Podcast #271 - Hawell NUC, MSI X87 XPOWER Motherboard, the Steam Controller and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2013 - 11:32 AM |
Tagged: Z87 XPower, z87, video, steam os, Steam Controller, Steam Box, steam, podcast, nuc, msi, haswell

PC Perspective Podcast #271 - 10/03/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the Hawell NUC, MSI X87 XPOWER Motherboard, the Steam Controller and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
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  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Scott Michaud

 
Program length: 1:24:00
  1. Batman: Arkham Origins keys anyone??
  2. Week in Review:
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
    1. Allyn: Dual Power eSATA USB 2.0 Power combo to 22Pin SATA cable (on eBay)
    2. Scott: Teksavvy Internet (Not USB Hubs)
  5. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  6. Closing/outro

 

Fill out the Form Below to Enter for the Batman: Arkham Origins key!!!

The only thing that beats a NUC is an overclocked NUC

Subject: Systems | September 30, 2013 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, nuc, Intel, d54250wyk

Perhaps your first thought upon seeing the new Haswell based NUC was something other than how to overclock it but when Legit Reviews got their hands on the D54250WYK they went straight to the BIOS to see what they could get out of this tiny system.  Intel's Visual BIOS made it a snap with their Performance Dashboard page that allows you access to all the usual frequencies you need.  Along the way they investigated RAM compatibility, both speed and size, but in the end they succeeded in getting 1866MHz RAM running full speed.

Don't forget our review of the NUC!

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"We’ve spent pretty much all our free time this week using the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK and if you couldn’t tell from our review, we love the new design and the Intel 4th Generation Core i5-4250U Haswell processor that powers it. In our review we showed you the general performance of the system running at stock speeds. The one question that we didn’t answer at that time is how it performs when overclocked. There aren’t too many things that you can overclock on the NUC since the CPU multiplier and bus speeds are locked down, but we can overclock the DDR3 memory. In the past overclocking the memory clock frequency has yielded some pretty good results for memory bandwidth limited applications and gaming benchmarks. Read on to see how the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK performs with 1866MHz memory!"

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Author:
Manufacturer: Intel

Another Next Unit of Computing

Just about a year ago Intel released a new product called the Next Unit of Computing, or NUC for short.  The idea was to allow Intel's board and design teams to bring the efficient performance of the ultra low voltage processors to a desktop, and creative, form factor.  By taking what is essentially Ultrabook hardware and putting it in a 4-in by 4-in design Intel is attempting to rethink what the "desktop" computer is and how the industry develops for it.

We reviewed the first NUC last year, based on the Intel Ivy Bridge processor and took away a surprising amount of interest in the platform.  It was (and is) a bit more expensive than many consumers are going to be willing to spend on such a "small" physical device but the performance and feature set is compelling. 

This time around Intel has updated the 4x4 enclosure a bit and upgrade the hardware from Ivy Bridge to Haswell.  That alone should result in a modest increase in CPU performance with quite a bit of increase in the integrated GPU performance courtesy of the Intel HD Graphics 5000.  Other changes are on the table to; let's take a look.

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The Intel D54250WYK NUC is a bare bones system that will run you about $360.  You'll need to buy system memory and an mSATA SSD for storage (wireless is optional) to complete the build.

Continue reading our review of the Intel NUC D54250WYK SFF System Review - Haswell Update!!

Bay Trail-M Powered Intel NUC Coming In Q1 2014 for $140

Subject: General Tech | September 18, 2013 - 05:43 PM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, SFF, nuc, celeron, Bay Trail, atom

Intel and Gigabyte announced new Haswell powered SFF (small form factor) PCs earlier this month around the time of Intel's IDF 2013 conference. It seems that Haswell is not the only processor Intel has in mind for NUC, however. A recent report from Hexus.net suggests that a new lower-cost NUC will be available early next year for $140. The NUC DN2810FYK will use Intel's new Bay Trail-M Atom processor and be available as a barebones system or motherboard/processor combination. The barebones system, which includes a case, motherboard, soldered processor, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module  will have a $139 MSRP.

