Haswell i3 build: FC8 EVO vs Intel NUC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Dear All,

I am close to start a new HTPC build to replace my old one.

I am going for:
  • Haswell i3
  • No discrete video card
  • 64Gbyte SSD
  • 8 Gbytes DDR 1600
  • Completely silent build
  • No need for WiFi

My 2 options at the moment are:
  1. Intel Haswell i3 NUC (as soon as it get to the market) + Fanless Case (e.g. Streacom NC1)
  2. Intel Haswell i3 (as soon as it get to the market) + Streacom FC8-EVO + mini-ITX x87 Mother Board

Being impossible to compare prices on the Haswell i3 configuration since it is not yet on the market, if I compare the price of the 2 options on a Ivy Bridge solution, I would have:

Option 1:
Intel Ivy Bridge NUC: 250$
Streacom NC1: 130$
TOTAL: 380$

Option 2:
Mini ITX x77 MB: 100$
i3 3225: 140$
Streacom FC8-EVO + PicoPSU: 245$
TOTAL: 485$

(HD SSD + Ram would be almost the same price. maybe the mSata for NUC a little more expensive than a "normal" Sata for the mini-ITX solution)

So, the NUC is 100$ cheaper.

You have to consider:
  • Maybe the new generation Haswell NUC will be completely passive at least as an option without the need to by a aftermarket case, so the potential price difference could be even higher (230$).
  • The prices will be different due to Haswell prices being higher than the Ivy Bridge

Now my questions:
  • Does the mini-ITX option have any advantage over the NUC option (considering that I will not add any discrete video card)?
  • What should I go for?

Thx,
Dakkar
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 12:36 AM
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Performance-wise, a desktop i3 is more powerful: i3-4010U 1.7GHz in NUC vs Core i3-4330 3.5GHz. For pure video playback, NUC is enough, however. If you may add an expansion card (e.g. TV tuner), go with FC8. Or unless you want 3D, Haswell Pentium in FC8 is a good choice.

BTW there may be a Core i5-4250U NUC with Intel HD Graphics 5000, but that will cost more (+$60?) because of expensive integrated graphics cache (good for gaming and madVR beyond DXVA2).
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Performance-wise, a desktop i3 is more powerful: i3-4010U 1.7GHz in NUC vs Core i3-4330 3.5GHz. For pure video playback, NUC is enough, however. If you may add an expansion card (e.g. TV tuner), go with FC8. Or unless you want 3D, Haswell Pentium in FC8 is a good choice.

BTW there may be a Core i5-4250U NUC with Intel HD Graphics 5000, but that will cost more (+$60?) because of expensive integrated graphics cache (good for gaming and madVR beyond DXVA2).
Thx for the reply.
I am not interested in adding a TV Tuner since I am using my server for that (3 tuners on it, streaming Live TV with Media Portal TV Server to my XBMC Clients).
Also, I should not be interested in huge CPU power (it will 99% be used for HTPC purposes).

It seems the choice is on the CPU/GPU Power:
  • Haswell Pentium
  • i3-4010U
  • i3-4330
  • i5-4250U

I am not into 3D yet (no 3D display available), but I could be in the future.

What about the Haswell Pentium? Which IGP do they integrate?

Dakkar
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 01:08 AM
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GPU in Haswell Pentium is almost the same as GPU in Haswell Core i3/i5/i7, but the following features are disabled:

- Contrast enhancement and skin tone enhancement (I always turn them off)
- HDMI 1.4a 3D

Correction

Haswell Pentium GPU has 6 EUs, while Core's has 20 EUs. This will affect gaming performance.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

GPU in Haswell Pentium is almost the same as GPU in Haswell Core i3/i5/i7, but the following features are disabled:

- Contrast enhancement and skin tone enhancement (I always turn them off)
- HDMI 1.4a 3D
Ok, so the 23,976 fps precision will be the same, correct?
What MB does it need? The same H/Z87? One option could be going with the Pentium and upgrade in the future if necessary?
Is there a specific Pentium CPU you would suggest?

