How can my Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 2: SmartFan

Since our new blog series is all about the health of your Mini-PC, we want to show you what you can do to help your PC regarding this topic. We already confronted the right airing/ventilation and today it’s about something that goes along with this: the SmartFan settings for an active cooling system.

SmartFan for Mini-PCs with fan

If you choose a Mini-PC with active cooling, meaning a system with fan, there are some different methods to increase the longevity of the PC. Let’s take a closer look at the BIOS.

What is SmartFan?

An active cooling cools down a Mini-PC by using ventilators. Due to the SmartFan technology the rotational speed of the ventilators is adjusted to the needs. These depend on, among other things, the work load of the PC. As the name SmartFan suggests, the adjustments happen automatically. The different values, for instance the current CPU or system temperature, can be viewed in the BIOS below the point "PChealth" (see ill. 1).

Manual settings of SmartFan values

Now it can be that an active cooled Mini-PC is used in an office and is too loud because of a high rotational speed. In such cases the "CPU Fan Smart Mode" in the BIOS can be switched to "Manual Mode" (see ill. 2). This allows to manually set the previously automatically adjusted values. What it looks like when the "Fan Start Temperature", thus the temperature where the fan starts to rotate, is manually adjusted is shown in illustration 3.

##Actively cooled spo-comm Mini-PCs

Please enter these characters in the following text field.

The fields marked with * are required.

More on this topic

3 Jul 2019 Array ( [id] => 431 [title] => How can a Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 1: The correct cooling [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => The spo-comm Mini-PCs satisfy our customers with their persistence – among other things because of the use of high quality components. But also as the user of the systems you can make sure that your Mini-PC stays healthy. Our new blog series is all dedicated to this topic. Today: The right cooling system. [description] =>

Active or passive cooling?

Right from the selection of the proper Mini-PC there is one important feature to consider that affects the longevity of a device. The cooling. We already summarized the differences, benefits and disadvantages of an active and passive cooling systems in this article.

Right choice: active cooling

As we already mentioned in our article about active and passive cooling systems, we can say that an "active cooling […] is useful if the environment of the site allows the warm air to go out in order to prevent heat accumulation. For instance this can happen if an Embedded-PC is mounted in steles, tables or walls. Also active cooling is useful when processors and graphic cards experience a temperature rise above-average, due to applications which need a lot of hardware resources."

Installation of PCs with fan

Mini-PCs with fan are often installed into steles or similar. When doing this you have to keep in mind that the holes for the fan in the housing should not be covered. There has to be enough room between the Mini-PC and for instance a wall, so that the fan can take in enough air and also return it back outside of the housing.

##Actively cooled spo-comm Mini-PCs

Right choice: passive cooling

Mini-PCs with a passive cooling are perfectly made for "rough environments like factory work rooms, workshops or production facilities since the fanless computers are less prone to dust or similar. Even installations […] where it sometimes can be a bit colder than usual, but you nevertheless have to rely on the computer" benefit from passive cooled PCs. But also in the high end digital signage fanless Mini-PCs can score. Our prime examples are the RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti and the RUGGED Ryzen.

Installation of passively cooled PCs

Just because a Mini-PC is passively cooled, doesn't mean that it can be installed completely airtight. It's also very important that the PC is located in the right environment. A passively cooled Mini-PC emits the heat into the surrounding area via its cooling fins. In conclusion this means, that a PC without fan also needs a certain space so that the exhaust air can be released.

##Passively cooled spo-comm Mini-PCs

[views] => 45 [displayDate] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-07-03 09:45:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [categoryId] => 234 [template] => [metaKeyWords] => [metaDescription] => [metaTitle] => [tags] => Array ( ) [author] => [assignedArticles] => Array ( ) [media] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => 4568 [blogId] => 431 [mediaId] => 50278 [preview] => 1 [media] => Array ( [id] => 50278 [albumId] => 22 [name] => Die-richtige-Kuhlung_en [description] => [path] => media/image/Die-richtige-Kuhlung_en.png [type] => IMAGE [extension] => png [userId] => 56 [created] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-11-07 00:00:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [fileSize] => 1262308 [width] => 3000 [height] => 2000 ) ) ) [attribute] => Array ( [id] => 428 [blogId] => 431 [attribute1] => NULL [attribute2] => [attribute3] => [attribute4] => [attribute5] => [attribute6] => [digi1Inactivateblogarticle] => 0 [digi1Sponsoredpost] => 0 [digi1Featuredpost] => 0 [digi1Hideblogdetailsite] => 0 [digi1Showleftsidebarblogdetailsite] => 0 [digi1Disablecommentfunction] => 0 [digi1Hideimageslider] => 0 [digi1Relatedblogarticle1] => 433 [digi1Relatedblogarticle2] => 445 [digi1Relatedblogarticle3] => 451 [digi1Relatedblogarticle4] => [digi1Relatedblogarticle5] => [isReference] => 0 [relatedItem] => ) [comments] => Array ( ) ) 1
know-how
How can a Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 1: The correct cooling
The spo-comm Mini-PCs satisfy our customers with their persistence – among other things because of the use of high quality components. But also as the user of the systems you can make sure that your Mini-PC stays healthy. Our new blog series is all dedicated to this topic. Today: The right cooling system.
22 Aug 2019 Array ( [id] => 445 [title] => How can my Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 3: Cables [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => In the first two articles of this series that deals with the health of Mini-PCs, we already took a look at the right cooling system and the SmartFan function of actively cooled devices. But also from the exterior, or rather on the housing of Mini-PCs there are things that can have an impact on the health of a Mini-PC: Cables that are connected to the different ports. [description] =>

