Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hands-On With Intel's "Next Unit of Computing" Mini PC

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the get-one-for-the-cat dept.

Intel 177

crookedvulture writes "Intel's Next Unit of Computing has finally made its way into the hands of reviewers. The final revision is a little different from the demo unit that made the rounds earlier this year, but the concept remains the same. Intel has crammed what are essentially ultrabook internals into a tiny box measuring 4" x 4" x 2". A mobile Core i3 CPU provides the horsepower, and there's a decent array of I/O ports: USB, HDMI, and Thunderbolt. Users can add their own memory, storage, and wireless card to the system, which will be sold without an OS for around $300. Those extras raise the total price, bringing the NUC closer to Mac Mini territory. The Apple system has a bigger footprint, but it also boasts a faster processer and the ability to accommodate notebook hard drives with higher storage capacities than the mSATA SSDs that are compatible with the NUC. If Intel can convince system builders to adopt the NUC, the future of the PC could be a lot smaller."

cancel ×

177 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

lol wut (0)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#42037995)

So basically it's everything we didn't like in Mac Mini, except worse, and no hope for re-use of form factor in any device that has more than one expansion card, or faster CPU?

Great job, Intel, I thought, you will never achieve the level of idiocy on par with Microsoft.

Re:lol wut (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038093)

You have a 3 digit ID?
Nigga, you serious?

Re:lol wut (4, Insightful)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 2 years ago | (#42038313)

What didn't we like about the Mac Mini? I haven't used an expansion port on a PC about 15 years other than a 3Dvideo card. And if I want a gaming rig I'll get something big and airy with lots of fans. If I need a grunt box, I'll run up a VM on my servers at work. For everything else the Mac Mini is perfect. I never understood why PCs we're so big these days. 90% of them are simple Web/Email/Word processors, the Mac Mini and new this Intel thing are all most of us need.

Re:lol wut (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42038485)

I haven't used an expansion port on a PC about 15 years other than a 3Dvideo card.

We could translate your argument as "I splash money around like its going out of style so things like expansion ports are stupid"

Many of us use those expansion slots about halfway through the life of the machine in order to upgrade them inexpensively (like adding SATA 3.0 to a machine purchased when SATA 1.0 was still new), repair them when a specific component goes tits up (The NIC died? Thats a $15 card for full-on b/g/n wireless), or to add specific functionality that only comes standard on much more expensive machines..

Re:lol wut (2)

ajo_arctus (1215290) | about 2 years ago | (#42039565)

Many of us use those expansion slots about halfway through the life of the machine in order to upgrade them inexpensively (like adding SATA 3.0 to a machine purchased when SATA 1.0 was still new)

Yeah, because not having SATA 3 makes a machine ununsable...

repair them when a specific component goes tits up (The NIC died? Thats a $15 card for full-on b/g/n wireless)

Yeah, because if a NIC dies then it doesn't matter that it's probably part of the motherboard chipset and all of a sudden you have an expensive repair bill. Not to mention that wireless cards *are* plug-in PCIe cards on these mini form factor PCs...

or to add specific functionality that only comes standard on much more expensive machines..

I think you might be havign problems understandnig/empathising with what a 'normal' person is going to want out of a PC. Not only that, but even us geeks get bored of the PC treadmill after a while. The last desktop I bought was an iMac in 2007. It's old, it's tired and it just stopped working reliably this past week or so. I cant' easily fix it, but you know what, I got five solid years out of that workhorse. I don't care that I couldn't upgrade it -- despite being a programmer, and therefore as much of a 'power user' as anybody, 2GHz of Core2 Duo has been plenty fast enough -- and, if repairibility had been an issue, I'd have bought 3 years of Applecare and retired it when the warranty expired.

The MacMini is an excellent computer if you want a small, silent machine that keeps out of your way. If you want a toy to upgrade and play with, it's not so great.

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039227)

I just built 2 itx boxes:

1 with a e-350 apu board, 8gb of ram, and a 1tb hard drive for $195.00 for everything.

1 with a intel g550, itx board, 8gb of ram,and a 1Tb hd for $265 for everything.

Re:Yep (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#42039969)

Okay, and neither of those are comparably quick, or small to either this, or a MacMini...

Re:lol wut (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#42040017)

What didn't we like about the Mac Mini?

The price.

Unfortunately this Intel box is similarly expensive for what it is.

MAC Mini Overpriced (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038331)

So basically it's everything we didn't like in Mac Mini

Who is the "we" my main problem with the Mac Mini is the Price, and this is half that, and has more flexibility. Not really sure what this has to do with Microsoft being stupid, this looks like bog standard hardware.

Re:MAC Mini Overpriced (4, Informative)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#42038371)

No, this is a motherboard and case for half of what a Mac Mini in working order goes for. At $300, you still need to add a power supply, mSata storage, memory, ethernet, etc.

Mac mini's start at $599, ready to run, with an i5, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd, and have ethernet, firewire, sound ports, etc.

gigabit ethernet (2)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about 2 years ago | (#42038387)

Actually that is Gigabit ethernet, something their products have had for a decade. Can't say the same about most low-end competition yet.

