Introduction and Setup Impressions

Passively cooled computing systems carry many advantages. Most of these turn out to be very important for industrial and embedded applications. The low power nature of the Intel NUCs make them the ideal candidate for passive industrial computing platforms. We have already reviewed a number of industrial PCs from vendors such as Aleutia, Habey USA and Logic Supply. Logic Supply was one of the first vendors to come out with an off-the-shelf passively cooled NUC. We reviewed their Haswell NUC last year and came away impressed. Today, we have their recently launched ML100G-30 passively cooled Broadwell vPro PC in for review.

The characteristics of the Broadwell i5 NUC (based on the Core i5-5250U) are well known to AnandTech readers, but the ML100G-30 we are reviewing today comes with the vPro variant of the Broadwell-U i5, namely, the Core i5-5300U.

The full specifications of our Logic Supply ML100G-30 review configuration are summarized in the table below.

Logic Supply ML100G-30 Specifications
Processor Intel Broadwell Core i5-5300U
(2C/4T @ 2.3GHz (Turbo 2.90 GHz), 14nm, 3 MB L2, 15W)
Memory 1x 8GB DDR3L 1600 MHz
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5500
300 MHz / 900 MHz (Turbo)
Disk Drive(s) 128 GB Transcend M.2 SSD
Networking 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x2 802.11ac
Audio Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (mini-DP)
Operating System Retail unit is barebones, but we installed Windows 8.1 Pro x64
Pricing (As configured) $919
Full Specifications ML100G-30 Specifications

The Logic Supply ML100G-30 kit doesn't come with any pre-installed OS. The drivers and supporting software are available on their product support page. 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 hardware in the unit.

In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems that we are comparing the Logic Supply ML100G-30 against. Note that they may not belong to the same market segment. Of particular interest are the Logic Supply Core ML320 and the Zotac ZBOX CI540 - both of them 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-30 when we come to those sections.

Comparative PC Configurations
Aspect Logic Supply ML100G-30
CPU Intel Core i5-5300U Intel Core i5-5300U
GPU Intel HD Graphics 5500 (Broadwell-U GT2) Intel HD Graphics 5500 (Broadwell-U GT2)
RAM Transcend TS1GSK64WSH
11-11-11-28 @ 1600 MHz
1x8 GB
Transcend TS1GSK64WSH
11-11-11-28 @ 1600 MHz
1x8 GB
Storage Transcend TS128GMTS800
(128 GB; M.2 Type 2280 SATA 6 Gb/s; 20nm; MLC)
Transcend TS128GMTS800
(128 GB; M.2 Type 2280 SATA 6 Gb/s; 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) $914 $914

 

ML100G-30 BIOS and vPro Features
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  • Pissedoffyouth - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    I have a build based on an Minibox M350 - designed for passive heatsinks or CPU's with fan and <65w TDP.

    With an A10-7800 it completely smokes these little boxes at a similar size, and for less money.

    I'd love to see a NUC with an AMD APU and some decent cooling design
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    I have an i7 quad machine that smokes your M350 machine. It's bigger than the Minibox but, then again, your minibox is bigger than the above Nuc. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    Oh yeah? Well epeen, epeen, epeen! Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    And my desktop smashes both of yours put together. Do I win? Reply
  • Pissedoffyouth - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    Smokes it? What i7? I bet its GPU is worse Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    Broadwell's i7-5557U GPU is pretty damn close to a 192-core GCN GPU but nowhere near a 384+ core GCN GPU such as that in the A10. But it's also 1/4th the TDP, so half the GPU performance and 20% more CPU performance is all well unless you actually plan to game (at low res) on the thing because lets be honest here, both GPU's are unacceptable for HD gaming.

    It's also worth pointing out the Intel GPU is substantially more advanced regarding features and modern codec support.
    Reply
  • blue_urban_sky - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    I presumed he was pointing out that if you are using a bigger chassis then it is easy to get a faster system. Your system is 192 x 210 x 62 (2.5l) this is 142 x 62 x 107 (0.95l) Reply
  • Haravikk - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    I have an i7-4790T in an Akasa Euler case; I believe it's around the size of the M350, similar price too (at least here in the UK) but a fully aluminium case designed as a heat-sink. The 4790T is 45W, but runs extremely well in the case; running a 1080p encode in Handbrake it can hold 750% CPU use (where all 8 threads is 800%) at a speed of 3ghz, even though it's normal operating speed is 2.7ghz.

    The only issue with this setup is that mSATA drives are out, as too much heat builds up in the case; I had to swap for a regular 2.5" SSD, and I did put a tiny 40mm Noctua fan in just to help clear the heat build up under heavy load (during normal use it switches off completely).

    I'm not aware of any Broadwell compatible thin mini-ITX boards yet, but I imagine doing the same again with Broadwell could achieve even better results.

    It does make me wonder why so many of these boxes have such anaemic CPU options, as it's clearly possible to put fairly powerful CPUs in. In fact, my (mostly) passive system replaced a 2008 dual quad-core Mac Pro, and outperforms it in almost every metric in such a tiny system. No ECC of course, but otherwise it's a pretty big (or small) change.
    Reply
  • Pissedoffyouth - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    That does look like a pretty decent case Reply
  • natenu - Sunday, May 10, 2015 - link

    One of the reasons industrial PCs have lower powered CPUs is not only for thermal reasons but in order to have an industrial control panel be UL 508 approved any PC inside of it needs to be powered by a class 2 DC power supply. That is a power supply that cannot supply more than 100 watts. Reply

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