Tuesday, May 1st 2012

Intel Unveils NUC Mini Computer

Although at a much "smaller" scale, Raspberry Pi did to mini computers what iPad did to tablets (wake up a nearly dead product segment), and now a section of the market likes computers to be as small and potent as the ARM-driven Raspberry Pi. Although at a different end of the price and performance spectrum from the Raspberry Pi, Intel has reason to believe its NUC mini computer could achieve market success. NUC (Next Unit of Computing) is a mini box computer for the retail channel, which is roughly the size of a modern wireless router, but as powerful as a mainstream laptop.

The NUC owes its computing power to Intel Core i3/i5 "Sandy Bridge" dual-core processors (probably in the BGA-1023 package), with Intel HD 3000 graphics, and dual-channel DDR3 memory (SO-DIMMs). The logic board measures 100 x 100 mm, and has all the essential connectivity crammed into it, including umm...10 Gb/s Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n, and HDMI with multi-channel HD audio. This board is smaller than VIA's NANO-ITX (120 x 120 mm) form-factor. The rest of the ABS plastic enclosure's volume is spent housing the cooling assembly. Informed sources predict that while the NUC won't be priced in the hundereds or thousands of Dollars, it most certainly won't be priced at $25. A starting price of $100 seems realistic.
Sources: SweClockers, ExtremeTech
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31 Comments on Intel Unveils NUC Mini Computer

Do want- an Ivy Bridge version. An HD4000 would make for a potent HTPC and console emulator machine barely larger than a pack of cigarettes. Throw two 256GB mPCIe SSDs on and you've got enough space for a DVR.
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$100 sounds like a damned good price. I'd replace my HTPC and my guest computer with these, saves power, space, and money.
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Editor & Senior Moderator
They chose Sandy Bridge probably because it's cooler. Literally cooler.
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I do want one of these if they really sell it for $100. I doubt it though!
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Editor & Senior Moderator
I said it could start at $100. Don't expect all those features at $100.
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This sound good, but no enough to replace it for a full featured PC, Thunderbolt it's not adopted massively so i see you getting problems with conectivity, but if it have more than 3 USB ports would be nice.
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btarunr, post: 2617482"
They chose Sandy Bridge probably because it's cooler. Literally cooler.
That’s an administrative misnomer. Ivy only runs warmer when overclocked, at stock speeds runs cooler and draws less power than Sandy, and is the better choice for SFF, htpc, and silent rigs.:)

I'm sure there will be an Ivy version of the NUC.
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hhumas, post: 2617494"
its awesome
It is awesome!:D
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Where is the HDD with enough storage?
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This is cool. I think $150-$200 is more realistic. I would certainly get one for $150. Just needs a usb splitter. One of those 12 way splitters would do.
I don't know about storage... Seems like I would want a lot for my plans.
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thunderbolt works as mini-displayport too?
wifi antenna is internal?

price will be around price of laptops (minimal model), up to price of mac mini (with ssd and other features)
this is crazy that you put price in this article, what you have to do - ask intel rep about it and post quote (even if they do not answer it directly), end of story
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When will AMD do this too with their APU?
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In the hundreds is realistic... $100 is not. If its got laptop level hardware and the latest peripherals, it's going to be aimed at similar prices, probably as much as a current nettop for just the integrated motherboard. Then to suit the form factor you'd probably be adding a SSD - $100 probably won't be seen for years. As a low price for just the board, even with some cut down options, I wouldn't expect much under $200.

Heck, even VIA's larger and less powerful boards with older peripherals can be $100.
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$200/$250 is more realistic, but coming from Intel it would cost more than $300
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$150 would be awesome.Id pick up 2
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OneCool, post: 2617640"
$150 would be awesome.Id pick up 2

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If XBMC and Intel can work out their differences and get proper support for the SB based Intel HD graphics, then this is it really, what else do you need for an HTPC? I would like to see one of these equipped with even a lower end single core (with HT) or dual core that could be passively cooled (at least at idle) and with a low RPM fan at full load. Even if that means a slightly larger case. But I'm impressed with this, and even if it means $500 for the final price tag of a complete build, I'd have one.

As an HTPC it would be brilliant, as a pc for my guest room it would be even better, or as a system I can bring with me on trips, or keep by as a loaner for friends and family members who may need a PC when theirs is being rebuilt/repaired I can't really imagine anything better.

Well done Intel, get this to market soon. Don't just show this off as something you could do, make it happen! :toast:
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That thing makes my Atom 330 mITX build look like an oversized Pentium III..

If it's 100$, I'm getting one for sure!
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I can see what this craze might start...

"Is that a computer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
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If the base ones have Atoms, I can see them priced at 1XX $
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*laughs at all the deluded people who think this will cost $100*

It says "Sandy Bridge" up there, you know, not "Atom".
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