Monday, July 28, 2014

Haswell NUC firmware update (v27)

There's also a new BIOS update (v27) for Haswell NUCs (D34010WYK/H and D54250WYK/H). Two interesting fixes in the release notes:

  • Fixed issue where certain mini-PCIe devices are not detected.
  • Fixed issue where infrared remotes do not power on the system with OpenElec.

If you've been having issues with these, have a go. The BIOS is available at Intel Download Center. See also the release notes and the update instructions.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

NUC power consumption, BayTrail vs i3 site made a comparison of small barebone PCs for OpenELEC / XBMC use. It was interesting to see, that the Haswell i3 NUC is actually consuming less than the Bay Trail NUC when playing a 1080p video in OpenELEC.

The article is in German, but the power consumption figures they measured stand at:

DN2820FYKH (Bay Trail)

  • OpenELEC Menu, 8 watts
  • OpenELEC 1080p, 12 watts

D34010WYK (Core i3)

  • OpenELEC Menu, 7 watts
  • OpenELEC 1080p, 9 watts

The difference is quite significant. Both processors are made with 22 nm technology and the maximum TDP for the i3 is 15 watts and for the Bay Trail model it is 7.5 watts. Not sure how the exact measurements were made by the guys over there, but at least we can probably conclude that by choosing the i3 model you are not actually getting a model that will consume more electricity in normal use despite the 100% larger TDP compared to the Bay Trail model.

Friday, July 25, 2014

BIOS version 38 for DN2820FYKH is out

Intel has released two revision of BIOS for DN2820FYKH within a week in July. BIOS version 37 was released 10th of July whereas the latest BIOS version 38 was released on 17th.

Download the BIOS from Intel Download Center.

According to the release notes only a limited amount of changes has taken place in these releases. "Fixed issue where Intel wireless adapters lose connectivity." might interest some people having issues with their Intel WiFi adapters.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Silent NUC alternative from Gigabyte for XBMC use

This is not really a NUC, but it's a low cost out-of-the-box fanless NUC-sized PC - Something that many would like to see in the NUC lineup. Gigabyte has released an interesting NUC-sized miniature computer with a bit more punch than the Intel DE3815TYKHE packs, but still keeping it fanless! Enter Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXBT-2807.

It's already available from Amazon for around $130/€120. Click here to check the latest price!

This tiny PC has a rather nice feature list:

  • Features dual-core 2.16 GHz Intel Bay Trail Celeron N2807, max. TDP 4.3 watts
  • Supports a single 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD (1 x 3Gbps SATA2)
  • Ultra compact design – 0.69 liters (56.1x 107.6 x 114.4mm)
  • 1x SO-DIMM DDR3L Slots (1333 MHz)
  • Preinstalled 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.0 Mini-PCIe card
  • Supports dual displays via a VGA and a HDMI port
  • 1 USB 3.0 port and 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • Gigabit LAN (Realtek)
  • Audio jack (Headphone/MIC)
  • VESA mounting bracket (75 x 75mm + 100 x 100mm)

First user reports confirm that OpenELEC runs well on the BRIX as is expected. However, the same limitations that still apply to all Bay Trail systems also apply here:
  • More sophisticated upscaling methods will exhaust the GPU, don't expect anything but Bilinear upscaling to work. Not an issue if you just watch HD content.
  • More sophisticated deinterlacing methods are too demanding for the GPU. Not an issue mainly if you don't need live TV content.
When the Intel graphics drivers will support certain hardware accelerated deinterlacing and scaling features, some of these limitations might go away. Or might not.

Comparison with Bay Trail NUC DN2820FYKH

You can't help but to notice that the specs are very similar to Intel DN2820FYKH NUC. The two boxes are very similar, but some differences remain. Most notably the Gigabyte is fanless, but has a slightly less powerful CPU and lacks an IR receiver. The two models are prices almost identically! The Gigabyte box wins in the looks department though. :)

FeatureGigabyte GB-BXBT-2807Intel NUC DN2820FYKH
CPUIntel BayTrail Celeron N2807Intel BayTrail Celeron N2820 (N2830 later)
CPU cores22
CPU clock speed1.58 GHz2.13 GHz
CPU burst frequency2.16 GHz2.39 GHz
CPU max TDP4.3 W7.5 W
Maximum memory4 Gb8 Gb
GPU base frequency313 MHz313 MHz
GPU burst frequency750 MHz756 MHz
Supports Intel Quick SyncYesNo
2.5-inch drive supportYesYes
WLAN and BlueToothYesYes
Infrared ReceiverNoYes