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Linux-friendly mini-PC moves to Haswell CPUs

Jan 13, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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[Updated Jan 24] — CompuLab has revised its Linux-ready Intense PC mini-PC with an Intense PC2 model that moves to a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 CPU, and adds more ports.

The Intense PC forms the basis for a MintBox2 computer, jointly offered with the Linux Mint project, and it’s also available directly from CompuLab in a variety of customizable models. The Intense PC2 moves up from Intel’s 3rd Generation “Ivy Bridge” Core processors to the 4th Gen “Haswell”. The high-end model offers a dual-core Intel Core i7-4600U, clocked at 2.1GHz, with turbo mode reaching up to 3.30GHz. Other “Haswell” options are also available, including Core i5 and i3 chips, and the Intel Celeron 2955.



CompuLab Intense PC2
(click image to enlarge)

With the default Core i7, the Intense PC2 offers 30 percent higher performance than the Intense PC, as well as 40 percent lower idle power of under 6 Watts, claims CompuLab. It also enables the Intense PC2 to support up to 4K resolution, as well as three simultaneous displays.

The Intense PC2 supports up to 16GB of DDR3L RAM, and provides a slot for a 2.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD). There are also two mSATA ports, instead of one. The second port is located on CompuLab’s proprietary FACE expansion module, which comes standard with the system. This can be swapped out for FACE modules with other I/O combinations (see farther below). The system also provides full- and half-size Mini-PCIe slots, as well as the latest 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.



Intense PC2 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Compared to the previous high-end model, the Intense PC Pro, you get four USB 3.0 ports instead of two, although when you figure in the USB 2.0 ports, there are now six ports total instead of the previous eight. The Intense PC2 also offers two more serial ports for a total of three, and dual HDMI ports instead of one. As before, the device ships with dual gigabit Ethernet ports, a DisplayPort, and both S/PDIF digital and standard analog audio I/O.

The Intense PC2 has the same 7.4 x 6.3 x 1.57-inch dimensions as the earlier model. Power consumption is said to range from 6 to 24 Watts, and there are extended and industrial temperature versions available. As always, you can buy the system preinstalled with Linux or Windows, or buy it barebones.

Like CompuLab’s Intense PC and lower-end Fit-PC models, the Intense PC2 is available in a number of specialized configurations that make use of modules that fit into the company’s proprietary FACE connector. The IntensePC 2 (IPC2) is available in the following FACE-enabled flavors:

  • IPC2-CCTV (surveillance) — support for up to 16 video cameras
  • IPC2-PoE (surveillance) — 4x gigabit Ethernet ports with 802.3af compliant Power-over-Ethernet
  • IPC2-MultiLAN (networking) — 3-6 gigabit Ethernet ports
  • IPC2-MultiSer (industrial) — 9x serial ports and 2x CANbus ports
  • IPC2-MultiPCIe (industrial) — 4x miniPCIe sockets

 
Specifications

Specifications listed for the Intense PC2 Pro Barebone include:

  • Processor — Intel Core i7-4600U (2x cores @ 2.1GHz, up to 3.30GHz in turbo); 4M Cache; Lynx Point chipset; Intel HD 4400 graphics; Other 4th Gen Core and Celeron processors also available
  • Memory — up to 16GB DDR3L 1600 dual-channel RAM
  • Storage — 2.5-inch HDD/SSD bay (SATA 3.0/6 Gbps); 2x mSATA 3.0 ports (1x on FACE module)
  • Display — 2x HDMI 1.4a at up to 4096 x 2304 pixels; DisplayPort 1.2 at up to 3200 x 2000
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11ac
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • Dual antennas
    • uSIM (micro-SIM) socket for cellular
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet with Intel NICs
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • 3x RS232
    • S/PDIF 7.1 input/output (Realtek ALC888-VC2 HD codec)
    • Stereo line-out, mic-in
    • FACE module expansion connector
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe (full-size) for cellular; mini-PCIe (half-size)
  • Other features — Wake-on-LAN/timer; watchdog; PXE boot; service door; surveillance, networking, and industrial versions
  • Operating temperature:
    • Commercial HDD — 0 to 50°C
    • Commercial SSD — 0 to 70°C
    • Extended (SSD) — -20 to 70°C
    • Industrial (SSD) — -40 to 70°C
  • Power — 10-15VDC input; 6 to 24 W consumption
  • Dimensions — 19 x 16 x 4cm (7.4 x 6.3 x 1.57 inches); passively cooled die-cast aluminum
  • Power consumption — 6W – 24W
  • Weight — 1050 g
  • Operating system — Linux 32-bit and 64-bit; Windows XP/7/8, 32-bit and 64-bit; “Embedded OS”

“The IPC2 design goal was more-for-less,” stated Stas Lapchev, IPC2 Product Architect. “Every single aspect is enhanced in IPC2 — CPU and graphics performance, RAM, storage, display, networking and I/O. The major achievement is packing all that new functionality in the same compact, fanless housing while actually reducing power consumption and base price.”

 
Further information

Pricing or availability information for the Intense PC2 was not available. More information may be found at the CompuLab Intense PC2 product page.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

4 Responses to “Linux-friendly mini-PC moves to Haswell CPUs”

  1. Chris Sparks says:

    Those are expensive! But headed in the right direction.

  2. MikeG says:

    What are the prices for the different models of the PC2?

  3. 4600U Not a quadcore says:

    “The high-end model offers a quad-core Intel Core i7-4600U”
    “Specifications listed for the Intense PC2 Pro Barebone include:

    Processor — Intel Core i7-4600U (4x cores @ 2.1GHz, up to 3.30GHz in turbo); 4M Cache; Lynx Point chipset; Intel HD 4400 graphics”

    http://ark.intel.com/products/76616/

    “# of Cores 2″

    this is NOT a quad core as advertised and so inadequate for many jobs today

    • LinuxGizmos says:

      You are correct, the Core i7-4600U is dual-core, not quad-core as we had originally shown it. Sorry about the error (now fixed).

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