How do I know if my Mini-PC is still under warranty?

Unfortunately it happens from time to time that a Mini-PC needs to be repaired. If this is the case, our customers always wonder whether their system is still under warranty or not.

In order to find out, you first need the serial number of your seal of warranty starting with the letters “SB” that can usually be found on the bottom of the PC. You then may refer the system to the packing list and match the time of purchase with the warranty period (standard warranty are two years, extended warranty goes up to five years).

If you don’t have the corresponding packing list at hand, please write us an e-mail or call us by phone (Contact information).  We then check the warranty period and assist you for the further procedure.

More on this topic

17 May 2016 Array ( [id] => 188 [title] => What is the difference between HDD and SSD? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => All spo-books can be configured as desired and can be ordered with an HDD or SSD. This brings many customers to the scratch which choice is the best for them: The standard 500 gigabyte sized HDD or the more expensive SSD? We want to bring a little light into the darkness. [description] =>

What means HDD?

The term HDD stands for “hard disk drive”. For simplicity it is often referred to as a hard drive. An HDD is composed of many mechanical parts. In the storage process, the data is written on the surface of one or more rotating magnetic platters. Therefore a reading head is moving – similar to a record player – back and forth.

Hard drives have been around since the 50s and are until today often installed by default as a storage medium in PCs. With the emergence of the SSD this has changed. These were in the early days extremely expensive and were only used for very specific applications. Anyway they have now become much more affordable and due to their advantages are increasingly used even at home.

What is an SSD?

The term SSD stands for "Solid State Disk" or "Solid State Drive", which can also be described as a semiconductor memory. An SSD is not mechanical but an electronic memory. Unlike the rotating platters from the HDD you can imagine the SSD like an USB flash drive.

Which advantages can I expect from an SSD?

The probably biggest advantage is that an SSD boots and works much faster because it runs electronically and does not constantly have to move a reading head back and forth. Although it is faster, the SSD has much lower energy consumption than a conventional hard drive. Who wants his PC to run completely silent and therefore chooses a passive cooled system, should also decide for an SSD. Thanks to the absence of moving parts it works without a sound.

But there’s more to come: It is also much more robust, as the mechanical drives of an HDD break  a lot easier if dropped. Likewise it also stands an extended temperature range. Thanks to its ruggedness the SSD is still running, even under concussions or vibration. Hard drives often have the protection mechanism to stop working as soon as the running PC is moved. For instance this could be the case if a laptop is carried around or if a PC is installed in a vehicle, like our MOVE-series. To prevent the reading head from striking the platter, the HDD stops its operation cautionary. With an SSD this cannot happen. Since it has no moving parts, it works without problems even in rough circumstances.

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know-how

What is the difference between HDD and SSD?

All spo-books can be configured as desired and can be ordered with an HDD or SSD. This brings many customers to the scratch which choice is the best for them: The standard 500 gigabyte sized HDD or the more expensive SSD? We want to bring a little light into the darkness.
14 Jun 2016 Array ( [id] => 192 [title] => Should I take an actively cooled or passively cooled Mini-PC? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => It’s underestimated quite often how important it is to make the right choice regarding the cooling architecture of your Mini-PC. Especially location and operation purpose play an important role here. What you definitely should know in any case about the two different types of cooling and which advantages and disadvantages they bring along, you will learn here. [description] =>

Active Cooling

This option is the most common type of cooling. One speaks of an active cooling of your PC if the hardware is cooled down by a stream of air from one or more ventilators. The faster the rotational speed the cooler the hardware. The air ventilation automatically adapts, thanks to “SmartFan”, to the capacity utilization of the PC and rotates, as necessary, sometimes faster and sometimes slower.

Advantages of active cooling:

  • Even if the air needs to have some room inside of the computer, in order to circulate properly, actively cooled systems are generally slimmer than fanless systems.
  • You can achieve good cooling results, even with high-performance hardware.
  • It is a cheap solution compared to passively cooled PCs.

Disadvantages of active cooling:

  • Since the fans are most likely affected by wearing, they have, depending on use, a relatively shorter life.
  • The noise level: Even at low utilization the fan will always be audible.

How do I know if active cooling is the right choice for my purpose?

Mostly active cooling for a PC 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.

Passive Cooling

First of all the most striking contrast to the active cooling here is that there is no fan used for a passive solution.
Due to heat sinks which are integrated in the systems, like thermally conductive metal, the produced heat is transported to the outside, via lamellar cooling fins on the housing of the computer.

