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Thread: Which NUC

  1. #1
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    Which NUC

    Morning all,

    Been using an old N54L as an HTPC for a while, been fine but the small Nvidia 220 in there isn't compatble with newer versions of OpenElec and I've got plans for it as an actual server.

    Was considering a gigabyte BRIX, but have noticed the Intel NUCs which look nicer and more compact for pretty good prices.

    So all I really need it for is streaming 1080p video over a wired Gbit LAN. these are generally mkvs from my bluray/DVD collection. Connecting to my AV receiver over HDMI so the audio decoding will be done there via passthru rather than on the NUC.

    I've narrowed my selection to the 2 cheapest barebones kits I could see. One Celeron dual core and one Pentium quad core.

    Both claim to do 4k video and I presume have all the acceleration necessary for Kodi/XBMC.

    I think I'm going to use Fedora or ElementalOS rather than OpenElec so I can drop out of Kodi and do some light 16/32 bit emulation and web browsing when the tablet is out of reach.

    So, my question is, shall I save £40 and get the Dual core Celeron
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...l-up-to-8gb-4x

    Or splash out on the slightly better quad core pentium:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...l-up-to-8gb-4x


    I think with the emulation//browsing overhead the Quad core will be a better choice, but I don't know how much I'd notice the difference.

    Is anyone using an NUC for HTPC use?

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    Re: Which NUC

    More compact? They're the same size. If you want to be picky about it the NUCs are actually a few millimetres larger:
    NUC: 115 x 111 x 51.6mm
    Brix: 114.4 x 107.6 x 46.8mm

    Although I don't know if Gigabyte has switched to a plug transformer.

    It's hard to find benchmarks of hardware that isn't high end these days but I would be inclined to avoid the Airmont processors and stick to Broadwell. i.e. The 3205U Brix is preferable to the N3700 NUC.

    They'll have partial 4K support at best. I would expect them to be limited to 24/30hz output over HDMI (DisplayPort might do the full 60hz) and dedicated video acceleration will be limited to H.264. Broadwell at least has hybrid HEVC decoding but I suspect it's likely to struggle with 3840x2160 HEVC videos.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Which NUC

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    More compact? They're the same size. If you want to be picky about it the NUCs are actually a few millimetres larger:
    NUC: 115 x 111 x 51.6mm
    Brix: 114.4 x 107.6 x 46.8mm

    Although I don't know if Gigabyte has switched to a plug transformer.

    It's hard to find benchmarks of hardware that isn't high end these days but I would be inclined to avoid the Airmont processors and stick to Broadwell. i.e. The 3205U Brix is preferable to the N3700 NUC.

    They'll have partial 4K support at best. I would expect them to be limited to 24/30hz output over HDMI (DisplayPort might do the full 60hz) and dedicated video acceleration will be limited to H.264. Broadwell at least has hybrid HEVC decoding but I suspect it's likely to struggle with 3840x2160 HEVC videos.
    Cheers, maybe they just seem more compact as they have a nicer design - only ever seen one Brix and it was a plasticky mess in comparison, so my memory is probably making it look bigger than it was.

    I don't need 4K, think my 1080p plasma has a few years to go yet, but if they can do 4K they certainly shouldn't struggle with what I would be throwing at them.

    I shall have another look at the Brix machines (or at least something small with Broadwell and hopefully IR on board).

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