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raddaqii
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject: Getting NUC type mid-key gear Reply with quote

Years ago, when I built my last Gentoo rig at home it was an AM3 hexacore 1100T and 16GB of RAM. Hardware has aged, such that only one of the SATA chips now works, and it won't boot if anything is connected to ports controlled by the second controller chip. Finding out about this shortcoming made me decide "I don't want to fiddle about with hardware much any more". Good old Gigabyte mobo GA-890GPA-UD3H needs to be retired.

Long story short, I'm about to buy new gear, and a NUC seems to fit. Not much cabling to do, a given 2,5'' SSD must fit, has wired network, idc if I'll attach it to the back of the monitor later or not. Must have DisplayPort and or any other decent digital out, USB, PS/2 nice to have. Occasional 1080p gaming, no 4K needed. This will be my day to day working machine, other storage is done on a NAS.

Candidates
* https://www.intel.de/content/www/de/de/products/boards-kits/nuc/kits/nuc7i5bnh-16gb-optane.html or the optane-less NUC7i5BNH
* https://www.intel.de/content/www/de/de/products/boards-kits/nuc/kits/nuc7i7bnh-16gb-optane.html?wapkw=nuc7i7bnh or the optane-less NUC7i7BNH
* other vendors Fujitsu ESPRIMO Q556-2 Mini PC i5-7400T, ASRock Beebox-S 7200U/B (ugly though), Acer Veriton N4640G, Zotac, MSI Cubi, ...

Reading through this forum gave me an idea that Intel NUCs should work just fine. What I did not find is how emerging stuff on a TDP throttled 15W system works out. Must be considerably slower, or did efficiency go up heavily?

Please share some of your thoughts on this. :)
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bunder
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I could shill for system76 again, they have something NUC sized that can go all the way up to an i7 7567U... I'd buy a few myself, but I need at least a couple with 2 network jacks and wifi. My options personally are a little slim, and I'll probably have to go with one of the zotac nano boxes.

https://system76.com/desktops/meerkat
https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16883218075 (zotac nano w/N3450)
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P.Kosunen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bunder wrote:
I'd buy a few myself, but I need at least a couple with 2 network jacks and wifi.

https://fit-iot.com/web/products/fitlet2/

These just came available.


Last edited by P.Kosunen on Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roman_Gruber
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend a box with a discrete gpu not from company INTEL, without hybrid graphics.

I have read several times on the net, intel nuc, playback issues with youtube and such.

A box should be futureproof and last time i checked those had no slot in card to fit in an extra gpu.

Also I am not very fond of everything soldered on the mainboards, exotic mainboard types

I saw several times micro lags on different notebooks with intel gpus / hybrid graphics which also use intel gpus, from different manufactureres including lenovo and msi.

It's up to you if you want a box wiht no upgrade possibilities, and rubbish intel gpu.

Some will argue against it, i was also fooled when i purchased such notebook, because of the Vey good reviews and opinions here, but after dealing with gentoo with intel gpus, i decided never ever again a box with intel gpu or hybrid graphics wiht intel gpus.

I also see a lot of brix, nucs on sale in my area on the second hand market, its obvious why, but guys will never tell you why they sell quite fresh and new hardware.
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P.Kosunen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hybrid graphics are crap, but there is nothing wrong with new Intel GPUs if you are not gamer, never had problems with drivers and can not say same about AMD and nVidia. VA-API video acceleration works like a charm.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a rather old NUC, and it has the weakest CPU - Celeron N3050. Plays everything just fine, even 10-bit H.265 which it cannot do in hardware. Consumes less than 10 W. Note, PS/2 is history.
Code:
DISPLAY=:0 vainfo
libva info: VA-API version 0.40.0
libva info: va_getDriverName() returns 0
libva info: Trying to open /usr/lib64/va/drivers/i965_drv_video.so
libva info: Found init function __vaDriverInit_0_40
libva info: va_openDriver() returns 0
vainfo: VA-API version: 0.40 (libva )
vainfo: Driver version: Intel i965 driver for Intel(R) CherryView - 1.8.3
vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
      VAProfileMPEG2Simple            : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileMPEG2Simple            : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileMPEG2Main              : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileMPEG2Main              : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline: VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline: VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264MultiviewHigh      : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264MultiviewHigh      : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264StereoHigh         : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264StereoHigh         : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileVC1Simple              : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Main                : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Advanced            : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileNone                   : VAEntrypointVideoProc
      VAProfileJPEGBaseline           : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileJPEGBaseline           : VAEntrypointEncPicture
      VAProfileVP8Version0_3          : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVP8Version0_3          : VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileHEVCMain               : VAEntrypointVLD

