DisplayPort 1.4 Standard to Support 8k Displays and USB Type-C

It has been a long time since DisplayPort 1.4 was announced to be able to support 8k displays, now it is set to become a reality, with big changes to the video standard coming up its new standard. The standout feature being the ability to connect almost any device, from a smartphone to a laptop up to an 8k capable display via a USB Type-C port, announced by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) on Tuesday.

While USB Type-C may still seem in its infancy, the standard is quickly gaining popularity and can be found on existing Nexus smartphones and MacBooks already. DisplayPort 1.4’s compatibility with USB Type-C will allow it to be easily adapted into a wider range of devices than previous versions of DisplayPort, which have often suffered from poor levels adoption outside of those after super-high-resolution monitors. DisplayPort isn’t the only video standard targeting USB Type-C compatibility either, with SuperMHL currently under development, which, unfortunately, would require new ports on computers and monitors to be adopted.

It seems farfetched that 4k and above video signal could be sent over the bandwidth available to USB, however, VESA has reportedly found a way to solve the issue of 8k video transfer. DisplayPort 1.4 contains a Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology which is designed to compress video transmission into smaller packets, which will make it possible for 8k video to be transferred in real-time via USB Type-C. As a bonus, VESA reports that the quality of the video is unaffected by the compression.

Over the years, DisplayPort, despite its low consumer popularity, has continued to adapt to new connector standards such as Thunderbolt, despite having its own connector. Current DisplayPort 1.3 technology can support 2 4k monitors simultaneously, which makes 1.4’s ability to support 8k a major step up. It is unclear when devices supporting this new standard will reach the market, with existing 4k monitors still prohibitively expensive for many and the majority unlikely to replace expensive devices and graphics cards in a hurry, while 8k displays are worth over $100,000. This new standard should definitely put DisplayPort ahead of the technology curve, though, so that when 8k makes it big, the standards to support it are there.

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.

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.

Intel Plans to Support AMD FreeSync

AMD may win the adaptive refresh format wars based on what Intel is planning to do. Despite being arch rivals in the desktop x86 CPU segment, Intel appears to be backing the VESA Adaptive Sync protocol, more commonly known as AMD’s FreeSync. This could spell trouble for rival Nvidia’s proprietary G-Sync solution. Supporting Adaptive-Sync makes sense for Intel as their iGPUs are still relatively weak and could use the variable refresh rate to support smoother gameplay.

Chief Graphics Software Architect David Blythe noted that Intel was favorable towards standards-based solutions like FreeSync which has been adopted by VESA as Adaptive-Sync. Intel will eventually support Adaptive-Sync with their iGPUs but there is no timeframe yet for when this feature will roll out.

While a source has indicated that current hardware is not capable of Adaptive-Sync, that might still change. Adaptive-Sync is an optional addition to Display Port 1.2a, which Broadwell and Skylake should support. If Intel’s iGPU hardware is capable of supporting Adaptive-Sync, it is possible that a driver update will enable Adaptive-Sync in the future. Of course, if the hardware is lacking as the source says it is, then we will have to wait till after Skylake.

While both Adaptive-Sync and G-Sync require additional hardware for the monitor (frame scaler or GSync module), Adaptive-Sync is generally cheaper to implement and does not require vendor lock-in to Nvidia. Intel does have a commanding position in terms of total GPU market share and even if Intel doesn’t enforce Adaptive-Sync for say, Ultrabooks, it can still be a huge boon for the standard and AMD, potentially forcing Nvidia to support Adaptive-Sync too.

Thank you TechReport for providing us with this information

Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi5H-5200 Review

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at Gigabyte’s Intel i5 5200U powered BRIX. Gigabyte has an impressive array of BRIX models that come in at all different performance levels with many CPU options and even options with discrete GPUs. The small form factor computer business has been exploding the last few years due in part with parts shrinking and their abilities skyrocketing. Many people have been buying small form factor units deciding to use them as business or daily workstations due to the low power consumption, helping to lower costs. Others love these small boxes for use as home theater PCs (HTPCs) since they can be tucked out of the way and will generally not be heard over ambient sound in the home theater. The specs for this BRIX look promising for use in both situations so let’s take a closer look and see just how well it would perform in these tasks.

