We have with us Acer’s small form factor PC or the mini-PC as Acer likes to call it- the Acer Aspire AS-L310-E63. One of the major concerns for a small form factor PC is heat dissipation. All computer components produce heat and due to the compact nature of the system, it gets difficult to get proper air ventilation as compared to a normal sized desktop chassis. But the recent Core 2 Duo processor line-up from Intel runs pretty cool as compared to its infamous predecessors (remember the prescotts? They were popularly nicknamed as press’hot’s for the heat they produced!).
In the recent small form factor PCs we have seen manufacturers using mobile platforms. Mobile platforms are for laptops. One of the biggest constraint of a mobile platform is its crippled performance as compared to its desktop counterparts. In the AS-L310-E63, Acer has used a desktop 1.86 GHz, E6300 Core 2 Duo processor with 2 MB L2 cache and a 1066 MHz FSB. The E6300 has a 65 Watt TDP (Thermal Design Power). In comparison, its dual core predecessor, the Pentium D 840 running at a clock speed of 3.2 GHz had a 130 Watt TDP. The point here is that the newer Core 2 Duo processors run much cooler and hence can be used in a small form factor PC.
A popular brand that has been producing Small Form Factor PCs for quite sometime now is Shuttle. Not that it’s taken a back seat now, rather it has matured into a more robust brand with excellent cooling and noise dampening techniques, attained over years of experience. The Acer L310 is at par in terms of performance but lacks expandability due to lack of expansion slots. Let’s have a closer look.
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