Haswell comes to NUC

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MikeC
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Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:58 pm


Xyvotha
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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by Xyvotha » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:43 pm

Great review! This is going straight to my HTPC shortlist ;)

Just a dumb question: what's the use of a SATA port if there's no room even for a 2.5" drive?

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by Abula » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:47 pm

Thanks MikeC for the review, looks pretty solid the haswell nucs.
Xyvotha wrote:Just a dumb question: what's the use of a SATA port if there's no room even for a 2.5" drive?
My personal guess is to use an optical, some people still like to use opticals to install software or the os, or even to update firmware like ssd, given that all this can be done with USB, some people still prefer using opticals.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by flemeister » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:08 pm

Xyvotha wrote:what's the use of a SATA port if there's no room even for a 2.5" drive?
Some third-party cases will be a bit bigger to allow room for a 2.5" drive. :)

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:19 pm

6W idle desktop :)

Does the wifi module still stack with the mSATA SSD?

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by andymcca » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:45 pm

Enjoyed the 785G reference! Still using mine, too.
Are you running an Athlon II x2?

On topic: The aluminum is a nice touch. That case looks so well built...

Does that motherboard not conform to any of the common atx/itx formats?

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by johannes » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:31 am

Just a heads-up: On page 2, you seem to have used a caption from your previous review (you mention earlier that there's USB3 and no Thunderbold):
Here is the backside: AC input, two USB 2.0 ports. HDMI and Thunderbolt. The latter combines combines the functionality of mini-DisplayPort for video and PCI Express for other data. Note the small exhaust vents along the top edge of the back panel.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by kevith » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:15 am

This is great, if you´re into quiet computnig, this looks really, really interesting!

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by Rebellious » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:04 am

PSU made by Gigabyte, interesting. Maybe it's time to review PicoPSU. I posted about the 150XT kit a while back and I'm still curious if these devices need a ground connection.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=66064&p=575645#p575645

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:45 am

johannes wrote:Just a heads-up: On page 2, you seem to have used a caption from your previous review (you mention earlier that there's USB3 and no Thunderbold):
Here is the backside: AC input, two USB 2.0 ports. HDMI and Thunderbolt. The latter combines combines the functionality of mini-DisplayPort for video and PCI Express for other data. Note the small exhaust vents along the top edge of the back panel.
OOPS! Corrected. Interior layout now explained in that caption. And yes, Steve, the mini pcie cards stack the same way.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:20 am

MikeC wrote: And yes, Steve, the mini pcie cards stack the same way.
Then, be wary if you want to use both. In the last gen NUC, the wireless card overheated the SSD causing system crashes.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by tomy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:21 am

if only there was a (small) case with space for BD/DVD drive so normal people can actually use this

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:32 am

Rebellious wrote:PSU made by Gigabyte, interesting.
:?: :?: The power supply provided in the kit is FSP.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:44 am

tomy wrote:if only there was a (small) case with space for BD/DVD drive so normal people can actually use this
If you want this, it's already been done for years -- lots of CD drive size systems by umpteen brands. The point is that NUC is something like 3 times smaller. No way to achieve that size w/an optical drive. An external USB BR drive should work fine. Me, I just want a Logic Supply ML300 with the right cutouts for this board and fit in a 2.5" drive.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:48 am

andymcca wrote:Enjoyed the 785G reference! Still using mine, too.
Are you running an Athlon II x2?

On topic: The aluminum is a nice touch. That case looks so well built...

Does that motherboard not conform to any of the common atx/itx formats?
I think I have an Ahlon II 4x of some kind. Power draw around 40W idle, less than 50W during HD play. It'd be nice to get it to 6W and 13W!

The NUC board is 4x4". mITX is 6.5x6.5". If Intel keeps making more NUC boards and others join in (like Gigabyte) making bare boards available, then I think you'd see more case options.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by jhhoffma » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:50 am

Saw some other sites post pictures of a slightly thicker version of this kit that has room for a 2.5" drive inside. It's supposed to come out this month...eagerly anticipating that.

Mike, did Intel comment on that at all?

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:11 pm

jhhoffma wrote:Saw some other sites post pictures of a slightly thicker version of this kit that has room for a 2.5" drive inside. It's supposed to come out this month...eagerly anticipating that.

Mike, did Intel comment on that at all?
This is news to me... but I did a quick search and found one of the posts you refer to: http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-haswe ... ves_127098

Looks a little clunky... I prefer the look of the ML300, but if that case costs no more than the standard one...

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by jhhoffma » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:16 am

For sure, it isn't as sleek as the standard case, but if it's being mounted behind a TV or something, who cares...

It will definitely cost more, but how much and when was always the question.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by Gramkow » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:46 pm

Actually what has been stated is that it will be less expensive than the current Haswell lineup, and based on the Bay Trail platform.

http://hexus.net/tech/news/systems/6008 ... s-q1-2014/

At least that particular model will likely not have the mSATA port on the motherboard, instead using a standard 2.5" SATA drive.

