Gigabyte shows fanless single-board computer details

Gigabyte shows fanless single-board computer details
Credit: Gigabyte
(Tech Xplore)—Gigabyte is a name to watch in motherboard and graphics card markets and this month is making news over its new GA-SBCAP3350. The company has added product details to its website.

That's a hard mouthful of a product name to remember instantly although technology sites appear to have little trouble paying full attention to what's new about it. The fanless GA-SBCAP3350 is being described by news sites as a single-board fanless (SBC) and even being described as a rival to the Raspberry Pi.

But easy comparisons with the Raspberry Pi may not be ideal as there are clear contrasts.

"The Raspberry Pi has proved itself to be a versatile little computer," and now "Gigabyte is preparing to launch a similar device called the GA-SBCAP3350," wrote Ryan Whitwam in ExtremeTech. He pointed out that "Gigabyte's board looks more like a PC motherboard, and in some ways it works like one."

Brad Linder in Liliputing wrote about its features. "Gigabyte's little computer features include HDMI and VGA ports, with the former supporting display resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz, while the latter tops out at 1920 x 1200 pixels at 60 Hz. Other features include two USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a number of internal headers for USB 2.0, SATA, GPIO, and other I/O connections."

The GA-SBCAP3350 board measures about 5.7″ x 4″ (146mm x 102mm), wrote Liliputing.

Zak Killian in The Tech Report was one of the tech-watching writers pointing out that it is not like the Raspberry Pi:

"When you hear 'single-board computer,' you probably think of a Raspberry Pi, HardKernel ODroid, or BeagleBone. You probably don't think of a pocket-sized PC with a 1.6 GHz Intel chip, dual Gigabit Ethernet connections, dual 6Gbps SATA ports, and USB 3.0. Gigabyte's new SA-SBCAP3350 single-board computer has all that and more, and it's still smaller than a Mini-STX PC."

Linder pointed out that "single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi tend to have both the processor and the RAM soldered to the system board."

He said "..then there's the Gigabyte GA-SBCAP3350. It's a new board that seems to split the difference: it has an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor built in, but lets you bring your own RAM and solid state storage."

Gigabyte shows fanless single-board computer details
Credit: Gigabyte

Gareth Halfacree in bit-tech:

"The Gigabyte GA-SBCAP3350 Rev 1.0, first spotted by silent-computing specialist FanlessTech, isn't quite the single-board computer (SBC) Gigabyte's nomenclature would suggests. While it's true that the processor, Intel's Celeron N3350, is permanently soldered onto the board, the design lacks integrated memory and storage."

Fanless Tech said, "x86 single-board computers with upgradable RAM and storage are a pretty rare occurrence, and this is exactly what GIGABYTE is planning with the GA-SBCAP3350."

Then, who is this for? What type of audience? Linder had his thoughts on the matter:

"While I get the feeling this board is designed for enterprise solutions such as digital signage and point-of-sales systems, it could also be an interested option for anyone interested in building a small, quiet, customizable home computer."

In turn, the topic of "upgradable" kept cropping up in the news articles reporting on the new board, as this is significant.

"One thing you unfortunately can't do with most single board mini PCs is upgrade their memory and sometimes storage. Gigabyte is hoping to correct this issue," said Julian Horsey in Geeky Gadgets.

Also noted was a large heat spreader for passive cooling. Linder said it should help keep the low-power computer cool without the use of fans.

"GIGABYTE's exclusive integrated SOC heat spreader design provides solid robust aluminum block to help transfer the SOC's heat from its DIE surface," according to Gigabyte.

The company site also talked about a "2X Copper PCB" design providing enough power trace paths between components to handle above-normal power loads and to remove heat from the CPU power delivery area.

Pricing? At the time of this writing, reports said Gigabyte had not yet announced pricing for the GA-SBCAP3350 nor dates of availability.

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Jul 24, 2017
This computer looks ideal for someone to base a relatively small parallel (MIMD) computer architecture around. Using some sort of central water cooling system and no fans means that each card could be packed together very nicely. I have seen designs for MIMD machines using other single board computers, but anything that uses single cores with the kind of computing power on this card tend to be very specialized, very large and very expensive. I could easily see a 1000 module machine with costs on the order of 2-3x module for the entire computer (need cables, casing, cooling, power, etc.). That is very cheap comparatively. Well within the financial range of a well to do personal experimenter (if each module is 100 dollars, the entire cost would be under 300k at 3x module).

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