Feeds

back to article Haswell micro: Intel’s Next Unit of Computing desktop PC

Never let it be said that Intel doesn’t respond to criticism. Its first Next Unit of Computing (NUC) micro-desktop, which appeared in the first few months of 2013, wasn’t a bad machine, but it prompted grumbles from reviewers (myself included), about some odd design and packaging decisions. Intel NUC D54250WYK New NUC: all the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Expect the new Apple Mac Mini to be out soon and Haswell based - if the price is the same / similar to the current one it's a pretty good deal and it has it's AC onboard and looks better - I appreciate a lot of these will be tucked away behind TVs etc. but the Mini is a bit neater.

13
8

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Perhaps you can manage with NO memory, NO hard drive and NO bluetooth / wifi - add those in first before claiming it's almost double the cost. The NUC also has fewer USB 3 ports and no firewire (although less of an issue these days for most).

Then with the Mac Mini you get OSX Maverics and some pretty decent (and now free) applications. I realise you can get other 'free' OSs but for many users it is far more likely to come down to Windows or OSX and sticking Windows on the NUC would push it very close to the price for the Mac Mini.

12
6
FAIL

But it will be a Mac . . . .

. . . . so it will be made from Satan's DNA . . . .

16
1
Mushroom

@ 2 x AC - Cold water

Careful, or I'll pour cold water over your tiny erection. Every man needs a small garden shed after all does he not?

0
6

Built in AC a big plus

Agreed! We just replaced a perfectly serviceable Mini of the previous generation partly just to get rid of the extra brick. With the size of these small form factors I much prefer a slightly bigger machine if it is not twinned with a power brick almost as large.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Not to mention that the Mac Mini can take not one but *two* internal 2.5" drives (HDD or flash - your choice), rather than a single mSATA flash card.

4
0

you can buy dual core android powered tv devices/sticks/boxes from ~ £20 on ebay. much less hassle and turns your dumb HD tv into a smart tv.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Have you read the reviews?

Nearly every one of the micro sized Android powered PC on a sticks I have looked at for under $100 turn out to be buggy crap, though I have yet to play with a Chrome Stick. They are also not a PC in any way shape or form. The article is discussing a full fledged computer that is about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

1
0
Silver badge

Far too expensive

IMHO.

The Mac mini also has a load more USB ports.

I've been looking for some time at replacing the two Asus EB-1008 IEE box servers that I have but have not found anything that comes close on price. sure these run a lot faster but with an SSD inside the EB-1008's run pretty well as it is. My only wish is to have some more RAM. They max out at 2Gb.

Until these devices drop a lot in price then I'm afraid, it is 'no-sale' for me.

13
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Far too expensive

Plus Thunderbolt as well. Which is a good option for external expansion (it's basically PCI express).

6
5
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Far too expensive

In general, all machines like this are a bit silly as general purpose machines. They represent a set of engineering tradeoffs that are pretty much the opposite of what people at large value.

3
2
Silver badge

Re: Far too expensive

Other than not being cheap I think you're dead wrong. The average member of the public couldn't give two hoots about the number of expansion sockets on the motherboard, and they mostly don't care about GPU power unless they're gamers either. Small, quick and quiet are big selling points for them.

14
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Far too expensive

Small and quiet are only selling points for stupid fanboys that think that Apple invented the low profile PC.

This kind of machine is far less exciting when you've got stuff from the likes of Alienware, or Dell, or any random white box builder that combines better performance and lower cost while still being sufficiently small and much more maintainable.

Past a certain point, the extra cost of smaller just doesn't make any sense to the vast majority.

2
27
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Far too expensive

Ask yourself why laptops sell more than desktop PCs. If size wasn't an issue, and performance, cost and upgradeability were all vital then this would be reversed.

One of these days you're going to figure out that your personal wants aren't representative of the general buying public. You're also making assumptions that I think Apple is the only solution here.

18
0
Silver badge

Re: Far too expensive

For a little silent media consumption box to chuck behind the TV and turn your "thick" TV into a "smart" one, it's way too expensive.

There are plenty of little linux based boxes which can provide a webkit browser and stream your music and movie collection from a network share for far far less.

