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Logic Supply ML210G-10 Fanless Bay Trail System

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A sub-2 liter fanlessly cooled Bay Trail system from Logic Supply courts buyers seeking silent, reliable, maintenance-free computing for kiosks, signage and other industrial/commercial applications. The ML210G-10’s power profile matches its tiny size.

Product
ML210G-10 Fanless Thin mini-ITX Computer
Manufacturer
As Tested
$687.00

Improvements in both energy efficiency and computing power continue driving
PCs both smaller and quieter. The trend is omnipresent, and clearly impacts
the industrial and commercial markets as well as the more visible consumer segments.
Logic Supply has been a player in the industrial and commercial sector for many
years, with a heavy emphasis on small, fanless, silent PCs.

The last Logic Supply mini PCs to grace SPCR was the ML400G-50 in late November
last year. This was a fanlessly cooled mini-ITX system sporting an Intel Core
i5-4200M (Haswell) 2.5 GHz mobile processor in a virtually sealed aluminum heatsink
chassis.

The model examined here is the ML210G-10, which employs a Bay Trail Celeron
embedded processor in a Thin Mini-ITX format to shrink the case even further.
The photos below show the lower profile of the new system against the earlier
ML400G-50.


New lower 1.5″ profile of the ML210G…


…compared to the 2.24″ ML400 G-50.

Aside from a smaller case, the ML210G-10 also features even lower power consumption,
thanks to the Bay Trail processor, even with four cores, double that of the
ML400G-50. The same cheerful and distinctive orange-silver colour scheme is
followed here.

Specifications: Logic Supply ML210-10*
(from the
product web page
)
Dimension 196 x 37 x 213 mm (1.5 liters)
7.7″ x 1.45″ x 8.4″
Motherboard Mitac PD10BI Thin Mini-ITX
CPU Intel Celeron J1900 2 GHz
(embedded)
Chipset Intel Bay Trail D
Memory Transcend SO-DIMM DDR3 1600
8GB
LAN Realtek RT8111G-CG
Qualcomm Atheros AR946x Wireless
Audio Realtek ALC888S codec
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
Displays Dual independent display
from HD-Out, VGA, and Embedded Display-Port / LVDS connectivity
SATA Interface 3.0 Gb/sec, 2 connectors
Expansion Type PCIe x1
PCIe Mini Card (full height)
PCIe Mini Card (half-height)
Front I/O 2 USB 2.0 ports
Power Button
Rear I/O 2 USB 2.0 high current ports
2 USB 3.0 ports
2 RS-232 COM ports
1 VGA port
1 HDMI port
1 LAN port
2 Antenna holes
2 Audio jacks
1 DC jack (8 V to 19 V)
Storage Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB
mSATA (120 GB, SATA-III)
Power Supply AC/DC adapter Seasonic
SSA 0601D-12 (12VDC, 60W Level V efficiency)
Mounting DIN-mount
VESA-mount
Wall-mount
Operating Temperature 0°C ~ 55°C
OS Windows 8.1 64-bit Pro
*Various RAM, SSD and other options available.
Price of the above config at time of writing (w/o OS) was $577.00

The maximum T-junction temperature of the Celeron J1900 processor is a sizzling
105°C, which partly explains Logic Supply’s confidence in the ability of
this passively cooled system to function safely in up to 55°C ambient temperature.

The ML210 series is available in two models. The ML210G-10 is the embedded
Bay Trail option. The ML210G-50 is a higher performance option in the same case
utilizing an Intel i5-4300U ULV (ultra low voltage) Haswell mobile processor
on a Thin Mini-ITX board.


The system came safely double-boxed in a plain cardboard carton.
A power adapter with cables, dual antenna, VESA mounting hardware, and
stick-on rubber feet were included.

TESTING

As with the ML400G, an effort was made to open up the chassis, but the top
and bottom halves of the clamshell case did not want to part. Some form of clamping
is used to effect the heat transfer from the CPU to the processor; the details
of how this is achieved isn’t particularly important for our review. Our load
testing will quickly tell us the efficacy of the cooling system.


Just one legacy port for this industrial/commercial computer.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Benchmark Test Details

  • Adobe
    Photoshop
    : Image manipulation using a variety of filters, a derivation
    of Driver Heaven’s Photoshop
    Benchmark V3
    (test image resized to 4500×3499).
  • Eset NOD32: In-depth
    virus scan of a folder containing 32 files of varying size with many RAR and
    ZIP archives.
  • WinRAR: RAR
    archive creation with a folder containing 68 files of varying size (less than
    50MB).
  • iTunes:
    Conversion of an MP3 file to AAC.
  • TMPGEnc
    Xpress
    : Encoding a XVID AVI file with VC-1.
  • HandBrake: Encoding
    a XVID AVI file with H.264.
  • Crysis demo
    standalone benchmark.

