Low Cost Braswell NUC Incoming - Intel NUC NUC5CPYH for $129

Subject: Systems | June 21, 2015 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: NUC5CPYH, nuc, N3050, Intel, Braswell

A reader sent in a link to a new listing on Amazon.com this morning that points to an as-yet-unreleased Intel NUC product, the Intel NUC5CPYH. This model will include a Celeron N3050 processor, which as listed by Intel's Ark site, is a dual-core, non-HyperThreaded processor with a base clock rate of 1.6 GHz and a maximum Burst frequency of 2.16 GHz. It has a rated TDP of 6 watts with a Scenario Design Power rating (typical usage)  of 4 watts.

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Image from Fanlesstech.com

The Intel Braswell platform (also known as Cherry Trail) is a refresh of the Atom lineup and a follow up to the Bay Trail set of parts using Airmont CPU cores (a minor upgrade over  the  Silvermont architecture). Even though Intel already has ~4-6 watt TDP part in the form of the Core M series using the Broadwell architecture, the cost difference is the big change here. The tray price for the Celeron N3050 is $107 while the Core M 5Y10 sells for $281.

Implications for performance should be substantial and you won't find the Braswell platform lighting up benchmark scores or besting the Core M series. But it might provide enough performance for small form factor PC users, point of sale systems and more. All of this results in a bare bones price point of just $129 for the Intel NUC5CPYH.

I'm sure we'll get details in the coming days, but this model supports 4K display output via HDMI (though I'm not sure if its 60 Hz or 30 Hz refresh rate capable) and is the first NUC to add an SD card reader; something that just makes sense for this form factor and class of system.

June 21, 2015 | 04:23 PM - Posted by HelloWorld (not verified)

It supports HDMI 1.4b, so only 4k @ 30Hz.

June 22, 2015 | 03:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Since it's for TV that seems like it'll work fine. I don't see a device like this getting heavy gaming use. At least not in the sense that 4k matters.

June 21, 2015 | 06:57 PM - Posted by Zabojnik

As far as terrible naming schemes go, Intel's NUC products have to be up there near the very top.

June 21, 2015 | 07:17 PM - Posted by Luthair

Give the people what they want, two NICs!

June 21, 2015 | 07:53 PM - Posted by Screwyluie (not verified)

who wants two nics? not me

June 21, 2015 | 09:03 PM - Posted by Luthair

People who want a good platform to build a router.

June 21, 2015 | 10:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


June 22, 2015 | 04:25 AM - Posted by Hakuren

And sadly it's probably the only thing this particular NUC would do well (if... it has 2 NICs). Seriously Atom is instant deal breaker for anything useful. Sad but true.

June 22, 2015 | 08:25 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

They could call it the NIC NUC!

June 22, 2015 | 08:54 AM - Posted by Patrick Proctor (not verified)

Are you people seriously this incompetent? Just use the USB 3.0 port with an Ethernet adapter. It's what I did with the last generation to make a router, 0 issues.

June 22, 2015 | 01:41 PM - Posted by Luthair

USB devices are slower, have a higher CPU load and in general non-intel NICs tend to be problematic for this sort of software.

June 22, 2015 | 06:04 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

It is sad a 14nm atom is still slower than most 65nm core 2 duos..

June 22, 2015 | 12:42 PM - Posted by collie

wow, dude, perspective time. That Core 2 duo is operating at 66 wats tdp, this atom is working at 6! plus I'm not sure that the core 2 is actualy faster, perhaps "on paper mhz" but true world performance, basic operation, out of order multi-taking, perhaps even in benchmarks, these modern atoms will surprise.

Things to remember, Clock Speed is one thing, but operations per clock make a huge performance impact, as does core/thread count, basic efficiency and optimizations to handle/organize said operations.

The 90's are over. The mhz war confused customers, the bit war confused customers. Benchmarks and hands on reviews from trusted sources, that is the only way to compare anything these days

June 22, 2015 | 06:33 PM - Posted by fade2blac

I think the perspective is that if a certain Core2 Duo is generally adequate for one's daily computing needs, then this sets the performance level required for a NUC to begin to make sense. Smaller size and greater power efficiency only go so far if the user experience suffers a performance regression. Braswell chips do support some of the newer instructions/features and also have an integrated GPU unlike the Core2. However, out-of-order execution has been pretty much standard on desktop CPU's since the mid 90's beginning with the Pentium Pro and AMD K5 architectures. Early generation Intel Atom processors were one of the very few exceptions.

You are right in that the product of IPC & GHz as well as core count matter. Typically, perceived performance of desktop use cases scale better with single thread performance than with increased core/thread count (see current AMD vs Intel offerings).

For example, consider a 45nm Core2 Duo E8400 (3.0 GHz) vs Pentium J2900 (2.41 GHz)


Basically each core on the Core2 Duo has twice the throughput of the Bay Trail (Single Thread Rating 1257 vs 599) so overall the Bay Trail is nearly equal IF your application can effectively utilize up to 4 cores (CPU Mark 2176 vs 2046).

Now, compare the J2900 to the N3700 and you see net performance and efficiency gains are somewhat questionable. Braswell looks to be designed first and foremost as a low power product with a more capable GPU. General CPU performance appears to be a slight regression from Bay Trail due to the focus on reducing TDP.


So in the end, one has to decide if a small form factor at an order of magnitude lower power is really worthwhile if the best one can hope for is performance approximately equal to a Core2 Duo from 2008.

June 22, 2015 | 01:06 PM - Posted by collie

I wana see one in action. If it's as quiet as I hope it is, and if it's as smooth for basic surfing/video as I want it to be I think I know someone who would be all over this.

July 3, 2015 | 05:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Benchmark this one against the ASRock BeeBox.
BeeBox: no fan, even lower 4W TDP, dual channel memory 16GB, and still similar price. In which regard is the Braswell NUC N3050 better?

July 5, 2015 | 07:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Broadwell NUC chips are faster than these Braswell chips. I could be wrong but I would find it hard to believe that any hardware decoding in the Braswell could make up for the speed in the Broadwell cpu.

I think others have already mentioned that even its hdmi is not 2.0.

July 5, 2015 | 07:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Seeing as I can't edit my post I have to reply to it.

I intended to say that I doubt any hardware decoding in the Braswell could *not* make up for the speed in the Broadwell cpu.

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