Fujitsu D3544-S Review an Industrial Mini-STX Platform

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Fujitsu D3544-S Power Consumption

We wanted to post a few figures from our testing that show the real selling point of the chips, low power.

Idle is around 9W and maximum power consumption hits just under 17W in our test bed. That low power consumption is helped by the fact that there is no BMC onboard and no fans needed for the platform. On the other hand, the RAM, drives, and NICs use a considerable amount of power.

Note these results were taken using 120V power, so 208V and higher may see lower power consumption.

Fujitsu D3544-S Fanless Operation

One of the standout features is that this unit does not need to utilize fans with the Fujitsu D3544-S series. Fujitsu sells heatsink and fan combos, but those are used to extend the temperature range that this solution can operate in.

Removing the need for fans means two things. First, that makes the Fujitsu D3544-S solution in the S500 chassis one that has no moving parts during operation. For machines that will be deployed in the field for years, that lowers the chances of needing to replace parts. Second, it lowers the overall power consumption. A 3W fan here would add almost 20% to the total power consumption. In a larger machine, a fan or two can have a negligible impact on power consumption. In this embedded range it can have a large impact on power consumption.

Final Words

Overall, this is a great small machine. There are a few minor points we would address. First, we would prefer two Intel i210 NICs instead of a Realtek plus an Intel. That would open the door to a wide range of applications.

In terms of performance, this is far from the Atom of yesteryear. Gone are the days when for a low-power machine you would automatically assume sluggish performance. This little machine is equally at home providing POS or thin client duties as it is being a web server. For many sites outside of the top 100,000, this is more than enough to service them. Indeed, if you wanted a no-noise cluster getting several Fujitsu D3544-S units can make sense. They are fanless and have a better feature set than the Intel June Canyon NUC.

Overall the unit was extremely well built. The motherboard was well labeled and has solid documentation. The case was sturdy while allowing enough cooling to run fanless. On our team, we have been referring the Fujitsu D3544-S as a surprise favorite.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.6
Performance
9.3
Feature Set
9.2
Value
9.2
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Pity that it does not support ECC RAM. IMHO for majority of industrial usage, this is a must have feature. Otherwise board looks fantastic.

  2. “First, we would prefer two Intel i210 NICs instead of a Realtek plus an Intel. That would open the door to a wide range of applications.”
    You could say that again. With a pair of intel nics this could be a great candidate for smb pfsense box.
    Also curious on OpenSSL testing – is AES-NI is used by default?

  3. I do not like the growing reliance starting about 10 years ago by manufactures and for the sake of “cost reduction engineering” to remove the physical hard switch for completely turning off the power to a device, low voltage or not, thus not unplugging a live source to perform the task of full electrical power shut down.

    I learned from intense formal education in US Navy schools to decades of hands on mentoring by those many years my senior (knowing well from practice what is improper and why), to myself being a former instructor for Basic Electricity and Electronics, to having years of experience with integrated applications where access is not practical, such that the user method of physically unplugging a device as a means to turning off the power, is not a good electrical engineering practice. Most receptacles that are for low voltage DC are not designed with the intent to be used as the principle means to turn on and off a device. That is why even though low power DC and AC, external power supplies with generic use certifications have been packaged for many decades to avoid having to test a high voltage (110AC) circuit and related power supply for newly designed low power appliance, had a hard switch, not just a momentary, state change, switch.

  4. Why the aren’t any numbers in the benchmarks?! This isn’t serious because I can’t compare them to my current machines… Please fix this.

  5. @Peter K,
    It does mention in the article that they don’t provide all the data that they collect because they also provide consultancy and testing services. We don’t pay for STH so they can provide whatever they like, if it’s business critical for you to know the numbers then you could always contact STH and get them?

  6. I think Fujitsu D3433-S2 Industrial Mini ITX with Kabby Lake is more flexible:

    1. 3x nvme with x8 riser or maybe 5x nvme with x16 riser
    2. 1080p gaming rig with 17-21w idle on w10 desktop with Quadro P1000+1x nvme+2x5Tb slim hdd+wifi.
    3. Opnsense box with x16 riser+ mellanox 4 100GBE

  7. @Laugh|nGMan You are comparing apples to oranges. The J5005 is embedded and has 6 PCIE 2.0 lanes. The Q170 chipset has 20 PCIE 3.0 lanes, of course its going to be more flexible.

  8. As with the sketchier very small format devices available from direct from China vendors like Qotom, the lack of a second DIMM slot is a disappointment, as these SoCs all support Dual Channel RAM — a lot of that bus bandwidth and multicore capability is wasted when you can’t use it. It should also be noted that the Qotom and similar routinely include a pair of Intel i211 NICs in a passively cooled case and heat is not a problem. Intel i-series NICs aren’t remotely the kind of fireballs they were in the pro/1000 era when you absolutely had to have air moving over them.

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