is boasting that it’s achieved an industry milestone by developing a PC that requires essentially no cooling and emits zero noise. It’s also remarkably compact, measuring just a couple of inches square.
There’s an Intel
Core i7 chip inside that ASUS has paired with one of its own ASUS DirectCU II GPUs. There’s just a single stick of RAM, but it’s a more-than-capable Kingston
HyperX DDR3 DIMM, and Kingston also contributed a 512GB SSD Now V for ample storage and snappy performance.
ASUS custom-built the motherboard to fit this hyper-compact form factor, and although you’d think the PSU would also present a size problem, ASUS managed to shrink that down to a commensurate size, too.
The chassis isn’t particular flashy, although one entire side panel is clear so you can view all those killer components.
ASUS actually sent us a unit to test ahead of the official release; although the full review is forthcoming, we feel the need to mention a few key performance metrics to give readers a sense of what to expect from this triumph of compactness.
First, in terms of the feat of engineering ASUS pulled off with this tiny machine, the company deserves recognition. Convincing its component partners to do the same with their own products is perhaps an even greater feat.
As to the zero-cooling and zero-noise claim, we can affirm that ASUS nailed it. The thing is simply the quietest PC we’ve ever seen, and it never heated up by a single degree when in operation.
However, performance is abysmal. In every benchmark we attempted, this system coughed up a hairball and couldn’t complete a single one. Worse, no matter how much troubleshooting we attempted, we could not connect the system to our network. It’s as if there’s no networking hardware on this system at all.
Honestly, it wouldn’t even boot.