply
  • fanofanand - Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - link

    Yeah I kind of gathered that after posting my comment, but I think my comment is still applicable beyond this one specific box. The SFF space is one of the last bastions of "premium pricing" outside of corporate and "gaming". I mean what we have here is a super low power CPU, with an IGP, and basic RAM selling for the price of an alienware laptop. It's just hard to wrap my head around. I get it for industrial applications but not for everyday consumers. Reply
  • milkod2001 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Market is big enough that even NUCs while they are useless and overpriced for what they offer still sell. Good thing is: you don't have to buy them, you can just completely ignore them and move on :) Reply
  • nowayandnohow - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    "you can just completely ignore them and move on"

    Exactly, stop whining and go to the market segment that targets what you need.
    Reply
  • nowayandnohow - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Look, I am a prime customer for this solution: I need a somewhat capable small server for a location - on this location I also need to run 2VM's which each uses their own NIC (I am looking at their Xeon equipped server with 6 x NIC, 32GB ECC RAM, and 4 drives in RAID6). All of this is going to be supporting a low maintenance, long periods of no-computers-and-very-little-web-traffic location. This is perfect.

    What sets this one apart is that it is small, really small, and it has ZERO moving parts. It will not have a fan failure, it will not have a spinning disk doing all the things spinning disks do. It'll be dead quiet, run what I need for it to run, hidden away in a closet, running 24/7.

    Of course i could build my very own, for probably half the price and double the specs, but this is not what I am looking for. This is not intended for home tinkers, and the price comes with turnkey (with warranty) setup, and I am willing to pay for that.

    We need to end this "it can be done cheaper", someone needs to make a buck on putting capable systems together, with purpose not only to support gamers that would never buy it in the first place, and uses components that are not the 'cheapest possible available'. Otherwise all computers will just be either super expensive for coorporations, or super low budget like half of the SFF units out there today. Who the hell wants an i3 with cheap-ass RAM, slow spinning HD and then the capacity to push out 4k? Who ever buys that is an idiot. You want to build, build... You want to buy a gaming machine, buy a gaming machine, but if you don't understand the target segment of the market does not make it shit. You see computers as a commodity, I see them as things that cost does not really matter, but build quality and purpose does.

    Buying this can will last me 5 years in the setting that I am looking for, the components are perhaps not the newest, but HQ stuff, and with no moving parts, protecting it through a HQ UPS, this bad boy will run quietly and smooth.
    Reply
  • SkipPerk - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - link

    There are quite a few solutions that really require small form factor, although fanless is not always essential. I have had good luck with dust filters, although a sealed case would be awesome for humidity. Sometimes you simply need to tuck a tiny computer somewhere (often wall mounted between other equipment). That said, I have used tiny Atom boxes and run VM's through them, but they are not so stable. You can set up a Linux box and forget about it. Reply
  • benzosaurus - Sunday, March 12, 2017 - link

    Almost specced one of these at work the other day. Reply

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