Intel's Bay Trail Atom processors use the Silvermont architecture which was built from the ground up with low power usage and efficient performance in mind. The new SoCs will span from smartphones and tablets to desktop PCs. The specific chip used in the upcoming DN2810FYK NUC PC is the Celeron branded N2810, which a dual core 7.5W TDP (4.5W SDP) Bay Trail-M SoC clocked at up to 2GHz with Intel HD Graphics clocked at 756 MHz. The processor comes pre-soldered onto the NUC motherboard which supports a single DDR3L SO-DIMM, one SATA port, and one mPCIe slot for the included Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0 NIC. For the barebones system, users will only need to bring their own RAM and a SATA hard drive or SSD to the table.

Entry Level Forest Canyon Bay Trail Powered NUC.jpg

External IO includes:

  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x IR receiver
  • 1 x Analog audio jack
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port

As such, the Bay Trail-powered NUC is not quite as expandable as the Haswell model which supports four USB 3.0 ports (among other additional ports) externally and a mSATA SSD slot internally. On the other hand, because of the reduction in IO and hardware horsepower, the new NUC will be significantly cheaper than the existing models.

The DN2810FYK is slightly taller than the Haswell NUC at 55mm (versus 35.6mm), which is likely due to the use of mobile-class SATA drives rather than mSATA. Again, this is a compromise that allows Intel to offer up a budget SFF system.

Code-named "Forest Canyon," I expect the new Next Unit of Computing PC to be a popular NUC option that will help to drive adoption of small form factor systems thanks to the attractive $140 price point while still being sufficient performance wise for budget desktop, HTPC, and home server uses! I will wait for the full reviews to make up my mind, but I am optimistic about the upcoming Bay Trail-M NUC.

Is this Atom-powered NUC the one that you've been waiting for?

Source: Hexus.net

Intel Unveils New Haswell Powered NUC D54250WYK

Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2013 - 11:54 PM |
Tagged: SFF, nuc, Intel, hd 5000, haswell, 4k

Intel has announced a new Haswell-powered NUC called the D54250WYK. The new barebones kit includes an Intel D54250WYB NUC motherboard with soldered processor in a small form factor case that measures 4.6″ x 4.4″ x 1.4″. The new NUC is faster, has new IO options, and reportedly fixes the overheating issues of previous NUC systems. The Haswell-powered NUC has a bit of competition with the recently launched Gigabyte BRIX system which also got an upgrade to Intel's latest consumer architecture.

Haswell Powered Intel NUC D54250WYK.jpg

The new NUC D54250WYK barebones kit.

The Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK uses a new 4.33" x 4.33" motherboard with a pre-soldered Intel Haswell Core i5-4250U processor. The system further supports two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots (up to 16GB of 1600MHz memory), a single SATA port, two mini PCI-E slots (one for mSATA SSDs and one half-height for Wi-Fi NICs), and a USB 2.0 header supporting to USB 2.0 ports. The Core i5-4250U CPU is a 22nm chip with a 15W TDP. It is a dual core part clocked at 1.3GHz base and 2.6GHz Turbo with HyperThreading, 3MB of cache, and HD 5000 processor graphics (200Mhz base and 1GHz Turbo).

Intel NUC Motherboard With Haswell i5 4250U Processor.jpg

The new NUC motherboard and Haswell processor.

While Intel has removed Thunderbolt support, external IO is still decent, with the following ports:

Front IO:

  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 x Analog audio jacks
  • 1 x Infrared receiver

Rear IO:

  • 2 x Video outputs:
    • 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
    • 1 x Mini HDMI 1.4
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 x USB 3.0

Notably, the Intel NUC Kit with i5-4250U CPU requires active cooling, but aftermarket cases offering passive cooling are likely in the works. Of course, users will be able to purchase the barebones D54250WYK kit or just the D54250WYB NUC motherboard and CPU that can be paired with a third party or custom built case. Like Gigabyte, Intel has not released specific pricing or availability, but expect the new Haswell-powered NUC to be coming soon as the system appears to be ready to go. Hopefully full reviews will be hitting the Internet soon!

