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Anyone using an Intel NUC?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by John M Flores, May 6, 2016.

  1. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    NUC = Next Unit of Computing = Intel's version of the Mac Mini

    Intel® NUC Products

    There is a new version packing a quad core Skylake i7 with Iris Pro 580 graphics core, M.2 PCIE SSDs, USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, and an SD card reader in a package the size of a paperback.

    dsc07248-100650799-large.
    Photo: Gordon Mah Ung

    Hands-on with Intel's Skull Canyon NUC, the most powerful game-ready mini-PC

    Has a lot of potential to run Adobe Creative Cloud. I have a Thunderbolt RAID that could work well with it.


    Anyone using these? Any thoughts?
     
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, just keep in mind that it's got a laptop CPU, so clock speeds will be lower than many desktop chips.

    Other than that, they're very compact and the prices aren't terrible.

    It's also often possible to find fan less replacement chassis for NUC boards.

    Barry
     
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I looked at it, as well as the last generation NUC, as they seem appealing. But, I wanted a quad core with some decent speed for LIghtroom, and these just did not make much sense for me. But, it is still an interesting package.

    --Ken
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Any word on price? Those specs sound a lot like a decked out Mac Mini (which is $1400 with an i7, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD)
     
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Lenovo makes their Thinkcentre Tiny series that are available with i5 and i7 Quad core T-series CPUs. They are very small @ 34.5 x 182.9 x 179mm. The NUC above is 28 x 211mm x 116. So not far off and well worth it, IMO, for a desktop class CPU. The Thinkcentre Tiny has an m2 slot for SSD, slot for regular 2.5" HDD and 2 SODIMM slots. Priced pretty reasonably, too.
     
  6. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I believe it is selling for around $640USD give or take.

    --Ken
     
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    HP also has similar configurations, but I wanted a motherboard that could hold up to 64GB so I could easily expand RAM as needed, and the T series chips were limited in performance. As my space was not that limited, a small form factor chassis seemed to hit the sweet spot for me.

    --Ken
     
  8. MJL

    MJL Mu-43 Regular

    199
    Feb 24, 2016
    Katikati, New Zealand
    Marinus
    Looking at Mac mini replacements too, long term planning. NUC is too noisy, Lenovo suffers from included third party software that you cannot uninstall (Windows reinstall required to get rid of those) but have read (macrumors.com) a number of Mac mini owners switching to them, take a look at the Dell micro (Dell will also run Linux without any problems).
     
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The T series are a bit lower clock speed but still perform quite well. The i7-6700T gets a 8900 Passmark, while the regular i7-6700 is at 9900. 90% of the performance for 1/3 the watts is pretty impressive.

    I agree the space savings can get a bit ridiculous as a goal, considering you can get just about ANY configuration in a mini-ITX case the size of a toaster - even a top-shelf GPU and overclocked CPU!
     
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  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Is this new NUC noisy? It is a totally different design, and I am not even sure if it has a fan inside. The Dells are a nice package, but the CPU's are in a different league. It is my understanding that Intel had gamers in mind with this new NUC, thus the emphasis on performance. I would still like to read a few reviews before passing judgement or considering one as a primary machine, but it is kind of fun to see the industry break out of just desktops, laptops and tablets.

    --Ken
     
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I stumbled across a similar product today from Gigabyte: GIGABYTE - Desktop PC - Mini-PC Barebone - GB-BXi7-5775 (rev. 1.0)



    It's a 5th gen i7, but it is very high end. It similar to the i7-6700 (non K) in synthetic benchmarks: http://processors.specout.com/compare/1864-1907/Intel-i7-5775R-vs-Intel-Core-i7-6700

    Graphics are Iris Pro 6200, which are Intel's best from the 5th gen and almost as good as Iris 580.

