Giada Launches Compact yet Powerful i80 Mini-PC

Giada is no stranger to the compact systems, but the new i80 takes it to a whole new level with power in a compact chassis. The tiny i80 mini-PC is built on Intel’s NUC concept that packs plenty of power in a compact form factor and coupled with a fashionable appearance, as they call it. The i80 is using the latest Skylake-U processors and support dual 4K UHD resolution that makes it perfect for office work.

The Giada i80 features both HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort connectors for your monitors and they are powered by an Intel Graphics 520 GPU unit. There are two different models with different CPU, but other than that the two models are the same. One uses an Intel Core i5-6200U processor with 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz boost while the other uses the smaller i3-6100U processor with 2..3GHz and no Turbo Boost 2.0.

You are able to install up to 16GB DDR3L-1600 MHz in these units via the two SO-DIMM slots which should be plenty for most work situations. The two slots also allow for dual-channel memory usage that gives a clear benefit over units that only feature one slot.

There are plenty of connection and control options. Starting on the front, there are two USB 3.0 ports next to a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR receiver.

The connections continue on the rear where we find the previously mentioned Mini-DisplayPort that supports 4K 60Hz resolutions and the HDMI port that allows 4K resolutions with 24Hz. There are two more USB 3.0 ports on the rear where you also find an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connector and a TF card reader.

On the inside, you will find an integrated Realtek ALC662 audio codec that powers the two-in-on jack on the front. The Ethernet is powered by Intel’s i219LM controller.

You can expand the function with a full-length Mini-PCIe card that supports mSATA2, a half-length Mini-PCIe Wi-Fi or BT module, and install one mSATA3 drive as well as one 2.5-inch SATA3 drive with a maximum height of 7.5mm. That is quite a bit of expansion options for such a tiny system. speaking of tiny, the system only measures 116.6 x 111 x 47.1 mm

The larger i80-B5000 model comes with a suggested retail price of $380, but the price for the smaller i80-B3000 model wasn’t revealed at this time. Further details can also be found on the official product page.

Intel’s Skull Canyon NUC Ready For Gaming

Traditionally if you wanted to play video games on a PC you needed a full case PC with all the components within the case taking up space. In recent years, the craze of small gaming rigs has seen gaming laptops catch up with the level of power they offer for your daily gaming needs. This week though a new competitor may be on the market with Intel’s new Skull Canyon NUC preparing to take on gamers needs.

Typically when dealing with NUC’s (Next Unit of Computing. A term used to define mini-PC’s), you were offered limited power in exchange for a pocket PC but the Skull Canyon NUC seems to break this by offering an i7-6770HQ.

The difference between this and a traditional i7 or i5 is that for most units they would contain 24 execution units for the graphics. The i7-6770HQ offers you a whole new level with 72 execution units. The Skull Canyon will also support Razer Core, Razers latest creation that will allow for external graphics card set ups.

Supporting thunderbolt 3.0, USB3.1 and even HDMI 2.0, you could enjoy streaming 4k content with ease before switching over to your games.

In regards to price, you should be able to find one on the market as soon as May for $650 (£450 approximately) but you will need to provide the RAM, SSD and operating system but with the overall price for a system on a 16GB and 256GB SSD set up coming in under $1,000, miniature PC’s could soon be showing up at gaming tournaments.

Intel Launches Skull Canyon Gaming NUC

Late last year, we got the earliest hint of Intel’s Skull Canyon NUC. Based off of the popular NUC or Next Unit of Computing series, the super small form factor PC was set to provide enthusiasts the perfect PC for HTPC and light gaming. Today at GDC, Intel finally revealed the specifications, availability and more importantly the pricing for the NUC.

Size, of course, is one of the biggest considerations with the Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) coming in at  216mm x 116mm x 23mm. To put this in perspective, it is nearly twice as long but somewhat thinner than regular NUCs which are 115mm x 111mm x 32mm. Due to the lack of a 2.5inch drive, it is also significantly thinner than the NUCs which support HDDs that are 115mm x 111mm x 48mm.

For the system itself, it runs an i7 6770HQ with 4C/8T and 2.5Ghz base and 3.2Ghz turbo and 2 DDR4 DIMM slots. The chip only has 6MB of L3 but does have the all important Iris Pro HD 580, sporting 576 ALUs, 72 EUs and 9 subslices with the usually massive 128MB eDRAM cache. This will be enough to surpass AMD’s APUs due not only to the eDRAM cache but also the masive iGPU size. Storage is provided by 2 M.2 slots with more possible over the 4 USB3 ports and 1 Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1. There is also one each of HDMI 2.0 and mDP 1.2 out and SDXC port.

A barebones system will set you back $650 and adding an 256GB SSD, 16GB of ram and Windows 10 bumps that up to $999. Overall, the NUC seems like a decent set of kit and with external Thunderbolt 3 GPUs picking up and being available, future GPU upgrades are within the realm of possibility.

SilverStone PTS01 USB 3.0 Enclosure for NUC Review

Introduction


Intel’s NUC series of mini PCs as well as SilverStone’s lineup of Petit series are amazing and bring a lot of great hardware in a very tiny box. They do however have one problem for some people and that is the lack of storage upgradeability. A few of the NUCs have a 2.5-inch bay, but most only feature mSATA, M.2, and similar next generation form factors. That sets some limitations, but limitations are meant to be broken and SilverStone did that with their PTS01 external USB 3.0 storage enclosure that fits the NUC and Petit cases like a glove.

