If you’re thinking about purchasing a fanless computer, you might be wondering what are the benefits and advantages of fanless computers? We will discuss the benefits of fanless PCs in much detail below.
What are the Benefits of Fanless Computers?
The main benefits of fanless computers are that they run silently, they are more resistant to shocks and vibrations, they are resistant to dust and debris, they tend to be more reliable and durable than regular consumer-grade desktops, and they have a small footprint, making them ideal for placement in small and compact spaces. Also, they are able to operate in extremely cold and hot environments. That said, we will discuss the benefits of fanless PCs in more detail below.
Summary of the Benefits of Fanless PCs:
1. Silent operation
2. Shock and vibration resistance
3. Dust and debris resistance
4. Higher reliability and durability
5. Small footprint
6. Environment operability
7. Low power consumption
Benefits of Fanless Computers
Benefit #1: Silent Operation
The most significant benefit of fanless computers is that most tend to run silently without producing any audible noise. This makes them great for deployment in areas where silent operation is important, such as operating rooms, libraries, vehicles, and other places where silence is required. Fanless computers run silently or at near silence because they do not use fans to cool down the system.
Instead, fanless PCs rely on heat sinks to transfer heat away from the internal heating generating components. Fanless computers tend to run silently because industrial PC manufacturers, such as Premio, have switched from using hard drives in their systems to SSD (solid-state drives). SSDs do not have any moving components, so they run silently, adding to the silent operation of the system.
Benefit #2: Shock & Vibration Resistance
The second benefit of small fanless PCs is that they are much more resistant to vibrations and shocks than commercial options. For example, Premio’s industrial fanless computers are made to withstand tremendous amounts of shock and vibration; even tested under the guidelines for military specifications (MIL-SPEC-810G) up to 50G shock and 5GRMs vibrations.
Premio was able to achieve this by designing and manufacturing an industrial computer with a single-piece design that uses no cables and reduces the number of joints and screws required; the less moving parts there are, the less the things that can fail in the system.
Additionally, Premio made a motherboard that is thicker and is less prone to flexing and bending, making it better able to withstand continuous vibration and shocks.
Also, we have used a cableless design that eliminates the possibility that cables may come loose from their connections. Instead, our mechanical design integrates each piece of the hardware into a seamless fit and place, producing a solid design.
That said, we also equip our fanless computer systems with SSDs instead of hard drives. This eliminates noise and increases the computer’s ability to withstand shocks and vibrations since SSDs do not have moving platters, making our fanless PCs great for anyone looking for an industrial fanless PC.
Benefit #3: Dust and Debris Resistance
The third benefit of fanless computer systems is that they are resistant to dust and debris. At Premio, we’ve designed our fanless series of PCs to be resistant to dust and debris by creating a closed system that is passively cooled via the use of heat sinks.
By eliminating the need for fans and vents, we have made our systems resistant to dust and debris. This makes our rugged fanless computers excellent for deployment in harsh environments that tend to be dirty and full of dust and small debris that can enter into the system, wreaking havoc on the internal components.
At Premio, our rugged fanless computers are all resistant to dust and debris; however, we have several systems that come with an IP rating, such as the following systems, which are resistant to the ingress of harmful liquids:
- WCO Series Waterproof Edge Computers – IP65/IP67
- VIO Series Modular Panel PC & Monitor – IP65
- WIO Series Waterproof Touchscreen Computers – IP66
- SIO Series Stainless Steel – IP66/69K
Benefit #4: Higher Reliability & Durability
Most industrial situations require computers to run reliably 24/7. At Premio, we’ve designed all of our fanless PCs to run with high stability and reliability around the clock. We have subjected our systems to rigorous stress testing to ensure that they will reliably run while providing you with optimal performance.
To ensure that our fanless computer systems run as reliably as possible, we have eliminated fans from our systems. Removing the fans from our computers not only prevents dust and debris from entering our system, causing them to overheat and fail, but also eliminates the possibility that you will experience any downtime due to a failed fan.
Fans can cause electronic and computer failures.
The removal of fans makes a big impact on the reliability and longevity of industrial solutions. This is so because non-working and failing fans are the number one cause of electronic and computing failures.
Additionally, we have equipped our fanless PCs with industrial-grade SSDs (solid-state drives). SSDs make our systems more reliable and responsive because they have much faster data transfer speeds than traditional hard drives, and they don’t have any moving parts such as the rotating platters found in hard drives.
By creating a closed and robust fanless system using industrial parts, we have reduced the maintenance and downtime that you would typically experience from having to perform maintenance and replacing parts that have failed.
