Tranquil PC advertises their passive NUC chassis as a means of achieving better cooling results than Intel's stock unit, which includes a fan. We checked both idle and thermal results under load. Idle numbers were collected after the unit was left to sit at the windows desktop on a default Windows7 installation for thirty minutes. The system was then put under load by creating 100% load on the CPU, using FurMark for the GPU and benchmarking the SSD all at the same time. The latter test was run for 30 minutes as well and all the numbers were, once again, recorded.
The Tranquil PC chassis manages to impress with a much lower idle temperature across the board. With a difference of 9° Celsius, the CPU runs much cooler while sitting idle at the desktop. When the NUC's processor is pushed to 100%, the gap even grows to a full 11°, which is right in line with what Tranquil PC advertises.
The same goes for the GPU, which tends to get extremely hot with Intel's stock cooling solution. In idle, the Tranquil PC chassis manages to keep the graphic chip 10°C cooler, while there is a huge difference of 17°C under load as the chassis manages to keep the unit at 72° instead of 89°C.
Under idle, the difference on the motherboard sensor is not as big, with a 7°C cooler environment when the Tranquil PC chassis is used. But when all the components inside the compact chassis are put under load, the overall temperature difference rises to 14°C in favor of the Tranquil PC NUC chassis.
Even the Intel 525 SSD benefits from better cooling; that is, under load. The temperature difference is marginal when everything is just sitting there, but we once again see a 11°C difference under load. While the SSD does get warm, most of the heat is due to the hotter components around it, as its temperatures are in line with those of both CPU and GPU.