Specifications
  • Name: Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi5H-5200
  • CPU: Intel i5 5200U (2C/4T, 2.2 GHz w/ 2.7 GHz Max Turbo, 14nm, 15W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel® HD Graphics 5500
  • LAN: Realtek RTL8111G 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini isplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, RJ-45/GbE LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $364.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials and hardware that the BRIX comes with. You will get a power adapter and power cord to hook up the BRIX as well as all the screws that you will need to mount your SSD or HDD and use the VESA mount if you wish. The DVD and printed materials are toss away materials in my opinion since the most up to date drivers and materials can be downloaded from the support website.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Zotac CI321Nano Barebones System Review

 

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at one of Zotac’s latest ZBOX CI321 nano barebones system that is packing a dual-core 2961Y CPU. Something that makes this CI321 nano stand out of the crowd is that it carries dual Gigabit LAN and is completely silent with its passively cooled design. With the inclusion of an onboard IR receiver, this makes it an interesting option for a silent HTPC. With it being a barebones kit, you can use some memory or 2.5″ drives that you have on hand to keep the final build costs down. There has been a lot of growth in the mini PC market and Zotac has been in it for a long time with its ZBOX lineup.

Specifications
  • Name: ZBOX CI321 nano
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2961Y (2C/2T, 1.10 GHz, 22nm, 6W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel HD Graphics
  • LAN: dual 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, 2x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $149.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials that the CI321 comes with

The hardware that you get with the CI321 allows you to mount the unit via the VESA mount of a monitor or TV. You also get an optical audio adapter for use with a Toslink connection, a dual band WiFi antenna, and screws to mount your 2.5″ SSD or HDD.

 

CPU-Z

 

GPU-Z

Antec ISK 110 90w Mini-ITX VESA Compatible Chassis Review

Introduction


The Antec ISK series has long been a favorite of mine. Sure we sometimes need high-end full towers, capable of housing epic gaming systems, but there’s a high demand for compact and efficient systems in the home and the office; something the ISK series is well suited to. The model we’re looking at today certainly is targeted more at the professional market, with many applications from digital signage and office systems, but there’s certainly no reason why you wouldn’t find a use for a chassis like this as a HTPC, space-saving system or more.

As you can see, the ISK110 comes equipped with a nice little bundle of screws, but more importantly, an external power supply adaptor. The ISK110 is capable of powering a system of up to 90w, which may not sound a lot, but given the low power requirements of 2.5″ drives and modern processors such as Haswell, it’s a lot more than it sounds; this is especially true given that this chassis will not house a graphics card.

Given the compact nature of the chassis, this is all the power cables you’ll need on the interior. A single cable attached to the PSU PCB on the interior of the chassis, as has your standard motherboard and CPU power cables, as well as a couple of SATA connectors and a single MOLEX.

Also included in the box, you’ll find this metal VESA mount, giving you the option to fit the entire chassis onto the back of a VESA-compatible display; this could save you a lot of space on your desktop.

Further mounting options are provided via this lovely vertical mount, which provides a stable base for the chassis should you want to stand it upright on its side.

It’s got a few rubber grips on the base and just like the VESA mount, it simply clips onto the base of the chassis.

The chassis its self is nice and compact. Overall, it’s not much bigger than a mini-ITX motherboard and not that much thicker either; there should be just enough room for a low-profile CPU cooler in here.

There’s loads of ventilation in the top section and a little extra on the base to help keep things cool.

The front panel is nicely equipped with four USB 2.0 ports, HD audio jacks, two LED indicators and, of course, the power button.

Around the back, there’s a snap-off mini-ITX cover and a small power port. You’ll also notice two screws in the top panel and two more in the bottom, these are all that is needed to remove either panel.

The base and top section of the chassis, or the left and right side depending on your chosen orientation, has a little more ventilation. There’s also some holes to mount the VESA or vertical mount on the left/bottom side.