Sure they don't have the CPU grunt of this Intel box, but then again it's not needed for this kind of use.

I doubt it's required to run a thin client either.

So it can run windows... I guess that's a more unique selling point, but is that really a requirement for the end use I can see this being put to? It just leaves me wondering exactly what the intended end use of this thing really is?

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Far too expensive

Ask yourself why laptops sell more than desktop PCs.

Because they are shiny and you can take them with you. At least, that's why people were buying them when I was asking them as a computer salesman. Most of the time I'd just find them an appropriate laptop. Occasionally (like when it's obviously for a kid) I'd give it "err.. sure you wouldn't like something less delicate?"

They usually stuck with their choice. I suppose some commentards here would be trying to hide a smirk at the inevitable smashed-up junk that landed on the service desk three months later.

As far as the article goes? Hey, might make a nice little box to velcro to the back of a telly. It'll never be a gaming PC, but it might run a web browser. Which makes me wonder, why on earth is the only option £300 for a welded-in i5? Jokes aside, you don't need an i5 for Firefox, and £300 plus adding your own RAM and your own HDD? Bit pricey there.

That and "the general public" tend to not want to do all that super hyper advanced stuff like "put the memory stick in the slot". They want it all done for them. This box apparently doesn't do that. Oh, and then you need the license for Windows. Good luck trying to sell THAT on its own without Microsoft's special "only if you only sell Windows, and only built into a new PC, and if the motherboard dies you buy a new Windows" discount.

2
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Far too expensive

> One of these days you're going to figure out that your personal wants aren't representative of the general buying public.

You need to stand in front of a mirror and repeat that.

1
14
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Far too expensive

> Ask yourself why laptops sell more than desktop PCs

Laptops are portable and self contained. A NUC is none of those things.

Some laptops are even far more expandable than this NUC and will run circles around it.

HELL. I can probably get better hardware in laptop form for less than this NUC.

4
5
Holmes

Re: "The average member of the public"

Anecdotal evidence and personal biases to one side, the metric that genuinely reflects what the public wants is sales figures, and judging by those it's clear that the average member of the public wants small, quiet, mobile, consumer-oriented devices, not anything exclusively tethered to the desktop, especially when their mobile alternatives can also be tethered to the desktop, rendering the consumer-oriented features of actual desktops redundant (e.g. media playback).

Although there's still a significant enough proportion of the general public engaged in content creation and the gaming FPS arms-race to keep the desktop on life support for a few more years, until mobile devices become powerful enough to be genuine desktop replacements.

Personally I don't see any reason not to aim for a single device that can do it all and fit in one's pocket.

0
2
Bronze badge

Re: "The average member of the public"

And there is enough businesses still trading to keep desktops in use pretty much forever, because we don't need laptops on every desk.

At the moment I think a lot of desktop buying is effectively hidden because if we are buying the odd replacement PC it's a refurb.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Far too expensive

> It just leaves me wondering exactly what the intended end use of this thing really is?

Netflix

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Far too expensive

>Laptops are portable and self contained. A NUC is none of those things.

The majority of home laptops never leave the house

People buy them because they can surf/netflix/email from the couch and don't want either a desk in the living room, or a bunch of cables on the dinner table or have a flat with no room for either.

4
0

Re: Far too expensive

So basically you are replying to a well worded point with:

I am rubber you are glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you!

Jedidiah, I am in the whitebox building business. The market share for highpower, upgradable computers is almost non-existent. The desktops people still do buy are smaller off-the-shelf units that they basically use to obsess over their Facebook & Twitter accounts and maybe do a little web browsing and email. Laptops outsell desktops and have for several years. People buy laptops from me just to sit them on a table and never move them just because they take up less space. Within a year or two, tablets will be outselling laptops and desktops combined. Smaller seems to sell.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "The average member of the public"

Personally I don't see any reason not to aim for a single device that can do it all and fit in one's pocket.

That's a lengthy post, did you write it on a smartphone ?

1
0
kb

Re: Far too expensive

Look into one of the AMD Bobcat motherboards. Don't know the UK price but the USA price is around $80 USD and will hold from 4Gb-8Gb of RAM depending on the model. As a nice bonus they have AMD GPUs that can do 1080P so they can be used as media tanks as well as servers. Performance wise I'd put them around 30% higher than what you have due to being OoO chips.

