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CompuLab's Airtop 3 Is The Most Powerful Fan-Less Computer We've Tested Yet

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by coder View Post
    perf/W has anything to do with the availability of passively-cooled graphics cards.
    That's the same thing I'm saying. a two-slot heatsink is enough to passive cool them for non-gaming use.

    XFX made passive RX460 too so they could make a passive RX550 too if they wanted.

    Anyway, I have a RX 550 and it's a nice, little 50 W card for desktop effects and casual gaming
    The part TDP is only part of the equation, now most stuff has power profiles and thermal budgets.

    Most fanless cards even in the past were downclocked, using DDR instead of GDDR and/or were using power-saving measures (or hit thermal limits pretty soon so they started self-limiting) that makes them less performant than the same part with a full size heatsink.

    So even if it's technically a 50w max TDP you can still hobble it enough to make a fanless card with it.

    I don't think mine ever spins its fan down
    Only some OEMs put fan profiles that stop the fan, Gigabyte and Sapphire are the ones I know about (and also say this on their product page)

    BTW, that RX 550 has 8 CU's while their APUs have anywhere from 3 to 11! The main advantage of the RX 550 is memory bandwidth (112 GB/sec) - you won't get that in an APU, nor does the dGPU have to share its bandwidth with CPU cores.
    The second main thing that hobbles an APU after the memory bandwith is the thermal budget. You have 65W for CPU and GPU together, so that's really not going to go anywhere as good as a dedicated card of the same generation can even if the APU specs are better on paper.

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  • coder
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    [citation needed]The fact that a ton of low-end AMD GPUs like RX550 have 2-slot coolers with fan does not mean the GPU actually needs it
    The problem with anarki2 's logic isn't that AMD has worse perf/W (note: I didn't take issue with that assertion, but I'm not here to debate that), but rather that perf/W has anything to do with the availability of passively-cooled graphics cards.

    Anyway, I have a RX 550 and it's a nice, little 50 W card for desktop effects and casual gaming (or so I presume - haven't tried). I don't think mine ever spins its fan down, but I don't hear it in an otherwise quiet machine. That said, I also don't stress it.

    BTW, that RX 550 has 8 CU's while their APUs have anywhere from 3 to 11! The main advantage of the RX 550 is memory bandwidth (112 GB/sec) - you won't get that in an APU, nor does the dGPU have to share its bandwidth with CPU cores. But, I bought it for a machine that doesn't have an iGPU - not for performance reasons.
    Last edited by coder; 05-05-2020, 11:05 PM.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by anarki2 View Post
    AMD CPUs are fine now, but their GPUs are horrible in terms of perf/watt, so they're still outta question for fanless builds.
    [citation needed]

    The fact that a ton of low-end AMD GPUs like RX550 have 2-slot coolers with fan does not mean the GPU actually needs it (same as with many GPUs of both brands that have auxiliary power for no real reason). Smart ones like Gigabyte or Sapphire even turn off the fan if the GPU isn't being used for heavy 3D.

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  • coder
    replied
    Originally posted by anarki2 View Post
    AMD CPUs are fine now, but their GPUs are horrible in terms of perf/watt, so they're still outta question for fanless builds. Or for anyone who actually cares for efficiency, like me.
    Nvidia doesn't make x86 CPUs. So, the only way they can address the bottom of the market is to build an ultra low-power dGPU. That's how they end up with ~30 W models, like the GT 1030. That's where you need to be, for a fanless dGPU to be an option (i.e. for use in a "normal" case). However, this is also in the realm of iGPU performance, which AMD implicitly addresses with their APUs. So, one could argue that AMD doesn't need to build such a slow dGPU, for people that don't want its fan.

    Now, go ahead and look for a < 75 W model in their GTX 16xx or RTX 20xx series. You won't find one. It seems even Nvidia doesn't care as much about this market as you do. You see, it's really not a story about GPU efficiency, like how you paint it. Rather, it's really about the low-end market, which is almost entirely subsumed by APUs.

    BTW, AMD did rebadge some older GCN GPUs for the Radeon 520 and 530. However, those are OEM-only models and I don't see their TDP.
    Last edited by coder; 05-05-2020, 05:00 AM.

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  • anarki2
    replied
    Originally posted by muncrief View Post
    It needs a giant fan to blow all the ugly Intel/NVIDIA stuff out, and suck all the beautiful AMD stuff in!
    AMD CPUs are fine now, but their GPUs are horrible in terms of perf/watt, so they're still outta question for fanless builds. Or for anyone who actually cares for efficiency, like me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pistachioboy
    replied
    Airtop 3 looks awesome. I just don't understand why they had to "hype" it with by calling it "most powerful fan-less computer". Like fans have anything to do with a computer's CPU besides keeping it cool. It's not a car intake lol Nice computer tho - no doubt.

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  • coder
    replied
    Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
    Is it safe to use those devices (air compressors and blowers)? I've heard they can release static.
    Never tried one, but it seems like there are plenty of reviews on that model & others.

    Leave a comment:


  • tildearrow
    replied
    Originally posted by coder View Post
    I've seen little air compressors you can use to do the same thing.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0787KXTFW/
    Is it safe to use those devices (air compressors and blowers)? I've heard they can release static.

    Leave a comment:


  • coder
    replied
    Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
    I know I could do that, but believe it or not, compressed air cans are uncommon here.
    I've seen little air compressors you can use to do the same thing.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0787KXTFW/

    Leave a comment:


  • tildearrow
    replied
    Originally posted by coder View Post
    I stop at just poking a "can of air" nozzle around all of the external vents, and blasting into it from all angles. Could bring new meaning to the term "airtop"!
    ; )

    Funny thing: I've never seen a laptop with externally-accessible, removable air filters...
    I know I could do that, but believe it or not, compressed air cans are uncommon here.

    Leave a comment:

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