Source: Intel

New Intel PCN Addresses NUC Overheating Issues

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | July 20, 2013 - 12:29 AM |
Tagged: Intel, dccp847dye, nuc, SFF, pcn, wi-fi

Intel recently posted a Product Change Notification (PCN, number 112432-00) regarding one of its first NUC bare-bones systems, model number BOXDCCP847DYE. The PCN seeks to address the overheating issues that several hardware review sites encountered when performing large file copies across the network using the built-in Wi-Fi card. Intel has reportedly found a solution by adding a 9.5mm thermal pad to the underside of the top cover. The thermal pad will make contact with the mSATA SSD and facilitate heat transfer from the drive into the metal chassis.

Intel PNC Upgrade to Bottom NUC cover aids cooling.jpg

The overheating problems spotted by PC Perspective (in our review) and other tech sites lead to system freezes and restarts. When transferring large amounts of data across the network, the built-in mPCI-E Wi-Fi card would heat up, and because the SSD is mounted just above the Wi-Fi card, the system would lock up or crash when the SSD overheated. Thus, Intel’s workaround is to improve the cooling of the SSD such that it (hopefully) will no longer overheat and users will not have to resort to buying a USB Wi-Fi dongle or running an Ethernet cable to the switch.

According to the PCN, the solution works and system retailers should expect shipments of the BOXDCCP847DYE with upgraded cover to arrive as early as August 1st. Notably, Intel is planning to ship out all pre-modification inventory before moving onto shipping updated bare-bones systems. It may be some time before consumers can be sure they are getting the updated model. In the meantime, users can always opt to use one of the many third party NUC cases that take full advantage of passive cooling techniques.

Source: Intel (PDF)

Akasa Newton Chassis Can Passively Cool Intel NUC Hardware

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2013 - 10:19 PM |
Tagged: SFF, nuc, Intel, akasa

Akasa has debuted a new passively cooled chassis for Intel's NUC platform called the Newton. The new chassis measures 154mm x 150mm x 47mm and does double duty as both a case and passive (fan-less) heatsink for the Intel processor soldered onto the NUC motherboard.

Specifically, the Akasa Newton case can support the Intel D33217GKE or DCP847SKE NUC (Next Unit of Computing) motherboard, depending on whether you want an Intel Core i3-3217-U or a Celeron 847-U respectively.

Akasa_Newton.jpg

The Akasa Newton case supports all of the IO of the NUC boards, including a single USB port on the front, and two USB ports, two HDMI outputs, and one Gigabit Ethernet port. The case also has two antenna jacks for the mini-PCIe WI-Fi card and a DC power in jack.

The case is entirely matte black with a brushed aluminum front bezel and curved corners. The boxy case comes with a VESA mount for attaching to the back of monitors or using a wall mount. The top of the case is finned to increase the surface area and aid in cooling the CPU.

Overall, it looks like a decent NUC chassis for a silent, passively cooled system. The Akasa Newton is available now for 50 Euros (including VAT).

Source: FanlessTech

Impactics Launches Passive D1NU NUC Chassis In Europe

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 31, 2013 - 01:17 AM |
Tagged: nuc, Intel, impactics, europe, d1nu

Impactics is the latest company to launch its own small form factor case for Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) platform. More heatsink than chassis, the new D1NU chassis sandwiches an Intel NUC motherboard and other internals between two aluminum fin heatsinks. The D1NU measures 170 x 114 x 67mm and weighs 1380g.

D1NU-S_gallery_01.jpg

The D1NU supports Intel's D33217GKE and DCP847SKE motherboards. The motherboard and other components are attached to a solid piece of precision milled 99.99% electrolytic copper (220g), and then to an aluminum heatsink. 

D1NU_gallery_03.jpg

The case seals the components between a top and bottom heatsink and then a 4mm aluminum front bezel and a rear chromium steel bezel with EM shield. The D1NU case/heatsink supports a 25W TDP, and has an MSRP of 99 euros. The front bezel hosts a power button with blue LED and space for a single USB port. The rear of the case can support the outputs of either Intel's Golden Lake or Ski Lake boards. A VESA mount is also in the works. The D1NU comes in silver or black.