SilverStone Release ARM Three Triple Monitor Desktop Stand

A multi-monitor setup can be a joy and even more so when freeing up the space underneath for other equipment. There are already a few triple monitor stands on the market, but most of them cost too much for most people to consider. SilverStones new ARM Three sets out to rectify this with a quality build at a reasonable price.

The ARM31BS is constructed with robust aluminum alloy and steel and is using the 75mm and 100mm VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS). It allows for hassle-free adjustments for the height and positions, to reach viewing angles that otherwise wouldn’t really be possible.

SilverStone’s ARM Three supports up to 24-inch monitors with a weight of up to 6kg. This should fit most users monitor needs, but one should keep bezel size in mind. The ARM31BC is available now for an MSRP of $159.18 excl. VAT.

Special Features

  • Smart torque spring ensures hassle-free adjustment
  • Multiple adjustment including height and 90 degrees monitor rotation
  • Aluminum construction
  • Easy installation and cable management
  • Meet VESA Mounting Interface Standard

Thanks to SilverStone for providing us with this information

New DockPort Display Standard Released From VESA

VESA, the Video Electronics Standards Association who are the governing body over the display connectivity standards (the people who write out the rules so-to-speak) have announced that they are expending the DisplayPort standard to allow USB3.1 data and power to be carried over the same cable that video signals are currently run over on the DisplayPort interface. Known as DockPort, the connection is physically the same, much like USB3.0 is with USB2.0, meaning that older DisplayPort only devices will be backwards compatible with DockPort enabled devices. When two DockPort devices are connected together, power and USB3.1 data will run over the cable, reducing the overall number of cables that need to be connected between the source and display.

As DockPort is an extension of an existing standard, it will be offered to current VESA members without any additional licensing fees, meaning that any products that feature the new standard won’t have to incur massive price jumps.

“As computing platforms become increasingly mobile, it becomes necessary to reduce the number of external connectors,” explained Steve Belt, Corporate Vice President – Strategic Alliances & Solutions Enablement AMD, a VESA member company. “With DockPort, VESA has developed a technology standard that enhances elegant docking designs, reduces mobile form factors, and enriches the user experience with streamlined, one-cable access to a wide range of external displays, peripherals and storage.”

Unlike HDMI which can only carry audio and video data, DockPort is set to be the first standard to carry non-video data across a display cable as well as the first standard to allow power to run alongside a video signal without interference. As the new standard begins to roll out, a number of vendors are showing off their latest product at Computex 2014 which is running this week, although there is no word if this standard is ready to hit the shelves just yet.

“The new DockPort standard demonstrates the enormous adaptability of the DisplayPort standard,” according to VESA Board Chair Alan Kobayashi, Fellow & Executive R&D Management for DisplayPort Group at MegaChips Technology America. “On the one hand, DisplayPort is a flexible A/V transport protocol that easily coexists with other protocols, like USB-it plays nicely with others. On the other hand, DisplayPort is also a robust and proven connector design whose electro-mechanical properties can accommodate data and power over a common passive copper cable and interface.”

Source: Press Release

No Need For G-Sync Now That Display Port Has Adaptive-Sync

Have you been annoyed at the lack of widespread support for Nvidia G-Sync? It’s one of the coolest technology innovations to happen to PC gaming in years, and it’s reach was limited due to it being sold exclusively via high-end Asus monitors. Well fear no more as you anger will soon be gone. VESA has revealed that they’re adding Adaptive-Sync to its popular DisplayPort 1.2a video interface standard. This means that those who use this connection will be able to enjoy smoother, tear-free images for gaming, judder free video playback and reduced power consumption thanks to low frame rate capabilities on static content, hurray!

With your monitor refreshing at a fixed frame rate, you need to use V-Sync and more GPU power to try to lock the frame rate at the same refresh rate as the monitor, let’s say 60FPS. When your GPU chugs and your frame rate drops, you see screen tear, or you end up working your GPU harder to meet the frame rate demands when it simply doesn’t need to. Having Adaptive-Sync will allow your monitor and GPU to work in harmony, allowing the display to dynamically match the GPU rendering rate on a frame-by-frame basis. This means your GPU can drop in FPS, but you won’t get screen tear and you won’t need V-Sync enabled.

