As one of the most popular Linux distributions on the planet it’s only natural that Linux Mint has some hardware to call its “own”.

And Compulab’s competitive range of ‘MintBox’ PCs, consumer-focused versions of its usual industrial wares pre-landed with Linux Mint and contributing a percentage back to the project, does the job admirably.

Now fans of the small form-factor computers have reason to be excited, because a brand new MintBox is on the way and based on its tentative specs it’s going to be a BEAST!

The only downside is that if you want one — and on paper, you will — you might need to start saving for one now…

Mintbox 3 Specs & Price


A few substantive details on the successor to 2014’s Mintbox 2 — FYI there’s been several ‘Mintbox Mini’ PCs in the intervening time — were dished up in the latest monthly report from Linux Mint.

Firstly, we know that Linux Mint is continuing its long-standing partnership with the fanless computer company Compulab. No major surprise there as the relationship clearly works well.

Secondly, project lead Clement Lefebvre confirms that that the MintBox 3 is based on Compulab’s Airtop 3, a ruggedized small-form-factor fanless PC designed (primarily) for industrial and embedded usage.

What’s remarkable about this particular model is how powerful it is for a passively cooled machine.

Thanks to some top-notch thermal engineering (or just plain ol’ magic) the Airtop 3 is able to keep an 8-core Intel i9-9900K and an Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000 running cool, without any sort of liquid assistance, and without any sort of fan. It’s all passive. And it’s kinda crazy.

Intel i9 Processor Passively Cooled

The Linux Mint version of Compulab’s Airtop 3 is to be dubbed the Mintbox 3 and, aside from will ship with Linux Mint as its primary OS, will feature some stylish case branding.

Oh, and it’s also going to be incredibly well spec’d.

A planned base model MintBox 3 will feature an Intel Core-i5 processor, 16GB RAM, a 256GB EVO 970, include Wi-Fi, and feature Compulab’s FM-AT3 FACE Module (extra ports and things).

Tentative price for the base model is a cool $1,543.

But if the base model is way too low spec for your needs — i5? pah — there’ll be a high-end model available too.

The high-end MintBox 3 is expected to feature an 8-core intel Core-i9 processor, a Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, 32GB RAM, a 1TB Evo 970, and the FM-AT3 FACE Module.

The price? A minty-fresh $2698.

High-end prices for some high-end machines. The real lure here isn’t just the raw power it’s the size of the PC and its thermal cooling.

While I doubt many Mintboxes end up in the “industrial” settings their cases are designed for, there’s a real utilitarian chic to them that makes me wish I was rich enough to afford one…

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