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174 posts

Master Geek


#115923 11-Apr-2013 20:45
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I bought an Intel NUC a week or two ago - If you haven't seen them they are an incredibly small form factor barebones pc Intel are making. Very nice looking, very small and great performers.

They take an mSata SSD, a mini pcie card for wifi/bluetooth, a sodimm and have 3 x USB, 2 x HDMI outputs and gigabit ethernet. The have Intel 4000 HD graphics. They come in Celeron or i3 models, the most expensive i3 one has 1 x HDMI and 1 x Thunderbolt.

I got the cheapest Celeron model, threw on Windows 8 and played a 720p MKV (didn't have a 1080 handy) with VLC figuring the hardware accelerating in VLC probably isn't as good as using Media player with the codecs installed and it played as smooth as silk. Even dynamically resizing the playback window and dragging it all over the screen while it was playing and it never missed a beat and CPU utilization never climbed above %20. We also ripped with keepvid.org a decent 1080p video and it played just as well.

They come with a plate to mount them on VESA mounts so you could mount it on the back of your TV - Make an amazing media player and pc to do youtube, google earth etc on your tv. You could even bang a USB dual tuner on it and record to either a network location or USB hard drive.

The unit will cost under $300 for the Celeron model, bang in an 8GB sodimm for under $100 ($50 for 4GB is probably enough) and an mSATA SSD (I installed win8 on a 24GB SSD, 14GB left to play with - I bough the box for a Linux project but wanted to try its media capabilities out).

Aside from the Linux appliance I'm looking at them for I figure the i3 will make a nice unit for your average business workstation, take up no desk space, have the tiniest quietest cooling fan spinning so slow its never going to fill with dust and when users shouldn't be saving to their C: drives they don't need a lot of storage so a 128GB SSD should be plenty (maybe even a 64gb).

Intel NUC

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3312 posts

Uber Geek


  #798068 11-Apr-2013 20:56
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Yes a nice unit for sure.
We've been using the i3 version, with 4GB and an 80GB mSATA for dentist surgeries.
Windows 7 Pro runs great and so does their practice management software and viewing of digital x-rays.
The dual HDMI output is perfect for the dentists, as is the size of the unit, as they usually run a second monitor on the chair for the patient to view x-rays etc.

I've heard that Intel are going to release an i5 version later this year.

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  #798071 11-Apr-2013 20:59
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Very cool unit... If the Dell Zino HTPC dies at any point again (already replaced motherboard and HDD) I might look at this.




 

 

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Master Geek


  #798198 12-Apr-2013 08:27
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Very keen on one of these.

I notice Ascent are selling a few variants of the NUC - http://www.ascent.co.nz/search.aspx?T1=Intel+Next+Unit+of+Computing&D1=2101

How do these prices compare to buying and installing the components yourself? I would probably look at $675 version.

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  #798223 12-Apr-2013 09:12
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I was pointed out to the Playtech Intel NUC version. A bit pricey but it depends on how you will configure yours.

I love my HDHomeRun. It means I can have Freeview|HD on any computer in the house, even if I can't fit a TV decoded card :)





 

 

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  #798233 12-Apr-2013 09:32
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freitasm: I was pointed out to the Playtech Intel NUC version. A bit pricey but it depends on how you will configure yours.

I love my HDHomeRun. It means I can have Freeview|HD on any computer in the house, even if I can't fit a TV decoded card :)



I agree. These units from Intel look awesome, would love to have one to play around with for a while! Too bad Intel aren't really present in this part of the world.




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Master Geek


  #798265 12-Apr-2013 10:16
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freitasm: I was pointed out to the Playtech Intel NUC version. A bit pricey but it depends on how you will configure yours.

I love my HDHomeRun. It means I can have Freeview|HD on any computer in the house, even if I can't fit a TV decoded card :)



Oh cool....things do get a little pricey but that Playtech version isn't too bad, larger SSD, dual HDMI and OS installed... though I would prefer Win 7.



174 posts

Master Geek


  #798278 12-Apr-2013 10:24
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antoniosk:
freitasm: I was pointed out to the Playtech Intel NUC version. A bit pricey but it depends on how you will configure yours.

I love my HDHomeRun. It means I can have Freeview|HD on any computer in the house, even if I can't fit a TV decoded card :)



I agree. These units from Intel look awesome, would love to have one to play around with for a while! Too bad Intel aren't really present in this part of the world.


