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Deskmini110 vs a NUC??

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alinescoo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 11:04pm
I am a developer and primarily using the PC to software development. I want a compact machine that sits on my desktop and it's small and silent.
So far I have come across 2 barebones which may (or may not :) ) deliver what I need.
 
Intel Skull Canyon + very compact
+ good CPU, from what I've read the performance is about -20% fron i7 6700 desktop CPU
+ good GPU, at least better than the one in desktop CPUs
- some reviews say that is loud and noisy and I plan on having it on my desk, near my monitor
- temperatures seem to be too high even on idle, speaking from reviews
- expensive
 
AsRock Deskmini 110 mini-stx system
+ possibility to add a desktop CPU up to 65W TDP with stock or maybe aftermaket cooler
+ better cooling
- slower GPU, not a Iris Pro
- good price
 
Beside the barebone, there will be:
- 16 GB SoDimm DDR4
- Samsung 960 EVO M2 PCIe SSD 250 GB
 
In the AsRock I can throw even a 65W TDP dektop CPU but I am not sure how the stock cooler would handle the heat. Also there are other alternatives like i7 6700T or i5 6500T.  Since the stock cooler seems to fit into the case, how well will it cool the CPU and how noisy it is? If I get a i7 6700 65W will the cooler struggle to cool it and be noisy because the high rotations?

 The bottom line is, how noisy is deskmini in case of using a i7? Is   T CPU needed?
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Xaltar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 11:29pm
There are some impressive small form factor CPU coolers that will work with the Desk Mini. Personally I would go for a T variant unless you actually need the raw power of the standard 6700. The Desk Mini will wipe the floor with the Skull Canyon when it comes to computational tasks (with the i7 6700) given both a higher operating frequency and larger cache. If graphics are important to you then the 6770HQ in the Skull Canyon does come with a fairly significantly more powerful iGPU in the form of iris pro. The Iris Pro performs about on par with AMD's A10 7XXX integrated graphics or slightly slower than an R7 250. 

The i7 6700k will work just fine in the desk mini, the stock cooler may be a little on the loud side under load. I would recommend a small form factor cooler from the likes of Noctua. Ultimately it comes down to what is more important to you, CPU or GPU performance? The desk mini has my vote for a work machine but if you plan on gaming on it then you will find the NUC will do much better. If gaming is not a concern at all then the Desk mini should be your choice hands down. The integrated graphics on the 6700 is more than up to any non gaming task. I have even used my 6600k (sans GPU) to work in applications like Zbrush without issues.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alinescoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 11:50pm
Thank you for your answer. I intend, at least fist to use the stock cooler and I am worried on how noisy it is.

Looking at prices, the it 6700 is about 50% more expensive than i5 6600. 
i7 6700T is a bit more expensive than 6700 and I don't know if it comes with a cooler or not...
i5 6500T is about the same price as i5 6600

So really, on the CPU, a i7 6700T seems more expensive than the regular 6700 and low on freq. Plus, a cooler if it's not included... 


A DeskMini 110 + i5 6600 + 16 GB RAM + SSD 960 EVO 250 GB is cheaper than the Skull Canyon barebone alone. I could almost add 50-80$ and get a i7 6700. So really, the price to pay for GPU is quite a lot and not sure if its performance it's worth. 

I am a bit concerned about the GPU on regular intel CPU, if it performs regular tasks well, 4k video, screen sizes bigger than 1440p...

At the moment  I have a i5 3350p which I believe is Ivy Bridge and 8 GB RAM and I can't say that it's a slow system during my development. I do run out of memory at times, and when using Android Studio + emulator running, the CPU gets to 100% during compile but other than that during coding with emulator running stays at 20-40%.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 12:36am
The i5 6600 is a lot snappier than the i5 3350p and the HD 530 integrated graphics is quite capable.

To put it in perspective, I am able to run Rise of the Tomb Raider on the HD 530 (6600k integrated graphics). While the game is just barely playabe it is a very new title and will certainly tax the GPU FAR more than 4k video or any other non 3d rendering task. 

If you are satisfied with the Ivy Bridge system (except for memory as you say) then the i5 6600 will be more than adequate for your needs. In fact you could probably even go for the cheaper i5 6400 and spend the savings on an aftermarket cooler. If you are topping out at 100% on all cores when encoding however you will see a significant performance bump from the i7 6700 with it's 4 cores and 8 threads. 

For your needs I would say the intel NUC is unrealistic and the extra expense is far from worth it. 