Whether it is to get a connection to the internet or to external devices: Wires always play a role. If these are not chosen and installed correctly, they can easily break or rip out and in conclusion, damage the Mini-PC. Which options are there to protect the Mini-PC from this?

Cable relief

For flexible electric leads, which involves cables, there is a mechanical safeguard, the so called cable or strain relief. For non-stationary electric supplies (for example wires, circuit boards and audio connectors) this cable relief is obligatory and standardized after EN 62444.

Cable reliefs are mostly made of metal or plastic clips that prevent ripping out cables by clamping them. What this looks like you can see here.

Cable gland

Another possibility is the usage of screwable cables which, among others, serve the cable relief. The benefits are many. A screwable power adapter for example (see pic. 3) cannot be ripped out so easily or by accident. Like this, the PC is constantly supplied with power and the operating system is spared from damage through a sudden reset. Another benefit of screwing cables, for example on to the housing of a Mini-PC is a better isolation. Due to the tight and dense connection, outside influences such as dust or moisture in production halls, can no longer get inside the system and extend the lifetime of the Mini-PC.

Today, according to DIN EN 60423, metric screw threads are mandatory, as well as a protection class of at least IP54. To protect humans of potential danger when using the devices, protection classes of IP 65 (protects from dust and water jets) or IP68 (dust and waterproof) are common.

Which cables and interfaces are screwable?

After all this theoretical knowledge, let’s move on to the practice: Which cables are even screwable? The most common are probably the serial interface RS-232, also known as the COM port, and the multimedia interfaces VGA and DVI (see pic. 2). Their sockets and plugs are equipped with threads as standard and like that, prevent the cable to rip out.

Other protection options

There are also cables that sit firmly in the socket, without being screwed. This applies on one hand for the LAN cable and on the other hand for the multimedia interface DisplayPort. Both of them back on engaging hooks, so called locking tabs that ensure the cable to sit tightly. To loosen the cable the nib on top of the plug can easily be pushed down.

With the HDMI cable it is a completely different story. Since there is no protection included fundamentally, by this time there are several different options that want to ensure the cable to be stable. On one hand there are specific silicone cases for the cable and on the other hand you can get HDMI cables that have a mechanism with which a locking system can be turned on and off manually.

[views] => 5 [displayDate] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-08-22 11:15:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [categoryId] => 234 [template] => [metaKeyWords] => [metaDescription] => [metaTitle] => [tags] => Array ( ) [author] => [assignedArticles] => Array ( ) [media] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => 4565 [blogId] => 445 [mediaId] => 50274 [preview] => 1 [media] => Array ( [id] => 50274 [albumId] => 22 [name] => Kabel_en [description] => [path] => media/image/Kabel_en.png [type] => IMAGE [extension] => png [userId] => 56 [created] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-11-07 00:00:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [fileSize] => 486586 [width] => 3000 [height] => 2000 ) ) [1] => Array ( [id] => 4566 [blogId] => 445 [mediaId] => 71951 [preview] => [media] => Array ( [id] => 71951 [albumId] => 22 [name] => DVI_VGA_Adapter_verschraubbar [description] => [path] => media/image/DVI_VGA_Adapter_verschraubbar.png [type] => IMAGE [extension] => png [userId] => 56 [created] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-12-17 00:00:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [fileSize] => 828218 [width] => 1188 [height] => 792 ) ) [2] => Array ( [id] => 4567 [blogId] => 445 [mediaId] => 71950 [preview] => [media] => Array ( [id] => 71950 [albumId] => 22 [name] => verschraubbares_Netzteil [description] => [path] => media/image/verschraubbares_Netzteil.png [type] => IMAGE [extension] => png [userId] => 56 [created] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-12-17 00:00:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [fileSize] => 1120328 [width] => 1254 [height] => 836 ) ) ) [attribute] => Array ( [id] => 442 [blogId] => 445 [attribute1] => NULL [attribute2] => [attribute3] => [attribute4] => [attribute5] => [attribute6] => [digi1Inactivateblogarticle] => 0 [digi1Sponsoredpost] => 0 [digi1Featuredpost] => 0 [digi1Hideblogdetailsite] => 0 [digi1Showleftsidebarblogdetailsite] => 0 [digi1Disablecommentfunction] => 0 [digi1Hideimageslider] => 0 [digi1Relatedblogarticle1] => 431 [digi1Relatedblogarticle2] => 433 [digi1Relatedblogarticle3] => 451 [digi1Relatedblogarticle4] => [digi1Relatedblogarticle5] => [isReference] => 0 [relatedItem] => ) [comments] => Array ( ) ) 1
know-how
How can my Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 3: Cables
In the first two articles of this series that deals with the health of Mini-PCs, we already took a look at the right cooling system and the SmartFan function of actively cooled devices. But also from the exterior, or rather on the housing of Mini-PCs there are things that can have an impact on the health of a Mini-PC: Cables that are connected to the different ports.
12 Sep 2019 Array ( [id] => 451 [title] => How can my Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 4: Software [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Terms like computer virus, Trojans or malware are unfortunately known by a lot of people. Slowly running PCs, destroyed data or even no access to the own PC at all are just some of the consequences. So what can be done on a PCs software level to keep the device healthy? [description] =>

