Intel's Next Unit of Computing HTPC and Raspberry Pi Compared (Video)

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harriscalvin

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Breakingcustom

Still think this is overpriced at $400. I know this is an extremely low powered device but for what I paid for my HTPC that has an A6-3500, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD I was within the $400 range (that's with case and mini-ITX mobo as well). Plus I got USB 3.0.

Again, I built this people don't want to have to build it. My complaints with like Zotac's is you can't really beef up the graphics in the BIOS. I had issues sometimes with my ZBOX streaming 1080p over the network.

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Peanut Fox

It's a $100.10 less than the Dave Murphy Special.

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Romram

I'd love to see Intel's Next Unit of Computing box go head-to-head with the ZOTAC ZBOXNANO-AD12-U. This seems like a fair fight both from a size and price perspective. How would you expect the ZOTAC's AMD 1.7GHz Dual-Core E2-1800 APU to do vs the Intel Core i3-3217U 1.8GHz processor? The ZOTAC currently costs $230 without HD or RAM.

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Napalmsteak

I'm watching this form factor very closely, i hope sometime next year there will be a $150 option with USB 3.0 for compatibility with larger external hard-drives, capable of running XBMC with a Bluetooth remote control for navigation.

If Apple would just loosen their reigns on Apple TV a bit they would sell a bunch more if XBMC was allowed to be loaded on those bad boys. I have tons of movies I ripped to H.264 and refuse to link them all through iTunes, when i have a perfectly good QNAP TS-509 pro.

Also the compatibility with USB 3.0 would be nice for those pesky 3TB external drives that you can fill with all that video goodness.

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Napalmsteak

The ODROID-X2 is starting to look promising if anyone hadn't heard of it.

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chart2006

I'd probably just stick with the ODROID-U2 rather than the X2 As it's $46 cheaper with the same SoC. Granted you get additional USB ports and a couple IO ports so you can add peripherals like a camera, LCD screen, and other stuff to the X2 but unless you plan to use it for Skype or add a ton of USB2.0 based peripherals I don't see the point.

The other downfall I see is using the ARM architecture in general. If you are using it to build a small HTPC you won't be able to use certain streaming websites without a subscription. Lets use Hulu as an example, you can't use it on mobile devices period without a subscription while on a desktop you still have access to some episodes without one. Even Youtube has some content blocked to 'mobile' devices and using an ARM compatible OS automatically implies a 'mobile' device.

In either case to charge $400 for this when you can buy or build an alternative for significantly less (only larger) is ridiculous.

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DaveLG526

Intel is not making this for the same market as the RPI. At a $400 price is not going to get traction

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fallout330

RaspPi for me, this time around. The NUC certainly sounds capable, but at that price, i'll stick with the $35 option.

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Neufeldt2002

I thought Intel wasn't going to promote Thunderbolt over USB 3? Guess they decided they are.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

Nice to see a Gordon video for an article, thanks guys. I'm glad that manufacturers are coming out with Tiny form factor computers giving an alternative to bulky desktop machines. Lenovo just came out with one. These are perfect for a business environment, and even at home - you can just attach the machine to a monitor's rear VESA mount!

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Jasker

It consumes a lot more power, costs a lot more money, and has different architecture. Yes please continue to compare these.

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gordonung

True. There is absolutely no competition between low-power, lower cost ARM devices and x86-based that cost more and use more power at all. 

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chart2006

Gordon you should compare Raspberry Pi with the ODROID-U2... lol :-)

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dwellman

Raspberry Pi, for me. . just based on price and, more importantly, power consumption.

The HTPC thing or "set top box" has no allure generally because I don't have a television. The Intel part isn't a solution to any problem I'm trying to solve at the moment.

Ah, so where does pico-ITX (say, VIA EPIA) fit into all of this?. Price versus versatility. Also the neo-ITX that just runs Android, I guess, so far.