SilverStone designed the PTS01 specifically for the Intel NUC as the majority of the NUC motherboards only support mSATA in order to reduce the dimensions. Where basic and small is great for the one, the other wants a little more. The PTS01 easily stacks with the NUC and Petit series chassis and it can even be placed between the NUCs and their mounting positions such as behind monitors. That way you don’t increase the footprint of your system, at least if you got a little more space behind your monitor.

You can mount a 2.5-inch hard disk or solid state drive with a maximum height of 9mm in the SilverStone PTS01. It is fully SATA III and USB 3.0 compatible with backward compatibility on both sectors. This could truly be the perfect and most convenient way to expand the storage of your NUC system.

The PTS01 is made from aluminum and steel which makes it sturdy and also helps with the cooling of the drive you mount inside. The tiny chassis measures just 122mm by 108mm by 15mm and it weighs just 125-gram thanks to the choice of material.

The SilverStone PTS01 storage enclosure is very simple on its own as it’s just a two-piece enclosure held together by eight screws and containing a small PCB at one end. On the PCB, you can see the USB 3.0 port and the activity LED to the right and we also spot the ASMedia ASM1153E USB 3.0 to Serial SATA bridge chip. The ASM1153E supports UASP for even better transfer speeds and a larger command queue. The enclosure did however not register as UASP device on my Windows 8 Pro system.

Feature Highlights

  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with 5Gbps
  • Supports Intel NUC cases
  • Supports SATA3 2.5” SSD/HDD x 1
  • Robust aluminum and steel body construction

Specifications

Package and Accessories

The simple black box has a premium feel over it thanks to the full-colour print, although you probably won’t look much at the box after you unpacked the enclosure. It also showcases the product itself and the main features right on the front.

The rear of the box has all the specifications themselves and a small image showcasing the usage directly connected to a Petit case.

Inside the box you find the enclosure itself along with a USB connection cable and all the screws you need to mount a drive inside as well as mount it to the NUC or Petit chassis.

Intel Prepping Skull Canyon Enthusiast NUC

With the increasing relevance of mobile and smaller form factors, Intel has been focusing a lot of their attention on this segment. According to leaked internal documentation, Intel is readying a new enthusiast-oriented NUC or Next Unit of Computing. Dubbed Skull Canyon, the new system will feature a Skylake based CPU paired with a potent Iris Pro iGPU in the tiny form factor.

Set to arrive in Q1 2016, Skull Canyon is expected to be the fastest NUC Intel has ever made yet. With the top end Iris Pro 580 graphics (GT4), this little NUC will offer potent graphics capability that should surpass most HTPCs. The iGPU will feature 576 ALUs, in 72 EUs, in a total 9 subslices. Paired with 128MB of eDRAM, this should allow for performance near GTX 750 or R7 370 levels. You can read more about our analysis of Skylake’s new graphics architecture here.

Given our experience with past NUCs, this should be paired with a dual-core i7 U series processor with Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading. This should give the iGPU plenty of juice to ramp up clock speeds. However, with the enthusiast label, Intel may push things further this time around and opt for a quad -core chip. Expect to pay for this level of performance though as NUC’s are not cheap, least of all an enthusiast one.

Akasa Max S Passive Cooled Max S NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


We’re back once again with another entry in the NUC chassis series from Akasa, but this one, like the others we’ve previously seen has a neat trick at its disposal that makes it stand out from the crowd. The Akasa MAX MT and the Plato X both won awards from us recently and for good reason too, they’re both exceptional products full of innovative and practical features, so we’re hoping to see a similar performance from the Max S.

Equipped with support for many great NUC motherboards, the Max S comes will a passive cooling design, support for slim and slot loading ODD drives and more, making it a versatile unit for digital advertising, multimedia systems and even desktop use.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Support both Tray loading / Slot loading slim ODD
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE
NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK

Everything you need to get your hardware installed is included in the box, so the setup process should be nice and straight forward.

First impressions of the Max S are very promising, as you can immediately tell the build quality is nothing short of exceptional. It’s made from a thick piece of aluminium with a fin array on the sides and top, which will help dissipate heat, as the chassis is used to passively cool the CPU.

The same design on the right, giving it a nice uniform appearance.

The front panel looks stunning, with a brushed aluminium finished and trimmed edges giving them a little bit of silver flair. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, IR pass through, HD audio jack and the power button, so that’s all the basics covered. What’s really important is the slot loading optical bay, a great tool if you’re using this for video displays, HTPC or even desktop use. Even better, there’s a second front panel included to add support for slim tray loading drives, giving you even more flexibility.

Around the back, all the usual cut-outs for NUC boards, as well as two rubber grommets for WiFi antenna should you need them. There’s a Kensington lock hole in the bottom corner too, always a nice thing to have for such a small system. The alternative backplate which is included in the box also adds support for NUC boards with Com ports, something that’s still widely used for a whole host of commercial and industrial purposes.

The base of the chassis has four small feet, giving a little ground clearance to the unit. These screws/feet also hold the base plate on the chassis and need to be removed to install your components. There’s a set of four holes on the base too, which are used for mounting the chassis on a VESA or similarly compatible solution.

SilverStone Releases PTS01 USB 3.0 Enclosure for NUCs

Small form factor PCs such as the Intel NUC systems are great and they provide an impressive amount of power in a very compact shape. They do however have one issue most of the times and that is when it comes to storage. Most of the NUCs only support mSATA drives which will increase the costs per GB over 2.5-inch sized drives as well as generally limit the available storage options. SilverStone now released a new drive enclosure that will fix that issue by adding almost any 2.5-inch drive to such a system via a USB 3.0 connection.