Before we show the methods to protect a Mini-PC on the software-side, we quickly want to explain, which risks and threats there are.

What is Malware? Virus, Ransomware, Trojans

Malware is short for “Malicious Software” and stands for every form of programmed, harmful software which wants to access a device, such as a Mini-PCs, without the user knowing it. There are several different types of malware, such as Viruses, Trojans, Ransomware or Spyware. In what they are different, for what malware is used and how it spreads, you can find here.

Protection against malware with anti-virus programs

To protect a device against attacks through malware, it is absolutely necessary to install an anti-virus software. It’s important to use only those programs that come from trustworthy companies, else it may also be disguised malware. Many companies also provide ransomware protection, which prevents the skimming of data and thus, being blackmailed for money.

Even when an anti-virus program is installed and can detect and remove viruses, everybody should mind some essential rules:

  • Don’t click on every link, that is send to you via social media – even if it’s from friends.
  • Don’t open Mail attachments, if you’re not 100% sure of what it is.
  • Don’t activate macros in Microsoft Office. Cybercriminals often try to get users to activate macros when receiving contagious mails.

Removal of viruses on PCs

There are different warning signs to recognize an infected PC. These include constantly recurring pop-up messages, computer programs that start by themselves or also a very slowly running computer.

A step by step guide on how to get rid of viruses and malware, can be found here.

Monitoring software for Mini-PCs

Next to software that protects against malware, there is also monitoring software that obtains the health of a Mini-PC.

If such a software is installed, many sensors are based on the components that should be supervised, such as the RAM or CPU. These sensors continuously measure, for instance the CPU temperature, and send out an alarm if the value is changing too much.

With this software it is also possible to personalize the limit values and therefore, being warned long before a component fails. That way, unpredictable system failures due to broken components won’t be the case any longer. Especially in areas where Mini-PCs have to run 24/7, this software comes in handy.

And the best part about it: We at spo-comm are working on this software at the moment. Soon, all of our Mini-PCs can be equipped with it. More information will be released shortly.

[views] => 2 [displayDate] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-09-12 11:15:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [categoryId] => 234 [template] => [metaKeyWords] => [metaDescription] => [metaTitle] => [tags] => Array ( ) [author] => [assignedArticles] => Array ( ) [media] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => 4218 [blogId] => 451 [mediaId] => 50275 [preview] => 1 [media] => Array ( [id] => 50275 [albumId] => 22 [name] => PC-Gesundheit-Software [description] => [path] => media/image/PC-Gesundheit-Software.png [type] => IMAGE [extension] => png [userId] => 56 [created] => DateTime Object ( [date] => 2019-11-07 00:00:00.000000 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => Europe/Berlin ) [fileSize] => 488594 [width] => 3000 [height] => 2000 ) ) ) [attribute] => Array ( [id] => 448 [blogId] => 451 [attribute1] => NULL [attribute2] => [attribute3] => [attribute4] => [attribute5] => [attribute6] => [digi1Inactivateblogarticle] => 0 [digi1Sponsoredpost] => 0 [digi1Featuredpost] => 0 [digi1Hideblogdetailsite] => 0 [digi1Showleftsidebarblogdetailsite] => 0 [digi1Disablecommentfunction] => 0 [digi1Hideimageslider] => 0 [digi1Relatedblogarticle1] => 431 [digi1Relatedblogarticle2] => 433 [digi1Relatedblogarticle3] => 445 [digi1Relatedblogarticle4] => [digi1Relatedblogarticle5] => [isReference] => 0 [relatedItem] => ) [comments] => Array ( ) ) 1
know-how
How can my Mini-PC stay healthy? Part 4: Software
Terms like computer virus, Trojans or malware are unfortunately known by a lot of people. Slowly running PCs, destroyed data or even no access to the own PC at all are just some of the consequences. So what can be done on a PCs software level to keep the device healthy?