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Intel Upgrades Hardware

Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked 60

MojoKid writes Intel recently released its latest generation of NUC small form factor systems, based on the company's new low-power Broadwell-U series processors. The primary advantages of Intel's 5th Generation Core Series Broadwell-U-based processors are better performance-per-watt, stronger integrated graphics, and a smaller footprint, all things that are perfectly suited to the company's NUC (Next Unit of Computing) products. The Intel NUC5i5RYK packs a Core i5-5250U processor with on-die Intel HD 6000 series graphics. The system also sports built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, M.2 SSD support, and a host of other features, all in a 115mm x 111mm x 32.7mm enclosure. Performance-wise the new 5th Gen Core Series-powered NUC benchmarks like a midrange notebook and is actually up for a bit of light-duty gaming, though it's probably more at home as a Home Theater PC, media streamer or kiosk desktop machine.
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Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

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  • That i7-4770R and 4K-capable onboard Intel Iris Pro 5200 is hard to beat in this form factor (if you can handle the hurricane fan noise). They were available around $400 at Black Friday. This new NUC is a nice small form factor, but kinda pricey for the performance.
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      While the width/depth of the NUC/Brix machines are great, I'd rather they make one with more vertical volume -- to allow for a larger and much quieter cooling solution. Like a cube form factor that's still smaller than a CoolerMaster Elite 110 case.

    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2015 @09:06PM (#49133621)

      a nice fanless i7 (haswell) build, with the magic being a heatpipe heatsink case and a 45w i7 chip:

      https://farm8.staticflickr.com... [staticflickr.com]

      search for streacom fc8 as the case. then, stay under 65w (to be safe) and you can be fully fanless.

      for htpc use, there is NO reason to ever have a fan, again. even the i3 has a 35w chip that works just fine for movies and desktop stuff.

      • by adolf ( 21054 )

        search for streacom fc8 as the case. then, stay under 65w (to be safe) and you can be fully fanless.

        for htpc use, there is NO reason to ever have a fan, again. even the i3 has a 35w chip that works just fine for movies and desktop stuff.

        At $190 for the case alone, I can think of at least a hundred reasons not to build a fanless box.

        • search for streacom fc8 as the case. then, stay under 65w (to be safe) and you can be fully fanless.

          for htpc use, there is NO reason to ever have a fan, again. even the i3 has a 35w chip that works just fine for movies and desktop stuff.

          At $190 for the case alone, I can think of at least a hundred reasons not to build a fanless box.

          i can think of at least 190 reasons to use ARM over x86. ;)

        • that's not a lot of money. you get to use the case again and again, as long as you keep with a mini-itx format, you can upgrade for years and still use the same case. to me, there's value in that.

          plus, silence is golden ;) if you have never used a 100% silent pc, you have no idea what you are missing. even the smallest whirring fan can be heard in a quiet room.

          recently, I was cleaning up my garage and I found all the pci cards (etc) that I bought over the years. I found my first 'high end' pci card, an

          • by adolf ( 21054 )

            Thank you for the well-reasoned reply.

            I, too, remember the dark old days of PC computing...of swap meets and hamfests and "computer shows" to find deals, and toiling through the back pages of Computer Shopper to try to find a vendor who seemed worthwhile and wasn't ripping people off. Of trolling the local electronics surplus store, hoping to find a 5-pin DIN male-to-female non-coiled cable.

            Where a Tseng ET4000 outperformed others because it was better at bus throughput, when it really, really mattered. O

      • a nice fanless i7 (haswell) build, with the magic being a heatpipe heatsink case and a 45w i7 chip:

        heat pipes, that's cute. i rather stick to ARM chips and save money on both processor and cooling. ;)

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Built one almost like it, but with a 35W Core i7 4765T. It's not exactly a cheap machine though, for a HTPC it's way overkill. You can get a lot cheaper to play 1080p BluRays and probably won't be enough when 4K BluRay arrives, 3840x2160x60fps 10-bit HEVC decoding will need new, dedicated chips.