To get one in a case similar to the NUC you are looking at $189-$350 USD, just depending on what is included in the kit, SSD, wireless, etc.

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Far too expensive

"Jedidiah, I am in the whitebox building business. The market share for highpower, upgradable computers is almost non-existent. The desktops people still do buy are smaller off-the-shelf units that they basically use to obsess over their Facebook & Twitter accounts and maybe do a little web browsing and email. Laptops outsell desktops and have for several years. People buy laptops from me just to sit them on a table and never move them just because they take up less space. "

One small point.

I'm a touch typist.

Most laptops have pretty rubbish keyboards for what I do.

And they always will have.

0
0
Silver badge

It is expensive for what it is but still a very interesting product. Prefect for a media centre under the tv (any chance of hooking it up to FreeSat?

2
0
Silver badge

re:Freesat

I've been looking at building a htpc with freeview and it's gets pretty awkward once you start juggling with being able to add a hdd for timeshifting/recording etc.

I priced up a decent spec box, using a fanless case, 4Tb hdd, dual freeview hd mPCIe etc. and it came back at around £900,

This can come down by about £300 if I scrimp and save in certain areas, but that's still a lot of money. I've decided to stick with my NAS for now and ordered a dual usb freeview tuner for an old laptop and stuck OpenOLEC on it - I will need to up the internal hdd from 80Gb to something useable, say a 1Tb, and I've got pretty much the same functionality for about £80 extra.

1
0
Silver badge

Freesat would require 1, possibly 2 DVB-S2 capable USB dongles. On top of that you would miss out on freesat listings and interactive content. You could probably get listings from somewhere else but for all the effort of lashing it together, why not just buy a freesat box? They're not very expensive, they work and they'd use far less power than a PC.

2
0
Silver badge

I have a Sky+ box left over from my contract with them and I have the French equivelent of FreeSat as well. I'd like to get rid of two boxes and replace them with one (though how to get the decoder card to work for the French one might be interesting). If the GPU was good enough I might get rid of my xbox as well.

0
0

Worth a look

My FitPC3 Pro i bought a while ago, fanless and very low power. However, it seems to be starting to suffer heat damage so I'm looking for a replacement. (I can't expect Israel to honour UK consumer law) This just might be the ticket ... if only I could get hold of Intel pre-sales!

1
0
Silver badge

Neat in a way, but too "middle ground" for me.

The thing looks nice, but it's not for me. It couls be a pretty good media center but is way overkill (and over budget) for that, or it could be a nice unobtrusive desktop but is too limited (I like being able to swap parts, add a drive, etc, so full-blown tower it is for me I'm afraid).

And then there's the power cord, which together with it's (too nice) graphics makes it quite unsuitable for server use.

Still, nice little machine, I wish it well.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Neat in a way, but too "middle ground" for me.

I'd rather the built in power in the Mac Mini - yes harder to replace if it does wrong but neater and less chance of being pulled out.

3
3
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Neat in a way, but too "middle ground" for me.

> I'd rather the built in power in the Mac Mini - yes harder to replace if it does wrong but neater and less chance of being pulled out.

The "tidy" aspect of this is of very little value in the average home viewing setup. On the other hand, putting another source of heat in your HTPC just complicates things.

3
0
Silver badge

Is there a version with vPro?

0
0

Not on the Haswell generation, to the chagrin of many. The previous (3rd-gen) NUC product was available in a vPro variant, and I'm sure the next generation product after this will be capable - vPro is too important for Intel to pass up the opportunity...

0
0

Addition of IR is nice. I've not had too many problems with the previous gen version. Sits under the TV with Servio and uTorrent running and pretty much forget it's there. Nice low maintenance media box.

1
0
Silver badge
Angel

Form factor has to be everything

Otherwise you'd use a second hand laptop.

Quad-core i7, 4 USB, eSATA, displayport, vga, wifi, gbit ethernet, bluetooth, firewire, separate audio in and out, 8G RAM (with room for another 8), s-video for the oldies, DVD drive, dedicated nvidia graphics (drives my 2560x1440 display just fine) and a fold-away screen for AUD500. It also doesn't crash during short blackouts as it still has 20 minutes or so of battery left in it.

