Intel Board Team Creates New Form Factor
In many ways the desktop computer needs to evolve. Yes, I know that PC gaming is not only thriving and growing but for the majority of consumers the need to have a box in their office that measures 2' x 3' x 1', taking up leg room under the desk is...exaggerated. Intel thinks they have a solution for this, a new form factor for a PC they are calling the NUC - Next Unit of Computing.
By utilizing low power versions of the Intel Ivy Bridge mobile processors Intel has shrunk the desktop PC to a size even smaller than mini-ITX and hopes they can address various market segments with this new design.
Check out our video right here and continue on for the full written review!
While the consumer that simply needs a basic computing box is definitely a target for Intel and its board division, they are hoping to hit the mainstream markets with interactive displays, digital signage, marketing, analytics and more. And though the design we are looking at today has a very specific form factor, the low power boards themselves could easily be placed into nearly any industrial design.
For a size reference, the Intel NUC is a 4-in x 4-in design that is noticeably smaller than even the mini-ITX form factor that is quickly becoming popular in the DIY markets. The NUC does not have a removable processor though so what you buy is what you get with only a few components that are upgradeable.
Subject: Processors | December 12, 2012 - 05:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: haswell, Intel, i7-4770k
A (translated) report coming from VR-Zone shows a table that is giving us just a bit more information about the upcoming Intel Haswell architecture and processors.
First, it looks like Intel is going to lean into the same naming scheme for these parts calling them the Core i3/i5/i7 4000 series parts, starting with the Core i7-4770K as the highest end option. It will be a quad-core HyperThreaded part with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 3.9 GHz, very similar to the speeds and feed of today.
Graphics will be updated and called the HD 4600 with a clock rate as high as 1250 MHz. The memory controller will remain dual-channel with support for DDR3-1600.
The only other item worth mentioning is the 84 watt TDP, up from the 77 watt TDP of the current Ivy Bridge lineup.
All that is left to know now is ... pretty much everything including the performance of these new cores, the new graphics architecture and how that higher TDP will be utilized.
Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2012 - 07:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 32nm, 22nm, tri-gate, Intel, atom, Avoton
Intel's Atom S1200 line of chips are obviously designed to compete with ARM's upcoming 64bit chips in the server room. The family of processors will all be under 10W TDP, with the top chip, the Atom S1260, which is a dual core 2GHz part that produces 8.5W. The three chips they have released are on the older 32nm process but according to EETimes you can expect new models using the 22nm tri-gate processors in the near future. From what The Register could find out Intel has not yet ruled out LGA models as well as the embedded chips you will be seeing first. They did pin down some more stats, with the new Atoms supporting DDR3 1333MHz and support eight lanes of PCI Express 2.0, what they will not be able to support on chip is network connectivity, these chips will still be at least partially dependent on other chips for some of their features so they are not truly an SoC, yet.
"CHIPMAKER Intel has released its Atom S1200 series aimed at low power single socket servers.
Intel's race to meet ARM in the low power server market has seen the firm push its Atom branded chips into sub-10W territory while supporting 64-bit memory addressing and ECC memory. Now the firm has released three dual-core chips that make up its Atom S1200 series, all sporting sub-10W TDP."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Asustek refutes rumors about adopting ARM platform from VIA @ DigiTimes
- TSMC and Global Foundries Plan Risky Process Jump As Intel Unveils 22nm SoC @ Slashdot
- Flexible graphene transistor breaks new records @ NanoTechWeb
- Valve chief confirms Steam-centric console-killing PC @ The Register
- New transistor tech could beat silicon and save Moore's Law @ The Register
- Dell tunes up servers for high freaky traders @ The Register
- Ninjalane Podcast - Forced Obsolescence, No More LGA? And Mainstream Watercooling
- IBM achieves 25Gbit/s photonics breakthrough @ The Inquirer
- Killer Wireless-N 1202 Mini PCIe NIC Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD bites bullet, slashes chip orders @ The Register
- Modding article - How to build a tiny Arcade Cabinet based on a classic Nintendo hardware at Metku.net
- Simulating CRT or Vector displays for more realistic emulation @ Hack a Day
- Holiday 2012 Workstation Buyer's Guide @ AnandTech
- Stanley FatMax LEDLISL and HIDLISL Lithium-Ion Spotlight Double Review @ ModSynergy
- Win silent goodies with BeQuiet! decorate hardware! @ Kitguru
- The Tech Report's 2012 Christmas gift guide
Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2012 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
DigiTimes reports that Intel continues to successfully shrink their process, with 14nm on schedule for about 12 months from now and aggressive shrinkage over the following years with 5nm being the plan for 2015. This is in line with GLOBAL FOUNDRIES who plan to have 14nm FinFET ready at about the same time and well ahead of both Samsung and TSMC. If that isn't far reaching enough for you, they plan to move to 18" wafers in 2017.
