Intel NUC mini-computers with Haswell chips coming in Q3, 2013

Intel’s NUC platform takes a recent Intel processor and crams it into a tiny PC that’s about 4″ x 4″ x 1.5″. NUC stands for Next Unit of Computing, and it sort of takes a laptop-class processor and turns it into a reasonably powerful, compact desktop computer.

Up until now most NUC systems have featured Intel Ivy Bridge processors. But VR-Zone reports that the first models with newer Haswell chips should be available within the next few months.

Intel NUC with Haswell

Haswell processors consume less power and offer better CPU and graphics performance than Ivy Bridge chips. The reduced power consumption is key here, since Haswell chips generate less heat than their predecessors. There’s not a lot of room for fans in an NUC system, and some models use passive cooling instead of fans.

According to VR-Zone, the new systems will also come with new case designs and offer more USB 3.0 ports than earlier models.

While computers based on the NUC design tend to use mPCIe slots for solid state storage, the new Haswell motherboard also has a SATA connector which allows PC makers to include a hard drive in models with cases large enough to fit one.

via FanlessTech

  • Jml

    This is NICE!!! AMD doesn’t have anything this fast that uses fewer than 20 watts this will good I might buy one.

    • nards barley

      I own two Foxconn AMD E-350 Foxconn and one Zotac AMD E-350 mini PCs. Two are connected to TVs and one serves as my desktop. Each had an average cost of $200 or below. I am quite satisfied.

      P.S. I am not a gamer.

      • Jml

        I get these devices for ultra low power consumption that AMD just can’t match. This Intel haswell NUC looks very promising with Intel’s new architecture built for mobile computing I can’t wait to see how this NUC performs.

      • raddude9

        AMD can match and beat those power consumption values with Kabini/Temash. Sure, they’re less powerful, but they have more than enough power for 90% of computer users.

      • Jml

        I don’t think AMD Kabini can match Intel haswell in power usage especially Idle power usage. AMD Kabini clock for clock is at least 45% slower than Intel haswell. But most people choose Intel because its all they know.

      • raddude9

        Sure Kabini might have a 45% slower clock, but it will generally have 100% more cores. As for matching intel in power usage, it will certainly beat Haswell in power consumption when not idle, how it will do at idle remains to be seen, but Kabini has made great strides, it can already idle a whole system at 4W:
        http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-2013-ASeries-Kabini-and-Temash-Mobile-APUs/?page=7

        Yes, I do know that people choose intel because they don’t know any better, that’s not a good thing for a free market though. Maybe people should do more research and get AMD based systems.

      • Jml

        More cores IS NOT BETTER!!!!! Yeah that is with the screen off and the laptop doing zilch which is MEANINGLESS TO ME!!! AMD needs to get Kabini at the high end to use sub-10 watts at full load. AMD has done good work with Kabini but its NOT ENOUGH!!! AMD got half way there now they need to get the other half of the way.

      • raddude9

        more core is better than fewer cores.

        You’ll be able to get Jaguar based chips that indeed run at less than 10W at full load, but they’ll be less powerful.There’s a sub 4W 1Ghz dual-core Temash planned. It’s all a trade-off, and without a more advanced manufacturing process they won’t be able to do much better.

      • Jml

        No you’re wrong 4 cores is the norm right now and thus Intel is the fastest. AMD doesn’t stand a chance against Intel’s Haswell. See the new macbook air for proof Intel doubled the battery life and Increased the GPU by 40%. AMD won’t be able to top that.

      • raddude9

        Huh? you say 4 cores is the norm? Then why do intel insist on selling miserly dual-cores?

        Wow, now you even believe the Apple spin, is there no rubbish you won’t believe to further you intel fanboi-ism. Sure, they only doubled battery life if you keep your machine idle, I thought you played a lot of games, do you honestly think you’ll be getting twice the batter life if you are running a game. I reckon the load-power improvements will only be around the 20% level.

      • Jml

        Intel haswell has improved by more than 20% in load. Because some people need Intel IPC with dual cores.

      • raddude9

        Nope, using the chip under load gives battery gains of less than 20%.
        Dual-cores are a waste of time, I feel sorry for anybody that buys a new dual-core.

      • Jml

        Says You where is you’re proof? Dual cores are not a waste of time when they are made by Intel. Intel’s dual’s are faster than AMD’s quads.