Re:gigabit ethernet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038551)

My Mac Mini (2008) has 10/100 Ethernet .. so no, you're wrong.

Re:gigabit ethernet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038897)

According to the research I have just done (Wikipedia is quickest reference, although other sites back it up), the Mac Mini started shipping with gigabit Ethernet standard in the "Early 2006" models... so no, you're wrong.

Re:gigabit ethernet (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#42039883)

My Mac Mini (2008)

You're definitely trolling as there is no 2008 model Mac Mini. The only ones in that time region are the Mid 2007 and the Early 2009 Mac Mini. The 2009 Mac Mini [apple.com] has gigabit and the Mid 2007 Mac Mini [apple.com] has gigabit. Even the Early 2006 Mac Mini [apple.com] has gigabit. Wanna try again?

Re:MAC Mini Overpriced (-1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038495)

No, this is a motherboard and case for half of what a Mac Mini in working order goes for. At $300, you still need to add a power supply, mSata storage, memory, ethernet, etc.

Mac mini's start at $599, ready to run, with an i5, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd, and have ethernet, firewire, sound ports, etc.

Mac mini's start at $599, ready to run, with an i5, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd, and have ethernet, firewire, sound ports, etc.

System comes with a 65W laptop-style power brick that plugs into the back of the enclosure, are you seriously implying that the addition of a $300 to spend on hard drives and memory is a bad thing, with the advantage the device comes with 2 expansion slots. The idea as I read it is this will be given to "system builders" to make ready.

I do find it cue you mention firewire :)

Re:MAC Mini Overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039371)

System comes with a 65W laptop-style power brick that plugs into the back of the enclosure, are you seriously implying that the addition of a $300 to spend on hard drives and memory is a bad thing, with the advantage the device comes with 2 expansion slots. The idea as I read it is this will be given to "system builders" to make ready.

The "system" is 4"x4"x2". What kind of "expansion" are you thinking of? Since it can't even take notebook size hard drives you're certainly going to be limited in your storage options, not to mention anything else that will fit inside the enclosure.

Re:MAC Mini Overpriced (4, Interesting)

sgunhouse (1050564) | about 2 years ago | (#42038717)

Ever seen one of those Acer Aspire Revo "nettops"? Mine is the original - 1.6 GHz Atom processor (64-bit), nVidia Ion onboard graphics, 7 USB ports, ethernet, HDMI and VGA. Current models use an AMD processor and graphics for $329 or Intel I3 and Intel graphics for $499. (The $329 model has no optical drive, the $499 model has an 8x DVD+/-RW drive.)

The case on all of the above is about 1.5"x8"x8".

Actually, given that I'm not certain what the NUC is supposed to be offering. Slightly smaller form factor, that's about it ...

Re:MAC Mini Overpriced (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#42039015)

Don't forget that it doesn't come with an OS. Unless you run Linux or some sort of BSD you can add the retail cost of Windows on to that price too. My mini also has the power supply internal unlike the older model with the brick.

Re:MAC Mini Overpriced (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#42039229)

Unless you run Linux or some sort of BSD you can add the retail cost of Windows on to that price too.

Unless, you know, you are a system builder and install OEM Windows or you are a large corp./educational institution and you install a volume license edition of Windows.

Re:lol wut (3, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42038413)

Indeed. If the price tag was lower I could see a market for it, but at $300 you can build/buy a significantly better box.

This "NUC" has an i3-3217U (1.8ghz / 2C)

You could get an A6-5400K (3.6ghz / 2C) for $65, an FM2 Micro ATX motherboard (USB 3.0 / SATA 6GB / DVI+HDMI / 2x DDR3 1866) for $50, and a MicroATX Slim case with 300W power supply for $75, totaling $190

Better CPU, better GPU, has multiple PCIE slots (with at least one 2.0 x16) and you can upgrade it. This Intel brick for $300..$320 (I read the article) has the CPU soldered on, and no PCIE slots so no upgrades of any kind ever, and the price quote doesn't include memory (which is why I didn't include any.)

I'm sure that you could also put together a better performing Intel box (using a Celeron G5xx series for instance) for about 60% of the money as well.

Looks to me like Intel over-produced some CPU's and/or chipsets and are looking to find a market for them.

Re:lol wut (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42038677)

You could get an A6-5400K

Indeed.

I've been looking for a SFF PC recently, and the AMD choices are really weak.

The bobcat is excellent for this kind of thing. Significantly faster per-thread than the atom, equal number of cores and graphics certainly superior to an i3 or even i5 probably.

Or, the low end Fusion ones, which are weaker than the i3 per thread, but have more cores and stomp over the top end i5 when it comes to graphics.

Where are the cool little AMD PCs ready built?

