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Intel details NUC specs ahead of launch

Intel details NUC specs ahead of launch

Intel's NUC project offers a tiny bare-bones Core-i3 system for those looking to experiment with ultra-small form factor computing.

Intel has released additional details on its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) project, ultra-compact bare-bones systems the company plans to release commercially before the end of the year.

Based around the company's latest Ivy Bridge processors, the NUC bare-bones systems include an integral dual-core 1.8GHz Core-i3 processor with integrated Intel HD4000 graphics, support for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and a choice of SATA or MSATA storage - or both.

Depending on model, the system also includes one or two HDMI outputs - for dual-display computing - along with three USB 2.0 ports, a high-speed Thunderbolt connector, and gigabit Ethernet. The board, designed to fit in the included casing, measures a mere 100mm on each side and 50mm high, making it one of the tiniest Core-i3 computers ever seen on the market.

The device is a clear answer to the success of the Raspberry Pi, the low-cost ARM-based educational computer which has been proving almost impossible for retailers to keep in stock. With more users turning to the device - and, by extension, the ARM architecture - for tinkering, Intel needs to do something to get enthusiasts back on side. The NUC could well be that something, although its high price tag - expected to start at $300 with no RAM or storage (around £189 excluding taxes) - means it's not quite in the same impulse purchase category as a $35 Raspberry Pi.

The impending release of NUC, which on the surface offers the same functionality as a traditional PC but with significantly degraded upgradability, is another facet of the company's concerns regarding ARM's march into the data centre and onto the desktop. With the company's market cap having been recently eclipsed by that of Qualcomm, one of Intel's biggest rivals in the mobile space and an ARM licensee, those concerns are proving ever more obvious.

Thus far, Intel hasn't offered a UK release date or pricing for the NUC bare-bones systems, but more details are available on the official microsite.

9 Comments

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proxess 12th November 2012, 11:12 Quote
35$ vs 300$ I don't see how this is going to fend off the Raspi, especially seeing you can build a similar MicroATX PC for probably half the price.

It definitely doesn't have the same impulse-buy effect as the Raspi did on me, seeing that I bought two Raspis.
derviansoul 12th November 2012, 11:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
35$ vs 300$ I don't see how this is going to fend off the Raspi, especially seeing you can build a similar MicroATX PC for probably half the price.

It definitely doesn't have the same impulse-buy effect as the Raspi did on me, seeing that I bought two Raspis.

You are definitely right. However i can see this to be a decent htpc or for a microserver , just hope the uk price matches the expectations.
Pookie 12th November 2012, 12:39 Quote
As has already been said really, you can put together an equal if not better system using matx for half the money. And have upgrade options, you also dont have to bin the whole setup if something fails.
asura 12th November 2012, 13:48 Quote
Yes, but it still makes it a bit of a kick in the teeth for VIA... RasPi killer - no way, it's priced to high. Nano x2 killer, it's still a bit expensive - but a) a lot of people are going to buy it just because it's a better known brand and b) it's even smaller than MTX 100cm2 vs 289cm2...
RichCreedy 12th November 2012, 19:41 Quote
and it will run windows
Anfield 12th November 2012, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
35$ vs 300$ I don't see how this is going to fend off the Raspi, especially seeing you can build a similar MicroATX PC for probably half the price.

I'd think of it more as a far cheaper mac mini alternative than a Raspi competitor.
fluxtatic 13th November 2012, 06:58 Quote
$300 and no RAM or storage? Nah, I'll pass. Granted, we're talking two different markets, but odds are good I'd be looking at this for the same purpose as AMD E350 boards....which can be had for less than $100.

Like asura says, this could crush some of Via's offerings on performance without being out of line on price.

And, unless I missed something, HD4000 is your only option? Not going to fly for HTPC types, I'd guess. Let's see it once Haswell/Broadwell comes along and it may be worth the money. It might do well in the modding community and boutique builders, but it's not worth my money yet.
Anfield 13th November 2012, 22:38 Quote
The $300 for the cpu + board + case isn't that bad if you consider MSRP for the Cpu alone is $225... http://ark.intel.com/products/65697/Intel-Core-i3-3217U-Processor-3M-Cache-1_80-GHz
Gradius 13th November 2012, 23:08 Quote
So basically they are selling CPUs with a good boost on profit!
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