D1NU-B_gallery_02.jpg

According to Fanless Tech, the passive NUC case is now available in Europe for €100 Euros from Case King or £87 pounds from Systo.co.uk. No word yet on whether it will show up on this side of the pond, but (although it is a bit pricey) it is certainly a cool NUC heatsink/case (heh)!

Source: Impactics

Two Upcoming SFF Cases From Akasa Spotted Before The Official Computex Launch

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2013 - 10:52 AM |
Tagged: galileo, newton, akasa, nuc, case, thin mini-itx

FanlessTech recently spotted two new fan-less and small form factor cases from Akasa ahead of the official launch. The Akasa Galileo and Akasa Newton are compatible with thin Mini-ITX and Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) motherboards respectively.

Galileo.jpg

Both cases are constructed of aluminum, have VESA mounting holes, and double as a fan-less heatsink for your components. The Galileo is 37mm thick and can cool processors rated up to a 35W TDP. The Newton is a small case with fins around the sides to increase surface area (for better cooling capability), and aesthetic flair.

Newton.jpg

According to Fanless Tech, the two PC cases will be officially unveiled at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this summer. There is no word on pricing or when they will be available for purchase, however.

Source: FanlessTech

Tranquil PC Launches £99 Fanless Case For Intel NUC Platform

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 3, 2013 - 03:14 AM |
Tagged: tranquil, nuc, fanless, case

Tranquil PC, a case manufacturer and system integrator based in the UK, recently announced a new aluminum chassis for Intel’s NUC motherboards. The new chassis acts as a heatsink and will keep your NUC system running cool without needing case fans. Tranquil is offering two versions of the case – the NUC-BY and NUC-YE – which are compatible with both the D33217CK (Thunderbolt-equipped) and D33217GKE (Gigabit Ethernet-equipped) Intel NUC boards respectively.

nuc_ISO1_Front__24297.1359146622.1280.1280.jpg

The two Tranquil NUC cases are nearly identical, but they differ in the IO cutouts offered (naturally). The cases measure 110 x 164 x 47mm and resembles a black heatsink with its horizontal fins and brushed aluminum design. The chassis is reportedly able to keep the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) system 5 to 15 degrees centigrade cooler than the reference Intel NUC case that uses an active fan. Hopefully, the case-as-a-heatsink design will help to mitigate the overheating problems that many reviewers (including PC Perspective) have run into when performing network transfers to the SSD over Wi-Fi.

 

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It is a streamlined design with port only the expected port cutouts and a rubberized power button on the rear of the device. No LED-lit logos or extra buttons to speak of. You can, however, have Tranquil laser-engrave a custom message onto the chassis for an additional fee.

The front of the case features a single USB port while the rear IO will depend on your particular NUC board. The D33217CK board includes one Thunderbolt, one HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 65W DC power input jack. On the other hand, the D33217GKE motherboard has a DC-in jack, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI outputs, and a single Gigabit LAN jack. Additionally, the Tranquil cases have a cutout for an externally-mounted Wi-Fi antenna (as the aluminum casing is not well-suited to housing an internal antenna).

 

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Both Tranquil NUC cases are available now for a base price of £99. A VESA mount adds an additional £17. Further, VAT and shipping charges may apply depending on where you are ordering from. In USD, the Tranquil cases have a base price of $155.62. While I do not get charged VAT, I do have to pay shipping, and it is not cheap at approximately $33 to ship to the mid-west US. In my case, ordering one NUC case and having it shipped to Illinois would cost $207.41. Ouch.

The Tranquil PC NUC case with its brushed aluminum and fanless design is extremely nice. Unfortunately, that build quality does not come cheap, and will add to the overall cost of putting together your NUC system. If you have the money for it though, it looks to be one of the best cases available for the new 4” x 4” NUC motherboards.

More information is available on the Tranquil PC website.

Source: Fanless Tech