The folks behind the popular Linux Mint operating system have been partnering with fanless PC maker CompuLab to offer a line of co-branded MintBox computers since 2012.
For the most part these have been small, low-power computers with laptop-class hardware and starting prices around $599 or lower.
The next model will be something a little different: the upcoming MintBox 3 is still fanless, but it’s a high-performance computer with support for up to an Intel Core i9-9900K processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
It’ll be the most powerful MintBox to date… and also the most expensive.
The configuration listed above is expected to sell for $2698, while a base model with an Intel Core i5 hexa-core processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of solid state storage will go for $1543.
If the MintBox 3 looks familiar, that’s because it’s basically a CompuLab AirTop 3 with the Mint logo slapped on the front and Linux Mint software pre-installed.
The computer measures about 11.8″ x 10″ x 3.9″ and features an all aluminum chassis with a pretty serious passive cooling system designed to keep the hardware from overheating without the need for a fan or any moving parts.
It supports up to 128GB of RAM thanks to 4 DDR4-2666 SODIMM slots and has four 2.5 inch drive bays and at least two M.2 slots that can be used for NVMe storage.
Other features include:
- 2 x DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x HDMI 1.4
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
- 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
There’s also support for swappable FACE modules that give you different functions for the front of the computer. The MintBox 3 will ship with an FM-AT3 FACE module that includes a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, a microSD card reader, mini PCIe slot, and audio jack.
If the MintBox 3 price is a bit steep, there’s always the MintBox 2 Pro and MintBox Mini 2, which sell for $349 and up and $299 and up, respectively. But you get what you pay for — these little fanless PCs feature Intel Celeron J3455 processors, integrated graphics, and far less memory and storage than the new model.
Great idea, but too pricey for me.
There’s actually quite a lot of interesting information in the Mint news article, and anyone who cares about the issues of snaps, 32-bit software support, and the Cinnamon desktop environment should read it.
More on topic, this is a fantastic device for a complete home entertainment system. It can redundantly store and play all your music, movies, and video games, and there’s no fan noise. If you asked me, I’d say it’s totally worth the price.
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