"At the end of 2013, Intel will enter the generation of 14nm CPUs (P1272) and SoCs (1273), while expanding its investments at its D1X Fab in Oregon, and Fab 42 in Arizona, the US and Fab 24 in Ireland, and will gradually enter 10nm, 7nm and 5nm process generations starting 2015."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD finishes its 'Piledriver' Opteron server chip rollout @ The Register
- Common Linux tools on Android without root by installing BusyBox @ Hack a Day
- MIPS processors go virtual @ The Inquirer
- Qualcomm, Sharp, Foxconn will become a new triangle chain in the industry, says Foxconn chairman @ DigiTimes
- NAND then something new came along: Nanotube men get $10m @ The Register
- Slash A THIRD off Surface RT price or it's toast, Microsoft told @ The Register
- McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2013 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Nero Kwik Overview and Tutorial @ Hi Tech Legion
- NETGEAR D6300 Wireless AC Modem Router and A6200 80211.ac USB Adapter Review @ HardwareHeaven
- ASUS EA-N66 & Amped SR20000G Wi-Fi Extender Review @ Legit Reviews
- New 25-GPU Monster Devours Strong Passwords In Minutes @ Slashdot
- 32 powerline adapters round-up: internet from your power grid @ Hardware.info
- Netgear WN1000RP 2.4GHz WiFi Booster @ eTeknix
- RC car transforms into RC robot @ Hack a Day
- Seasonic Christmas Platinum Giveaway – win PSUs and more! @ Kitguru
Subject: Processors | December 6, 2012 - 01:21 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: socket, BGA, Intel, amd
Okay, so this has been an interesting debate. After the first rumors and reports that Intel might be killing the DIY PC (or at least crippling it) by removing the socketed option for future processors after the Broadwell architecture, the Internet had a hissy-fit. Josh debated here that the future didn't look at that bleak at all and AMD chimed in later with its commitment to sockets into 2014 and beyond.
It looks like Intel has officially addressed the issue through a story at MaximumPC.com:
Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the Enthusiast DIY market. However, Intel cannot comment on specific long-term product roadmap plans at this time, but will disclose more details later per our normal communication process.
While those in the community that see the glass half empty will look at Intel's use of "foreseeable future" as a red herring, we have to at least attempt to take Intel at its word until any more details might be released to counter it.
Let the debate continue!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 6, 2012 - 12:57 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: waterproof, stealth, PC, nettop, Intel, desktop, atom d525
Stealth has debuted a new rugged and waterproof computer called the WPC-525F. The nettop-like system is a ruggedized small form factor PC powered by Intel’s Atom D525 processor and ICH8M chipset. IP67/NEMA 6 rated, the company states that the WPC-525F is dust, rain, and splash resistant as well as, allegedly, being capable of being run over by a pickup truck and continuing to function.
If only the tire tread came as a standard silkscreen option...
On the outside, the WPC-525F is a black box with covered ports on the rear, a VESA mount on the bottom, and a power button on the front. Simple enough. Dimensions are 10.15” (W) x 6.22” (D) x 2.04” (H) (258x158x52mm), and it weighs 5.1 pounds without cables. Interestingly, instead of typical ports, it has water resistant “Bayonet” connections with cables that lead away from the back of the PC to the devices. With all the cables connected, you get the following IO options:
4 x USB 2.0
2 x RJ45 LAN (Gigabit Ethernet)
1 x RS232 serial
1 x VGA
1 x Power
It can accept 6 to 36V DC input for power. According to Stealth, the entire system will consume 16W when idle and 19W under full load.
The outside of the Stealth WPC-525F is impressive, but the internals are certainly not as flashy. It features an Intel Atom D525 dual core processor clocked at 1.8GHz (1MB cache), 4GB DDR3 RAM, and a 120GB MLC SSD. The board also includes two internal Mini-PCIe expansion slots. For video, the computer uses the onboard Intel GMA 3150. As implied by the ports listed above, there is no audio support on the WPC-525F, though you could add a USB sound card if it was really needed.
The WPC-525F is fanless and uses the aluminum chassis to facilitate cooling. The ruggedized PC is available now with a starting price of $1595 USD. (Keep in mind that that is without an OS or AC power adapter.) You can find more photos and specifications on the product page.
Subject: Processors | December 5, 2012 - 05:33 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: socket, Intel, BGA, amd
Over the past week or more we have been seeing a lot of news about Intel's rumored move to leave the world of socket-based processors behind after the pending Broadwell parts are released as BGA - ball grid array - and are soldered to motherboards directly. I would highly encourage everyone to read Josh's thoughts on the subject that are not nearly as damning as others might have you believe.