Re:lol wut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038707)

Indeed. If the price tag was lower I could see a market for it, but at $300 you can build/buy a significantly better box.

and a MicroATX Slim case

Lets take a random cheap example:
Coolermaster Elite 342
Dimension (W / H / D) (W) 180 x (H) 352 x (D) 440 mm

Total volume: approximately 27.9 litres (or 2.79 x 10-2 m3 if you prefer)
Assume ~300W PSU

Intel NUC:
4" x 4" x 2" - assuming 101.6 x 101.6 x 50.8 mm

Total Volume: approximately 0.524 litres (or 5.24 x 10-4 m3 if you prefer)
65W PSU

Approximately 50 times physically larger, ~4.5 times more power.

Can you make a random whitebox yourself cheaper? Of course you can.
Is that the point? Of course not.

50% more cost for something 1/50th of the size and a lot less power? I'd be happy to buy one, and I suspect many others would.

Next thing you'll be complaining that a hammer is too expensive for what it is, and you can happily band in nails with a cheaper screwdriver insstead.

Re:lol wut (0)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#42039033)

You can bang nails in with a rock (granite works best.)

Re:lol wut (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#42039279)

Looks to me like Intel over-produced some CPU's and/or chipsets and are looking to find a market for them.

Seriously? You think their production processes are so out of sync with demand that they had to try and invent/promote an entirely new platform to reduce the backlog?

I suspect Intel has buyers for most chips before they are ever produced. What I see is an attempt to build out on the original idea behind the various Atom motherboards they have been producing for years - small, good-enough systems that use less power and are designed for world markets, not necessarily the performance user in the first world.

Re:lol wut (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#42039997)

The problem is that the A6-5400K is a 65W CPU, so theres no way you can get it into a case 4" by 4" by 2".

Re:lol wut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039059)

Yes, because with the release of this product all other computers, like desktop towers and laptops, will magically vanish and we will all be forced to use this new PC form factor.

Oh wait...

Re:lol wut (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#42039257)

So basically it's everything we didn't like in Mac Mini, except worse, and no hope for re-use of form factor in any device that has more than one expansion card, or faster CPU?

Great job, Intel, I thought, you will never achieve the level of idiocy on par with Microsoft.

There doesn't need to be just one "unit of computing", does there?

Clearly, I wouldn't be able to use this new form factor for much besides a media player, but it might be useful to some people.

I doubt all of the full-size boxes over in the "Cases" section of MicroCenter are going to disappear any time soon.

Re:lol wut (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#42039957)

This is a tech demo. Intel doesn't make full out of the box PCs (and might not, ever). This is to inspire hardware makers (cough, HP) who are otherwise totally screwed, to come up with something "new" in the PC realm. This is the form factor that will see growth in the future, the old days of a big box with a bunch of cards you could swap in and out are gone (unless you are a hard-core hobbyist willing to pay a price premium). The desktop systems made today by Dell, HP, etc are way too big for what they do (since they are often on par with laptops) so this kind of re-think is really critical.

Fitting my LTO2 tape drive into that thing... (3, Funny)

drewm1980 (902779) | about 2 years ago | (#42037997)

...will be a worthy challenge.

Re:Fitting my LTO2 tape drive into that thing... (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about 2 years ago | (#42038527)

Or attach it to the thing. You double the volume that way!

Re:Fitting my LTO2 tape drive into that thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038723)

There's always this:

http://www.misco.co.uk/Product/192703/Tandberg-LTO-5-Drive-with-Fibre-that-can-connect-to-Thunderbolt

We'll see about that (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038001)

which will be sold without an OS for around $300

Microsoft doesn't care. They'll be sure to tax these "naked" PCs anyway. Intel will rue the day they think they can get away without paying the Windows fee.

Re:We'll see about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038079)

trollololol

Re:We'll see about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038145)

Takes one to know one, beeeyaaaatch!

Microsofts Sick Properganda a History Note (5, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038307)

trollololol

Not a troll, just a comment that is more a history reference, in a world where its been impossible to buy a PC without an OS for years http://www.zdnet.com/top-five-pc-manufacturers-fail-naked-pc-test-3039286228/ [zdnet.com] this is an article describing how difficult it was in 2007. The truth is Microsoft created the [propaganda] term "Naked PC" for "its dramatic value and as a means for creating the impression that it is evil to sell computers without operating systems because they might be used for so-called software piracy" http://www.linfo.org/naked_pc.html [linfo.org]

Bah (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038003)

Need to be smaller and cheaper and plug together like lego to allow me to add processing power. Now that I'd buy.

Re:Bah (3, Interesting)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#42038889)

YES! I knew I wasn't alone!

I've been wanting a PC-based system that expands like LEGO for over a decade now. However, I don't insist it be smaller. In fact, I want it bigger. 4" x 4" x 2" is too small. 4" x 4" x 4" (or 100mm x 100mm x 100mm for the normal parts of the world) is much better. That provides enough room for a CPU, a GPU, a standard notebook hard drive, and a standard 80mm fan. With a certain amount of squeezing, a CPU, a GPU, and a second GPU, each on its own board, stacked one on top of the other, and still with room for a hard drive. If the product takes off, offer additional configurations, such as dual CPU + GPU, or quad CPU no GPU, or single CPU + 4 hard drives, or single CPU + single GPU + 2 hard drives. Add a whole boatload of off-board signals on the chipset on the CPU card and run those signals to pinless contacts in each of the 6 faces of the cube. Round springloaded contacts might do. Add extra contacts for a DC power bus. I was told by an Intel test engineer, years ago, that PCI-e in its external connector incarnation could probably work well under these conditions. Hold cubes to each other with magnets at the corners, arranging the polarities of the magnets to force the correct lineup of the boards and exhaust fans into wind tunnels.