Advantages of passive cooling:

  • Silent working with simultaneous use of an SSD (See: “Shall I go for an HDD or SSD?”).
  • Robustness by massive PC cases and compact constructions.
  • High durability of the systems.
  • Systems are often completely closed and not prone to dust, sawdust and the like.
  • Extended range of temperature.
  • Above mentioned advantages both count for outdoor and vehicle installations.

Disadvantages of passive cooling:

  • Performance of the systems is limited (compared with actively cooled PCs of the same size), since high performance requires a bigger heat sink.
  • The environment has, to a certain degree, to provide thermal discharge in order to prevent heat accumulation.
  • More expensive compared to actively cooled systems.

How do I know if passive cooling is the right choice for my purpose?

There are so many opportunities that we actually don’t really know where to start. Wide application areas are rough environments like factory work rooms, workshops or production facilities since the fanless computers are less prone to dust or similar. Even installations in, for instance, steles, walls or in the open air where it sometimes can be a bit colder than usual, but you nevertheless have to rely on the computer. Not to mention in open-plan offices where every little noise reduction is a boon for the staff, passively cooled systems are always welcome.

Conclusion

If you attach importance to an increased durability and robustness of your product, we recommend to invest some extra cash and to opt for a passively cooled solution. Those who don’t want to lower their sights regarding performance and size of the Mini-PC are well served with the classical actively cooled alternative.

##spo-comm PCs with active cooling

 

##spo-comm PCs with passive cooling

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know-how

Should I take an actively cooled or passively cooled Mini-PC?

It’s underestimated quite often how important it is to make the right choice regarding the cooling architecture of your Mini-PC. Especially location and operation purpose play an important role here. What you definitely should know in any case about the two different types of cooling and which advantages and disadvantages they bring along, you will learn here.
10 Aug 2016 Array ( [id] => 198 [title] => What means SLC, MLC and TLC concerning SSDs? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => If you have ever wondered what the abbreviations “MLC” and “SLC” concerning SSDs mean, then you will find an answer here. Below we present the different memory types and their characteristics. [description] =>

In another article we have already dealt with the differences between HDDs and SSDs as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Now we want to go into further detail and introduce various types of SSDs.

The terms SLC, MLC and TLC name the type of SSD memory. They tell you how many bits are written on a memory cell of an SSD.

What do the abbreviations mean?

SLC stands for "Single-Level Cell". As the name implies, an SLC cell stores exactly one bit. MLC means "Multi-Level Cell" and indicates that more than one bit per cell can be stored. Normally, these are two bits per cell, because now also TLC ("Triple-Level Cell") with three bits per memory cell has been developed.

Concerning these three types, Single-Level cells have the highest reading and writing speed. They also require less power, are durable, robust and suitable for an extended temperature range. However, they have only a relatively small memory and are quite expensive. Multi-Level Cell SSDs in contrast have a greater storage density and can store a much larger volume of data.

How does the storage density affect the wear?

MLC and TLS SSDs are often criticized for not being durable enough. As more information is stored per cell, the wear is higher than that of SLCs. For comparison: While manufacturers specify a lifetime for Single-Level Cells with 100,000 write cycles, Triple Level Cells only bear 1,000 writing processes. MLCs are at about 5,000 to 10,000 cycles.

This sounds comparatively low, but is usually absolutely sufficient. Thanks to techniques such as wear leveling, almost no one has to worry about the durability of his SSD.

What is wear leveling?

Wear leveling is used to extend the life of an SSD. The technique is often integrated in SSDs.  With an algorithm the write cycles are distributed homogenously, so that all memory cells are equal and that the SSD wears evenly.

This technique is distinguished between dynamic and static wear leveling. The former only distributes dynamic data, thus those that change when something is deleted and something else is saved. To prevent some cells from being described only once, while other cells fail already, static wear leveling algorithms move the static data to other blocks. The dynamic variation is often found in USB flash drives. With SSDs the static wear leveling is most commonly used.

What kind of SSDs does spo-comm sell?

As standard spo-comm offers Multi-Level Cell SSDs in different sizes, since these provide a high storage volume for a reasonable price. Some PCs (such as the WINDBOX and RUGGED series) can also be ordered with a 16 or 32 gigabyte SLC SSD. These are suitable for an extended temperature range of -40 to 85 degrees, but – despite the low storage density – are found in an upper price range.

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know-how

What means SLC, MLC and TLC concerning SSDs?

If you have ever wondered what the abbreviations “MLC” and “SLC” concerning SSDs mean, then you will find an answer here. Below we present the different memory types and their characteristics.