Now USB 3 drive enclosures aren’t anything new, but SilverStone’s new PTS01 drive enclosure also matches the layout and compatibility of the NUCs or SilverStone Petit Series chassis. The PTS01 is built with aluminium and steel that both helps with the heat dissipation and keep the drive operating at an optimal efficiency. The enclosure has room for one 2.5-inch SSD or HDD with a height up to 9mm and it connects through a micro USB 3.0 type B cable.

The smart design and compatibility also mean that you don’t have to find a new way to place everything just because you expand with a SilverStone PTS01 enclosure. Being compatible with the NUC mounting options, you can simply put it between the NUC and your mounting system such as the backside of your monitor and forget all about the addition except for the increased storage abilities.

The recommended end-user price for SilverStone’s PTS01 is set to $29.20 USD plus tax and it will be available on December 2nd.

Akasa Plato X Slim Fanless Chassis i5/i7 NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


We’ve got a great change of pace for you today, as we’ve broken away from the standard motherboard form factors for something a little more compact. I am of course talking about the Intel NUC motherboards, which may be tiny, but still pack a huge range of features, high-end processors such as the i5 and i7 ranges and enough connectivity to satisfy the needs of a whole range of usage scenarios.

Akasa are the masters of integrated systems and their range of NUC products is virtually unmatched by their chassis making rivals. The model we have in today, the Plato X, is super slim and despite its completely fanless design, it has enough cooling potential to chill a 5th Gen Core i7 NUC board.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i7RYH / NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE

In terms of spec, this little chassis is well equipped, with room for a single 2.5″ HDD/SSD, but you can squeeze some M.2 drives on your compatible NUC board should you need to.

The chassis is constructed from aluminium, which not only looks stunning with its black finish and silver time highlights on the edges of the front panel, but it also doubles up as the heatsink for the CPU. The entire chassis is designed to provide passive cooling for the internal hardware and that’s why the length of the chassis is so much longer than the 4-inch motherboard, to help better handle the heat of a high-end chip, such as the i7.

The right and left side of the chassis as the same; black aluminium from front to back.

The front panel is gorgeous, good enough to look at home as part of a sleek HTPC setup without being distracting while you’re watching a movie. It’s well equipped too, with a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports, an HD audio jack and the usual power buttons.

Around the back, you’ll find the motherboard I/O ports and two rubber pegs that can be removed to allow you to use Wi-Fi antenna.

There’s even a second backplate included in the box for i5 NUC boards, as well as offering support for COM port, something that’s still very widely used for a lot of industrial applications.

The top panel is held in place with four small screws, running down the middle of the top of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is nice and simple, but if you look closely you’ll see a few screw holes. There’s a mounting kit included, perfect for stealth mounting the unit or fitting it to a compatible VESA bracket.

ASRock Releases Upgraded BeeBox NUC Mini-PC

ASRock released an upgraded version of their tiny NUC mini PC, the BeeBox. The BeeBox is now available with a quad-core processor, 32GB eMMC SSD and comes bundled with a free copy of Windows 10. The BeeBox is also available in a new silver coloured version now on top of the black, gold, and white versions.

The new quad-core CPU is an Intel N3150 SoC and the NUC comes with 2GB DDR3 1600MHz, upgradeable to 16G. You can add plenty of storage despite the small 0.6l volume of the NUC. You can add both an mSATA SSD and a 2.5-inch drive, allowing you to reach 3TB storage and beyond in the near future with newer and bigger drives.

Beebox is the world’s first mini PC with a Type-C USB port and it is the only one to support triple monitor, H.265 decoding and 4K video playback through two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort. The whole system has low power consumption and is extremely quiet while powered on. It is nearly silent when run in Eco mode where it could be used for light tasks such as torrent downloading. So bedrooms aren’t excluded from the possible locations to place it. Another added bonus is the included IR control so you can control it from the couch or bed.

Have you made the switch to ultra compact systems somewhere in your home or do you still prefer the large systems with endless possibilities everywhere? Let us know in the comments.

Akasa MAX MT Fanless NUC Chassis Review

Introduction


Big chassis get all of the fame and glory, but there are a lot of cool things happening in the world of ultra-compact chassis. Akasa is one of the biggest names when it comes to the smallest products and their range of NUC chassis is virtually unmatched. With Intel offering up some truly incredibly NUC motherboards, packing many of the latest Intel Core products, M.2 memory support, USB 3.0 and so much more, there’s now a huge range of applications for this type of system, at home in the workplace and beyond.

• Aluminium fanless CPU cooling design
• Stylish front panel diamond effect
• Two bay 2.5″ SATA mobile tray
• Support one serial port
• Support IR remote function
• Compatible with the following Intel® NUC Board
NUC5i5MYBE / NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE / NUC5i3MYHE
NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK / NUC5i3RYH / NUC5i3RYK

With full aluminium construction, support for a range of NUC boards, a compact form factor, dual 2.5″ drive trays and more, the MAX MT is certainly appealing, but let’s dive right in and take a closer look at what this chassis has to offer.

There are all kinds of accessories included in the box, included a second backplate to expand the motherboard compatibility, a pass through cable for COM connectors, a short and slim SATA cable and more.

The chassis is made from thick and beautifully machined aluminium, with a sleek black finish. While this does add to the aesthetics, the construction is incredibly practical too, as it is durable and the whole bulk of the chassis acts as a passive heat sink for the CPU, allowing it run completely silent.