Also worth noting however, Kaby Lake is set to launch very soon and from what I am seeing will sport higher clocks across it's variants.  Even if you still go Skylake, the prices will likely come down. The Desk Mini will support Kaby Lake and already lists 7th gen support on it's product page.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 12:38am
Also of note, Kaby Lake supports better 4k encoding over skylake thanks to some refinements on the HD 6XX iGPU.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alinescoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 12:46am
Are you owning a Deskmini?
Since I use the PC for 2-3 years without changes, I'd go with i7 6700 with stock cooler if the noise level is good while working. Of course, probably this will translate in the next i7 kaby lake.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 12:56am
I don't have one no. I am going by my experiences with Intel's stock coolers and yes, they can be quite loud under load. Not really loud enough to bother me personally but I can't know what you would consider noisy Wink

The cooler from my Pentium G3258 is the same one that shipped with Haswell i5s and i7s (non k) and that got a little noisy when using it on my i5 6600k for testing. On the other hand, the i7 6700, i5 6600, i7 7700 and 7600 are all 65w parts vs the 95w of the 6600k and 6700k so should run cooler and thus be less loud under load... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 8:49am
"Silent" can be subjective, but if one fan on a small CPU cooler creates enough noise to be bothersome, then you must be very, very sensitive to noise.

I have a DeskMini 110w, with an Intel 600p. I replaced the stock Intel Skylake CPU cooler primarily because IMO they are the most minimally built stock cooler ever supplied by Intel. I was not happy with the idle CPU temperature. Not that they were excessive, but I prefer low temperatures, and the CPU cooler fan cools the entire PC. M.2 SSDs need cooling due to their case-less design. Samsung has improved the cooling on their 960 series, but it can be an issue with long periods of intense IO. I was pleased with the SSD temperature under load, but that was with a different CPU cooler. The difference in SSD temperature between the two coolers would not be significant.

Since the DeskMini is so small, it can easily be located away from the user to mitigate noise. I would never call the DeskMini loud with the stock Intel CPU cooler.

Your usage priorities should bias your overall balance of choices about this PC. Doing software development, compiling/building your software takes time and CPU power. If absolute silence is a priority over longer compile times, then rather than using a T type processor, use a Skylake i3 dual core CPU that has Hyper Threading. The i3-6100 and i3-6300 are those processors, and have the same 530 graphics as the Skylake i7 processors. But your compile times will be longer. The non-K i5 and i7 Skylake processors have more processing power than the i3s. The NUC PC processors will have much longer compile times, but if slightly better graphics performance is very important, than it's your choice of priorities.

I built a DIY, All in One PC with the DeskMini 110W and a 40" HD (1080p) TV. I mounted the DeskMini on the back of the TV, using the VESA mounting adapter ASRock offers as an option ($6.) The initial impression of others was how nice the image on the TV is, while streaming video with the included wireless network card. Of course the integrated graphics are not adequate for dedicated gamers, but otherwise the graphics are more than adequate.

With a UEFI update, the DeskMini's H110M-STX board can use Kaby Lake processors. While there seems to be little to no increase in CPU performance over Skylake, Kaby Lake processors have the newer Intel HD 630 graphics. The Kaby Lake i3s have slightly increased clock speeds compared to the Skylake i3s, the same 630 graphics as the Kaby Lake i5 and i7 processors, some new graphics features, the same TDP, and their price is the same.

Again, we cannot expect the DeskMini 110 to be the equivalent of a full sized desktop PC. It comes close in some ways, but the small form factor is still a compromise with current hardware. While the DeskMini is a breakthrough in some ways, it is not the same as a full sized desktop PC. Nothing as small as the DeskMini is equal to a desktop PC. You will need to balance each factor that is important to you, against the others. You can't have everything in almost any PC.

If one fan on a CPU cooler can make the difference between accepting or rejecting this design, you will need to invest more money into your project, for a better CPU cooler. You will need to do that carefully, since only small coolers will fit into the DeskMini's board and case. You also need to understand you can't have everything for the price of the DeskMini and the CPU cooler included with an Intel CPU.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alinescoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 11:22pm
Thank you for your detailed answer and for taking your time to write it. 
My main concern with the stock cooler is that if it runs very fast the noise would be bothersome, but if the speed is on low rpm than it may be more silent than my actual PC. 

Today I took a look at compiling on my old i5 and I could saw that all cores were used over 90%. So I guess that  getting a new CPU with bigger number of threads, the better it performs.

Looking at latest releases, I can see the choices are:  i7 7700 vs i7 7700T vs i5 7600 vs i5 7600T.
Does the T version come with stock cooler or not? I can't seem to find info about this. On CPU I have no idea which to select from the 4 ones...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 11:25pm
Intel coolers from Socket 1155, 1150 and 1151 are all cross compatible. If you already have a stock intel cooler from Sandy Bridge onward it will work, in fact, the older coolers tend to be beefier and have better cooling.

The non T parts should come with coolers, I don't know about the T parts.


Edited by Xaltar - 04 Jan 2017 at 11:26pm
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