    It's more cube shaped, but seems like a nice option and is only $530 and available now: Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi7-5775, Intel 5th Gen Core i7 Processor, Iris Pro 6200 on board Graphics, supports 2.5" HDD x 1, mSATA SSD Slot x 1, Ultra Compact PC Design with 4k resolution output via HDMI - Newegg.com
     
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  12. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I've been running a Haswell NUC as a hackintosh for a few years now. Works great. Fast SSD, fast enough processor, no complaints.
     
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So I found some benchmarks for this i7-5775 chip. The Brix has the i7-5775R and this review is for the i7-5775C. They are the same chip, but the C version fits in a regular LGA1150 socket. The "R" version in the Brix is for embedded (soldered in) processor configs and gets a tiny bit extra turbo. So the 5775C sells for $375 alone, which makes the BRIX box a pretty good value. $150 for a sub-ITX motherboard, mini case and power supply is not bad at all. You'd likely spend more trying to build your own mini-itx system around the 5775C and it wouldn't be nearly as compact.

    Anyway, it's a smokin' little processor, beating the i7-4790K in this Photoshop CC test :http://www.techspot.com/articles-info/1028/bench/Application_04.png

    And the GPU beats an r7 250 and can hang with a GTX750: http://media.bestofmicro.com/T/J/497431/original/17-IGP-GTA-V.png

    The Skull Canyon NUC has even better GPU, but I don't think the processor will be quite as powerful. It's using a Notebook CPU whereas this Brix Pro is using a desktop-class chip.

    EDiT: The reason I mentioned this is because the Skull Canyon NUC is backordered everywhere and even selling at a $100+ premium on ebay. Just mentioning another powerful alternative.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
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  14. MJL

    MJL Mu-43 Regular

    199
    Feb 24, 2016
    Katikati, New Zealand
    Marinus
    e
    John,

    I have a windows application that needs to be as fault tolerant as possible (it is up 5 and a half days continuously and only goes down in the weekends). I was no longer happy with the Apple Mac mini's (in my case they seem to fail in the third year, the temperatures inside are on the high side and reduce life). Like yourself I was looking at the NUC's and its variants. A few weeks ago I came across a desktop PC and did not even think twice about purchasing it.

    I finished up buying an ASUS VC65R in the four drive configuration. The footprint is as large as the Mac mini but it can also stand on its side, it is slightly higher than a Mac mini. It has a built in power supply so no separate power brick. It is also rated for commercial use. It has build in RAID support and at this moment I am running Windows on a single 120 Gb SSD and have the data on two 256 Gb SSD's in RAID-1 configuration and am using Microsoft's new ReFS file system (designed to prevent "bit rot").
     
  15. Zuri

    Zuri Mu-43 Regular

    148
    Apr 20, 2016
    All of my computers are Intel NUCs, one in the living room, and 2 in 2 rooms. I'm very satisfied.
     
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    After some trouble-shooting, some driver updating, and some RAID reformatting, I finally have my Skull Canyon up and running. It's got 32GB RAM, 2x512GB Samsung 950Pro NvME SSDs (faster than SATA), a Dell 2713H wide gamut (99% Adobe RGB), 27', 2560x1440 display, and a CalDigit Thunderstation 2 dock which is attached to a Promise Pegasus R4 RAID via Thunderbolt and a BlacX HD dock via ESATA. Oh, and I have Thunderbolt 3 - Thunderbolt 2 adapter from Startech with what may be the best product ID ever - TBT3TBTADAP. Say that 3 times fast!

    It took some time to get it set up this way; definitely not plug and play. But I've got legacy hardware to deal with. If someone is starting from scratch it would be simpler. Not Mac simple but pretty simple for anyone not afraid of technology.

    Things are snappy. I can open Lightroom and a 71,000 catalog in 3 seconds. In Develop mode, a 16 Megapickle RAW file opens in a second. 4k video playback is smooth.

    Some things are still going to be slow, like applying Warp Stabilization to a 4k video in After Effects. I'm going to work with what I have for a while and see if I need to get an external GPU in a TB3 box like the Razer Core. My hope is that by the time I really need it someone has come out with a more affordable solution.
     
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