[GLLUG] Small Form Factor PC
john at sinodun.org.uk
Mon Aug 4 07:57:36 UTC 2014
On 04/08/14 06:20, Paul Hewlett wrote:
[...of Raspberries Pi, Shuttle PCs and NUCs...]
Just a few additional points.
The Raspberry Pi is in a completely different ball-park from the NUC, in
terms of both cost and power. The RP copes as a media playback centre
(provided you cough up the extra £3 or whatever it is for the licence to
activate hardware graphics acceleration), but is seriously underpowered
for use as any kind of general purpose PC or server. I use one running
XBMC (needs re-booting every day or so - I suspect a memory leak - but
is otherwise fine) and another as a secondary DNS/DHCP server (rock solid).
I have a couple of NUCs - one has a Core i5 (4th gen), 16G of RAM, an
SSD and a 1TB 2.5" HDD. It is my general domestic server and is
seriously fast. As I write this it is running 8 separate VMs for
various purposes and quietly yawning. The other is a Core i3 and is
used as a desktop PC with the unit itself sitting on the back of the
Note that the early NUCs had no room for any kind of conventional hard
drive - it was an mSATA SSD or nothing. The current range includes
models with the option for a 2.5" HDD as well.
The TranquilPC case is indeed very nice, but I had quite a lot of
trouble with my order to them. I ordered a complete system built using
their case. First they debited by credit card in full, then told me
there would an 8 week delay in shipping because they couldn't get the
motherboards from Intel. I pointed out they were in contravention of
the CC companies' terms on charging, at which point they discovered they
could get the necessary m/b quite quickly.
When it arrived the unit itself was very nice, but the PSU which they
sent was complete crap. It was under-specced for the unit (not enough
Watts) and carried a warning sticker saying it would get hot in use. It
also didn't carry a valid CE marking and so was illegal to supply in the
EU. When I first complained they responded that it was fine, but when I
threatened them with rejecting the entire order they then sent me a
proper power supply and I sent back the dud one.
About a month later they contacted me and said I hadn't returned the dud
power supply. Happily I had sent it by recorded delivery and so was
able to prove that I had.
Sadly, I have heard that they carried on shipping these dud power
supplies to other customers, so they were now doing it deliberately and
couldn't claim ignorance. In short - avoid TranquilPC.
The NUC itself however is brilliant - extremely low power consumption
and very powerful. Not cheap, but highly recommended.
> I have been using a raspberry pi with xbmc with some success. However
> the interface is very laggy and have been investigating a replacement
> recently. I also have a shuttle PC but would not recommend it as the
> wired Ethernet drivers for Linux are problematic.
> An Intel nuc seems like a good idea. Alternatives are the zotac range or
> the gigabyte bric.
> Zotac have recently announced the cs1540 which looks good but I cannot
> currently find any sellers.
> Tranquil PC make a very nice case for Intel nuc board.
> One warning , it is very easy to come up with something that is
> expensive. The Intel nuc boards are not cheap.
> I have bought a Solidrun Cubox i4 pro for just less than £100 and plan
> to put xbmc on it to see how it works.
More information about the GLLUG