Software would be tricky. Ideally you would want an arbitrary collection of cubes to be able to self-organize into a ccNUMA system. In practice, you may want dual mode software. Default coupling might be as a compute cluster, and only manually enable ccNUMA when you know a particular collection of cubes is going to be stable long term.

Give the standard configuration cube (whichever one that might be) 1 DC power connector, 1 gigabit ethernet port, 1 Displayport, and 4 USB ports. Vary the ports as needed for the other configurations. Add some external LEDs for indicators of power and compute coupling mode and voila, an arbitrarily expandable compute platform that scales from a minimum of one cube to some silly maximum that is probably only hit when thermal management gets out of hand.

Someday I'll have money enough to have some boards designed... Someday.

Re:Bah (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#42038921)

Damn, forgot the audio ports on the standard configuration cube. Yeah, add those too.

Oh, and desktop versions of the CPU(s) and GPU(s). If possible. Get creative... This particular wish was a lot more feasible when I first conceived of the idea a decade ago. These days the infrastructure surrounding desktop CPUs and GPUs has gotten too extensive to fit anymore. The collection of capacitors alone has gotten silly. More's the pity.

Mac Mini wannabe (4, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#42038027)

After pushing PC makers into going after the MacBook Air, Intel wants them to also go after the Mac Mini. News at ten...

Seems a bit too pricey to succeed, though.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038333)

Outside of that, there is no real Lan port in the back, which makes Wifi the only option. The Mac Mini has a real Lan port.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (2, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038459)

Intel wants them to also go after the Mac Mini

Yes because MAC invented small PC's its not like the microATX was introduced in December 1997. The original
  release was January 22, 2005 for the MAC Mini. Lets ignore the rich history of SFF PC's from the likes of Shuttle [I have owned many] http://www.shuttle.com/ [shuttle.com] or even new popular brands like Revo from Acer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_Aspire_Revo [wikipedia.org] Which oddly I also own.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (-1, Flamebait)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#42038637)

Yes because MAC invented small PC's

I don't think that MAC (Media Access Controller invented anything. I also don't think that Macs (Macintosh computers) invented anything. On the hand, Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer Inc., invented a lot of things.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039925)

The rounded rectangle, for instance.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#42038647)

Check out the Zotac ZBox Nano. Sure, the lineup's best seems to be a Celeron 867, but I don't see a reason why you couldn't put an i3 in it.

Mac mini predated Revo by 4 years (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42039381)

Yes because MAC invented small PC's its not like the microATX was introduced in December 1997.

Perhaps what Apple invented was selling small PCs to the public. I don't believe Shuttle PCs were sold in brick-and-mortar stores, and the Mac mini predated the Revo by four years.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039793)

Yes because MAC invented small PC's its not like the microATX was introduced in December 1997.

The term is "Mac" not MAC. It is not an acronym. Also, no one said that Apple invented MicroATX or this form factor.

Lets ignore the rich history of SFF PC's from the likes of Shuttle or even new popular brands like Revo from Acer.

So the "rich history" is of some ambiguous devices from a niche company and a device that came out in 2009 which is 4 years after the Mac Mini according to the link you posted? Wow, you throughly showed him up. NOT. Care to post the SFF PC's coming from HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.? You know, one of the actual OEMs that the average person would have heard of? The fact of the matter is that Intel is once again chasing something that Apple made mainstream.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#42040035)

You realise that ATX motherboards have a footprint nearly 4 times that of the MacMini (and that's without a case). They also mandate space above the CPU for a cooler that's twice as tall as a MacMini... So your example doesn't really seem apropriate.

You may have meant mITX, which was developed in 2001... But *still* wasn't as small as the MacMini.

Re:Mac Mini wannabe (1)

Haxagon (2454432) | about 2 years ago | (#42039147)

Yeah, it's not like there are already cheaper and more powerful options for a mini-pc than a Mac Mini; I'm sure Intel was just so threatened by Apple's second least popular product.
Face it, this Intel initiative is about semi-ubiquitous computing with a bit of a general twist. Not a response to the Mac that's seen the least innovation/interest.

Put something better than Intel Video in there, (2)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#42038085)

and I might consider it. Looks like a reasonable HTPC, but without the video horse power to run ZSNES, other emulators, or even Linux native 3D games (not even necessarily the advanced ones) I won't consider it.

Re:Put something better than Intel Video in there, (1)

SolidAltar (1268608) | about 2 years ago | (#42038103)

I'm sure Intel will get right on making sure all their products support SNES games.