“VESA is constantly evaluating new methods and technologies that add value to both the end-user and our OEM member companies. Adaptive-Sync delivers clearly visible advantages to the user for gaming and live video, and contributes to the development of sleeker mobile system designs by reducing battery power requirements,” said Bill Lempesis, VESA Executive Director. “VESA has developed a test specification to certify Adaptive-Sync compliance. Systems that pass Adaptive-Sync compliance testing will be allowed to feature the official Adaptive-Sync logo on their packaging, informing consumers which DisplayPort-certified displays and video sources offer Adaptive-Sync.”

The new DispalyPort Adaptive-Sync will be offered to VESA members without any license fee, expect to see products supporting the new feature hitting the market in the near future.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gadgets and Stuff.

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.

VESA Working On micro-DisplayPort, To Bring 4K And Beyond Resolution

The Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort and miniDisplayPort are on the market but it looks like the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has just announced that it is working on defining a micro-DisplayPort standard which will still be backward-compatible with existing DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort devices and offer beyond 4K Ultra HD connectivity for phones, tablets, and ultra-portables.

VESA won’t solely concentrate on the port itself. Instead, it will be figuring out the final design for the docking connector, receptacle, and cable as well. The new standard is “designed to support data rates for future display bandwidths beyond today’s 4K resolutions” as VESA states, while another goal is to support passive cables up to 1.5m ( 5 feet ) in length, without requiring any sort of repeater or other active component, tech which would be particularly important in smartphones and other portable devices.

The micro-DisplayPort will also allow laptop, tablet and smartphone manufacturers to make even thinner devices. That said, it remains to be seen how Apple and Intel will respond to the smaller connection. Currently, the Thunderbolt technology used on the Mac line-up, with a full six Thunderbolt 2 ports, relies on a mini-DisplayPort connector, which is also backward-compatible with traditional DisplayPort monitors.

A switch to micro-DisplayPort could allow Apple to trim its notebooks even further, and looking at the MacBook Pro 13″ with Retina Display for instance, having a spec of just 3.46 pounds and 0.71-inches thick, who knows how light or thin they could get if the micro-DisplayPort gets standardized.

Thank you Slashgear for providing us with this information

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

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

Acer Reveal 20 Inch “Veriton Z” AIO Desktop PCs

Acer have just announced the latest interesting addition to their AIO desktop series. The new Veriton Z2640G All-In-One desktop PCs offer a portable and powerful desktop-style PC. They feature a modular component design for easy maintenance and upgrades, removable feet and VESA mounting to save space.

The main chassis tilts from 6 to 60 degrees in terms of viewing angles and there is a front facing 2MP webcam. Users can opt for Windows 8 Pro or Windows 7 Professional, Acer’s way of appealing to the business sector. Specifications aren’t amazing but offer enough to be functional as a desktop PC. There are two models available, the first comes with a Celeron 1007U processor that offers 2MB of Cache and two cores at 1.5GHz, this has 2GB of DDR3 (expandable to 16GB) and costs $539. The second model comes with a Pentium 2117U which has 2MB of cache and two cores at 1.8GHz, this has 4GB of RAM (also expandable to 16GB) and an RRP of $599.

Other features include a 19.5 inch LED LCD display with a 1600 by 900 resolution. Each system has two integrated speakers, a microphone, a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and HDMI in. Storage is provided by a 500GB 7200 RPM drive.

Acer also integrated a wide range of their security and management tools for business clients. Acer will ship these units at the end of the month and they will have a one year warranty.

Image courtesy of Acer

Gigabyte BRIX GB-XM11-3337 System Review

Intel’s NUC has spawned a new generation of mini PCs. We recently took a look at the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) from Intel and we found it to be a very impressive unit but was marginally let down by components lacking performance, a high price tag and a missing wireless module. Gigabyte’s BRIX looks set to take on two of those major flaws in Intel’s new reference NUC platform as they have opted for a Core i5 and have included a wireless module.

