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Cooling System and Temperatures

The cooling system of this barebone is a very curious thing to us. The thing is that although IMO-Desk is just a little bigger than a notebook, its cooling system should be efficient enough to cool down ordinary desktop parts (including the CPU and the HDD), which dissipate quite a bit of heat. On the other hand, many notebook manufacturers sometimes use ordinary desktop processors in their products and do not face any grave problems, so there is nothing extraordinary about this cooling system.

The IMO-Desk I651U is cooled down by a pair of fans, one of which is blowing the air through the CPU heatsink, while the other is fastened onto the chipset heatsink. Both fans take hot air from inside and blow it outside the case. Before getting to the fan blades, this air takes a long trip through the case, around other system components such as hard disk drive and memory module. Thus an acceptable thermal environment for the system is created.

Both fans have a small diameter and variable rotational speed that depends on the temperature inside the IMO-Desk I651U. In some cases, the fans may be stopped completely. That’s why this computer works noiselessly under low workloads, but becomes louder as the workload increases to the full. The noise from the IMO-Desk I651U is no louder than the noise coming from any desktop system, though I should admit that it has a different and rather annoying tonality. So, I won’t say that the IMO-Desk I651U is always noiseless. It depends on what you do with it.

As for the efficiency of the used cooling solution, I didn’t reveal any issues about it. Both coolers use the heat pipe technology for transferring heat. This is what the CPU cooler looks like:

It handles successfully such powerful processors as Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz (at least we ran our full set of benchmarks without any problems) although the specification says the topmost supported CPU is 2.4GHz. Like with other SFF PCs, I had some concerns about the HDD temperature, which was sometimes as high as 50°C and more. This temperature may shorten the life term of your HDD, so you’d better use a drive, which is more tolerant to high temperatures.

In order to illustrate the thermal conditions inside Chaintech IMO-Desk I651U system in idle and burn modes, we would like to offer you the next table. We assembled the system with an Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz, a 256MB module of DDR333 SDRAM and a Western Digital WD400JB HDD and warmed it up by running the CPUBurn utility and the Business Winstone 2004 benchmarking package:

 

Idle

Burn

CPU temperature, oC

43

63

System temperature, oC

37

55

HDD temperature, oC

34

51

First fan rotation speed, rpm

0

4891

Second fan rotation speed, rpm

0

5532

So, the thermal environment should be considered acceptable (although the high temperature of the HDD certainly reduces its service time). Besides that, you can use only Pentium 4 and Celeron processors in the IMO-Desk I651U, and these processors can take care of themselves in case of an imminent overheating accident. So you shouldn’t be concerned with the reliable functioning of the system.

 
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