Intel graphics have improved significantly. (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038275)

Ignoring the fact that its clearly not a gaming rig, the intel HD Graphics 4000, to put it in some kind of perspective I am currelty using Intel HD Graphics 3000 which allows me to play games like trine http://trine-thegame.com/site/ [trine-thegame.com] and Rochard http://www.rochardthegame.com/en/ [rochardthegame.com] both great Linux games

As for ZSNES please [snaps fingers],that was designed to run SNES full speed on a 486 with a SIS 630 chipset. Now BSNES now that is a different beast!!

Re:Put something better than Intel Video in there, (1)

darkain (749283) | about 2 years ago | (#42038283)

Problem Solved, and for only $100 - http://www.ouya.tv/ [www.ouya.tv]

Re:Put something better than Intel Video in there, (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 2 years ago | (#42038289)

Really? SNES Emulators? You're aware they run on Pentium IV generation Intel graphics, right? I have a Pentium M machine here that gets regular use as an SNES emulator...

Re:Put something better than Intel Video in there, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039735)

Not ZSNES though. Read about it.

Price? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42038115)

Does Intel know you can get a Nexus7 or chromebook for $200?

Re:Price? (1)

SolidAltar (1268608) | about 2 years ago | (#42038123)

Those are ARM based. But you're right, the price seems a bit high.

Re:Price? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42038231)

The new $200 chromebook uses Celeron dual core.

Re:Price? (3, Insightful)

ikaruga (2725453) | about 2 years ago | (#42038393)

Not only these devices are significantly weaker, but Google is selling them for the manufacturing cost. Google wants you to use them so they can make money through advertisement and selling content. Intel is trying to provide a stand alone computer platform. They are selling hardware and if they don't make a profit on hardware sales, they won't make profit anywhere. The problem of these devices is not the price, but the lack of basic audio output ports and ethernet. Even for a device that I guess is supposed to be marketed towards the Average Joe Grandpa, this is unacceptable.

No wired... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038117)

No Wired, less volume than a Mini.

But really the no Wired network port is a big deal.

Re:No wired... (5, Insightful)

SolidAltar (1268608) | about 2 years ago | (#42038135)

Holy shit. I just realized you're right. There's no wired network port.

You kidding me, Intel? You want me to pay ~$500 for a computer without a network port? Who do you think you are, Apple?

Re:No wired... (3, Funny)

unix_core (943019) | about 2 years ago | (#42038235)

You're right. Only Apple has the magic powers to remove functionality, raise the price, give it rounded corners and earn tons of money off it.

Re:No wired... (1)

BSalita (1000791) | about 2 years ago | (#42038395)

... but you get USB 2.0.

Re:No wired... (3, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42038515)

..in a world where USB 3.0 has become standard on low end motherboards.

Re:No wired... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038487)

You have the choice between 2 gigabit ports or a thunderbolt port w/o ethernet. But not both. Intel's low end offerings seem to be deliberately crippled so as to not complete with their higher end stuff. You add in the memory and drive on one of these and you're about $100 short of a mac mini which has gigabit ethernet and thunderbolt together plus usb 3.0 and no fscking power brick.

Re:No wired... (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#42040071)

Given that the thunderbolt port can be adapted to gigabit ethernet, and still daisy chained with 9Gb/s of bandwidth remaining, I'll take the thunderbolt port.

Re:No wired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038547)

Average Joe needs a wired port? Been wireless for the past year now, streaming HD fine with half a dozen sharing.

Re:No wired... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 2 years ago | (#42038725)

Yes.

Average Joe needs a wired port because he screwed up the setup of his wireless network and doesn't have the time/money/patience to get it fixed.

Re:No wired... (1)

ricky-road-flats (770129) | about 2 years ago | (#42038953)

Not so fast... I too didn't like that idea, but I just went to Intel.com and searched for NUC - first link that comes up is this: http://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/desktops/dc3217iye-product-brief.html?wapkw=nuc [intel.co.uk]

It clearly shows a single gigabit NIC. I'll bet there are models with and without.

Re:No wired... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038175)

No dedicated audio ports either, it has to go through the video connections. You can't connect speakers directly to it.

Re:No wired... (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 2 years ago | (#42038241)

The DC3217IYE version trades the Thunderbolt port for GigE and a second HDMI. Still no audio ports though.

Re:No wired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038593)

No fanless, neither.

So... (2)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 2 years ago | (#42038143)

... a laptop in a box. Except without all the extra things a laptop comes with -- like battery, keyboard, speakers, screen, ethernet, etc. Cute, but that's all.

Re:So... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42038209)

No, no. It's more like one of those small HTPC boxes you can fit to the back of a VESA-mount TV, but more expensive and less powerful.

Re:So... (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 2 years ago | (#42038423)

Don't those also generally come with laptop ("Mobile") models of the components? I have always thought of those -- and the ones that come integrated into a screen, like iMacs -- as non-mobile laptops.

Re:So... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42038525)

hint: This Intel brick also uses Mobile components. A particularly weak (1.8ghz dual core) mobile i3, in fact.