Today we are reviewing the Gigabyte GB-XM11-3337 BRIX which is like Intel’s NUC except Gigabyte have redesigned the chassis, changed the I/O, changed the BIOS and opted for some higher spec hardware. While Intel’s NUC measures in at 1.55 inches thick Gigabyte’s BRIX is much smaller at 1.18 inches thick. In fact the Gigabyte BRIX is just a generally more compact unit than Intel’s NUC. Furthermore the wireless module is included as standard and USB 3.0 has been added too. Finally there is a DisplayPort and HDMI instead of two HDMI meaning you have slightly more flexibility when it comes to display outputs.

Additionally the main change comes in the form of the CPU. The Intel NUC we reviewed had a dual core 1.1GHz 32nm Sandy Bridge based CPU whereas this Gigabyte BRIX uses an Ivy Bridge 22nm i5 3337U processor that has 2 cores and four threads at 1.8GHz stock and 2.7GHz turbo. It also supports more memory bandwidth at up to 1600MHz compared to the 1333MHz on the Intel NUC we looked at that had a Celeron 847. Finally it also boasts Intel HD 4000 graphics which aren’t going to play any games that well but are still a huge leap forward over the graphics part of the Sandy Bridge ULV processors like the Celeron 847. However, this comes at a cost as the Core i5 3337U has a tray price of $225 which is more than the entire Intel Celeron 847 based NUC system costs – straight away we know this isn’t going to be cheap but let’s see how much performance this device offers.

Below you can see the full specifications of Gigabyte’s BRIX GB-XM11-3337 system and without any further ado we will now proceed through the rest of this review.

Intel NUC DCCP847DYE System Review

Intel’s NUC, or next unit of computing, platform is a refreshingly new idea. Essentially what Intel have created is an ultra compact PC standard that they want to be the future of computing. Measuring in at just 12 by 11 by 4cm the Intel NUC is an impressive small standardised computer that is capable of more than you might expect. Since low power and small Intel CPUs have come quite a long way since the days of quite mediocre “nettop” Atom systems, such as a couple we reviewed a while ago based on the Atom D525, we have great expectations for the Intel NUC. The Intel NUC joins a rather crowded market place for small form factor systems and faces competition from Zotac’s ZBox and Sapphire Edge PCs.

However, the NUC’s similarities with its competitors end there because what the NUC platform does is try and carry over that high level of performance we’d expect to see from a desktop PC – or at least it should do better than its Atom based counter parts that other hardware companies are selling. Intel’s NUC is going to be available with Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Also since the NUC is a reference platform, we will see Intel partners able to create their own versions such as the Gigabyte BRIX we saw at Computex.

In any case the Intel NUC is the starting point of a drive towards smaller form factor everyday PCs. Today we have with us Intel’s “DCCP847DYE” NUC and that means it is running a rather modest ULV Celeron 847 Dual Core 32nm Sandy Bridge based processor running at 1.1GHz with no hyperthreading and 2MB of L3 Cache. You can see more detailed specifications of this particular NUC model directly below:

Without any further ado let us progress and take a look at Intel’s brand new NUC platform.

VESA introduces newer DisplayPort standard to provide 1080p 3D @ 60Hz/4K UHD @ 30Hz

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA for short) has recently updated their standard to provide a higher resolution on their DisplayPort Dual-mode standard. The new standard is expected to be available to consumer later this year on personal computers and cable adapters.

The currently available DisplayPort Dual-Mode converters gives an output of 1080p at 60 Hz with 24-bit colour with TMDS clock rate of 165 MHz. The new standard ensures improved interoperability, and enabling higher data rate transfers through DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters. This way it provides HDMI 1.4 display mode of 1080p 3D at 60 Hz and even 4K UHD content up to 30 Hz frame rate via a single cable with TMDS rate of 300 MHz.

Other than that, it will provide deeper colours in the current 1080p resolution that’s commonly adopted by the mass. The older adapters will now be referred as “Type 1” adapters. The newer standard will be called as Type 2 adapters and it has backward compatibility.

Via: Techspot