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Old 25th Mar 2013, 08:55   #1
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Intel NUC D33217CK Review

Like the idea of a Core i3-powered motherboard 60 per cent smaller than mini-ITX? So do we.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mot...217ck-review/1
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 11:39   #2
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The choice to include ThunderBolt while omitting both USB3 and Ethernet connections seems ludicrous. So close to being ideal and a possible game changer but these decisions once again leave us looking for the perfect mini system.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 12:32   #3
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I think that the general idea of this unit is good, but it has some flaws, like the missing USB3.

Currently I think there's a better solution available with the thin ITX boards like the Gigabyte GA-H77TN for example. They're not quiet as small, but offer more options and are cheaper.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 12:34   #4
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Apple and Intel are the Co devs of Thunderbolt is it really surprising they have removed USB3 for Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt costs them nothing to add and has no licence cost even allowing a cheaper product.

For an HTPC build with thunderbolt on its as cheap as they come and im pretty tempted to have a look at building using it myself.

£230-£240 add a case and your sub £300 all included dont get much cheaper than that.

Game tests where kinda irelivent would rather see some more HTPC related tests as thats what this is aimed at.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 13:35   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo View Post
Apple and Intel are the Co devs of Thunderbolt is it really surprising they have removed USB3 for Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt costs them nothing to add and has no licence cost even allowing a cheaper product.

For an HTPC build with thunderbolt on its as cheap as they come and im pretty tempted to have a look at building using it myself.

£230-£240 add a case and your sub £300 all included dont get much cheaper than that.

Game tests where kinda irelivent would rather see some more HTPC related tests as thats what this is aimed at.
The intelNUC barebone (incl case) is available for £250 @ scan.co.uk. Add some 4GB RAM and a 64GB mSATA SSD and you look at some £350 minimum all inclusive.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 14:10   #6
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 14:42   #7
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"about the same as you're average beer mat" -> you are average beer mat? O_o
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 14:46   #8
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Anyone wanna put bets that something based on one of these will become the next Mac Mini...
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 15:00   #9
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I don't know if it's mentioned but when tasked very hard, does the fan make any discernable level of noise?
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 15:47   #10
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I'd say VIA's embedded systems would've been the best to compare to. Those seem to have the same sort of goal as this Intel board. I also think the Arndale board would have been a good comparison. While it is ARM based, it's more relevant than an AMD FX 8150 or an i5.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 16:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
I'd say VIA's embedded systems would've been the best to compare to. Those seem to have the same sort of goal as this Intel board. I also think the Arndale board would have been a good comparison. While it is ARM based, it's more relevant than an AMD FX 8150 or an i5.
Better than the Arndale would be the Gizmo. It's a single-board computer aimed at developers, but with an AMD G-series APU fitted. Okay, so it ain't going to match the NUC for performance - although the graphics are surprisingly meaty, and it can probably outpace the VIA stuff on CPU performance - but it has several features missing from the NUC including two SATA ports. (Sadly, only one of the ports is easily accessible - the other comes out of a special "High Speed Connector" for developers to use, along with more USB and PCI Express lanes.)

I've got two of 'em here. Neat little units, if a trifle expensive - they're only sold along with an expensive JTAG unit, not as bare boards.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 19:29   #12
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"Discrete" GPU, not "discreet" as in the graphs.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 06:58   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Apple and Intel are the Co devs of Thunderbolt is it really surprising they have removed USB3 for Thunderbolt.
TB (nee LightPeak) is Intel's baby. Apple just signed the deal to get a 1-year exclusive on it (which probably hasn't helped its adoption.)

The inclusion of TB is a bit baffling, other than a possible answer to "what do we do with all these chips and connectors?" USB3 would have made far more sense, and the space freed up by ditching the TB chip would have left plenty of room for USB3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I'd say VIA's embedded systems would've been the best to compare to. Those seem to have the same sort of goal as this Intel board.
Other than that Via's performance wouldn't be in the same league, I'd say you're right. Luckily for VIA, their core market is different - industrial embedded applications and the like - think a board a little bigger than this that supports 5 COM ports. In the consumer space, Intel just put a shot straight across VIA's bow.

For what you get, it's a fairly decent price - I'm sure there are OEMs hard at work on tiny HTPCs already. How long until there's a review up for a Zotac HTPC based on one of these boards?

Also, I hate the name - NUC? That was really the best they could come up with? a small x86 hardly fits the bill for Next Unit of Computing, either, to my mind.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 08:00   #14
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Effectively, it's a thin client.

For a tiny, cool office system, this is nice, but not without Ethernet.
Then again, the Thin client market is there, and these generally don't have any kind of drive or just a tiny SSD, and also no USB3. (But a fast ethernetconnertor)
Local storage on a thin client isn't wanted.

Quote:
could easily be wired up to act as a low-power second system if you just want to browse the web or watch videos
That's what nettops and netbooks were developped for, and what happend? Constant nagging: too slow, not powerfull enough, unusable...

If they're used for the wrong purpose, that's what happends.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 08:27   #15
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Edited...
After double checking something I realised my comment was incorrect.
(Can we not get a 'Delete Comment' feature within the forums?)
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 08:54   #16
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The choice to include ThunderBolt while omitting both USB3 and Ethernet connections seems ludicrous. So close to being ideal and a possible game changer but these decisions once again leave us looking for the perfect mini system.
Intel want to push Thunderbolt into more devices rather than only storage this year. The price needs to come down first though :P

I'm still not sure what an NUC offers over a custom-built mini-ITX or Celeron BGA system, other than being smaller again. But at what cost and limit to flexibility? Who here wouldn't still prefer to build their own?
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 09:21   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi View Post
Intel want to push Thunderbolt into more devices rather than only storage this year. The price needs to come down first though :P

I'm still not sure what an NUC offers over a custom-built mini-ITX or Celeron BGA system, other than being smaller again. But at what cost and limit to flexibility? Who here wouldn't still prefer to build their own?
Here? Probably everyone. But we're called enthusiasts for a reason, I dont think most people would. Quite often if you mention you fiddle with computers as a hobby you often get looked at as if you're insane or a practitioner of dark magic!

I think this is aimed at businesses who mostly just want to buy it, plug it in, and go.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 10:33   #18
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Good point - if you are buying hundreds of PC's then things like remote management, size, simplicity, energy consumption, security matter more. If enthusiasts buy the NUC it's a bonus, but these will be sold by the skip load...
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 15:20   #19
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At the moment Im using a Raspberry Pi running Raspbmc but I am considering one of these.

Id pick up the ethernet version, and also omit the SSD (running OpenElec from USB instead). Just plug it into a switch or router, grab films from a NAS or server elsewhere in the network and throw them onto the telly!

It was nice to have a qualitative/subjective mention of the fan noise as that would be the deciding factor for me between this and a mITX / FM2 / Shuriken build
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 10:31   #20
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It was nice to have a qualitative/subjective mention of the fan noise as that would be the deciding factor for me between this and a mITX / FM2 / Shuriken build
I have the ethernet version (with Intel case) running as a HTPC, at idle it's totally silent - as in you can't tell the fan is running with your ear pressed up against it, if you load it the fan does ramp up quite aggressively. It doesn't gradually speed up to match load, it lets everything get to a certain temperature then lets out a little squeal as the tiny fan speeds up, then goes silent after a few seconds when things cool down. The noise is fairly high pitched (so you'd assume annoying) but it's smooth sounding and not actually that loud, so it's not too intrusive. I do get much higher temperatures than they did in the review being in the case.

You can play with the fan profile in the EFI, what temperature it starts speeding up and maximum speed ect, but I've not really bothered as it's fine for me.
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