Re:So... (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 2 years ago | (#42038693)

That's what I meant with "also" in my previous post.

Intel video pretty impressive these days... but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038207)

Speaking as the representative of one of the only companies who might have actually cared I can say this is a dead product.

The issue with this device is it is actually too small and the limitations are ridicules. 2GB of ram is not enough to run GNU/Linux let alone Microsoft Windows, I don't even understand why it is limited to 2GB. The thing appears to have two DDR3 slots so in theory it should be able to support up to 16GB. The 2GB will technically be “good enough” for the next three years. And humorously we aim for “good enough” right now in GNU/Linux land just because it is such a small market right now (even though we are setting it up so that it can take off).

However while you can install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on it and have it work “good enough” for about 3 years there is no room to profit on these things. Not to mention we are one of the few companies with the catalog and resources to even begin to properly target this market with such a device. What happens when the user wants a DVD drive or a printer that works? The GNU/Linux ecosystem is a convoluted mess that requires an engineer with expertise in the subject to put together a proper catalog. Such a significant amount of "Linux hardware" is utter crap dependent on proprietary drivers and firmware.

Hilariously we sell a bit bigger boxes with much more powerful options too that sell really really well (although only Intel graphics because Intel's the only thing which can be properly supported on GNU/Linux system... stupid AMD/NVIDIA refuse to cooperate- yes- even Linus bitches about it-even if he won't admit non-free software is bad). The ram is up to 16GB now and we can ship with up to an i5 (i7 would work but Intel's being bitchy with releasing a i7 low power CPU without digital restrictions in the CPU so we won't ship them). Our similarly small system also supports wireless and and has a bunch of additional ports/options (SSD, etc).

Sadly we have the only systems that really work well in the industry.

If you want something that stops working after the next upgrade- go ahead and buy something from one of our competitors like System76. Cause that is the standard they are setting. No. No. I won't say who I work for because my concern is freedom and stuff that works. Not promoting the company I work for. If you give a shit about free software and getting hardware that actually works well you can easily find the company anyway.

And if your priority is gaming. Fine. Buy the crap hardware. But don't complain when you have to manually upgrade/install the drivers or the hardware stops working because you've decided non-free software works good enough. And yes- there is a lot of hardware for Linux which stops working. Just because you upgrade too frequently not notice or buy generally the right stuff doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just about every non-HP (and non post script) printer for example... has issues due to non-free drivers (and some HP printers do too- but there are a boatload of good ones with awesome documentation on the levels of support). A boatload of wireless cards (anything that isn't atheros just about) dependent on ndiwsrapper (which causes system instability by the way), and tons more. And no. We shouldn't have to reverse engineer NVIDIA's crap.

Re:Intel video pretty impressive these days... but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038851)

Since when do you need over 2GB to run either Linux or Windows? Only one of my computers has more than 2GB, and I don't notice any difference in performance on it.

Actually, to be honest I do have a netbook with 4GB installed too, but I still haven't replaced the Starter version of Windows 7 so it can't see the top 2GB. It still runs as well as can be expected on the CPU.

Cheaper than the Mac Mini but not Rasberry Pi? (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038221)

A quick look at the Mac mini shows them at $600 [500 i5] or $800 [1TB i7] so about half the price sans memory and hard drive. Ignoring the OS they are significantly better value, and you get to avoid all the Apple lock-in crap that is forced on you.

Though I have to admit both these options seem incredibly expensive vs the myrid of ARM choices out there with a variety of funky/functional enclosures, and use next to no power, running everything from XBMC; Full Desktop Linux; Android[TV], and more than anything require very little money a quick scan puts then in the price range of $30-$150

The reality is Intel are trying to make more money by doing what the SFF[Small Form Factor] manufacturers have been doing for years, bundle case+motherboard together for greater profit...only throwing a CPU into the equation, just when they need to start competing with ARM at the bottom end.

Re:Cheaper than the Mac Mini but not Rasberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038319)

Forget R.Pi as the comparator... The new standard is the large variety of systems based on the chinese Allwinner A13 chip. These mostly cost about $15 or so more than the pi, but are much more realistic in terms of performance - 1ghz A8 (i.e. dual issue, ooe, rather than single issue as the pi's processor is), overclockable to 1.5ghz according to most reports. I'm fond of olimex's board, mostly due to its open-source design, but there are others, too.

More expensive than the Mac Mini (3, Informative)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#42038461)

I'm not getting the impression that the Mac Mini is so much more expensive. On the contrary...

- Core i3 vs core i5/i7.
- No RAM (2 * DDR slots) vs 4GB RAM
- No HD vs 500GB/1TB HD
- HDMI, Thunderbolt (or GigE and an extra HDMI), 3 * USB2 vs GigE, Thunderbolt, HDMI, WireWire, 4 * USB3, SD Card, Speaker In, Speaker Out
- No OS vs OS X

Re:More expensive than the Mac Mini (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038519)

I'm not getting the impression that the Mac Mini is so much more expensive. On the contrary...

