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whm1974
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 8:30 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
Yeah, if mITX is too big, a system with a 14/16-nm GPU will be the way to go—once those GPUs are available, anyway.

Bit a shoebox mITX isn't all that big anyway.

There's a huge difference between a Cooler Master Elite 130 and a Zotac EN970, for example. The Elite 130 is fairly small as these things go, too.

I've seen a few of the "shoebox" style cases, and it amazes me how much hardware you can stuff in one of those things. Must be a real PITA to build however. :o
 
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 8:39 am

Iris pro is very hard to justify both in terms of cost and suitability for purpose. About the only advantage it has is that it is extremely power efficient - making it useful for battery-powered devices and thermally-limited scenarios (such as fully-sealed, 100% dustproof PCs in industry) that still require GPU horsepower.

Honestly, I don't know what Iris Pro graphics are for outside of an ultrabook. Anything bigger in the laptop world and Optimus makes more sense - because if you need GPU power, you usually want more than Iris Pro can provide, and if you don't need GPU power then you're paying a high cost for something irrelevant.

When you take that expensive, relatively low-performance IGP and waste its only trump cards by making an actively-cooled, mains-powered product it becomes nothing other than a platform demo. The people who will want one will want it irrationally for reasons like "it looks cool" or bragging rights, but it's definitely not a good product in terms of offering an advantage over alternatives, as the niche-of-niches that this appeals to must be minuscule.

"someone who needs a quad-core or a bandwidth-limited Thunderbolt 3 port in a small space, but still actively cooled and mains-powered"

Let's deconstruct that a bit:

  • Needs a quad core - so someone who multitasks enough to require more than four threads, otherwise the 6300U also runs at 2.4GHz on all threads yet uses only 15W not 45W. Things I can think of that need more CPU compute power than that are high-framerate dGPU gaming (which rules out this NUC either via the IGP or via the messed-up PCIe lane configuration using an external GPU over Thunderbolt 3), compute for software rendering or compute for database analysis. Those last two typically benefit greatly by moving to non-mobile parts with even higher TDPs and core counts, making this NUC better than the 15W parts but far from the fastest option available.
  • or a bandwidth-limited Thunderbolt 3 port - Well yeah, if you read reviews you'll see that the TB3 port on this is going to be starved for lanes. You could certainly get 'better than Iris Pro' out of a dGPU but it's barely worth it for such hassle and cost - and SIZE - making the entire form factor pointless! As for non-GPU options, uh - what was wrong with all the other miniPCs with the previous generation of Thunderbolt, again?
  • in a small space - How small are we talking about that a faster Zbox E-series with a 65W 3.3-3.8GHz Broadwell is too thick at 51mm but the NUC is just fine at 28mm? Also, the NUC is longer at 211 vs 188mm so it's barely even a size win for the NUC.
  • Actively cooled - Well that rules out most of the industrial niches like PoS units, billboards etc where cooling must be passive and anywhere dusty or volatile environment.
  • Mains powered - okay, so there's no restriction on power draw other than TDP, and that's mostly constrained by size and how whiny you want the fan to be, so why not use a dGPU if you need more horsepower or desktop-class processor if you need more CPU compute?

What am I missing?
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 9:26 am

whm1974 wrote:
I've seen a few of the "shoebox" style cases, and it amazes me how much hardware you can stuff in one of those things. Must be a real PITA to build however. :o


Building inside any case of that size is always a bit cramped. If it's a good, well designed case it's not so bad. Building inside a bad, cheapo ITX case will make you think it was designed by the Marquis De Sade.
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 9:33 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Iris pro is very hard to justify both in terms of cost and suitability for purpose. About the only advantage it has is that it is extremely power efficient - making it useful for battery-powered devices and thermally-limited scenarios (such as fully-sealed, 100% dustproof PCs in industry) that still require GPU horsepower.

Honestly, I don't know what Iris Pro graphics are for outside of an ultrabook. Anything bigger in the laptop world and Optimus makes more sense - because if you need GPU power, you usually want more than Iris Pro can provide, and if you don't need GPU power then you're paying a high cost for something irrelevant.



I was considering a Skull Canyon NUC a few months ago, but I've come to the same conclusion. This still won't play any modern games at decent settings, so why bother. I could get a much cheaper NUC or PC, and then a cheap XB One to play things like Dark Souls / Doom.
 
whm1974
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 9:55 am

clocks wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:
Iris pro is very hard to justify both in terms of cost and suitability for purpose. About the only advantage it has is that it is extremely power efficient - making it useful for battery-powered devices and thermally-limited scenarios (such as fully-sealed, 100% dustproof PCs in industry) that still require GPU horsepower.

Honestly, I don't know what Iris Pro graphics are for outside of an ultrabook. Anything bigger in the laptop world and Optimus makes more sense - because if you need GPU power, you usually want more than Iris Pro can provide, and if you don't need GPU power then you're paying a high cost for something irrelevant.



I was considering a Skull Canyon NUC a few months ago, but I've come to the same conclusion. This still won't play any modern games at decent settings, so why bother. I could get a much cheaper NUC or PC, and then a cheap XB One to play things like Dark Souls / Doom.

The Skull Canyon is a result of Intel not keeping it's marketing department on a tight lease. :oops:
 
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 1:40 pm

Some more tests from some dude

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSG2BxYfGzA

Iris Pro continues to be very good at compute for what the rest of it is, often beating the more powerful for gaming 960M. This does reflect where the situation was with the old 5200 (which I have)

Image

Intel seems determined not to lose to APU GPGPU.
 
