When looking at cases designed around the Intel NUC Atom-based board it seems they put a lot of effort into thermal dissipation (i.e. the entire case is basically a big heatsink). Of course, these cases are fanless and the logic goes that since there is no fan you need to get rid of heat by some other means - hence the huge heatsink.
However, my smartphone contains a very comparable processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon) and my phone contains neither a fan nor that huge heatsink. The TDP for the Intel Atom is advertised as 5W whereas it seems the Snapdragon is closer to 2.5W .
My questions are:
- Is the Snapdragon's thermal design just so vastly superior to that of the Intel Atom processor or is there some benefit to the Intel Atom that I'm missing?
- Also, assuming that the 5W/2.5W numbers are accurate, does that justify the huge difference between cooling solutions?
- Are there any other solutions (for running a linux-based appliance) that I should look at that have solid industrial support but neither require a huge heatsink nor a fan?