Airtop2 workstation passively cools Xeons and Quadros

Most folks doing the kind of work that calls for Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia Quadro cards perform their duties in controlled, air-conditioned environments. Compulab's Airtop2 is built for rugged folks that need workstation hardware in a silent package that can handle harsh environments. The fanless PC displaces just 7.5 L (458 ci) but brings an Intel Core i7-7700 or Xeon E3-1275 v6 processor and Nvidia Quadro P4000 Pascal graphics to bear.

The Airtop2 can hold up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory spread out over four sticks. The Core i7 model is limited to non-ECC memory, but buyers that spring for the Xeon version can choose the fancy error-checking stuff. As for storage, Compulab will ship the Airtop2 with nothing at all or a mix of up to four 2.5" SATA drives and two speedy Samsung 960 Evo M.2 storage devices. Buyers can also add a wireless combo card and one of the manufacturer's Function and Connectivity Extension (FACE) modules for expanded networking connectivity, multiple serial ports, extended diagnostic display, or more USB connectors.

For those that don't have Intel and Nvidia's professional product portfolios committed to memory, the Xeon E3-1275 v6 is a four-core, eight-thread Kaby Lake chip that boosts up to 4.2 GHz. The Quadro P4000 uses the same GP104 silicon as the GeForce GTX 1070, but the shader count is knocked down to 1792 from the GTX 1070's 1920. The P4000's boost clock is somewhere around 1480 MHz, also down a ways from a GeForce GTX 1070 Founder Edition's nominal 1683 MHz. We can't say how long the fanless machine can maintain the CPU and GPU boost clocks, but the fact that those parts are in the compact box at all is impressive.

Those that don't need a Quadro can stick with integrated graphics, a GeForce GTX 1050, or a GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB. Compulab says it will offer a silent consumer-focused version of the Airtop2 with a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics inside later this month.

Compulab says the Airtop2 is ready for order now, though all machines are built-to-order. Buyers should allow three weeks for assembly and testing. The standard Airtop2 is rated for environments between 32° and 113° F (0° to 45° C), but buyers can opt for versions rated for -40° to 158° F (-40° to 70° C). A barebones setup with no CPU, graphics, memory, or storage starts at $1335. A sample setup with the Xeon E3-1275 v6, Nvidia Quadro P4000 graphics, 32 GB of DDR4 ECC memory, and a 1 TB Samsung 960 Evo rings in at a heady $3640.

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