A bad time to buy?

Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

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A bad time to buy?

Post by croddie » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:25 pm

I need to build a system for 1080p video editing which means quad core Skylake and low-end discrete graphics or Iris Pro. I'd like to do this soon but the options don't look so great.

Option 1: Laptop gaming system from Dell or MSI or HP etc., with i7-6700HQ and something like Nvidia GTX 950m.
I'm worried that there will be a lot of fan noise in these systems.

Option 2: Wait for quad core Iris Pro SFF machines or laptops to come out. 45W total TDP for CPU and GPU so less power overall than the above systems. However who knows how long we'll have to wait?

Option 3: Build an ITX machine. The quietest and highest performance option. But the hardware choices don't seem to have improved much in the last 5 years. ITX is just as big and clunky, 10-50x larger than BRIX/NUC systems. Intel no longer makes its low power modern motherboards leaving other manufacturers who use the same legacy ports that Intel abandoned 5+ years ago, even VGA and serial ports are included in preference to displayport etc.. And the GPU makers are only interested in high power desktop cards: a search for passive GPUs returns only outdated cards 1 or 2 generations old, not much better than good integrated graphics.

Any opinions on the current state of quiet workstations? Is now an "anti-timing" for buying a PC?

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Re: A bad time to buy?

Post by Abula » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:45 pm

Really comes down to what you need, a laptop quad will be very limited in terms of performance, probably around half of what a desktop cpu can do, but again up to you and your needs.

I dont see much reason for you to go with dedicated GPU, unless you editing software benefits from it. Intel iGPU 530 is pretty solid, that comes on the skylake i7, unless you do need the iris pro on the broadwell. The only place where i would think a dedicated gpu would be really needed is if you decide go with Broadwell E.

If you will be editing you wil be loading the cpu a lot, so a laptop might end up noisy in this situations, building a mini itx can allow you to place big coolers to tame a quad core in a quiet fasion, but this also means a bulkier setup.

I like a lot Antec ISK 110, its decently small, you can two 2.5 hdds on it, and can even be vesa mounted, all in all, its a very nice setup, not as small as a nuk, but you can have a much higher cpus on it. That said i wouldn't place i7 on it, else you going to need the cpu fan to ramp up a lot, and probably not ending with a quiet setup.

Overall its up to you, but i would recommend you build a mini itx setup, unless you benefit from the mobility of a laptop, and accept that will render a lot slower than a desktop.
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Re: A bad time to buy?

Post by croddie » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:40 am

Thanks for the advice. I think I'd like more than shared-memory IGPU for general system performance and also the only IGPU that Premiere CC supports is Iris Pro.

The Antec ISK 110 is a very nice design but given that there are no Iris Pro motherboards I'd need a GPU for a self-build which would be too much for the case.

AnandTech found laptops gave about 80-90% of desktop CPU-intensive performance. http://www.anandtech.com/show/7287/anal ... -laptops/2
I can cope with noise but I'd worry that gaming laptops could be noisy in general use, or even when idle.

I'm thinking I could take a Brix Pro GB-BXi7-5775 which has a Broadwell Iris Pro quad core. Rare and not reviewed but hopefully just a better 14nm version of the GB-BXi7-4770R.
And then modify it with a new fan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRgNyoiX6Cg
Probably just remove the top cover since I don't have DIY skills to cut it.

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