Down each side of the chassis, you’ll see a fin array, this gives us a greater surface area to help dissipate heat.

The front panel is certainly interesting. As much as this chassis is designed to be tucked out of the way, it’s still very attractive and I’d have no issues have it out on show as part of my desktop setup or a home AV setup and the trimmed silver edges of the front panel certainly add to the appeal.

Aside from the IR port, the power button, USB and the HD audio, you’ll also notice the most important feature of this chassis; dual 2.5″ drive bays. These can be opened at the front, allowing for easy hot-swapping of 2.5″ drives, making this a great option for a compact NAS, workstation or HTPC.

around the back, you’ll find a com port, motherboard I/O, two rubber pegs which can be removed to mount WiFi antenna and a Kensington lock fitting. Of course, you can also swap this backplate for the other included in the box, which offers support for some other NUC motherboards.

across the top, even more thick fins in the aluminium, which will help improve the cooling performance even more, but also keeps the design uniform with the sides of the chassis.

The base of the chassis is compatible with VESA mounting kits, meaning you can easily install it on a bracket, on the back of a compatible monitor or TV and a whole host of other places. There are four screws here too, as the base is the only access point for installing your hardware.

Acer Demonstrates ‘Building Block’ Revo PC

The Acer Revo is an extraordinary small form-factor PC which features a wealth of upgradability through LEGO-inspired hardware tiers. Each expansion block magnetically clips into position after removing a plastic cover. Once unclipped, a discrete connector is unveiled which allows you to neatly connect cables between various tiers. Subsequently, this makes the cabling surprisingly easy and provides a clear, professional look. Currently, Acer’s range of optional tiers includes an external GPU, mini-speaker and headphone amplifier with more modules expected in the future.

In terms of performance, the Revo has the potential to be a small but powerful beast and incorporates either an Intel Celeron or Skylake CPU. Furthermore, the device allows up to 32GB of flash storage and 8GB RAM. Coupled with the dedicated GPU module, this could become the perfect LAN rig or Steam Box. It’s unknown what grade of GPU will be offered but I expect Acer to utilize the GTX 965M, GTX 970M and GTX 980M at different price tiers.

Connectivity-wise, the Revo features HDMI, full-sized DisplayPort, 3 USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The device is scheduled for an October release within the UK and priced around £200. Personally, I think the Revo is a marvellous concept and demonstrates how powerful tiny PCs can be. However, how much of a premium will there be to purchase Acer modules? To be a successful venture, Acer must be careful when it comes to pricing and the premium over traditional upgrades. For example, if a Blu-Ray reader costs £100, when you can purchase one yourself for £50, it could deter many people from investing in the Revo’s closed upgrade path.

Thank you Alphr for providing us with this information.

Next-Gen Intel NUC Takes Power in Small Size to a New Level

Intel’s NUC lineup is already pretty impressive all things considered. You get a lot of power in a tiny form factor and a variety of different models. With the release of Skylake, Intel is now prepping the next generation of NUC series that will be powered by Skylake-U low-voltage processors. The new tiny systems will draw just 15W while supporting M.2 drives and up to 32GB DDR4 memory.

It was more or less a given that Intel would release Skylake based systems, but up until now we’ve just seen slides mentioning them and no actual units. That has changed as they were spotted on Kingston’s booth at the IDF2015. The unit was of course loaded with Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 SO-DIMMs and M.2 SSD drive.

On the rear of the board, we can see a mini-DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a connector, two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, and the DC power. The system also has a wireless card with 802.11ac and Bluetooth that most likely is placed underneath the M.2 drive.

The front of the board features an Infrared receiver and a 3.5mm audio jack. It also features two USB 3.0 ports where the yellow one of them is designed for faster charging of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. There’s also a header for two USB 2.0 ports on the device, but that’s not pictured.

It isn’t fully clear yet what CPU was running in the demonstrated Intel NUC system, it could be either a Core i5-6200 or Core i3-6100U as both have a base clock frequency of 2.3GHz.

Thank You LegitReviews for providing us with this information

Intel Prepping 5×5 Mini PC with LGA Socket

Users have long been chiming for a smaller form factor smaller than the current mini-ITX. Intel does have the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) and other vendors have their solutions. Most of these are quite limited in upgradeability and tend to have few if any expansion slots, limiting functionality. In response to this Intel is launching an all new form factor, dubbed “5×5”.

Revealed at IDF, the 5×5 will measure 140mm x 148mm, which is 5.5”×5.8”, making the 5×5 more of a 6×6 really. Being 30% smaller than mini-ITX, the 5×5 will also feature a fixed CPU position and more importantly, support LGA CPUs. Intel is planning to support i3, i5 and i7 CPUs right from the start with integrated graphics. The 5×5 will have uniform CPU and board mounting holes and will support CPUs from 35 to 65W TDP. The platform can probably go lower, but Intel probably doesn’t have plans for a sub 35W LGA chip.

Despite being more flexible than the NUC, discrete graphics won’t be supported as the z-height is targeting 39mm. There is a lot of other I/O though with 2 SO-DIMM slots, a M.2 SSD connector, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card port, a SATA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI outputs and Gigabit Ethernet. While the boards will likely be sold standalone, Intel is hoping the chassis and the board will match up, providing a good combo for placing the heatsinks and 2.5″ drives.

