If there is a type of computer that can be protected from the impact of laptops, it is a powerful silent computer. Notebook computers need to dissipate heat in some way, and powerful processors generate a lot of heat. Most importantly, these CPUs consume a lot of power, so the battery life of laptops equipped with these components is often quite low.
All of this brings us to the product we are reviewing today, the Digitblue fanless mini PC made by Insound Technology. This is a completely silent brick, an industrialized product of Intel’s next computing unit. The device we tested today is based on Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, equipped with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD. There are various other models, the cheapest of which does not have memory, storage or Wi-Fi.
This is an industrial computer (without screw-in side brackets), which means that Inctel has adopted a practical design language for the Partaker PC. There is no luxurious front panel, just a minimalist panel with four screws, a status LED, a power button and four USB ports. Its size is 22.5*18.5*4.8cm, which is about the size of a thick book. It can be used vertically and horizontally, or it can be installed on the back of a monitor or display unit through a VESA bracket.
It has two antenna screw ends, four USB 3.0 ports, two audio connectors, a GBe LAN port, a DisplayPort connector, an HDMI port, and a proprietary power connector on the back; there is no card reader.
The bottom plate is locked with six screws and has four rubber feet to keep it elevated. There are about 20 slits at the bottom to improve air circulation.
As expected, it is made of aluminum, and the entire computer is covered with heat sinks to help dissipate heat. Please note that the 90W power supply unit is located outside the body of the device. Some people may think that this will cause inconvenience, especially in an industrial environment.
The Intel Core i7-8565U processor is a 14nm part with a TDP of 15W; its four cores (and eight threads) have a basic frequency of 1.8GHz and a Turbo frequency of 4.6GHz (although not on all cores at the same time). It supports a dual-channel configuration, but the Partaker PC takes advantage of this; there is only one memory slot with a lone Samsung 16GB DDR4 SODIMM.
Here is the Partaker B16 fanless mini PC configuration sent to TechRadar Pro for review:
CPU: Core i7-8565U
Graphics: Intel UHD 620
Storage: 256GB IND-S3MP
Ports: 4x USB2.0, 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, audio jack, Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity: Intel WiFi 5100 AGN
Size: 20.5 x 18 x 45cm
The remaining configuration includes 256GB mSATA SSD.
The radio (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) is handled by Intel WiFiLink 5100, which is a fairly old chip that does not support 802.11ac or 802.11ax protocols, and does not have Bluetooth. This is a shame, especially since any upgrade will only add a few dollars to the bill of materials.
There is a free SATA port and appropriate screw holes to securely fix the 2.5-inch storage device to the cover, but this may require rearranging the USB connector cable. That might be a little tight.
The following is the performance of Partaker B16 fanless mini PC in our series of benchmark tests:
Password CPU: 9317
CPU-Z: 514.6 (single thread); 2037.1 (multithread)
Geekbench: 1191 (single core); 3395 (multi-core); 5209 (computing)
Cinebench: OpenGL: CPU: 1348
CrystalDiskMark: 556 MBps (read); 460 MBps (write)
Atto: 534 MBps (read, 256mb); 456 MBps (write, 256MB)
Sisoft Sandra (KPT): 1.35
Windows Experience Index: 6.6
The onboard graphics subsystem Intel UHD Graphics 620 on Partaker B16 will be able to power DP and HDMI outputs up to 4K resolution. Please note that you will not get any operating system, which is a hidden cost that must be considered when evaluating with competitors.
In our benchmark test, the 8565U provided the kind of performance we expected for the 8th generation Core i7 CPU with all four cores activated. The storage subsystem is fast, but is limited by the outdated SATA protocol, but it is fast enough for most tasks.
It is worth mentioning that Partaker does heat up when running under load. We are not sure about the long-term reliability of the B16.
DIGITBLUE Mini Computer | i7 8550U/7560U i5 8250U/7260U | 2*DDR4 Msata+M.2 SSD Micro PC | Win10 Pro Barebone HTPC Nuc VGA HDMI Fanless
DIGITBLUE Fanless Mini PC | Intel Core i7-4500U Windows PC | Industrial Micro PC | Dual Gigabit Ethernet WiFi | 6*RS232/485 8*USB | HDMI VGA 4G LTE
① Support Windows 7, Windows 8 & 8.1, Windows 10, WISE7, WISE8, Linux, VxWorks
② Includes 4x USB2.0, 4x USB3.0, 2x LAN Gigabit Ethernet, 6x Serial Port ( COM1 to COM 4 are RS232, COM5 COM6 can be adjust to RS232 or RS485 ) , 1x SPK, 1x MIC
③ Compatible 1x DDR3L 1.35V memory, Support dual hard drive combination, 1x mSATA, 1x 2.5 inch HDD/SSD;
④ Fanless construction, zero noise & dustproof
⑤ Energy-saving, up to 80% save than traditional PC;
⑥ Support watchdog, RTC Wake Up, wake-on-LAN, Auto power on when power faliure, Diskless booting, trigger switch, Virtualization and more.
⑦ Support WiFi, 3G/4G module & SIM card.