Braswell NUCs follow established formula

Official PDFs detailing Braswell NUCs have appeared on Intel's website. The Technical Product Specification and Integration Guide describe a pair of mini-PCs based on the Celeron N3050 and Pentium N3700, low-power SoCs built on the latest 14-nm fabrication tech. The Celeron offers dual Atom-class cores clocked up to 2.16GHz, while the Pentium doubles the cores and cranks the peak frequency up to 2.4GHz.

Source: Intel

Despite Braswell's dual memory channels, the NUCs employ a single SO-DIMM slot each. And, despite the SoC's modest 6W thermal envelope, the technical brief shows an active blower rather than passive cooling. Ugh.

Storage is handled by a single SATA bay that can accept SSDs and mobile hard drives up to 9.5 mm thick. There's an M.2 slot, as well, but it comes pre-loaded with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi card. Although Intel supplies the wireless, Gigabit Ethernet is farmed out to a Realtek chip.

The internal storage is complemented by an SD slot tucked into the left side of the chassis. Dual USB 3.0 ports are available at the front and rear, complete with fast charging support for one of the front-facing units. Audio and video can be piped through the HDMI out, and the rear audio jack supports both analog and optical output. Not bad for a budget system squeezed into a 4" x 4" footprint.

According to FanlessTech, the new NUCs will make their formal debut on June 8. Amazon already has the Celeron-based version listed for $129 with an ETA of three to six weeks.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 4 years ago

    If I’m going to buy a NUC, it’s got to have “upper end” Intel graphics. Which also means it has to have dual channel so I can get the most possible out of those graphics.

    I can deal with the Realtek NIC, but the rest sinks it for me. I’d really love to see Intel do better graphics with their SoCs soon; I don’t need the processing horsepower that comes from higher end CPUs, but ensuring that video playback is topnotch is a big deal.

      • NovusBogus
      • 4 years ago

      The NUC of my dreams is a fanless i3 with Iris Graphics and two 2.5″ bays. And a metal case, because metal is more betterer.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 4 years ago

    Really curious to see how this stacks up to its Silvermont predecessors and Kabini. Comparing the two before, Kabini had an advantage, but then, they weren’t really intended for the same market/product types.

    But running these against, say, one of the 15W Beema parts like the A8-6410, that’s going to be interesting.

    • NovusBogus
    • 4 years ago

    I’m anxious to see how performance stacks up. My testing found Silvermont to be just shy of greatness, so a 10-15% increase might put this into lightweight desktop territory. My money’s still on entry-level Broadwell, though, for the greatly enhanced IPC and graphics capabilities. I think Intel’s specifically avoiding that approach to give room to their OEM partners.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 4 years ago

      I don’t think I could have settled for Silvermont for day-to-day use, however, I would happily use it as a base for a system for anyone who wasn’t going to be gaming.

      Cost is the main thing – if Braswell stuffs comes in at similar prices to Silvermont parts, but with increased performance (which the price of that Celeron NUC seems to indicate) then it’s going to be a much more interesting comparison with cheap Haswell/Broadwell.

      Although, there’s something to be said for the form factors that can be done easily with such low power parts, too.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 4 years ago

    While I personally will always take a fan, don’t see why there’s not a fanless option.

    Unless it dissipates to much heat to be passively cooled with the form factor and appearance.

    The appearance being the part of that to really consider.

    • Mr Bill
    • 4 years ago

    Reminds me of the 386SX Brick PC from back in the days of yore.

    • xeridea
    • 4 years ago

    Yeah I never figured out why they insist on making these the absolute thinnest they could conceivably be, then bolt on a loud whiny fan. Would it seriously hurt to make them 1/2″ thicker to reduce noise by 90%?

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      No, thinner is better. We need to make everything so thin if we turn them sideways we get lost!

      How else can companies keep on their crazy $600+ phones upgrades every year.

      I really hope no one takes this seriously.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 4 years ago

      It’s the same reason they won’t add an extra 2-3mm of thickness onto a cell phone to significantly increase available battery life.

      Thin is in.

    • bthylafh
    • 4 years ago

    The price is right, at least. I’m surprised Intel didn’t enable their onboard Ethernet on their own product, market segmentation or not.

    I wonder how these would stack up vs. my wife’s old Athlon X2 4850e.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]I wonder how these would stack up vs. my wife's old Athlon X2 4850e.[/quote<] I would say that it would be at least 8 high, 2 wide and 4 NUCs deep. 😛

        • Neutronbeam
        • 4 years ago

        Soytenly, NUC, NUC, NUC!*

        *for the younger gerbils, this refers to a common statement and laugh by Curly Howard of The Three Stooges.

      • Concupiscence
      • 4 years ago

      A lot would depend on the workload… I don’t think Braswell has any appreciable IPC improvements over Silvermont, and those tended to perform about like a Pentium III at 75% of the clock speed. The 4850e would probably still walk away from the dual core Celeron, but a heavily threaded workload might yield a surprise victory for the quad Pentium.

      Executive summary: don’t upgrade for the performance bump, but consider the Pentium as a capable replacement in a small form factor if the 4850e finally kicks up its legs and dies.

        • Klimax
        • 4 years ago

        Which Pentium III? Katmai? That is far slower then old Atoms. Maybe Coppermine (am about to test it), but I doubt it will beat Silvermont (no idea about old Atoms as I don’t have currently working sample on hand for tests) All tests are under Windows 7…

          • cosminmcm
          • 4 years ago

          Please do a comparison, I am very curious. I still am a big P3 fan (Tualatin especially) and think that if the Atom doesn’t use the new instructions, it would lose to the P3 per clock.

            • Klimax
            • 4 years ago

            Already did many on Katmai, so Coppermine on 440BX is waiting (Not sure which one I have currently in collection) Next attempt ar resurrect D510 here or over weekend will try to get to the one in company.

            BTW: It’ll be strongly compiler dependent…

          • Concupiscence
          • 4 years ago

          Truthfully I don’t even remember any more. Now that I think about it, it may have been a Pentium M, which is at least a slightly different animal. I’d still say the Celeron would be a step down from the 4850e, but the Pentium should have a leg up in most cases.

      • Flying Fox
      • 4 years ago

      I thought there is really no “onboard” Ethernet, you need a separate PHY chip anyway?

    • terminalrecluse
    • 4 years ago

    This makes no sense. The chip is designed for a fanless setup. Is this the low end braswell nuc and a more premium one is coming?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This