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Old 5th Feb 2014, 09:27   #1
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Asus announces Haswell-based Chromeboxes

Can it succeed where Samsung failed?
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...us-chromebox/1
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 09:48   #2
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Might be tempted with a cheap one and see about installing a slim copy of windows on it for a media pc.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 10:12   #3
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Windows ? For media PC ? Why ? It would make much more sense to put something like OpenELEC on it - you would fit easily (it uses ~2GB of the dirve), it is a fast booting XBMC install...
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 10:31   #4
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Originally Posted by faugusztin
Windows ? For media PC ? Why ? It would make much more sense to put something like OpenELEC on it - you would fit easily (it uses ~2GB of the dirve), it is a fast booting XBMC install...
True would have to have a look at that stuff.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 10:40   #5
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Honestly I can't see this having any better performance than a Raspberry Pi as a media centre - Celeron processor + 2GB ram doesn't exactly have the grunt to do much more than a Pi could.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 10:56   #6
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I think you are completely mistaken by the "Celeron" name. It is a low clocked Haswell CPU with a cut down Haswell IGP, which is still more than enough for any media centre tasks. And Pi is completely out of picture, compared to the performance of this CPU and GPU.

Take a look - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html - it is between AMD A4-3300 APU and AMD A4-3400 APU in CPU performance, and even if it is has only half of the Haswell GPU, it is still more than enough for HTPC stuff.

And 2GB RAM... Have you seen actual memory usage of a linux with XBMC on it ? Good luck finding cases when it uses more than half gigabyte of RAM.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:01   #7
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin View Post
I think you are completely mistaken by the "Celeron" name. It is a low clocked Haswell CPU with a cut down Haswell IGP, which is still more than enough for any media centre tasks. And Pi is completely out of picture, compared to the performance of this CPU and GPU.

Take a look - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html - it is between AMD A4-3300 APU and AMD A4-3400 APU in CPU performance, and even if it is has only half of the Haswell GPU, it is still more than enough for HTPC stuff.
Oh I'm sure its up to the task I just don't know what it could do that a Pi couldn't as a HTPC? You aren't going to game on it so its really just media playback and the Pi can do 1080p fine in my experience.

When I compare my (admittedly aging) Nvidia Ion HTPC and my Pi HTPC both running openelec the interface is slightly faster on the Ion but by no means unacceptable on either. Comparing both the only reason I keep the Ion is because it has a DVD drive for those occasions that I might want to play an actual disk.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:03   #9
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Don't under estimate Celerons. They're extremely capable little processors.

If you want to see what a Sandy Celeron can do then by all means have a skim over this review I wrote a while back -

http://www.fruitforums.com/vb/showth...t=celeron+g530

Note I swear a lot, but the figures don't lie. Paired with a GPU they can actually game with the big boys.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:09   #10
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:09   #11
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Don't under estimate Celerons. They're extremely capable little processors.

If you want to see what a Sandy Celeron can do then by all means have a skim over this review I wrote a while back -

http://www.fruitforums.com/vb/showth...t=celeron+g530

Note I swear a lot, but the figures don't lie. Paired with a GPU they can actually game with the big boys.
This machine though doesn't have the option of a dedicated GPU so as a HTPC (and only as a HTPC) I don't see what it does that a pi doesn't. As a web browser sure its plenty fast enough and assuming this is around the £130 mark its not a terrible price for that. The faster models seem pointless unless you stick Windows on it which would require a bigger SSD which are hard to find in that form factor just now.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:16   #12
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This machine though doesn't have the option of a dedicated GPU so as a HTPC (and only as a HTPC) I don't see what it does that a pi doesn't. As a web browser sure its plenty fast enough and assuming this is around the £130 mark its not a terrible price for that. The faster models seem pointless unless you stick Windows on it which would require a bigger SSD which are hard to find in that form factor just now.
I thought the pi struggles with large libraries/high bitrate files?
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:21   #13
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I thought the pi struggles with large libraries/high bitrate files?
I have 300+ movies, 3000+ TV episodes and 257 albums so not a tiny collection and it works fine. Normally I play 720p files but I do sometimes play 1080p which also have always played well for me.

If you had a mostly 1080p collection I'd probably consider something else - I'm not sure how good this chromebook with its cut down GPU would be though - but otherwise a Pi is more than good enough.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:50   #14
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I have 300+ movies, 3000+ TV episodes and 257 albums so not a tiny collection and it works fine. Normally I play 720p files but I do sometimes play 1080p which also have always played well for me.

If you had a mostly 1080p collection I'd probably consider something else - I'm not sure how good this chromebook with its cut down GPU would be though - but otherwise a Pi is more than good enough.
Fair enough, I don't personally have one but I thought I remembered hearing it did have issues, maybe now that some of the software used has matured a bit it's got better.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:26   #15
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Might be tempted with a cheap one and see about installing a slim copy of windows on it for a media pc.
Can't be done, can't access the BIOS. Goog locks it off for ALL Chrome-machines.

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Honestly I can't see this having any better performance than a Raspberry Pi as a media centre - Celeron processor + 2GB ram doesn't exactly have the grunt to do much more than a Pi could.
I'm sorry but this is pure crap. Haswell Celeron obliterates a Broadcom ARMv6, even if they were running at the same clock speed.

ARMv6 (ARM11) does ~0.9 DIPS/MHz
ARMv8 (Cortex A9) does 2.5 DIPS/MHz
OLD Atom core (in-order) does 2.5 DIPS/MHz
Haswell Celeron is not even mobile - it's a full fat Core core.

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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:32   #16
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Can't be done, can't access the BIOS. Goog locks it off for ALL Chrome-machines.
Tell that to my chromebook running Ubuntu.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:35   #17
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Tell that to my chromebook running Ubuntu.
How'd you get access? They 'should' be locked :P
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:39   #18
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Looked at Chromebook for the maternal unit a while - say nine months - ago. Seemed completely unusable. No local storage? Er, okay.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:59   #19
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How'd you get access? They 'should' be locked :P
All of them as far as I'm aware can be put into developer mode where they can then be booted from usb or SD card. Certainly all the chromebooks that I know of can be and I assume this chromebox will be the same.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 15:02   #20
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Looked at Chromebook for the maternal unit a while - say nine months - ago. Seemed completely unusable. No local storage? Er, okay.
They do have some local storage, usually 16GB ssd but some have spinning rust. I tend to think of them more as tablets with keyboards rather than traditional computers and in that regard so long as you have internet access they can do a lot.

For some people they may well be enough to replace a laptop but for others maybe not. Local storage is overrated imho - a server or cloud storage is usually superior.
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