However, we got this official note from AMD earlier in the week that I thought I would share:
AMD has a long history of supporting the DIY and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs & APUs that are compatible with a wide range of motherboard products from our partners. That will continue through 2013 and 2014 with the “Kaveri” APU and FX CPU lines. We have no plans at this time to move to BGA only packaging and look forward to continuing to support this critical segment of the market.
As the company that introduced new types of BGA packages in ultrathin platforms several years ago, and today offers BGA-packaged processors for everything from ultrathin notebooks to all-in-one desktops, to embedded applications and tablets, we certainly understand Intel’s enthusiasm for the approach. But for the desktop market, and the enthusiasts with whom AMD has built its brand, we understand what matters to them and how we can continue to bring better value and a better experience.
Obviously AMD is trying to persuade PC builders that not only is its path the safest in the future but maybe that supporting AMD today might help make sure it can arrive to the future well enough to continue the enthusiast path.
If Intel even starts to heavily side with BGA processors, is a move to AMD in your future again? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | December 4, 2012 - 07:28 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, arm, apple
Hopefully I did not make your head hurt too much with that title.
Intel announced early in the year the opening of their fabrication labs to certain other developers, none of which competing with anything Intel does. We joked about how this is the end of the world as we know it although we feel fine. As it turns out, the world might end December 2012: RBC rumors that Intel might fulfill orders of ARM processors taking away that responsibility from Samsung.
Of course, there will always be a catch. It is possible that Intel will allow Apple to manufacture their ARM-based processors at Intel if Apple switches their tablets to x86-based products. No-one said the apocalypse must be an irrational event.
When pigs fly? Challenge accepted.
If this rumor comes to fruition - and that is a mighty large if - we finally know that a line of apathy exists within Intel. Intel fabricating an architecture that they directly compete with is a big deal, ignore their motive.
Intel has allegedly made a compromise, definitively this time. We debated fairly heavily whether Intel made a compromise when they allowed FBGAs to be manufactured at their facilities. This time there is no question about whether Intel will make a concession to better its company as a whole.
I have no doubt that Intel desires to stomp competing platforms but we should all doubt that Intel would never step into some middle ground. After all, Intel is not even suffering at this point by any measure. Imagine if the situation actually begins to look dire.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of EVGA
Sometimes, good things do come in small packages. The latest board on our test bench from EVGA proves that fact, the EVGA Z77 Stinger. The Z77 Stinger is a micro-ITX form factor board based on the Intel Z77 chipset, but don’t let its size fool you. This board is packed with features and delivers the performance that we’ve come to expect out of its full-size brethren. At a mere $199.99 base price, the EVGA Z77 Stinger would be at home in any enthusiast’s full tower case or HTPC build.
Courtesy of EVGA
Even with its small stature, the EVGA Z77 Stinger promises to pack some power. It features support for the following: SATA 2, SATA 3, eSATA, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 type devices; two different network types featuring an Intel GigE NIC and an Atheros Bluetooth adapter; PCI-Express x16 3.0 and m-PCIe ports; and HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.1a style video ports. With the addition of an m-PCIe adapter, the board can support onboard Wi-Fi as well.
Subject: Motherboards | December 3, 2012 - 04:51 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mini-itx, Intel, gigabyte, ga-c847n, ga-c807n, celeron 807
Gigabyte recently announced two mini-ITX form factor motherboards. In an interesting twist, instead of an AMD platform like many of the mini-ITX boards released this year, the Gigabyte GA-C807N and GA-C847N motherboards are based on the Intel NM70 chipset and come with integrated Intel Celeron 800-series processors.
Both motherboards come with Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 4 Classic design and feature set. Two DDR3 (1333 MHz) DIMM slots, a single legacy PCI expansion slot, 5.1 channel audio controller, and a UEFI DualBIOS are all included features on the motherboards.
The GA-C807N has three SATA II 3Gbps ports and one SATA III 6Gbps port. It further includes an Intel Celeron 807 processor that features a single physical core clocked at 1.5GHz.
External IO on the GA-C807N includes:
- 2 x PS/2 ports
- 1 x Parallel printer port
- 1 x COM port
- 1 x VGA port
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet jack
- 3 x analog audio outputs
On the other hand, the Gigabyte GA-847N motherboard has two SATA II 3Gbps ports and one SATA III 6Gbps port. It also bumps up the processor to a dual core Celeron 847 clocked at 1.1Ghz.
External IO on the GA-847N includes:
- 2 x PS/2 ports
- 1 x Serial port
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x eSATA
- 1 x HDMI
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
- 3 x Analog audio jacks
Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability of the two Mini-ITX motherboards. With that said, the GA-C847N in particular looks like a neat motherboard. The dual GbE ports would make it a good DIY router+firewall or server box. As far as the Gigabyte GA-C807N, the parallel printer port is an odd included feature, but otherwise it looks like a decent entry level Mini-ITX board+cpu combination.