Intel started offering its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) small form factor computers when Sandy Bridge CPUs were still new. We're now on to the seventh generation of NUC hardware, with a move to Kaby Lake chips. The most powerful NUC released to date is the Intel Skull Canyon model, sporting a Core i7 processor with Iris Pro Graphics 580 (model NUC6i7KYK).
As they are almost complete systems, it's hard for other manufacturers to offer supporting products. But one area that can be improved is the cases. NUCs ship with a cooling fan attached to the CPU which can make them rather noisy, so a range of fanless cases have appeared for different models. FanlessTech noticed over the weekend that Akasa finally revealed a fanless case for the Skull Canyon NUC called Galatico.
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Creating a case without fans that can keep a Core i7-6770HQ processor running at up to 3.5GHz (45W TDP) cool is an impressive feat. It has also resulted in a rather futuristic-looking case as the images reveal.
Cooling is achieved using an aluminum case that directs the heat away from the CPU using four heat pipes. The finned sections of the case act like a heatsink and allow all generated heat to escape while the system runs in complete silence. If there's a downside to this setup, it's the size of the case (383-by-213-by-93mm) and the fact you'll need to keep it well ventilated. But that's a small price to pay for a silent Core i7 system.
Akasa fanless cases for NUCs typically sell for around $100. Pricing for the Galatico is yet to be revealed, but it's likely to be significantly more expensive due to how much cooling the case had to include to cope with Skull Canyon's performance. And Skull Canyon isn't cheap on its own, costing $599 plus the cost of an SSD, RAM, and an operating system on top of that.