Single-core Bay Trail SoC powers fanless NUC

Intel has finally introduced a fanless version of its NUC small-form-factor system. The mini PC features an Atom SoC based on Bay Trail. Unfortunately, it uses a neutered version of the silicon that's limited to a single core clocked at 1.46GHz. Most of the Bay Trail tablets I've seen offer more horsepower—and they squeeze into much slimmer chassis.

Apart from its pokey CPU, the awkwardly named DE3815TYKHE is reasonably well equipped for this class of system. It has a front-panel USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet around back, and an HDMI video out. There are USB 2.0 ports, too, plus an old-school VGA output and an Embedded DisplayPort connector. Inside, users can add a half-length Mini PCIe card, a 2.5" hard drive or SSD, and up to 8GB of memory via a single SO-DIMM slot.

Interestingly, the device has 4GB of eMMC storage soldered to the motherboard. Intel is pushing the fanless NUC as a solution for thin clients and embedded systems, and 4GB should be plenty for those applications. The onboard storage is also large enough to host home-theater PC software like XBMC.

At 7.5" x 4.6" x 1.6", the fanless NUC is a couple inches wider than Intel's other mini PCs. It's less expensive, too, with a suggested price of just $129. Too bad about the processor. I'd love to see quad-core Bay Trail chip in one of these things.

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