Testing Procedures

Our main test procedure involves recording various temperatures, fan speeds,
power consumption, and noise level, with the system in various states. This
includes idle, H.264 and Flash playback, video encoding with TMPGEnc, and full
CPU and GPU load using Prime95 and/or FurMark, as appropriate. This is followed
by a series of both CPU (timed tests of real-world applications) and GPU-centric
(gaming tests and synthetics) benchmarks. For the ML210G, the Furmark test,
an overkill 3D stress test, was ommitted as inappropriate; this system is not
meant to run 3D games.

TEST RESULTS

The Logic Supply ML210G-10 barely sips at power and runs extremely cool even
under the highest loads.

Logic Supply ML21 0G-50 Measurements (Extended
Use)
System State
CPU
SSD
External*
Power (AC)
Idle
25°C
42°C
33°C
7W
MPC-HC H.264 Playback
26°C
43°C
34°C
12W
TMPGEnc Video Encoding
27°C
45°C
35°C
13W
Prime95
27°C
46°C
35°C
14W
*measured at the hottest point on the top of the
machine
Ambient temperature: 20°C.

None of the hardware monitoring utilities at our disposal fully identified
the Mitac PD10BI board within. Only the CPU and SSD temperature sensors showed.
The individual CPU core temperatures did show as well; none ever rose past 46°C
during our testing. It’s safe to say there is adequate cooling headroom even
in the hottest tropical summers.

As with the last Logic Supply fanless system, there is no need for any tables
or graphs showing acoustic performance: Our sample makes no noise of any kind.
This includes the AC/DC adapter. It is possible that the adapter may make some
noise at some point, but the level is low enough that we never noticed it, and
as you probably know we run an extremely quiet lab. (11 dBA in the anechoic
chamber.)

CPU Performance

For CPU tests, we compared the ML210G-10 to a selection of lower-end, energy
efficient CPUs/APUs, the ultra-low voltage Ivy Bridge chip found in the original
Intel NUC, and the Pentium G2120, a 55W desktop CPU that is commonly paired
with thin mini-ITX LGA1155 motherboards.

The ML210G-10 is quite responsive, similar to the other Bay Trail Celeron system
we tested before, built around a Havey MITX-6771. In terms of benchmarks, it’s
not quite at the level of the i3 Intel NUC but close to an Athlon 5350 system.



We calculated the relative CPU performance score by giving each system/chip
a proportional score in each benchmark with each test having an equal weighting.
The scale is adjusted so that the Logic Supply ML210G-10 is the reference point
with a score of 100. By this metric, the Athlon 5350 and the Habey MITX-6771
systems are close matches.

Energy Efficiency

All systems compared have similar hardware: Single SSD and a DC power supply
with high efficiency 12V/19V adapter.

The ML210G-10 is considerably more efficient than any mini-ITX board we’ve
tested thus far. Idle power is especially low, nearly matching the most power
efficient NUC at just 7W AC.

Under high loads, the ML210G-10 is a champ. To draw just 17W under a 3D game
(admittedly at low frame rate and detail setting) is quite a feat. The significant
2~4W edge it has over the other Bay Trail Celeron system may be explained party
by the fact that it is running Windows 8.1, reputed to provide improved energy
efficiency than Windows 7, especially with newer hardware. All the other systems
ran Windows 7 (64 bit).

FINAL THOUGHTS

The energy consumption of the Logic Supply ML210G-10 matches its diminutive
size. Under high loads, it is the most energy efficient PC we’ve reviewed —
in nearly 13 years of testing. In the industrial and commercial arena for which
it is designed, the sub-2 liter volume and absence of fans or vents which can
accumulate dust and hinder cooling in the long run are highly desirable attributes.
The ML210G-10 is well suited for the role, and its external casing provides
both excellent protection for the components within as well as irreproachable
cooling.

The performance doesn’t quite reach the levels of a discrete Core i3 system,
but its quad-core processor is certainly competent. The ideal role is in harsh
and demanding environments where dust resistance and absense of any need for
physical maintenance are boons. The inclusion of an SSD in the system is a natural
and logical choice. Logic Supply has created another worthy product in the ML210G-10.

Our thanks to Logic Supply for the ML210G-10 sample.

POSTSCRIPT – March 4, 2015

Darek from Logic Supply explained that the two halves of the ML210G case
were hard to separate simply because of the suction caused by the TIM
between the heatblock of the CPU and the top chassis cover. They would
have come apart if I pulled harder. The cover clips into slots along the
inside top edge of the front panel and hinges down to be pressed against
the heatblock. The back panel screws secure it with some pressure against
the heatblock. Darek also posted some photos
of the interior in the forum discussion of this article
.

* * *

Articles of Related Interest
Logic Supply ML400G-50 Fanless
m-ITX PC

Habey MITX-6771 Bay Trail Embedded
Motherboard

Haswell comes to NUC
Logic Supply LGX ML300 Fanless
NUC

Gigabyte GA-H77TN Thin Mini-ITX
Motherboard

Intel Next Unit of Computing Kit
DC3217BY

Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell Processor

* * *

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this article in the SPCR Forums.

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