I also picked up an old hp nc8000 series, vga, dvd, 4G RAM, 4 USB, esata, firewire, separate audio, gigE, wifi (streams MPEG2 HD just fine), bluetooth, dedicated ATI graphics for $100. Runs Myth frontend / browsers just fine. It has a multitouch trackpad and 2x3 buttons. As its an hp, it also keeps me warm in winter :) I'm using it for this post. It even has the pgup/pgdn and delete keys in a reasonable place (do ya hear me Lenovo and Apple?)

I think this product will still struggle. I'm not sure the haswell power savings are going to be a big draw for an always-plugged-in product. I'd have kept the thunderbolt and brought out other chasses which click together. There's no point having a tiny form-factor if your main usage requires a large RAID array of spinning rust.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Form factor has to be everything

Be quiet about 2nd hand laptops.

If people realise how much can be done with them for very sensible amounts of money, not only will the prices of old laptops start going up, sales of new kit will fall even further.

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Form factor has to be everything

Haha, so true.

All my laptops are second hand, and brilliant too!

Anyone who wants something and doesn't scour the second market first for a bargain is a loony.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Form factor has to be everything

no way. You're the CRAZY one ;)

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Power Usuage

Can we get some power usage statistics? What wattage is it drawing on idle/load?

I've been using an old atom board as a NAS and would love to replace it with something a bit more powerful but getting useful power usage metrics from specification documents is hard work. Similarly if I'm going to use this as a media player knowing it only draws 20 watts on idle is usefull, I'm not going to leave a machine on 24/7 that draws 500 watts.

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: Power Usuage

500 Watts from Laptop hardware?

I suspect it will be in line with most laptops, I can't see that hardware being more than 90 Watts.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Power Usuage

90W would be seriously high, my laptop has a 65W PSU and the battery can still charge when it is doing hard work (Lenovo, core i5, 3 yrs old with mid-range everythings).

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Power Usuage

500 Watts? Even my Hex core AMD tower with 10 drives and a discrete video card doesn't draw 500 Watts.

1
0
hp

Re: Power Usuage

For a comparison the current mac mini PSU is 85W peak and can drive 2 HDDs in the server model. It uses less than 11W at idle.

1
0

Re: Power Usuage

@Steve,

Rather than random conjecture here's some numbers grabbed from another review: About 4.5w at idle, jumping to 25ishW when undergoing a stressful benchmark test. So perfect for something that'll spend a lot of it's time more-or-less idle (or sat in a loft serving up the occasional file), and an i5 will be more than sufficient for a file server.

Let me just re-iterate that. 4.5w. FOUR AND A HALF WATTS. On x86. If you kept the use light, you could run this for a couple of hours using the battery from my mobile.

@Everyone Else

I don't think he meant that his Atom-based NAS actually drew 500w, just that he wouldn't want to leave something on 24/7 that DID draw 500w.

1
0

Re: Power Usuage

500 watts? From a laptop-style power brick? not a chance of that happening. Even my old Amiga 500 didn't draw that kind of power, and the brick was twice the size.

Someone else quoted some real-world figures. I just wish that people wouldn't jump to conclusions, especially conclusions that a little research would show as impossible.

0
0

Meh...

It looks as though Intel are leaving the best of their kit for others (Apple) to debut. When you look at the best of what's been announced (i.e. Haswell with Iris Pro 5200 graphics) then the only vendor selling actual kit is Apple with the Macbook (inc Air/Pro) ranges that include Retina Display.

Hopefully 2014 will see availability spread to other manufacturers. When it does, this particular offering will be consigned to the parts bin. Personally, I'd wait for something like a 16Gb, i5, 5200-based Intense, from fit-pc.com. That would be entirely passively cooled (completely silent) and have two digital monitor output ports - likely HDMI and DisplayPort. The 5200 GPU has the bandwidth to comfortably support a pair of 1920x1200 monitors (or a single 2560x1600) and we'll likely also see something with decent optical output.

This gets us close to an ideal configuration for, say a web developer, with one screen for a browser and one for an IDE, with decent sound output and no noisy fans. I can live in hope, I suppose...

2
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.