Intel has not released any information yet about the expected launch for 5×5, but it probably isn’t far off. While integrated graphics can be limiting, a Skylake LGA chip with GT4 graphics and 128MB of eDRAM will make for a pretty strong small factor gaming rig. If Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 are supported in the future, external graphics might also be possible. Hopefully, Intel can get buy-in from motherboard makers. It will also be interesting to see if AMD will try to get into the game by offering their own 5×5 boards with APUs.

Images courtesy of Intel and hardware.hdblog.it

ASRock Provide Exclusive Details on Beebox @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Yesterday we saw a line-up of small NUC’s from ASRock called Beebox. These look like a typical mini-PC with nothing special, however at a VIP press event today; we have been given exclusive information.

The Beebox uses the latest Intel Braswell SOC for the most power efficient and powerful NUC computing experience. The case is small with subtle designs so will fit into a wide range of existing living room environments. What really sets this apart from the rest of the mini PC market is that it supports 4k the right way. Many others offer 4k in a single channel mode, the Beebox offers it in a high stability dual channel mode. This little NUC will also be the world’s first to host a USB Type-C port.

The Beebox will be available later this month with pricing starting from $140 for the barebones kit to $220 for the full system without Beebox OS. If you opted for Windows 10, you could snag a complete system for under $200.

 

 

This is an ongoing press event, we will update you as soon as we have the information.

InWin Presents NUC and SFF Cases at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – InWin is well known for their unique PC chassis designs, but this time they took their design ideas and shrunk it down to be used with Intel’s NUC systems and mITX form factors.

On display were a lot of small cases, perfect for the space-conscious user, living room, or small office as they still offer plenty of features.

The outside of a case is just one part, the insides have to match. InWin has a list of modules available that include dual and quad LAN adapters with Power over Ethernet PoE support, Serial and Parallel ports.

Some systems come pre-equipped with Intel NUC board such as the K3-3Gen Broadwell system. A common feature for all the small cases on display is that they’re all standing vertically for the smallest footprint possible.

InWin’s Ultratop cases aren’t just available pre-equipped with NUCs, they also come as bare systems, allowing you the choice on what board to put inside.

Just because something is small, doesn’t mean that you can’t connect plenty of devices to them.

Despite the small size, you can still fit 2.5-inch drives into the cases and they come with plenty of USB ports, WiFi, and Bluetooth as well.

Power over Ethernet is an amazing feature. You do not need to have a dedicated power supply as these low power units can get enough electricity to run on just the power that’s provided through your ethernet cable, that is if you have a PoE infrastructure. It is one of those things that has to be experienced in real life before you realise just how great this is.

Stay tuned for more news and product reveals directly from Computex in Taipei.

Akasa Announced Newton S Chassis for Broadwell NUC

Intel’s NUC series are pretty cool devices and they can be used for a lot of different things and usage scenarios. Such a device also needs a fitting enclosure and Akasa thinks so too and expands their Newton series with a new mini chassis.

Akasa has introduced a new chassis for the Broadwell version of the Intel NUC called the Newton S (model number: A-NUC15-A1B). The tiny chassis has fanless cooling thanks to the aluminium it is built from and the included heatsinks that connects the chassis directly to the vital parts, making the whole thing one ‘giant’ heatsink. The compact sized chassis easily fits anywhere and also comes with VESA compatible mounting holes for mounting it directly to a monitor, monitor stand or arm, or other VESA compatible device.

The compact sized chassis easily fits anywhere and also comes with VESA compatible mounting holes for mounting it directly to a monitor, monitor stand or arm, or other VESA compatible item.

The aluminium chassis only measures 176.5 x 200 x 53.5mm and adds a few things to the package. It comes with extra serial port, two antenna fitting holes for wireless connections, USB 3.0, IR receiver opening and space for one 2.5-inch HDD or SSD up to 9.5mm.


You also get an alternate backplate in the package and everything else to fit any of the following NUC models inside: NUC5i5MYBE, NUC5i5MYHE, NUC5i3MYBE, NUC5i3MYHE, NUC5i5RYH, NUC5i5RYK, NUC5i3RYH, and NUC5i3RYK.

Intel Shows Off NUC NUC5i7RYH with Intel Iris Graphics 6100 at GDC

Intel has showcased its NUC NUC5i7RYH – the first NUC model to feature an Intel Core i7 processor – at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

The system sports an Intel Core i7-5557U CPU, a 28w TDP processor with Iris Graphics 6100, making the system 4K-ready and able to play a number of mainstream gaming titles.

Though the NUC5i7RYH uses a larger NUC housing – the enclosure’s capacity is 0.62 litres, according to Intel – it seems that the CPU cooler is the same size as the i5 model. Intel says that the system runs on the same motherboard as the Core i3 and i5 Rock Canyon NUCs, and contains an M.2 PCIe SSD.

We should see the Intel NUC5i7RYH released in April this year. Price is yet to be disclosed.

Source: Legit Reviews

Broadwell Based NUCs Spotted on Intel’s Site

Intel’s own website has now confirmed what has been rumoured for a while, the next generation NUC devices powered by Broadwell based CPUs; the CPU isn’t the only thing upgraded, as the new versions sport both M.2 slot and USB charging.

Three images have appeared on Intel’s website and the corresponding support sites for the new products are online as well. From those, we can get quite a bit of information. Next to the M.2 and default mini-PCIe slot, there is also a normal SATA port for an additional 2.5-inch drive, it has two DDR3L memory banks. The CPU isn’t visible on the photos “leaked”, as it is located on the rear of the motherboard.