      • raddude9

        Anandtech for proof, running the PCMark8 Creative benchmark, Haswell only gives 16% better battery life:

        http://www.anandtech.com/show/7047/the-haswell-ultrabook-review-core-i74500u-tested/5

      • Jml

        That’s normalized for battery life not max load power.

      • CyberGusa

        Uh, did you really read that link?

        The 16% was the minimum… under PCMark 8 Creative (Normalized), but it increases to 40% under PCMark 8 Home (Normalized)…

        And it goes even higher to 57.5% under Anandtech’s light 2013 web browsing battery life test!

        So like Anand stated…

        “Workloads with greater idle time will show the biggest improvement in battery life thanks to Haswell ULT”

        Except for the ATOM SoCs, there aren’t any other x86 processors that can take so much advantage of lower power states and idling periods!

  • tonyTal

    Gee … it looks like a Mac Mini

    • Nathan Gentil

      so does every other small form factor pc.
      Apple didn’t invent small boxes…

      and what is your point?

    • The_Cageybee

      The NUC devices are actually a lot smaller than a mac mini.
      4″ x 4″ x 1.5″ vs 7″ x 7″ x 1.4″.

      • Andy

        But the power supply is built into the mac mini.

      • Me

        I wonder how much these would cost compared to a Mac Mini. Plus, Apple PCs tend to have issues with installing Linux. Especially, with my rMBP and it’s not just the resolution issue. I wish I just got a ThinkPad or Latitude. The high PPI wasn’t worth it.

  • Matt

    I wonder if there’ll be NUC boards with non U and Y chips in it. I wonder how small a board + case can be when using a 35 W quad core i7-4765T. Been looking for a small and quiet (maybe even fanless) file/media server and transcoder.

    • eyeDroid

      That’d be nice. If not then I wonder how much the fanless dual core
      ones would cost. Right now, I have a couple of old laptops connected to a GigE router. I use NFS, SSH, HandBrakeCLI and some bash scripts to distribute my transcoding between the laptops. It’d be nice to add these NUCs to the distributed encoding.

      I even have a script on my Droid 4 (side note: no software keyboard can beat a physical one when it comes to the terminal) that can start the transcoding of specific files and then download the files as they finish. It save me some space on my SD card. If only my Droid 4 had a GigE connection. There’s mention of Ethernet in the settings but I haven’t looked into it.

      • Hojo

        I have a similar setup but I scp the videos to the networked computers, run a local script on the remote computers via SSH and scp the encoded videos back. I cleanup the temp files as they finish being processed.

        It works well, the uploading, encoding and downloading are run in parallel with some waiting for files to be ready for encoding and downloading. With gigabit Ethernet, my bottleneck are the CPUs since I’m using old desktops and notebooks.

        I’m hoping to speed this up with some quad cores if they’re not too expensive.

    • Shure

      I hope some quad core fanless or at least very quiet mini boxes come out. Smaller than mITX ones since I can just put those together myself.

    • Hojo

      Hopefully, Intel provides these boards to OEMs separate from the CPU
      so they can choose a quad core if they want. Unless these are restricted to
      the U and Y packages then OEMs would have to make their own board. That might increase the price though.

      I really want a mini quad core system
      that’s not too expensive. I just need a gigabit Ethernet port, 1 or 2
      USB 3.0 ports, DisplayPort and either an mSATA or space for a 2.5″ SATA
      drive. Fanless is ideal but I wouldn’t mind a fan.

  • Bed Intruder

    But at what cost?!?!?

  • Fairglow

    I’d like to see one with i7-4770R, i.e. with Iris Pro (5200) graphics. That would be a power-house with 65W TDP, which probably won’t be passively cooled though.

    • Hans Jákup Danielsen

      or 4750HQ with Iris Pro 5200 (GT3e)
      Nominal TDP: 47W/ 2.0 GHz
      cTDP up: 55W/ 3.0 GHz
      wont be passively cooled either, but will be cooler

  • movemint

    all this talk about specs; just make them slightly more affordable and you have a home run.

  • Graham

    Make the thing 5x5x2 so I can install a BR drive.
    Front panel: 1xUSB3, 1xSDcard, 1xHeadphone, 1xMic, 1xIR, PowerSwitch.

    Is Intel so MBA-infested that they can’t think anymore?