Benefit #5: Small Footprint
Industrial fanless PCs are great for deployment in compact and small spaces because they are much smaller than air-cooled computer systems. Fanless PCs are smaller because components can be fitted closer to each other since air does not need to be circulated through the system. This is so because fanless computers utilize heatsinks to cool down the internal heat-generating components. The small footprint of fanless PCs allows them to be placed in cabinets, small enclosures, underneath tables, and mounted on walls or ceilings in extremely tight spaces.
Premio's fanless mini pcs features small form factor that can rest on the palm of a hand.
Benefit #6: Environment Operability
Fanless computers are able to operate in almost any environment because they are built to withstand a wide temperature range that ranges between -40°C to 85°C. So, whether you’re deploying the system in an oil-field in Saudi Arabia where the temperature reaches 50°C, or you’re deploying it in in digital signage that’s set up in Russia during the winter, the industrial fanless PCs offered by Premio will perform reliably and optimally regardless of whether they’re deployed in extremely cold or extremely hot environments.
This is so because our PCs rely on passive cooling via heat sinks that absorb the heat from the internal components and dissipate it through the computers cool aluminum housing. Additionally, we have designed and manufactured an extremely rugged outer case to house the sensitive internal components. The outer shell or enclosure doubles up as both a heatsink and is made of heat-dissipating aluminum to remove heat away from the internal components.
That said, not only can Premio’s fanless industrial computer withstand cold and hot temperatures, but they can also withstand frequent shocks and vibrations without damaging the system’s internal components. Our rugged PCs can withstand up to 50Gs of shock, as well as 5 GRMs of vibrations, tested in compliance with the MIL-STD 810 Standard for specific models and configurations.
We have enabled our fanless PC systems to withstand such vibrations and shocks by eliminating all cables from the system, which prevents any cables from coming loose from their connections.
Benefit #7: Lower Power Consumption
The added benefit of purchasing a fanless computers is that they consume less energy than their desktop PC counterparts. Since fanless systems do not have active air cooling, fanless PC manufacturers use powerful yet energy-efficient processors that use less power and therefore produce less heat, making their systems consume less power overall and thus reduce the cost associated with deploying a fanless PC.
Although the power savings from a single PC is negligible, if you are running many systems simultaneously, you will notice significant savings on energy costs. Most importantly, lower power consumption is a major requirement in IoT deployment, where stable power may not always be present. Therefore, the overall power consumption and its budget is all taken into consideration when designing a reliable fanless industrial computer.
Benefits & Advantages of Fanless Computers Conclusion
Overall, fanless PCs tend to have far fewer moving parts than their air-cooled counterparts, which reduces the possibility of a component failing or breaking down. Also, fanless computer hardware tends to be compact, sealed, and rugged, making it last for years before any maintenance needs to be performed. Also, the fact that they can handle extreme temperatures makes tucking them away in a non-vented space very easy and convenient.
Do Fanless Computer Systems Have Disadvantages?
The only disadvantage of going with a fanless PC solution is that they do not come with a dedicated GPU. This is so because GPUs produce a lot of heat; their heat cannot be dissipated through heat sinks alone. As such, if you choose to add a GPU to your system for AI applications, the system will not be fanless; there will be air cooling to allow the GPU to breathe properly and prevent it from overheating.
That said, adding a fan to the computer system does not necessitate that the system cannot still be an industrial-grade solution. Some of the most robust industrial computers that use a GPU today for performance accelerations in machine learning and inference analysis need a fan to keep the GPU at its optimal operating temperature.
It all boils down to the mechanical and thermal engineering by the manufacturer that dictates the reliability of the computer. The only disadvantage that you really have by adding a fan is that you would lose the wide operating temperature that comes with fanless solutions. For example, you would go from -40°C to 85°C to -20°C to 60°C.
Are Fanless Computers Safe?
Yes, fanless computers are entirely safe and reliable. In fact, most users will be able to run them 24/7 for years on end without ever experiencing any issues. Whether you’re running our industrial fanless PCs in a dusty environment or a clean environment, you will be able to reliably do so since our fanless PCs are dust resistant, meaning that no debris or dust will enter the system to cause the system to overheat or seize working from the collection of dust and debris inside.
How Do Fanless Computers Work?
Fanless computers work the same way as do regular desktop PCs; the only difference is in the way that they move heat away from the system. With a regular computer, fans circulate air inside the system to remove the heat from it. With a fanless computer, heat sinks are placed over the internal heat-generating components to absorb the heat from them and transfer it to the system’s housing, which acts as a huge sink to dissipate the heat into the air surrounding it.
Do Fanless Computers Overheat?
At Premio, our engineers have designed our cooling solutions with thermals in mind. Our computers will not overheat as they are designed to operate in extremely hot environments of up to 85°C or 185°F. Most environments will never get close to this temperature, making our solutions a great option for those deploying them in many industrial-grade deployments where these harsh settings may be present.