Finally, Soekris and PC Engines are other long time players in the small form factor / embedded PC game.. The Soekris stuff is pretty much network / communications only and crazy expensive. The PC Engines stuff can be either network or thin client. However, the vast majority of users will be running some port or adaptation of FreeBSD, so not Maximum PC territory.

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mreeves.edu

I agree, build own micro ITX for 1/2 the cost and fully functional.

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Peanut Fox

For $200 you're going to build a brand new mini ITX system with a motherboard, memory, psu, cpu, storage, and a case? I've been proven wrong many a time, but I don't think that's possible to do today.

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j_j_montez

According to what's published, this $400 set does not include the memory or storage. So considering $50 for a mini-ATX board, $50 for a processor, $30 for a power supply, and $20 for a case. $150. Granted, it's not the same processor, but there is room to play with. For $200 I would have bought Intel's NUC, but not for $400.

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Peanut Fox

I honestly think the magic in this machine is it's fully ready to roll at only 4". There's something about having a full on x86 machine that's this big.

Granted I don't see many practical uses for this machine, that already aren't filled by products already on the market and won't benefit at all from the smaller foot print.

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gordonung

It's about $300-320 for the box. Add SO-DIMM(s), 64GB SSD and Wi-Fi for about $100 so about $420 complete.

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Deanjo

Don't forget the price of an operating system if you plan to run windows. Right now a person can get Win 8 at promo price but once that ends it jumps back up to $100. By that time you might as well get a new Mac mini that has a faster i5 processor, Bluetooth, USB 3, wifi, larger hard drive, ssd card reader, FireWire, IR, Display Port, HDMI, thunderbolt, Gbit Ethernet, built in power supply, and a case that doesn't look like some cheap plastic. That extra $100 on the mini gets you a heck of a lot more capable machine which doesn't sacrifice feature A if you want feature B.

intel has overpriced this unit by a good $100.

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chart2006

Fortunately I have a spare copy of W7 pro. I put W8 on it freeing up the W7 license.

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j_j_montez

Thanks for the clarification Gordon. Love your work.

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Hilarity

No USB 3 kills it, Thunderbolt is thundershit and laptop RAM is a pain in the ass depending where you live. I'll stick with my own mini-ITX builds.

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allc0re

Very interesting, but I think too high in price to compete with the Raspberry Pi. I would put it in it's own category or compare it with some of the Zotac stuff that's out there, not the Pi.

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DiamondBack

Didn't Zotac do this with their zBox/Nano/mini already? they also run both AMD and Intel platforms...

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chriszele

Zotac did come out with a few mini boxes already but those were box already prebuilt in this system you need to choose your SSD, RAM, and wireless card to get the system functioning. The Intel system only comes with a processor, mobo, enclosure, and power brick so the other stuff you'll still need to buy. The Raspberry Pi is similar because you buy a SOC board and you have to get an SD card, a micro USB power brick, and some sort of enclosure. So both systems are really for the DIYers out there.

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DiamondBack

Sorry, Should have been more specific.. It just seems the story was about "omg amazing small form factor never seen before!" zotac does however offer each model in a barebones package as well, so drive ram etc. was your choosing.
I wasn't trying to be "that guy" but, as I did run a zBox nano for a while I felt I should mention them as it seemed they were forgotten about

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gordonung

Not forgotten about...We have reviewed several iterations of the Zbox with the last being the Nano XS

 

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/%5Bprimary-term%5D/zotac_zbox_nano_xs_ad11_plus_review1

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chart2006

There is the Zbox Nano AD12 which is marginally higher priced than the XS but better spec'd with AMD's E2-1800 APU. At $230 (with USB 3.0) compared to Intel's $400 price (without USB 3.0) I know which one I'd purchase.

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chriszele

Thanks for the info. It would be interestig to compare this to a Zotac box but the only problem I see with their boxes is that they don't have very powerful processors since they featured Intel's Atom and E-450/350. This Ivy Bridge CPU in this box woud proabably beat Zotac's Atom/AMD builds.

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