I have three NUCs in the house at the moment (both previous and current generations), and absolutely love the concept. Fast, stable and quiet boxes.

What I would like to see is something like Tranquil's NUC chassis, but with additional width to fit a single 2.5" SATA drive - http://www.tranquilpcshop.co.uk/abel-h-series/

/ Gramkow

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by burma » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:07 pm

Enjoyed the through review. It seems like the perfect system for passive cooling.

I just saw this new NUC case announced. I think I might put together a new home system when this is available, with the 2.5" HDD

http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl= ... -NUC05-A1B

Looking forward to the review with the Logic Supply case.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by flemeister » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:30 am

Here's another Haswell NUC configuration that supports a 2.5" drive. Fanless, and only 35mm thick (but larger in the other two dimensions): http://www.techpowerup.com/195603/giada ... ebone.html

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by mczak » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:08 am

Some graphics benchmarks would have been nice.
Contrary to what the text says it's not quite the same gpu as what 4770k has - the 4770k has the GT2 variant (20 EUs, HD4600), whereas this chip has GT3 (40 EUs). And besides, there's _large_ differences between chips even having seemingly the same graphics, if they belong to a different TDP class (so this HD5000 here in that NUC may not actually really be all that much faster if at all than the 4770k HD4600 despite being twice as powerful on paper due to power constraints, even taking into account that this chip here seems to be programmed by the BIOS to exceed its nominal 15W TDP by quite a bit).

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by burma » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:11 am

flemeister wrote:Here's another Haswell NUC configuration that supports a 2.5" drive. Fanless, and only 35mm thick (but larger in the other two dimensions): http://www.techpowerup.com/195603/giada ... ebone.html
It looks like that is not really a NUC system. Uses a different chip (4200U with lower speed and older graphics compared to 4250U) and only one! SO-DIMM (so no dual channel). While the case looks interesting, it guess it would underperform a true NUC system.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by mczak » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:50 pm

burma wrote:
flemeister wrote:It looks like that is not really a NUC system. Uses a different chip (4200U with lower speed and older graphics compared to 4250U) and only one! SO-DIMM (so no dual channel). While the case looks interesting, it guess it would underperform a true NUC system.
That's not older graphics! This is again just GT2 variant (20 EU) instead of GT3 (40 EU), which are of course same generation. It is called HD 4400 and not HD 4600 like on some desktop chips because of lower (max) clocks. (Don't forget, HD 4000 == Gen7 Ivy Bridge graphics with 16 EUs, HD 4x00 (except 4000) - HD 5x00 == Gen 7.5 Haswell graphics where HD 5x00 has 40 EUs and HD 4x00 has 20 EUs. And if you see something like "HD graphics" this can be Gen 6 == Sandy Bridge with 6 EUs, Gen 7 with still 6 EUs (but quite a bit faster) or Gen 7.5 Haswell with 10 EUs, or actually even Bay Trail (Gen 7 too) with just 4 EUs - so all low-end chips have the same graphics name despite the capabilities and performance being vastly different. In fact IIRC even Gen 5 graphics (Ironlake) has the same name already.)
But don't let the numbers fool you, it may have only half the EUs than the 4250U but it will reach somewhat higher clocks compared to the GT3 in the same power envelope, so the actual performance difference will be lower.
And FWIW the cpu part is mostly the same. In fact the cheaper 4200U has higher base clock (1.3Ghz vs. 1.6Ghz) but the same turbo clock - apparently to fit in (thermal/power) the faster gpu. It is probably safe to say in cpu-bound benchmarks, these will perform identical.
I agree though single channel will cost some performance. For the cpu it shouldn't really matter, but for the gpu it will.

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by panterarosso » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:42 am

looks to me that its the ideal htpc for anybody who just needs to play.

i use a old low power version (ok it still uses more than the whole nuc) athlon with a 5570 card and this looks like a very interesting option, the choice would be this one, a brix or a bay trail nuc.

the brix and this one look the same for the most part, the diffs i see are:
the brix has spdif
the nuc has a ir receiver
the brix has a full size hdmi

