Fanless Desktops

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ud6
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Fanless Desktops

Post by ud6 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:07 am

Parden the pun, but I'm a fan of fanless desktops, and for many using linux (not focussed on gaming :lol: ) I expect many out there feel the same?

For me I see it as the future of (non gaming) computing as fanless are small, cheap, more solid (less parts to break and usually have SSD options). I guess also I'm missing my sompletely silent SSD16GB RAM i7 which I couldn't bring with me cos I needed laptop (was just so great with mint on it). We get lots of power cuts in Malawi so I was thinking, would be great if fanless desktops (generally lower power consumption) could have plug in battery support i.e. a bit like a power cable for normal laptop, but includes battery within it. Any such thing?

Wonder if anybody else loved/loving fanless mini desktop (must be some that have mintbox mini or similar).. also, you do anything special with it ? (I used ext4 file system, but now thinking I should have used btrs on the ssd, or even f2fs).

151tom
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by 151tom » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:41 am

I guess fan less desktop computers and a super small form factor are great for today's generation who didn't grow up around the days of big box desktop computers.

I have fan less graphics cards with big huge heat sinks on them and have zero complaints with them although I mount 80mm fans on them for added cooling.

If fans are sized correctly than a user can achieve an efficiently cooled and silent desktop computer as for the cost of running a few fans come on they don't cost very much to run when you consider the added longevity to your components.

Heat rather it be electrical or mechanical is just not good and promotes end of life faster.
Large cases allow heat to move around and then be removed via intake and exhaust case fans.
Fan less electronics in small cases just runs hotter than necessary and MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) comes quicker.

I'll stay with my big old desktop computers that run cool and quiet and are also very expandable and only limited to maximum specs of the motherboard.
Last edited by 151tom on Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pierre
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by Pierre » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:37 am

since I've got one of these Super Small Fanless Machines,
but, the right-angled connector for the HDD seems to have broken the pins support that is on the motherboard,
and so, the BIOS no longer sees the HDD anymore. :(

it's still has Four usb2 ports & Four usb3 ports - - so it's still somewhat useful.
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ud6
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by ud6 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:53 am

Pierre wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:37 am
... the right-angled connector for the HDD seems to have broken the pins support that is on the motherboard,
and so, the BIOS no longer sees the HDD anymore. :(

it's still has Four usb2 ports & Four usb3 ports - - so it's still somewhat useful.
8)
That sounds like a disaster! What can you do without the HDD? Can you boot from usb? Is it possible to solder?

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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by freekvb » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:54 pm

A few years fanless here

Desktop PC 'silent' van Atlast! solutions https://www.atlastsolutions.com/ultimat ... t-proof-pc
Ultimate Black Impactics Fanless Case Mini-ITX PC, Core i7 Skylake, 16GB DDR4 3GHz, ASUS Z170i, 500GB HDD 7200rpm

Great system, small, fast, silent and looks good on my desk next to my 'big' monitor

Linux Mint Cinnamon - chromium, tmux, vim, zsh
some screenshots: http://members.multiweb.nl/fvb/screenshots.html

Recently installed the tiling window manager bspwm https://github.com/baskerville/bspwm
(doing one thing, managing windows and doing it good)
some more screenshots: http://members.multiweb.nl/fvb/screenshots_bspwm.html

System is up 24/7 on my desk in the livingroom .. doesn't make a sound (well exept for some loud music sometimes .. )
I'm happy ! Never back to one of those big loud towers .. :D

Have fun !
there's no business like .. your own business ..

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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by carum carvi » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:49 am

What the OP asked for seems to be right at home here at LinuxMint forum: https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3528

The latest and also the previous models of the Mintbox have got all the connections one can wish for compared to a regular desktop pc. The mintbox can be extended with a battery pack, which will survive your work for a couple of hours during a power failure. The Mintbox only uses 15 Watts.

I am eager to hear about experiences from people who have recently bought the latest model Mintbox, because in the past the Mintbox did have problems with video performance. A simple youtube video could freeze up the Linux system in the past. That's not good.

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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by BG405 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:34 am

With frequent power cuts, a low power consumption computer coupled with a decent-sized UPS (uninterruptable power supply) would be the best way to go. I suspect at least some of the Internet cafés in Nairobi & possibly Embu, Meru etc. must have had UPSs due to the regular brownouts & blackouts (usually in the evenings though sometimes during the day). Sounds like it's the same sort of issue with power supply in Malawi.