- Core i3 vs core i5/i7.
- No RAM (2 * DDR slots) vs 4GB RAM
- No HD vs 500GB/1TB HD
- HDMI, Thunderbolt (or GigE and an extra HDMI), 3 * USB2 vs GigE, Thunderbolt, HDMI, WireWire, 4 * USB3, SD Card, Speaker In, Speaker Out
- No OS vs OS X

That is because you find it difficult to price component of an equivalent barebone system to make it fully functional.

Re:More expensive than the Mac Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039563)

That is because you find it difficult to price component of an equivalent barebone system to make it fully functional.

Price me a 500GB HD that is compatible with this new Intel mini PC ... and any of those additional options that are compatible with this new Intel mini PC's expansion slots.

Re:Cheaper than the Mac Mini but not Rasberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038489)

Once you strap on the items to provide needed ports as well as the drive and memory you are less than the price of an OS away from the mini. You are still short an optical drive and left with a less powerful box. The warrantees on all those parts will be more involved than dropping by the Apple store. More a pee in the wind than shot across the bow.

Revo already fits this market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038271)

ASUS Eee Box, Acer Revo, or Acer Veriton N already does this market well. Except, unlike the Intel, they are ready to go, software included and less than the cost Intel want after adding on the hard disk and wifi card:

http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/veritonn

They're fairly powerful, dual core chip sets, (D525's), with an NVidia Ion 2 graphics, making it a damn site faster than Intels integrated display.

So I don't quite know what market Intel thinks its chasing? A market that ones a faster processor but slower gpu?!

If my next PC is a PC (and not an Android box) then I'd like a small form factor, fast PC sure. But this isn't it. Needs to have Windows 7, a 320GB minimum hard disk, Wifi and be ready to go for that price.

Creativity (1)

grodzix (1235802) | about 2 years ago | (#42038345)

So Intel is basically taking creativity hints from Samsung. Why come up with ideas if someone has done it already for you...

"most of the world is convinced the PC is doomed" (2)

l3v1 (787564) | about 2 years ago | (#42038369)

"most of the world is convinced the PC is doomed"

I still can't take any writing seriously which begins by preaching the end of the PC. First, every computing-capable non-mainframe computer is a PC. Second, there will always be a need for PCs with "normal" computational capacity (meaning more than a mobile i3 cpu), of course in smaller numbers, but still. Remember, not everyone is only a content consumer living on tablets and small form factor AIO computers.

That said, I like these small devices, they have their use and place, in my home too. And I like that there are nice alternatives to Apple.

PC is a Different Toy. (1, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42038431)

First, every computing-capable non-mainframe computer is a PC.

Second, there will always be a need for PCs with "normal" computational capacity

I am not convinced that we will in a post-pc world...an always connected world maybe. but I disagree with you justification on defending a PC as a "personal computer", because tablets/Smartphones albeit incredibly powerful computing devices, and not tradition [Desktop] PCs. Ironically you recognise this by saying smartphones and tablets cannot do [well do badly], by accessing that traditional PC's [what you call "normal"(sic) PC's].

I'm kind of tired of people trying to defend traditional PC's. If you create Stuff [CAD; Programming; Large Documents; Design], as opposed to consume things on the couch or on the Public transport You use a PC. The reality is most people here have tablets; PCs; Smartphones and know what niche they all occupy [or know why they don't want one].

Re:PC is a Different Toy. (1)

Anonymous Cod (2647669) | about 2 years ago | (#42039185)

I think that "the PC is doomed" is a dumb statement. My main issue is with using the PC acronym. Really, all these new small-form-factor devices are also PCs. They are little "personal" computers that perform certain tasks. Sure, the tablets and smartphones aren't good at modeling and rendering 3D animations or what-have-you, so people don't try to use them for that. The "PC" as we currently refer to it, has already evolved from the original. Its components have seen improvements in technology and a reduction in size. One day we'll be able to have all the power we need in something as small as a cell phone, but at that point, that little device is now our PC. The "PC" is not doomed, it is just evolving.

A note to intel... (2)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#42038451)

Please take a quick look at the soon to be available board being proffered at Parallella.org. or you can enjoy their videos [kickstarter.com] . Now you can get the 16+2 core super computer for $99, or the 64+2 core super computer for $199. The board comes with plenty of I/O options and two GPIO bus board expanders. By the way the board is expected to run under 5 watts in use.

It comes with linux installed. I could easily imagine a computer dramatically smaller than an Mac Mini running at lower power with the selection of peripherals that nobody expects. This little machine is going to redefine computers and I hope Intel can hear those tiny feet running up behind them at this very moment.

Things are going to get more interesting by the day.

Re:A note to intel... (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#42040095)

"soon to be available" == vaporware.

Yes, if it ever appears, it might be interesting - but there is no indication that 64 slow cores will beat two fast ones.

What's with the 'name-calling'? (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about 2 years ago | (#42038589)

Intel calls it NUC, for short, which is incredibly cute.

This CPU, with the incredibly catchy name Core i3-3217U, ...
... the DC3217BY, a lovely name that could double as a software registration key ...