They are all just exactly the same unit from Intel - Readily available here - In theory any dealer should be able to get pricing on them as two of the main wholesalers in NZ are stocking them - Many may not have them listed online yet but any should be able to get into. One is doing a kit of the Celeron model, with 30GB Intel SSD, 4GB Ram and the centrino wireless adapter that you should be able to find for under $450 (exluding GST) - The same bundle with the i3 should be around $600 exclusive. 

They're definately out there so if someone wants to play with one ring your friendly neighborhood computer store and tell them you want an Intel NUC. 

As I said, the media capabilities of the basic Celeron one blew me away - Plays HD video a million times better than a late Core 2 Duo dell laptop with Nvidia graphics I use when going away on holiday to watch movies on rainy days and its a 7000 or 8000 series core 2 so no slug.


 
 
 
 




174 posts

Master Geek


  #798282 12-Apr-2013 10:26
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I should note the prices I mentioned were hardware only - No O/S (Run Linux and XBMX?) - I've added more margin than I normally would if I was selling one to a friend or regular client so if you know someone they should be cheaper and likewise they will be cheaper at some of the box dropping outfits around that are happy to add $10 to anything they sell for cash.

I've been told to watch out for SSD price rises in the near term, apparently there are shortages. I'm expecting over time they'll drop in price and double in size pretty rapidly but thats just my guess.


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  #798324 12-Apr-2013 11:33
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I have seen these a while ago. Perfect for an always on device.

Come to think of it, what is the power usage stats ?




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  #798331 12-Apr-2013 11:49
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About to order the Celeron model to test out whether it can be used at our office.




Speedtest 2019-10-14




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Master Geek


  #798334 12-Apr-2013 11:51
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Shindig: I have seen these a while ago. Perfect for an always on device.

Come to think of it, what is the power usage stats ?


Good review here

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2083/6/

The most they got was 28 watts running cinebench GPU test and 3dmark 2011 - 6.2watt sitting running windows without pushing it.

The said the fan noise barely registered (less than 1DB registered from 5" away while pushing the unit hard) - The fan is set to ramp up the speed at 78C but in a 21C room they couldn't push it hard enough to go that high.

Based on my experience of the fans Intel use I wouldn't expect this one to get noisy or break any time soon. In 18 years in the computer industry I've changed about 3 Intel stock fans, one was electrical failure (mechanics spun but the motor stopped) and the other two were in filthy dusty environments - Even then usually a quick blowout and they are humming again




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Master Geek


  #798335 12-Apr-2013 11:54
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Zeon: About to order the Celeron model to test out whether it can be used at our office.


I'd probably personally get the i3 for office desktop usage but most of my Celeron prejudices are very old based on the old single core models. I'd imagine a Celeron model with enough ram would actually run pretty well considering the speed gains running an SSD for most Office / Email / MYOB type workstations.



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Ultimate Geek
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  #800605 16-Apr-2013 23:14
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Hey
This is to the owners on an intel nuc.
So my nuc finally arrived today. I went onto the intel site link provided and installed all the latest drivers for everything plus a previous intelhd driver.

Thw ethernet port started working but device manager shows a problem with it still. I cannot change resolutions and intel display manager is not avaliable for some reason?
What have i done wrong ?
Help please

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Ultimate Geek


  #800611 16-Apr-2013 23:23
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ushare: Hey
This is to the owners on an intel nuc.
So my nuc finally arrived today. I went onto the intel site link provided and installed all the latest drivers for everything plus a previous intelhd driver.

Thw ethernet port started working but device manager shows a problem with it still. I cannot change resolutions and intel display manager is not avaliable for some reason?
What have i done wrong ?
Help please


Dual HDMI model?  Don't use the HDMI port next to the ethernet port - there is a known bug with the IYE (i3) ones that they may yet to have properly fixed.

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  #800622 17-Apr-2013 00:03
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Ok so i got it working :D i was hoping to plug in another hdmi for the projector too in clone mode. Is this fine? I just downloaded a windows 8 driver which is not in the windows 7 section. This seems to have fixed my problem.

I am yet to test any video. So i am connected to the tv at 1920x720 i think. The edges were going out od the tv so i used the intel graphics options to fit it all on screen..
It is nowhere near as clear as a monitor. Should i be worried? Like the icon names and stuff are just not clear :(
I hope i am making some sense

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