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 2:06 pm

clocks wrote:
I was considering a Skull Canyon NUC a few months ago, but I've come to the same conclusion. This still won't play any modern games at decent settings, so why bother. I could get a much cheaper NUC or PC, and then a cheap XB One to play things like Dark Souls / Doom.

The person who buys this a) is not buying it for gaming or b) already has a gaming rig.

This system is the equivalent of the 3rd or 4th car. It is a plaything. A nice to have for shiits and giggles.
Last edited by End User on Sun May 29, 2016 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 5:00 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I've seen a few of the "shoebox" style cases, and it amazes me how much hardware you can stuff in one of those things. Must be a real PITA to build however. :o

The smallest mITX case you can reasonably consider, in order to have an internal graphics card anyway, is the 860-cubic-inch Raven RVZ01. While not a perfect analogy, the Zotac Steam Machine SN970 occupies 165 cubic inches. That makes the Raven more than 5x as large. It's not perfect because that doesn't account for the Steam machine's power brick - and if it's the same one as the EN970, then it's about 30% as big as the machine itself. So we'll round it out to around 210 cubic inches, and the Raven is still 4x as large. The raven has room for both 3.5" drives and a slim optical drive, though. The Raven can house up to a Core i7-6700K and a GTX 1080, so it's undoubtedly much faster, too.
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 6:48 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
The smallest mITX case you can reasonably consider, in order to have an internal graphics card anyway, is the 860-cubic-inch Raven RVZ01.


860 ci = 14.09 liters. My NCase M1 is 12.6 liters and fits bigger parts than the RVZ01. I'm pretty sure there are others in the 10-11 liter range. Also the A4-SFX is only 7.3 liters, but that's got it's own weirdness. </nitpick>

Beyond a certain point, I just don't think smaller cases matter that much in comparison to fewer boxes. The SN970 + power brick is still tiny, but that's another box and more cabling to deal with. What do people want small boxen for if not portability? Another really big problem I have with the tiny stuff is the performant ones tend to be pretty noisy.
 
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Sun May 29, 2016 9:45 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
The smallest mITX case you can reasonably consider, in order to have an internal graphics card anyway, is the 860-cubic-inch Raven RVZ01.


860 ci = 14.09 liters. My NCase M1 is 12.6 liters and fits bigger parts than the RVZ01. I'm pretty sure there are others in the 10-11 liter range. Also the A4-SFX is only 7.3 liters, but that's got it's own weirdness. </nitpick>

Beyond a certain point, I just don't think smaller cases matter that much in comparison to fewer boxes. The SN970 + power brick is still tiny, but that's another box and more cabling to deal with. What do people want small boxen for if not portability? Another really big problem I have with the tiny stuff is the performant ones tend to be pretty noisy.

My point about the Skull Canyon NUC vs a MiniITX s"shoebox" is that the NUC once you add the external graphics box and both power bricks, you have four units to deal with along with extra cables. The "shoebox" on the other hand is everything is in one unit. So the MiniITX build takes up less desk space overall.
 
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Mon May 30, 2016 6:35 am

whm1974 wrote:
synthtel2 wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
The smallest mITX case you can reasonably consider, in order to have an internal graphics card anyway, is the 860-cubic-inch Raven RVZ01.


860 ci = 14.09 liters. My NCase M1 is 12.6 liters and fits bigger parts than the RVZ01. I'm pretty sure there are others in the 10-11 liter range. Also the A4-SFX is only 7.3 liters, but that's got it's own weirdness. </nitpick>

Beyond a certain point, I just don't think smaller cases matter that much in comparison to fewer boxes. The SN970 + power brick is still tiny, but that's another box and more cabling to deal with. What do people want small boxen for if not portability? Another really big problem I have with the tiny stuff is the performant ones tend to be pretty noisy.

My point about the Skull Canyon NUC vs a MiniITX s"shoebox" is that the NUC once you add the external graphics box and both power bricks, you have four units to deal with along with extra cables. The "shoebox" on the other hand is everything is in one unit. So the MiniITX build takes up less desk space overall.

I'd still go for the NUC + external GPU.
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Mon May 30, 2016 6:53 am

Unless you're trying to build one into a piece of furniture, or living in a capsule hotel, the debate over cubic inches seems a bit silly.
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:46 pm

I have a project that might need some GPU compute heavy lifting and the idea of buying off the shelf and using standard software is tempting because it could be used for something beyond that project once it is done.

That is the reason why I was looking at that NUC. After learning about the PCIe lane issue, I am losing interest.

It would be nice to see a NUC sized PC with a quad core CPU and an AMD Polaris mobile GPU, if the reports are correct that has GPU power close to a standard GTX960 with 35 watt TDP.

I wish I could get something like that with a sealed enclosure because my project is outdoor in a dusty environment that I wouldn't trust a fan to survive for very long.
 
whm1974
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:56 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Unless you're trying to build one into a piece of furniture, or living in a capsule hotel, the debate over cubic inches seems a bit silly.

It sure does seem silly considering that most people have enough space under their desk to stick a tower there.
 
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Re: Skull Canyon NUC, who is it for?

Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:56 pm

Most ATX cases are very poorly designed airflow wise. Are totally unnecessary for the one card and one or two ssd(or ssd+hdd) crowd.

A decently designed case for average person needs just one case fan besides the CPU/GPU/PS fans. It does not need to make noise. A case on a desk wont have dust issues.

My NUC5i7 was loud when pushed(if you set the profile to keep semi warm temps, not even PC temps). The Skull looks just as bad.

Is over priced versus a small computer build for what you get and than can never do(upgrade, expand).

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