As for fanless desktops vs traditional ones, the latter can be made pretty quiet even if not completely silent. Big, low RPM fans with decent bearings are best for this. One thing I can not stand is noisy fans drowning out the music, so a fanless design could be an advantage .. as long as it can dissipate heat efficiently. It gets pretty hot in here (the loft) during the summer, enough to tax systems with fans.
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by xenopeek » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:13 am

BG405 wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:34 am
As for fanless desktops vs traditional ones, the latter can be made pretty quiet even if not completely silent. Big, low RPM fans with decent bearings are best for this.
Same for me. I could possibly meet my needs with a SFF fanless desktop system if I sacrificed a bit but I've managed with a mid tower (with dampening material), SSDs and using low speed 14cm fans in front and back to have a quiet system. The CPU is passively cooled with a massive cooling tower. More and easier to expand or replace parts is a nice bonus. No worries about hearing coil whine (risk with fanless systems) because the case has dampening material and is shoved under the desk.

That said Compulab's Fit-PC / MintBox models are awesome and I bought one for a family member as it perfectly met their needs.
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by catweazel » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:51 am

xenopeek wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:13 am
Same for me. I could possibly meet my needs with a SFF fanless desktop system if I sacrificed a bit but I've managed with a mid tower (with dampening material), SSDs and using low speed 14cm fans in front and back to have a quiet system. The CPU is passively cooled with a massive cooling tower. More and easier to expand or replace parts is a nice bonus. No worries about hearing coil whine (risk with fanless systems) because the case has dampening material and is shoved under the desk.
My full tower has a 3-fan Corsair Hydro H150i water cooler at the top, 3 x 120mm fans at the front, 2 x 120mm fans at the bottom, 1 x 120mm fan at the back, plus 5 x 40mm fans on the Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 680 SOC, 2 x 60mm fans on the Corsair AIRFLOW II RAM cooler, 2 x 40mm fans on the SSD hot swap cage, and one other fan on the EVGA 1200w power supply.

When I turn it on, the room vibrates at 50Hz, the lights in the neighbourhood dim and the machine levitates, yet I don't hear a thing. I guess there are advantages to having had one's eardrums blown out while testing warheads on guided-missiles :)
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by ud6 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:06 am

freekvb wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:54 pm
Ultimate Black Impactics Fanless Case Mini-ITX PC, Core i7 Skylake, 16GB DDR4 3GHz, ASUS Z170i, 500GB HDD 7200rpm
That's a nice system... didn't realise such a large box could remain cool without fans, though SDD would be nicer than the HDD. I remember many years ago having to hit my computer to get the HDD to engage properly (maybe I should have got it repaired instead).

Whereas Catweasel found a novel method of getting a silent system.. testing guided missle warheads prior to buying the computer, I'm now having to wonder whether I should buy a new wall plug socket so the switch on the wall socket doesn't make that annoying 'click' noise, that I'm finding really prevents a smooth work flow.

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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by ZakGordon » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:47 am

I was (am still) a fan of the silent pc website. Shame it is no longer really updated. Anyway i think these things always come down to heat.

If you have a system that produces low heat you can (and should) go with a silent build (fanless etc). However if you have a powerful system that generates lots of heat you have no choice but to do something about that.

My gaming PC is a windows mini-itx build that is about the size of a shoebox (on the large end), based on an Antec ISK 600:

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Antec/ISK_600/

It is not a power gaming system, but with an i5 CPU@3.1Ghz, 16 GB DDR3, 4GB 1050Ti GPU, SSD boot and 4TB HDD storage it has fans that i've chosen to be silent/near silent. A Noctua fan on the CPU and for the rear exhaust. Luckily the fans on the GPU from gigabyte are near silent also. Overall a surprisingly silent build.

For my Linux laptop it would be pretty silent accept for the extra fan i needed to add to blow air into the laptop case to help cool it (it needs it!). Some kind of Linux Mint hardware issue with that laptop most likely.

But yeah if your heat generation allows it, no fans is idle :)
Laptop overheating issues? Check link below:
TLP

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ud6
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Re: Fanless Desktops

Post by ud6 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:07 pm

ZakGordon wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:47 am
For my Linux laptop it would be pretty silent accept for the extra fan i needed to add to blow air into the laptop case to help cool it (it needs it!). Some kind of Linux Mint hardware issue with that laptop most likely.

But yeah if your heat generation allows it, no fans is idle :)
Yep, I used to have issues with mint and overheating on a couple of my laptops in the past to the extent they would shut down after a few hours work. Almost gave up on linux because of this unacceptable situation. TLP and cpu-frequency helped me to reduce the power consumption/performance such that less heat was produced. I think better power usage and temperature control (as standard) should be something looked into, though I don't seem to have same problems with 19.0... I still install this software now as I now live in an area with poor reliability of electricity supply so I need to be able to extend battery life.

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