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Closing Thoughts: Who Is It For?
The Akasa Euler case is the perfect platform for a desktop Thin Mini-ITX system and while our configuration was well suited for office work, it has actually become my new HTPC. The fact that the Euler case enables silent computing alone makes it an ideal HTPC candidate.
Although we have shown just one of many possible Thin Mini-ITX builds, it's a pretty cool one. The Core i5-3470T provides plenty of grunt despite being a dual-core processor and the HD Graphics 2500 is powerful enough to handle 1080p content: YouTube, 1080p HD rips, it all played smoothly.
Given load temperatures with the Core i5-3470T never exceeded 58 degrees, it is possible to get away with higher rated processors, such as the 45w Core i5-3570T or perhaps even the 65w models which range from the Core i5-3330S through the 3570S.
There are plenty of users reporting to be using some of these higher TDP processors in the Euler without any issues, so before we wrapped up testing I decided to push the Euler case well beyond its limits with the Core i5-3570K, a 77-watt processor.
The thermal rating of this processor is 120% above spec for the fanless case, so I wasn't expecting it to work or at least not for too long. However, with Prime95 placing 100% load on all four cores the CPU temperature never exceeded 75 degrees.
It should be noted that ambient room temperature was just 19 degrees on the day we tested this, so it wasn't exactly hot inside. Still, the fact that a CPU with a TDP rating of 77 watts remained within safe operating temperatures in this tiny fanless case is pretty remarkable.
The Akasa Euler is an awesome little case that takes full advantage of the form factor. We got ours from Sidewinder Computer Systems ($95) which is one of a handful of retailers where we could find the case, though everyone else seems to be selling it for around $130. To that price you need to add $20 for the 120-watt power supply which we also used along our testing.
As we have come to expect, Asrock delivered the goods with their Z77TM-ITX motherboard which offers everything you could hope for from a Thin Mini-ITX motherboard. Although we are not certain how much this board will end up retailing for, we expect it to come in at around $120 - $140.
Admitedly this being our first real endeavour into the Thin Mini-ITX realm we were a little awestruck. Everything came together to create the perfect little computer that was not only silent but could also pack quite a punch.