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Why your next desktop "workhorse" PC should be fanless

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What is the future PC like?

If you think about the future of computing, you cannot imagine PCs being anything other than powerful, totally silent and compact. This article is to explain that the future is here!

For many, silent computing is still "in the future" as their PC uses fans to keep it cool. Most desktop PCs, even those that are "small form factor" will need a fan on the power supply, and fan on the CPU and a fan in the rear of the case.

Not only do fans produce noise, their action sucks dust into the PC case and over static sensitive components. So care needs to be taken to remove this dust build up and to clean fan blades and to replace worn out fans.

Although it does cost money up front to make a PC totally silent - fanless - it is not much of a premium, especially if you compare it to the cost of trying to make a PC quieter by using better quality heatsinks and fans.

Can you have high performance and be fanless?

It would be easy to assume that a compact PC would have substandard performance if it were made fanless. But because of the innovations by intel to produce low-powered variants of their desktop CPUs, it is possible to have both high processing power and fanless cooling.

For example, we use the latest 7th Generation i7 7700T that has the same quad core architecture inside as the standard i7 7700 used in top spec desktop PCs. But it has special thermal management that keeps the electric power draw down and heat dissipated at a lower level. All our fanless i7 7700T PCs score in the range of 10,000 to 11,000 in the Passmark CPU performance measure, which compares to the average score of 10,800 that the Passmark website shows as the average for the 500 entries listed for the higher powered i7 7700.

The inbuilt graphics in 7th Generations CPUs, called HD Graphics 630, provides plenty of graphics performance for both office tasks as well as content creation (video, audio, photo) and has inbuilt hardware for video decoding. The latest 4k monitors at 60fps are supported, or up to 3 HD monitors. Only the latest games, which require a dedicated graphics card, are out of reach.

To find out which fanless PC suits you best, have a look at:

Ultimate Fanless Ultimate Fanless Heatpipe cooling of CPU and chipset. Protection from dust. Suitable for Industrial, Office and Home users. Supports Quad Core Kaby Lake i7 CPUs. Up to 3x SDD/HDD. Options for DVD/Blu-ray and PCIe expansion cards. New for June 2017 with ASUS H270i Strix Motherboard
  fc8a-tiny.png FC8-Series Stylish 4mm thick sandblasted aluminium case, with heatpipe cooling of CPU.  Up to 4x SSD/HDD including 3.5" HDD. New for Feb 2017: 7th Gen Kaby Lake i7 CPU with Thunderbolt 3 & HDMI 2.0
  euler-tx-fronttop-90.png TX-Series Top performance from Quad Core Kaby Lake i7 CPU and ultra fast Solid State Disk.
   T-Series M-Series, T-Series, S-Series, E-Series Great value solid aluminium fanless PCs. Supports Quad Core 7th Gen Kaby Lake i5 CPUs. Suitable for Office and Home users. M-Series up to 5 x SSD/HDD. T-Series up to 2 x SSD/HDD. S-Series and E-Series support 1 x SSD. All models support VESA mounting on monitors.
   Akasa Newton-S Fanless Intel NUC Based on the intel NUC miniature PC family. Variety of models suitable for Industrial, Office and Home users. CPUs from entry level up to Core i5. Up to 2 x SSD/HDD.