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bunder
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.Kosunen wrote:
bunder wrote:
I'd buy a few myself, but I need at least a couple with 2 network jacks and wifi.

https://fit-iot.com/web/products/fitlet2/

These just came available.


The hardware looks adequate, but what is up with these guys? I can buy the box, I can buy wireless antennas for it, but it doesn't come with the wifi card, and their website doesn't list it, or the power brick. :?
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tuggbuss
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have and had a bunch if these, have given most of them away, but currently running an 7i7BNH and it's blazing fast!
Big recommendation from me. You probably will install and configure a base install with desktop profile in around 2 hours. I run it with a Samsung 960 PRO 512 GB and 32 GB or RAM.
I will put in a 2 TB SSD as well.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider it a plus, why should I buy it with all bells and whistles if I may not need them? Look how many power possibilities it has. WiFi card slot is standard, any will do.
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bunder
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover wrote:
I consider it a plus, why should I buy it with all bells and whistles if I may not need them? Look how many power possibilities it has. WiFi card slot is standard, any will do.


sure, but why advertise something as a complete product (yes its a barebones, i know i need to give it storage and memory), then not advertise all the accessories? they also claim to have a board that adds another 2 ethernet ports to the thing, but don't have any listings on where to buy the board.
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raddaqii
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your suggestions. I still haven't purchased anything yet, but narrowed it down to two options really. system76 appears as cool as those wooden boxen linipc.com used to have, whatever happened to them? Anyhow being in Europe I'd expect import tax issues that sort of might ruin the experience.

What gets me with the NUC7i7BNHX1 is that it is fanless, has an Iris Plus GPU that will be enough for years to come, and it comes with 16GB optane memory. While I'm not entirely sure if it will be highly useful really tests around phoronix and such sites suggest its not a bad thing to have. :)

The other contender is a Zotac MI553, about the same price range which I think I have seen has an i5-7300HQ. Being a gentoo person _of course_ I'll be compiling on this machine, and playing an actual "HQ" QuadCore against a "U" DualCore I'd somewhat expect the "HQ" to pay off. Thoughts?

I'd be complementing that with 16GB of memory and still be below what I feared I might have to spend. The old classical PC cost more, was eating several times the energy and was large and bulky. Taking economics here, I already have a screen and things around, the USB-PS/2 adapter that came with the keyboard surely will do.
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raddaqii
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a sidenote, lol, differences between CPUs aren't what they used to be. :D

Checking these https://www.notebookcheck.net/7360U-vs-7260U-vs-7300HQ_8449_8450_8417.247596.0.html and http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-7567U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-7300HQ/m219709vsm223877 I find they differ in minuscule details, and the "HQ" quad feature does account for an ever so teensy percentage of "faster", i.e. can be ignored mostly. 7-12% more in some benchmarks, up to 22% slower in others if not buying datacentre scale would not matter.

So multicore performance and eDRAM caches seem worth looking into, but I may as well decide which packaging is more beautiful.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My i3 was snappier than my i5. Because for apps which do not utilize many threads i3 will do just fine, my i3 ran up to 3.7 GHz, making it more responsive then my 3.2 GHz i5.
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P.Kosunen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bunder wrote:
The hardware looks adequate, but what is up with these guys? I can buy the box, I can buy wireless antennas for it, but it doesn't come with the wifi card, and their website doesn't list it, or the power brick. :?


http://www.compulab.com/products/iot-gateways/iot-gate-apl-fitlet2-apollo-lake-gateway/

Quote:
WLAN / Bluetooth module, 802.11ac / BT 4.2 (optional)


Many places talks about optional wifi+bt module, might be out of stock. Ask them when it will be available.

I have one coming shortly after UPS deals with customs, will see if it has power supply included.

Edit: Power supply is included with switchable adapters for AU/EU/UK/US.
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