Conclusion: Successful for It's Intended Purpose

If you're looking for a small fanless PC, there's typically a good reason why. It goes without saying that the CompuLab Intense PC isn't for everybody, or even for the majority of users, but it definitely serves its purposes. Like the fanless Logic Systems LGX AG150 we tested, the Intense PC can handle kiosk duty, but its more burly chassis also lends itself well to industrial environments, and it's more customizable as well. The front of our review unit features four USB 2.0 ports, but CompuLab offers alternative "FACEs" which can change the connectivity of the unit. That includes adding more gigabit ethernet ports, which can allow the Intense PC to operate as a heavy duty router or server.

Where things get hazy is the price tag. The 2-year warranty is good but not earth shattering for what's essentially a business-class product, and if you want this bad boy shipped with Windows you might be paying a premium. The LGX AG150 can be had for $409 with Windows 7 32-bit, but an Intense PC with a Celeron will cost you $549 before you even add in a Windows license. The LGX AG150 also ships with an SSD standard, something CompuLab can't claim.

Thankfully for CompuLab, they're not in the most direct of competition. If barebones x86 performance is where you need to be, the LGX AG150 will take care of you, but if you need some horsepower or a more rugged build, you're already looking at the Intense PC. The Intense PC also offers substantial customization options. If you need more performance and are willing to sacrifice complete silence and some durability, Lenovo's ThinkCentre M92 Tiny is also a solid alternative. My point is that while each of these systems has something to recommend it, none of them directly outclass each other.

I'm almost getting tired of saying this in reviews, but I've handled a lot of specialized kit and the Intense PC is no different. You already know if you were in the market for something like this, and the information you needed was just if it worked and how well it worked. I'm pleased to report it works and works well, and while you do lose a small chunk of the performance you might have expected from the i7, it's otherwise a fine and solid product. If you need it, and the price is not an object, the CompuLab Intense PC will serve you well.

Update: The mini-PCIe slot does support mSATA. The i7-3517UE is also 200MHz shy of the stock i7-3517U, so the performance drop is actually a more reasonable one.

User Experience, Power Consumption, and Heat
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  • Bob-o - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Heh, it looks like the head off an old air cooled motorcycle engine. Cool. Reply
  • 55Tan - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    The CompuLab Intense PC is far from one of the better desktop if you ask me! /55Tan from http://www.topreport.org/desktop/ Reply
  • colinstu - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    No SSD? *thumbsdown* Terrible Reply
  • danjw - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    You can get a bare bones version that doesn't include a drive or memory and add your own. The memory is SODIMM and drive 2.5". Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Not offering one for something targeted at industrial customers is rather disappointing. Vibrations/shocks are much more likely there and a small factory isn't likely to have someone like us to customize their systems to what they should've been shipped as. Big companies will probably want ti configured right out of the box because it makes things easier for their bean counters. Reply
  • Intense PC user - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    There are some inaccuracies in the review:
    Intense PC does support mSATA ( I guess it was added to the current revision of the machine)
    I posses this machine for couple of months and using CT128M4SSD3 mSATA SSD (for OS) together with 1T Hitachi HGST 2.5" HDD ( for DATA)
    Regarding to the 3517U Dell XPS - Intel claims 15% higher graphic (1.15Gz vs 1.0GHz) and ~12% higher CPU frequency (1.9GHz vs 1.7GHz) so the conclusion about ~20% lost performance isn't fair enough.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Good lord I wish they'd made the mSATA thing clear on their site. Updating. Reply
  • lehtv - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Little typo in the conclusion title: it's -> its Reply
  • KaarlisK - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    The 3470T is a dual core :) Reply
  • Laststop311 - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    The barebones ones are pretty frickin cool. Got lotsa Ram and HDD's lying around. The problem is I wish they had a little more cpu range offered. You either have to get the crappiest celeron for 400 or a top end i7 for 800. Wish I could get a middle i5 version barebones for 600. That would be perfect for an HTPC. But I would hold off and get it with Haswell chips. They will have the configurable TDP that will run with even less power than these 17 watt ivys with equal or even higher performance. Less power = less heat to dissipate = heatsink can be shrunk making it lighter and even smaller (potentially) or the same size with more thermal headroom for permanent turbo mode. Plus Haswell has greatly enhanced GPU the gt3e igp on haswell is a large jump in performance compared to ivy hd 4000 even has its own dedicated memory directly on die with it all for the graphics side of the chip. Obviously it won't be enough memory to hold everything like dedicated gpus with 4GB of memory I think its estimated to be on 128MB of on die memory for the IGP but intel probably has smart ways of putting the most used most important stuff on that directly connected memory. Reply

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