        • I was surprised to find out that the video system on the i7 (not sure about i3) can run at full 1920 @120hz! when I connected a brand new vizio (39" iirc), I saw both the win7 panel and the display menus say it was syncing at 120hz.

          that's way beyond what blueray can do. in fact, hdmi is not really spec'd for 1920@120hz unless you use dual link cables (or a single hdmi 1.4 cable). BD players don't yet support this, I don't think.

          besides, I boycott bd. I hate sony, I will avoid giving them any money if I

    • I've had a NUC for a couple of years now as a media PC in my entertainment center. It's actually really bloody good and there is zero fan noise. Well, the fan noise is inaudible over the ceiling fan I also have in my living room. Even under incredibly heavy load I've never heard the fan rise above a very quiet whine, and honestly media decoding is NOT heavy load.

      My particular one is an i3-3217U based machine with a 128GB MSATA SSD. Yeah, I'm a geek traitor in that I run Windows 8 on it, but mostly so I can

  • by Enry ( 630 ) <<ten.agyaw> <ta> <yrne>> on Wednesday February 25, 2015 @05:24PM (#49132129) Journal

    The first generation Raspberry Pi did SD pretty well and could do HD with a few caveats. The RPi 2 has even more CPU and memory and does quite well with the HD movies I've thrown at it. And it's 1/10 the price of the Intel offering.

    • Re:Media streamer? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2015 @05:36PM (#49132261) Homepage

      While the NUCs are overkill for HTPC duty, the PIs are also not sufficiently there either. A PI just has problems keeping up with the user interface (XBMC).

      Something like a Chromebox is the sweet spot. Decent enough GPU for video decoding and a CPU that's not ridiculously anemic.

      • Re:Media streamer? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2015 @06:18PM (#49132601)

        While the NUCs are overkill for HTPC duty, the PIs are also not sufficiently there either. A PI just has problems keeping up with the user interface (XBMC).

        No, I don't think a NUC is overkill for HTPC. The only reason a Rpi works for HD is because of hardware acceleration for video playback. But throw it a file in a format that doesn't meet the qualifications for acceleration and pbbbbbt! So, no 10-bit h264 or HEVC, let alone if you want to do rendering of subtitles, filtering, or chroma upscaling to improve the picture quality of normal 4:2:0 video.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        While the NUCs are overkill for HTPC duty, the PIs are also not sufficiently there either. A PI just has problems keeping up with the user interface (XBMC).

        That's not a Pi problem.

        Because the Pi's CPU is designed as a set top box processor - the ARM for the UI and networking, while the VideoCore IV does the heavy lifting.

        In fact, the Pi's CPU is used in set top boxes right now - I believe if you go to your favorite electronics retailer (online or off), pick up a Roku 2. The same CPU powering the Pi powers t

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          the Pi's CPU is designed as a set top box processor - the ARM for the UI and networking, while the VideoCore IV does the heavy lifting.

          Is the VideoCore IV only for H.264, or can it also do VP8, H.265, and VP9?

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          In fact, the Pi's CPU is used in set top boxes right now - I believe if you go to your favorite electronics retailer (online or off), pick up a Roku 2. The same CPU powering the Pi powers that. (Same amount of RAM, too I believe, and Ethernet.).

          Roku 2 doesn't have Ethernet.
          Only the Roku 3 does from the current generation, and it has a more powerful processor.

      • by Enry ( 630 )

        That's the fault of the processor and not the GPU. People care more about the actual playback performance more than the UI (which could be done via a tablet or laptop anyway). Anyway, the faster performance of the RPi 2 makes this a bit of a moot point.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Pi 2 is a lot closer.

        But for the same price ($35) you can get an oDroid-C1 running Linux. XBMC and X use about 75% of one core in UI operations (oddly, this is worse than decoding video). It's a quad core machine.

      • by nadaou ( 535365 )

        The brand new RPi 2 boards are quad core 900 MHz and can easily keep up. The original single core 700 MHz Pi boards could just get away with XBMC, but it wasn't all that pleasant.

        The GPUs on both versions were designed and built for this task (they were originally out of set-top boxes) and have no problem at all with HD video.

