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Xeon-driven Coffee Lake system billed as “most powerful fanless industrial” PC

Feb 4, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 752 views

Aaeon’s fanless, rugged “Boxer-6641” runs Ubuntu or Win 10 on an 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPU with up to 32GB DDR4, 2x SATA and HDMI, 2x mini-PCIe, 4x GbE, 6x serial, and up to 8x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.

In the spirit of Muhammad Ali, who claimed with substantial justification to be the greatest boxer in the world, Aaeon has said its latest Boxer embedded PC is “the most powerful fanless solution currently available on the market,” as well as “currently the most powerful fanless industrial system available.” The latter claim for the Intel 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” based Boxer-6641 when equipped with the new Xeon E-2124G, appears to be true, depending on one’s definition of “industrial.”

The Boxer-6641 is clearly the most powerful Boxer model to date. Most of the recent Boxers have tapped lower-power Nvidia Jetson modules, such as the recent Jetson Nano based Boxer-8220AI. Earlier Intel-based models include the 6th or 7th Gen Boxer-6841M, which features Nvidia graphics expansion, but has a fan.



Boxer-6641-A2 with Xeon and C246 chipset (left) and rear view for A1 and A2 models
(click images to enlarge)

As for that “most powerful” claim ,you can compare the Boxer-6641 with CompuLab’s passively cooled Airtop3 mini-tower, which was recently repackaged for Linux Mint users as the MintBox3. The Airtop3 would appear to be slightly more powerful in its high-end 9th Gen Coffee Lake configurations. Still, although ruggedized to some degree for industrial applications, this is primarily a gaming and desktop computer.

Neousys’ fanless Nuvo-7100VTC systems also support 9th Gen CPUs, but they’re targeted at automotive applications and may not be out yet. There’s also a fanless Nexcom NISE 3900 Series of industrial PCs with 8th Gen Coffee Lake, but although they offer the high-end hexa-core models, they lack the Boxer-6641’s support for the 8th Gen Xeon E-2124G.

A newcomer to LinuxGizmos, the Xeon E-2124G is a quad-core, 4-thread 3.4GHz/4.5GHz server processor with an 8MB cache and 71W TDP. Aaeon lists it as its highest-performing option over the hexa-core, 12-thread 2.4GHz/4GHz Core i7-8700T.

The Xeon E-2124G configuration is the only one to support the Intel C246 chipset. This Boxer-6641-A2 configuration comes with 8x 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports instead of 4x USB 3.2 and 4x USB 3.0 ports on the Intel H310-equipped Boxer-6641-A1 SKU. The A1 SKU offers a choice of Core i7/i5/i3, Pentium G5400T, or Celeron G4900T chips.



Boxer-6641-A1 (left) and Boxer-6641-A2 (Xeon) detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Otherwise, the two SKUs appear to be the same. They support Ubuntu Linux or Win 10 and offer up to 32GB of 2133MHz DDR4 via dual slots (or 2666MHz per the announcement). You also get 1x or 2x SATA HDD/SSD bays.

One of the two full-size mini-PCIe slots supports mSATA storage, and there’s a SIM card slot and dual antenna holes. You can use the slots to add Aaeon’s Intel Myriad X based AI Core X modules.

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The Boxer-6641 is equipped with 4x GbE ports — 3x with an Intel i211 controller and 1x with Intel i219 for Intel vPRO and AMT. Other features include 2x HDMI and 6x RS-232/422/485 DB9 ports plus audio in and out jacks and 2x LEDs.

The system is powered by a 3-pin, 10-35W DC input, accompanied by power, remote power, and reset buttons. The wall-mountable, 264.2 x 156.2 x 80.9mm system is constructed entirely of metal and weighs 6.2 kg.

Ruggedization features include a -20 to 55°C (or -20 to 45°C with the Xeon-based A2 configuration) operating range, both with airflow. There’s also 2 Grms, 5~500Hz anti-vibration support with an SSD or mSATA, or 1 Grms with a hard disk. Humidity resistance is listed as 5~95% @ 40°C, non-condensing.

 
Further information

The Boxer-6641 starts at $667 for a barebones system that is apparently without processor, RAM, or storage, but it’s currently listed as out of stock. More information may be found in Aaeon’s announcement, as well as on its product page and shopping page.

 

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