Skylake NUCs go fanless with this copper-clad mini-PC

Good news for those who can’t stand fan noise: Now you can buy a miniature fanless PC with Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake processors.

The Aleutia R50 appears to be the first silent Skylake PC based around Intel’s NUC kits, according to FanlessTech, though it is a complete system rather than a bare-bones computing kit. The case is cut from a single slab of aluminum, with copper in the midsection to spread heat away from the CPU.

The fanless design doesn’t come cheap, however. The base model, which includes an Intel Core i3-6100U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 128GB SSD, costs 599 pounds, or about $835. The priciest model includes an Intel Core i5-6260U, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB solid state drive, and costs 1099 pounds, or about $1530. You could easily save a few hundred dollars by building a NUC-based PC (with fan) yourself.

On the other hand, nixing the fan does reduce power consumption. Compared to a typical tower PC, Aleutia estimates a savings of between 15 pounds and 60 pounds per year based on U.K. home energy costs.

Other specs include dual Mini DisplayPort outputs (with up to 4K resolution), four USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, an IR receiver, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The system ships with either Windows 10 or Ubuntu, and comes with a five-year warranty.

Why this matters: Miniature PCs are popping up everywhere these days, but the vast majority still rely on cooling fans. A little fan noise probably won’t bother most people, but a silent alternative is a nice luxury if you’re planning to put a PC right on top of your desk.

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