Unconfirmed information also points toward wireless charging function and NFC support. ComputerBase, who spotted this first, reached out to Intel for a comment, but Intel didn’t want to comment further on upcoming products as “errors” and “leaks” of this kind happen from time to time. We can most likely expect to see Intel’s new NUC’s presented at CES 2015 in Vegas.

Thanks to ComputerBase for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Intel

Intel Preparing Second-Generation NUC Devices

Slides about Intel’s second-generation NUC (Next Unit of Computing) devices have surfaced at FanlessTech. The slides reveal Intel’s latest roadmap for their NUC platform which show that Broadwell-based NUC devices will arrive in Q1 of 2015 while Braswell based NUC devices will arrive in Q2 of 2015. Of note is the fact Broadwell NUCs will bring M.2 support in addition to HDMI, DisplayPort, LAN, WiFi, and 2.5 inch SATA drives. NFC and Wireless Charging is also said to be present which is important for keeping the device relevant to mobile.

Other interesting developments include the fact mSATA is being ditched in favour of M.2 & 2.5 inch SATA drives but also that Braswell NUCs will support SDXC UHS-I card slots, although we cannot confirm at this stage whether that means the Braswell NUCs can boot from SD cards.

Check out the full slide-deck about Intel’s NUC 2.0 devices below.

Source: FanlessTech

Images courtesy of FanlessTech

Gigabyte Brix Pro GB-BXi7-4770R Ultra Compact Barebones System Review

Introduction


In the early stages of last year, Intel released one of the biggest products of 2013 into the market place and no – it was not Haswell. What I am referring to here is the Next Unit of Computing, or NUC as it is more commonly known. Part of what makes this product so special is its ultra compact design, but on top of that, the system that’s tucked inside has a little more to offer over what one would expect from a system of its size. When we took a look at the first generation NUC and also Gigabyte’s own first generation Brix, the results that we got back showed the performance to be somewhat average, leaving them at the entry-level end of the scale. Consequently, these systems are ideal for basic home office use, but if you want a little more grunt from your system then sadly these early units just won’t cut the mustard.

Since those reviews went live, we have seen a number of Brix branded systems come out of the Gigabyte factories and towards the end of last year we caught wind that there was something special on the way which could potentially remodel the entry-level image that the first generation systems have given us. The question is though, can we really get desktop performance out of a unit this small? Granted this new creation is twice as tall as the first generation Brix, but are we getting substantially more performance as well? Bring forward the Brix Pro GB-BXi7-4770R.

When we take a look at the spec list that the Brix Pro has on offer, the biggest difference that we have to note is the step up to Intel’s high performance i7 Haswell CPU. Obviously we shouldn’t be expecting a 4770k to be residing in a system of these dimensions, however the 4770R that we do have is actually not a million miles off what its bigger brother has to offer. With a TDP of 65w and a core clock speed of 3.2GHz boosting up to 3.9GHz, there is certainly a lot of poke beneath the covers so we have got the spirit of a 4770k, although overclocking is not present and the power envelope has been reduced to save on the power consumption.

  • Model: GB-BXi7-4770R
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770R @ 3.9GHz
  • Cooler: Copper heatsink with blower fan
  • RAM: Support for up to 16GB 1333 /1600MHz DDR3 SODIMM
  • Storage: mSATA slot plus SATA header for 7.0/9.5mm 2.5″ drives
  • GPU: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Onboard GPU
  • PSU: External 135W DC adaptor
  • Network: Realtek RTL8111G Gigabit LAN, AzureWave AW-CB161H mini PCIe 802.11ac WLAN / BT 4.0 combo
  • Misc: HDMI & mDP display outputs, 4x USB3.0, 3.5mm audio / SPDIF, VESA 75 & VESA 100 compatible
  • Warranty: 2 Year Standard
  • Price: £510.20 inc Vat @ Scan / $649.79 @ Newegg.com

Naturally it is a little hard to test a barebones system as it is so we need to add in a couple of key components before we can put everything through its paces. Over the specifications listed above, a 240GB Intel 525 series mSATA SSD and a 1TB WD Red 2.5″ HDD have been added for storage along with 8GB of Kingston’s 1600MHz ValueRAM.

In addition to the i7 processor, the other key component that the Brix Pro has to offer is Intel’s latest Iris Pro 5200 series graphics. Now at this point I can imagine that a few of you out there are shrugging your shoulders at the thought of Intel graphics, but Iris Pro is nothing like the HD4000 series graphics that we find onboard a 4770k for example. Simply put Intel have stepped up their game with Iris and reworked the way in which their graphics core works to offer up much more power and performance. In simple terms this means that there is the potential for gaming at an average level of detail and this is there for the reason why the Brix Pro has been featured recently as part of the Steam Box era.

Whilst I do state that gaming is a potential application for the Brix Pro, the more modest graphics performance that Iris has to offer is not going to make the Brix Pro the perfect alternative for your full-fat pixel pushing gaming rig – it is just a more tame alternative. Where the Brix Pro is also suited is with the prosumer user group, where image editing and design work requires the more powerful Intel processors and where applications such as Adobe Photoshop relish when surrounded by the higher specified components. By the time we take the price of the bare system and add on the extra components that we have used here (not including operating system) we are looking at a ball park purchase price of around £880 in the UK or around $1080 in the US.

Like the Brix Pro, the packaging is condensed right down with almost no space going to waste. Tucked neatly inside the box, Gigabyte include a full driver set and setup guide, regional power adaptor, VESA bracket and screws for mounting the system to the back of a monitor and finally a small rubber bung to close off the SPDIF output on the front of the system.