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by burma » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:15 pm

mczak wrote: That's not older graphics! This is again just GT2 variant (20 EU) instead of GT3 (40 EU), which are of course same generation. It is called HD 4400 and not HD 4600 like on some desktop chips because of lower (max) clocks. (Don't forget, HD 4000 == Gen7 Ivy Bridge graphics with 16 EUs, HD 4x00 (except 4000) - HD 5x00 == Gen 7.5 Haswell graphics where HD 5x00 has 40 EUs and HD 4x00 has 20 EUs. And if you see something like "HD graphics" this can be Gen 6 == Sandy Bridge with 6 EUs, Gen 7 with still 6 EUs (but quite a bit faster) or Gen 7.5 Haswell with 10 EUs, or actually even Bay Trail (Gen 7 too) with just 4 EUs - so all low-end chips have the same graphics name despite the capabilities and performance being vastly different. In fact IIRC even Gen 5 graphics (Ironlake) has the same name already.)
But don't let the numbers fool you, it may have only half the EUs than the 4250U but it will reach somewhat higher clocks compared to the GT3 in the same power envelope, so the actual performance difference will be lower.
And FWIW the cpu part is mostly the same. In fact the cheaper 4200U has higher base clock (1.3Ghz vs. 1.6Ghz) but the same turbo clock - apparently to fit in (thermal/power) the faster gpu. It is probably safe to say in cpu-bound benchmarks, these will perform identical.
I agree though single channel will cost some performance. For the cpu it shouldn't really matter, but for the gpu it will.
Yes, older was not correct. Fewer EUs is correct, but maybe not so significant as you point out. Intel does a good job making this complicated.

At the same power draw, there is a slight performance edge for 5000 vs 4400, but that might be offset by "throttling the turbo" on the CPU. I hadn't thought about that for these low TDP chips. thanks!
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7072/inte ... vs-hd-4400

It seems max resolution is the same across all the Haswell variants.
http://software.intel.com/en-us/article ... r-graphics

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by burma » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:36 am

Another nice NUC i5 Haswell review with some good benchmarking

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2 ... b-review/1

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by Gramkow » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Intel's NUC product pages has been updated with both i5 and i3 Haswell models with 2.5" drive support...

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... rview.html

/ Gramkow

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by hmsrolst » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:14 pm

Although this discussion has been quiet for nearly a year, I'm adding a post to reflect my recent (partial) experience with the Haswell NUC which I believe is common. The bottom line is that, having been a member of SPCR since it's beginning, I am sure that Mike's review was accurate, but it may be misleading in the setting in which many would use a NUC. As setup by the factory, the current Intel NUC is noisy!

I have three NUCs--one the older i3 Intel model, one the newer i3 in the Tesla case Mike reviewed (thank you; I love it!), and an i3 in the Intel case that holds a 2.5" SSD. I just purchased the latter to replace my HTPC, and when I installed RAM and booted it, it had a very loud fan noise--way louder than my older i3 and too loud even for an HTPC placed on the other side of the room. Going into the BIOS, I found out that the fan was running at about 3,000 rpm and unlike the one Mike reviewed the minimum duty cycle was set at 40% (vs. Mike's at 18%). Doing a little web-searching, I found this was how Intel is now setting the BIOS. Here's an example from Intel's forum:

https://communities.intel.com/thread/47 ... 0&tstart=0

(It's on page 3 and has the Intel moderator's (Scott) explanation of why they set it at 40%.)

Clearly Intel has changed its approach between the time of Mike's review and now. Here's my speculation about what going on. The issue is not with the CPU overheating; it's with the wireless adapter mounted beneath the mSATA SSD overheating. If you dig around on the web, you'll find that there are complaints about the wireless adapter misbehaving as a result of overheating. The way that Intel has chosen to prevent that is better ventilation through higher fan speeds. (Is that what Scott is alluding to when he refers to "other components"?) This would account for why Mike had no problem, because it appears that there was no wireless adapter in his setup, and he didn't test stressing it.

I've now set the minimum duty cycle at 25%, based on Scott's advice and the fan is pretty quiet at a little above 2,000 rpm. But I'm waiting to get my wireless adapter to install Windows, and then I'll see if I have any problems. If it requires 40% to cool it, I'll surely send it back (or fork over the money for another Tesla). I'll provide follow-up once I have some experience with it.

As a final possible relevant fact, I've had no problem with the wireless in the Tesla case (although not a lot of experience yet). However, I'm using 2 x 2.5" SSDs so the only thing that's occupying the full mSATA slot is an mSATA to SATA adapter which I suspect puts off less heat than an mSATA SSD would (just guessing at that). Or it may be that, as Mike found, the Tesla is just better at cooling than the Intel case.

Have others had any recent experience with the Intel NUC?

Howard

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Re: Haswell comes to NUC

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:39 pm

Thanks for your informative post, Howard. It's always good to get reports from the field, especially later in a product's life. I'm sure your assessments are on the money.

Regarding wifi -- I have it in my house/lab, but I avoid using it if I can, especially for any non-mobile device. Generally, it's reliable enough but for music & videos, I don't want even the possibility of interruptions. I'm now running a NUC w/ SSD in an Akasa fanless chassis for my main HTPC running XBMC (ok, Kodi, now). It's on the gigabit wired network, with media files in the HP Microserver in a closet downstairs. No hiccups or hesitations in the stream, ever.

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