(Emphasis mine) Huh? Are they being sarcastic or funny?

big brain, no arms and legs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42038955)

everything and the kitchen sink please.

will try not to bitch here, so i for one welcome our new low power
NUC overloards, that:
1) don't have usb 3.0
2) don't provide visualization support on chip?
3) don't have enough "OOMPH" on the
chipSET side for thunderbolt AND 4x SATA@3GB/sec
AND at least 2(TWO) GIGABIT ports ...all at the same time.

intel seems very strong on the CPU side of things,
but lag on GPU and system bandwidth (see above) = garbage chipSET!

the AMD CPU might not have the same grunt as intel CPUs,
but have visualization enabled on ALL chips that are x64
and enough system wide bandwidth.
even a C50 with the amd chipSET can do HDMI 1080p AND
USB3.0 (500Mbit/sec?)x2 AND two gigabit ports AND
then have enough left over to talk to the GPU even ...
so there.
good try intel, but in that size-class, more peripheral
and bandwidth is needed.

AMD should stop requiring a dedicated PSU monster power brick
to power their mainboards and go with a 60-95 watt
external power brick (like laptops have).

example:
asus AT3ionT minitx board has a atom 330
it has a nvidia ion GPU (8400) AND a 16 lane PCI-e
slot that can ... yes ACTUALLY talk at 16x speed.
the chipSET (not just the GPU) is nVidia!

asus at5ionT minitx board has a atom 525
it has a nvidia ion2 GPU and a 16 lane PCI-e slot
that can talk .. wait for it .. 4x speed.
this is NOT even enough to plugin a lowely
gigabit PCIe network card (single port!).
thats because it doesn't have a nvidia chipSET but a
a "forced down your throat, it comes wit the atom 525"
intel NM10 chipset.http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/internet-devices-chipsets/nm10-chipset.html

i rest my case.

It's getting there.... (1)

Le Grande Raoul (1726988) | about 2 years ago | (#42039063)

There are potentials for sales here.... Right now, today, the Mac Mini seems like a better deal. And, if one really wants to do so, there are a variety of ways to run Windows and/or Linux on the Mini. However, if a faster processor was available as an option and the price went down some, I could see a lot of these in the hands of consumers...

bit;ch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42039159)

DOG THAT IT IS. IT mechanics. So I'm EFNet3 servers. of business and was been many, not the moans and groans SlashdOt 'BSD is year contract. and suggesting Pooper. Nothing

Not modular? (3, Interesting)

flappinbooger (574405) | about 2 years ago | (#42039161)

When I saw it called the "unit" of computing I thought maybe it was modular so I could snap together a few "units" of them to make it faster, bigger, etc.

Shoot, make it NOT expandable at ALL and simply modular, so more ram, more hd, more proc, etc, just click it together. Have variations, different colors mean more ram or more hard drive. Pair a unit with more ram with a unit with more processor.

Otherwise, whats the point? They've made a nettop with an i3 rather than a atom? Ok...

So close but so fail (2)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#42039447)

I LOVE the idea of this thing. I LOVE the size. I LOVE most of the choices and tradeoffs. i love the external power brick - and big fat Bronx cheer to Apple for abandoning that and bringing 110VAC right into their latest minis. Really stupid, Apple.
But so sorry...
1) No ethernet = HUGE FAIL
2) No USB3 and not enough USB's = HUGE FAIL
These are absolute showstoppers. Fix these and this thing is the answer to my prayers. I'll accept up to 1" more width and depth to get them.

Until then, it's not even close to making me abandon my Aopen Mini.

Re:So close but so fail (2)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#42039865)

There will be a version with onboard Ethernet, and they are trying to promote use of thunderbolt, just like Apple is.

I'll probably get one of the model with built-in Ethernet and put a system together - coukd be fun to play with.

$450 is too expensive. (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#42039551)

It looks nice, but the price is not right. $450 pays for a nice i3 laptop with screen, ethernet, keyboard etc...

If they could keep the price under $300 with 4gb of ram (at $10/piece retail) and a 500gb hdd (at $80 retail), then this would be interesting.

Proof of concept (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#42039783)

People here seem to have forgotten what a proof of concept design is. This board is intended to inspire Intel's partners to take the basic building block, extend it in some certain way and address their cluent's needs. Like the Atom MBs. After Intel produced their first few Atom MBs all kinds if systems emerged - SuperMicro made some server MBs, others added better graphics support, etc.

I look at the NUC and I can easily imagine a system with similar specs, 8 gigs of RAM, 64 Gigs of local storage, a gigabit Ethernet port and a more conventional video/audio hook-up being reasonably successful in many call center, kiosk, and other high-volume applications.

I think the real goal of this proof of concept/product is to get people used to the idea of using miniPCIe SSDs on desktop systems - intel has made several MBs with these ports, but they don't get used very often - most system builders opt for 2.5" form factor SSDs.

How long before we see 'NUC co-location' offerings.

This reminds me of PCs that were once made that stuffed a PC into a 5 1/4" drive chassis and was designed to be installed in a desktop system.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?