Silverstone’s Latest NAS, HTPC & SteamBox-Style Chassis On Display At CeBIT 2014

Here we are once again at CeBIT 2014 with more great coverage from some of the top manufactures from around the world. Silverstone are already highly regarded for their attention to detail and innovation and the new cases on display at the show are no exception. First up we have the lovely new SG08-Lite (top left) which features an bold exterior design, extensive ventilation for keeping your GPU and other components cool, a slot loading optical drive bay, ATX PSU support and room for a mini-ITX motherboard.

Next to that we have on of the coolest cases on the market today, the RVZ01 gaming chassis (2nd from left) which features room for a large GPU and plenty of storage thanks to its innovative design. We actually reviewed this case recently, so if you would like to know more you can check out the full review here (spoiler: It’s awesome).

Next in line we have the DS260 mini-ITX chassis (below), easily our favourite Silverstone product at CeBIT 2014. It features a thick aluminium construction and despite only being a mock-up it’s already looking superb. It features a hybrid design that makes it ideal for a mini-ITX style system, but it’s real purpose in life is as a NAS box.

Aside from feature a sturdy chassis which features carry handle style side panels, you’ll also find tabbed hard drive bays which can be lifted out right from the top of the case. If you’re in need of a case that allows quick and easy hard drive swaps then you’re going to love this. If you need to do mass backups, file transfers, or need very flexible storage then the DS260 may very well be one of the best choices on the market for a self-build NAS system.

The new GD09 is a serious power house for those wanting to build a mighty HTPC style build, although I guess there is no reason why you couldn’t use it for a desktop based system dependant on your requirements and preferences. It is compatible with ATX motherboards, ATX PSU’s, multiple large graphics cards (just like any other ATX sized chassis), features plenty of air filters, fan mounts and everything else you would expect from a high-end Silverstone product.

If your space requirements are a little more limited, the ML06 features support for mini-ITX motherboards, but still features plenty of ventilation, dust filters and side inputs for USB 3.0 and HD Audio that make it an ideal compact solution for a HTPC or space-saving desktop system.

ML06 not small enough for you? Then check out their gorgeous new range of PT14 NUC style cases, which feature passive CPU cooling designs that range from eSATA storage compatibility in the smaller ones, to full 3.5″ hard drive support of the larger models, making them great for digital advertising, HTPC, media streaming, or just a powerful, yet compact system that you can take with you with ease.

We’ve got plenty more to share with you from CeBIT 2014 and even more from the Silverstone booth, we will be back shortly with coverage of some of their larger chassis products, as well as other accessories.

Intel Makes D54250WYK Haswell Powered NUC Official

Intel recently announced official availability of its Haswell powered D54250WYK NUC kit that was spotted at PAX Prime about 2 weeks ago. The new D54250WYK NUC kit uses a Haswell based processor – the Core i5 4250U which runs at 1.3GHz across two cores and four threads with a 2.6GHz Turbo mode, 3MB of Cache and a 15W TDP. The CPU is soldered directly onto the motherboard, pictured below, with an active cooling solution and enlarged integrated graphics.

The graphics are provided by Intel HD 5000 running at 200MHz base clock up to a maximum frequency of 1GHz depending on the workload type and intensity. The graphics power two display outputs which include DisplayPort 1.2, which is capable of up to 4K, and HDMI 1.4.

The motherboard has two SODIMM slots supporting up to 16GB of DDR3 1600/1333MHz memory. The expansion capabilities internally include a full length mSATA/ mini PCI express slot and a half length mini PCI express slot. There is also a Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 ports (2 front 2 back), two USB 2.0 ports (internal header), a SATA port (internal) and a consumer infrared sensor.

The new Haswell D54250WYK NUC will have support for VESA and comes with a 65W power brick. The unit is backed by a three year Intel warranty. Pricing is TBA.

Images courtesy of Intel

Intel Preparing Cheap $139 NUC To Take On AMD Kabini Competitors

Hexus reports that Intel will be preparing a variety of lower cost NUC systems to take on small form factor AMD Kabini APU powered systems (or AMD NUCs for want of a better term). They’ve managed to grab some preliminary Intel marketing material which shows that the Intel “Forest Canyon” kit, aka the Intel NUC DN2810FYK will cost only $139. This kit is powered by an Intel Celeron N2810 dual core 2GHz processors with a 756MHz GPU and a 7.5W TDP – believed to be from the Bay Trail-M family of Intel processors. The unit supports DDR3L SODIMM memory and up to 8GBs of it unlike previous Atom-based Intel mini-PCs that were limited to just 2GB.

On the storage side of things an mSATA port makes way for a SATA 2.5 inch port instead which is apparently powered by a custom 5 volt SATA power port. External connectivity is abundant with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Gigabit LAN, HDMI out, audio jacks and an IR receiver. Unlike previous Intel NUCs the new budget NUC comes pre-fitted with an Intel Wireless-N 135 mini wireless card. The unit is thicker than normal NUCs due to the 2.5 inch drive bay and it measures in at 116.6mm x 112mm x 55mm. Like other NUCs this one will be VESA mountable and has a 1 year warranty. OS support includes Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Linux and Android from Q2 of 2014. The NUC DN2810FYK will launch from Q1 of 2014 according to the reports.