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post #6 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 02:43 AM
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Yup, all Haswell GPU give (almost) exact 23.976Hz.

B85, H87, Z87 chipsets support Haswell Celeron (Q1 2014), Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7. The main differences:

- B85: 4 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x SATA 3Gbps, no RAID
- H87: 6 x SATA 6Gbps, RAID, Intel Smart Response Technology (install OS in a HDD and use a SSD as a cache)
- Z87: features of H87, plus DDR3-1866/2133/2400 support, K-chip overclocking

So basically B85 chipset mb is enough for your purpose (e.g ASRock B85M-ITX).

There are several (three at the initial release) Pentium SKUs. Choose a Pentium with DDR3-1600 support, e.g. Pentium G3420.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 03:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Great.
Is there any B85 board that is compatible with the FC8-EVO Case?

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post #8 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 07:02 AM
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Among the LGA 1150 mini-ITX mb at Newegg.com, the following two are likely to be the only mb that fit FC8 EVO.

- GIGABYTE GA-Z87N-WIFI
- MSI Z87I

Check Streacom System Build Guide > Motherboard > FC8 EVO.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 10:08 AM
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I found this post by an actual user of GIGABYTE GA-Z87N-WIFI in FC8 EVO. Pico-PSU blocks two of the heatpipes. But I think this can be circumvent by using an extension cable (as mentioned in the next post).
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

GPU in Haswell Pentium is almost the same as GPU in Haswell Core i3/i5/i7, but the following features are disabled:

- Contrast enhancement and skin tone enhancement (I always turn them off)
- HDMI 1.4a 3D

I am extremely excited about the i3/Pentium Haswell release. Based on this, I see no need to offer anything else but Haswell i3 for 3D and Penitum for 2D. No Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, anything. Life will be much simpler!

 

 

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post #11 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Among the LGA 1150 mini-ITX mb at Newegg.com, the following two are likely to be the only mb that fit FC8 EVO.

- GIGABYTE GA-Z87N-WIFI
- MSI Z87I

Check Streacom System Build Guide > Motherboard > FC8 EVO.
Thx for the reply.
Not the cheapest boards.
I was looking for something cheaper to pair a Haswell Pentium...

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post #12 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Performance-wise, a desktop i3 is more powerful: i3-4010U 1.7GHz in NUC vs Core i3-4330 3.5GHz. For pure video playback, NUC is enough, however. If you may add an expansion card (e.g. TV tuner), go with FC8. Or unless you want 3D, Haswell Pentium in FC8 is a good choice.

BTW there may be a Core i5-4250U NUC with Intel HD Graphics 5000, but that will cost more (+$60?) because of expensive integrated graphics cache (good for gaming and madVR beyond DXVA2).

Renethx and/or others:
Hope I'm not hijacking the thread Dakkar, but it seemed like a decent conversation to pose the question:

I am planning to use a Haswell NUC for my next build, but I'm undecided on the CPU/GPU. Any guesses on what madVR level the Intel HD Graphics 5000 GPU will be capable of for film and video? (40EU's at up to 1GHz, but no eDRAM like Iris Pro 5200)
I would like to be able to tinker with higher level processing on this little box, but I'm curious whether it will be significantly faster than IVB Intel Graphics HD 4000 or the i3-4010U with HD 4400. I've been pondering this while waiting patiently for the product release...

Is madVR analogous to any of the game benchmarks? Anyone out there with a 2013 Macbook Air (which uses the i5-4250U) care to do a test??

Thanks for all knowledge and resources, AVS'ers!

-Anthony
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 10:29 PM
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I haven't tested HD 500/5200, this is just a guess. The performance of Intel HD 5000 is close to AMD A10-5800K / 6800K. So Level 5 (Jinc+AR/Jinc+AR) for films and Level 3 (Bicubic+AR/LZ+AR) for videos. From various data, I think even HD 5200 struggles with Level 4 (Bicubic+AR/Jinc+AR) for videos.

HD 4600 can do Level 4 (Bicubic+AR/Jinc+AR) for films and Level 3 for videos except for 720p60 and 1440x1080i60 (rare formats).
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