      • I think you're confusing two things. While in PC-land the GPU may (or may not) be involved in video decoding (stuff like Intel's VAAPI or nVidia's VDPAU), in ARM SoC-land, the GPU is quite often another beast from the part of the chip that decodes the video. The GPU, of course, is involved in rendering all those 3D Android games you play. But for showing stuff like so-called H265 video, an Android settop box would rely on a custom hardware video decoder separate from the GPU. This is quite similar to the wa

    • When you look at developers, the lower price points for the Pi has produced some excellent applications. After seeing the Pi put to use to run an entire animated Christmas Light Show, I bought a Pi B+.

      Sometimes your purchase decisions are based on finding the application you want to run and then buying the hardware that will run it.

      If you are into synchronized Christmas light displays on a budget, you can't beat a mix of Vixen, X Lights/Nutcracker for content creation and loaded on a Raspberry for scheduli

      • If you are into synchronized Christmas light displays on a budget, you can't beat a mix of Vixen, X Lights/Nutcracker for content creation and loaded on a Raspberry for scheduling and playback.

        That sounds pretty cool. What are these softwares and what's the workflow?

        • Info can be found on Falcon Christmas regarding the Falcon Pi Player.

          Workflow is not bad. Use Vixen to create a sequence in time to a song. Normally this is the end as you can play the sequence and music and output to the lights and FM transmitter. This has two issues. Nobody wants to leave the laptop outside to run the show, or run very long cables from the show computer to the display. Besides it ties up the laptop.

          Once you have a sequence saved, it can be imported to Xlights/Nutcracker. You can add

    • Unless your source video isn't supported by the hardware decoder. Or the audio stream isn't supported by the hardware decoder.
      I suppose you could transcode it, but that would take a day on the quad-core ARMv7 CPU. A week on the original Raspberry Pi's ARMv6 CPU.

      • by Enry ( 630 )

        Fortunately I have a Beowulf of RPis to cut that time down.

        Seriously though, I've been using h.264 MKV files for a number of years even before I owned a RPi and I've never had a problem playing videos aside from slight delays on high bitrate BluRay files.

        • Until sickrage downloads your latest TV show in WMV format and you don't notice until your media player throws a spaz because it doesn't support the codec.

          Not that I download TV shows. That's illegal.

  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 25, 2015 @05:53PM (#49132403) Homepage
    I'm excited to nab a Shuttle DS57U [shuttle.com]. The package is larger but still very small, VESA mountable, Broadwell-powered, and is fanless so you don't need to worry about dust or noise.
    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      That Shuttle is not small by ANY definition. It is GIGANTIC. 20x16.5cm compared to 11.5x11.1cm. That's the price for passive cooling.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        20x16.5 cm is still smaller than my Super Nintendo, which is about 20x22 cm. It's not XBOX HUEG or anything.

    • Confession: I have shuttle envy. I wanted a fanless machine for home but couldn't justify the cost.

      For about a third of the price of your shuttle, I bought the fanless Atom NUC [intel.com]. It's no workhorse but good for basic computing such as slashdot commenting! When I have some free time I'll load openelec and android-x86 on it.

      It'd be perfect if Intel added a few extra cores - for 75% more I could have bought the dual core Celeron Brix [gigabyte.com.au] (also fanless).

      I'll definitely look at trading up to the forthcoming Brasw

  • by Anonymous Coward

    More shit articles from a behind the times hardware site. Is this just mojokid spamming these articles or is Slashdot somehow linked to hothardware? can't understand why else we would be posting articles from this site which publishes reviews weeks or sometimes months after every reputable site has already done it and then it somehow becomes news here.

  • ECS LIVA (Score:4, Informative)

    by redelm ( 54142 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2015 @11:53PM (#49134401) Homepage

    I looked at these NUC, but happily settled on the ECS LIVA. [ecs.com.tw] It doesn't have SATA, but the USB3 works and the internal 32 SSD is fast enough. Alot less $$$.

    I run mine caseless, and it is really like a x86_64 RPi (even the RPi2 is not fast enough to run even chrome).

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa

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