Image courtesy of Hexus

ASUS Launch Their VivoPC “NUC-Style” Mini PC

ASUS has launched their loose-interpretation of the Intel NUC style platform. The design sacrifices a lot of the compactness and portability of the reference NUC platform in order to pack in better hardware at a more attractive price. The VivoPC from ASUS will arrive at the end of the month in silver or black. The silver model (pictured in this article) uses the product name VM40B. It has an Intel 1.5GHz Celeron 1007U dual core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a 2-in-1 card reader, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity, and a 65 W power supply.

The second option is the black VC60 which comes with identical specification as the VM40B but uses an improved Core i3-3110M 2.4GHz dual core or Core i5-3210M 3.1GHz processor and twice the RAM at 4GB. 

The VM40B is set to cost €229 while the VC60 starts at €349 all the way up to €519. Both units weigh around 1.2kg and measure in at 190 by 190 by 56.2 mm (WxHxD). This is quite a lot larger than Intel’s reference NUC which measures in at 116.6 x 112 x 39 mm (WxHxD).

Images courtesy of ASUS

Gigabyte Unveils Iris Pro 5200 Graphics Enabled BRIX

Gigabyte have taken Intel’s IDF as an opportunity to unveil their latest BRIX PCs which features Intel’s enlarged graphics processing chip Iris Pro 5200 according to LegitReviews. Intel’s Iris Pro 5200 integrated GPU features 40 execution units, level 4 eDRAM cache and roughly speaking it is about twice as fast as Intel HD 4600 graphics and isn’t that far behind a desktop class GT 640 graphics card.

As you can see this extra GPU power doesn’t come without some design penalties. In fact the design is almost twice as thick as the normal BRIX because of all that extra heat that needs to be dissipated from the additional graphics power. These Iris Pro graphics are paired up with the following Haswell embedded CPU choices:

  • Core i7 4770R 3.2GHz stock 3.9GHz turbo
  • Core i5 4670R 3.0GHz stock 3.7GHz turbo
  • Core i5 4570R 2.7GHz stock 3.2GHz turbo

In effect this system runs a desktop class 65W CPU that would be comparable to fully fledged desktop equivalents of the same clock speed. If you then factor in the Iris Pro 5200 graphics then you’re actually looking at a PC with pretty potent potential and arguably this kind of solution blows one of AMD’s A10-6800K APUs out of the water. There is of course one catch – this is going to cost a small fortune. Gigabyte have said pricing will start above $500 and remember that doesn’t even include a storage drive.

The extra size does bring one advantage which is that there is room for a 2.5 inch SATA drive which smaller BRIXs and NUCs don’t have – that is in addition to the two mSATA slots, though this SATA drive will support SATA II 3Gbps only. Dual displays are also supported via the HDMI and mini DisplayPort.

Images courtesy of LegitReviews

Gigabyte Adds Haswell To BRIX Mini PCs

Gigabyte have just unveiled their latest generation of BRIX systems powered by Intel’s fourth generation Haswell Core Series processors. These new BRIX mini PCs now offer improved CPU and graphics performance plus native 4K display support. Gigabyte are releasing four new BRIX models based on four Haswell mobile processors. All of the processors are “U” processors based on an ultra low voltage design.

The new BRIX systems retain extensive connectivity with HDMI out, Gigabit Ethernet, mini Display Port, four USB 3.0, SPDIF audio out and a Kensington lock. The Gigabyte BRIX models detailed below come pre-fitted with everything but an mSATA SSD and SODIMM memory which you can configure yourself. Unlike the Intel NUC the Gigabyte BRIX comes with a WiFi Bluetooth 4.0 module as standard.

The new Gigabyte BRIX systems support up to 4K via the HDMI output, or dual displays by the HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. To top off its functionality as a small form factor PC the Gigabyte BRIX also uses a VESA mount so you can easily put it behind a TV or computer monitor – Gigabyte also include the bracket for this.

Images courtesy of Gigabyte

Haswell Powered Intel NUC Spotted At PAX Prime

Intel’s next generation NUC has been spotted by Legit Reviews at PAX Prime 2013. The new NUC will be powered by Intel’s Haswell CPU, the particular model that was spotted – D54250WYK – uses an Intel Core i5 4250U clocked at 1.3GHz across both cores. With turbo mode the device can reach 2.6GHz and has 3MB of smart cache. The processor, being a Core i5, supports Intel’s Hyper Threading and is 64 bit capable.

Intel have also updated the graphics part on the D54250WYK by implementing HD 5000 graphics (200-1000MHz) that has one mini DisplayPort out and another mini HDMI out to support dual independent displays. In total the Core i5 4250U has a tiny TDP of just 15W.Intel will release three other Haswell powered NUC kits later on this year including the D34010WYK and Boards D54250WYB, D34010WYKB. Apparently none of them will use a Thunderbolt solution.

In terms of additional features over current generation NUCs there are a pair of USB 3.0 ports at the front, a HD audio 3.5mm jack and an IR sensor. The original NUC had just a single USB port. The overall system footprint is smaller than the Ivy Bridge based predecessors and in total the unit is about 0.19 inches smaller in heigh or about 12% less thick. This size reduction comes despite the implementation of more copper cooling fins to prevent overheating problems that the original NUC had. The rear I/O includes Intel Gigabit LAN, mini HDMI 1.4a, mini DisplayPort 1.2 (both video outputs also support 7.1 channel audio) and the power connector which uses a 65W brick. Intel say the maximum power draw of a fully loaded Intel D54250WYK NUC system would be 64.32W.

Image courtesy of Legit Reviews