System Teardown and Analysis:

The Aleutia Relia's most interesting aspect is the passive cooling. In order to understand the thermal solution and also take a look at the internal components, we disassembled the system. It was quite easy to take apart, with the top being held in place by four screws. Of particular interest is the thin gauzelike fabric pasted around the ventilation slots on the top panel (and also present beneath all the other ventilation slots). This makes the unit dust-resistant. Since there are no moving parts to move the dust inwards, this porous gauzelike material is capable of shutting out most of the dust. Of course, it doesn't make it dust proof, but offers an added layer of protection. Beneath the top panel, we have a bar with two hard disks fastened on to it. The bar itself is fastened to the side panels using four screws. Beneath this disk assembly, we have the main board and the passive cooling solution. The gallery below presents some of the teardown pictures

Motherboard & Chipset : mITX DQ77KB with Q77 Express

The Aleutia Relia is based on the Intel DQ77KB motherboard which contains the Q77 Express chipset. This mini-ITX board supports direct 19 V DC input (no need for a PSU -- except for the AC - DC adapter). It has two SO-DIMM sockets, four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and five SATA ports (2 x SATA 6 Gbps, 2 x SATA 3 Gbps, 1 x mSATA). The mSATA port is a full mini-PCIe card slot. In addition, the board also has a half-mini card slot taken up by the WLAN solution and an empty PCIe 3.0 x4 add-in card slot (unusable in the Relia).

The board also has the Realtek ALC892 audio codec along with two GbE ports.

CPU & GPU : Intel Core i7-3770T / Intel HD Graphics 4000

The Core i7-3770T is a 4C/8T processor belonging to the Ivy Bridge family. It has a TDP of 45 W. Clocking in at 2.5 GHz, it is capable of going up to 3.7 GHz in Turbo Mode. 8 MB of L3 cache is shared between the integrated GPU (HD4000) and the CPU cores. The GPU runs at 650 MHz, but, can turbo up to 1.15 GHz under certain conditions. It supports full 3D video capabilities, QuickSync v2.0 and WiDi. However, WiDi isn't supported by the DQ77KB as it is an unnecessary feature in the target market.

DRAM: Crucial 2 x 4GB DDR3-1333

The Aleutia Relia uses two Crucial CT51264BC1339 4 GB SODIMM kits. It has a CAS latency of 9-9-9-24.

 

Considering that the Relia has a 3rd generation Core processor in the i7-3770T, we expected Aleutia to go in for DRAM rated at 1600 MHz.

Storage Drives : Crucial CT128M4SSD3 128 GB mSATA SSD / 2 x 500 GB Western Digital Scorpio Black WD5000BPKT

The unit uses a 128 GB Crucial mSATA SSD as the primary drive and two 2.5" 500 GB Western Digital hard disks as secondary drives. The review unit had the two hard drives configured as separate drives. However, it is possible to set up the BIOS to put them in RAID-0 or RAID-1 depending on the requirements.

 

The Scorpio Black drives operate at 7200 rpm and has a 16 MB cache. The Black series has a warranty period of 5 years. It is generally regarded as one of the highest performing 2.5" hard drives in the market. The primary drive (Crucial mSATA SSD) is much more interesting. Unlike the Phison based mSATA SSD we saw in the Zotac ZBOX Nano XS, this one has bona fide credentials and has very good performance comparable to the SATA SSDs. It has NAND from Micron and the controller is the Marvell 88SS9174.

 

This Marvell controller is also present in the Intel SSD 510, the Corsair P3 series and the Crucial m4 SATA SSDs.

WLAN : Intel WiFi Link 1000

Aleutia has gone in for a 1T2R single band (2.4 GHz) WiFi solution for the Relia. The Intel WiFi Link 1000 is a low profile single side design. It is 802.11 b/g/Draft-N compatible. The version present in the Relia is in a mini-PCIe card form factor. In order to increase range, the unit has two antenna slots at the rear of the unit. Two TP-Link antennae are also supplied.

 

Considering that the unit has two GbE ports and can act as a firewall, some use cases could involve making the WLAN solution act as a Wi-Fi access point. In this case, it is disappointing to find that the solution is single- band and has only 1T2R instead of the usual 2T2R solutions seen in other pre-built mITX PCs such as the ASRock Vision HT.

Unboxing and Setup Impressions Performance Metrics
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  • Rick83 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    I see you mention the NIC on the last page (might have been better placed on the first page, where you list the components), so the hardware is there.

    Is BIOS support there as well?
    Haven't seen anything from the BIOS so far, and AMT is heavily dependant on entire-system support.

    Did you actually get a KVMoIP session to work?

    While this particular model is not that interesting to me, I am looking generally into systems with AMT support, so getting to know the functionality that each vendor provides is quite interesting.
    Reply
  • jhh - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    I suspect a slower RAM was selected to work in a fanless device, but if you had an IR camera, it would have been nice to confirm device temperatures. The case top probably adds to the case heat-sink capacity, so removing the top could cause problems with the processor and its heat-pipe to the case, which would make it difficult to take such a picture. Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    That doesn't seem likely. There's not much in the way of chassis ventilation and the heatpipes connect directly to those side heatsinks. If anything temperatures should drop with the cover removed as less heat can be trapped inside of the chassis, although in a temperature controlled testing environment with zero airflow it might not really matter. Reply
  • Googer - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    Cooling isn't necessary DDR3 1600 as most ram chips generate very little heat. Modern day DIMM salesmen add heatspreaders and heatsinks, mostly as a marketing ploy. Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    I have recently built a very similarly spec HTPC (using the HDplex case rather than what I guess is a streamcom/wesean case) so it was nice to see a comparison. Price is a lot more reasonable than my build.

    i7-3770T works extremely well as an HTPC (shame about screen refresh rate - Intel should hang their heads in shame)

    Personally I would not use a mechanical hard disc, I hate noise and for an HTPC, an SSD is fine.

    The problem as I see it for an HTPC is that if no optical drive or TV tuner why bother with something this complex, probably easier and cheaper to store all the media on a NAS and have a very cheap streaming device as the HTPC.

    After saying that, none of the fanless cases I have looked at that support an optical drive give any thought to noise dampening the drive.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    Looking at the internal layout, I can easily see why the hard drives get hot: one is mounted directly over the CPU. I wonder how just a single hard drive mounted over the memory performs with regards to temperatures and throttling.

    It also looks like the Wi-fi chip is replaceable so that single band disadvantage can be rectified.

    My only other complaint would be the 19V external power supply. It would have been nicer to see a 12V external PSU or even an internal PSU to avoid a power brick entirely. Minor quibble in the grand scheme of things.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    The as-configured price seems to be at least $500 overpriced. This thing has a BOM somewhere around $900ish at *RETAIL* pricing (I made a list), $1500 for the machine is ridiculous. Reply
  • mrdude - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    Poor WiFi that only offers single-band
    No card reader
    No Bluetooth

    Aaaaand somehow this is supposed to be an HTPC? viable small form factor PC? At that price? say what?

    These people must be kidding themselves.
    Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    No, this is designed to be used in an industrial environment. I have no idea why Ganesh tested it as an HTPC. Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    I would assume that it's being tested as a HTPC device because it looks like a decent contender on paper.

    Also, keep in mind that you can just buy your own Streacom case and build your own machine. They have models with card readers, disc drive access, etc.
    Reply

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