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Deskmini110 vs a NUC??

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Category: Technical Support
Forum Name: HTPC&Gaming Barebone&Others
Forum Description: Question about HTPC&Gaming Barebone&Others
Printed Date: 21 Feb 2024 at 10:48am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.04 -

Topic: Deskmini110 vs a NUC??
Posted By: alinescoo
Subject: Deskmini110 vs a NUC??
Date Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 11:04pm
" rel="nofollow - 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?

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 11:29pm
" rel="nofollow - 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.


Posted By: alinescoo
Date 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%.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date 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.


Posted By: Xaltar
Date 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.


Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 12:46am
" rel="nofollow - 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.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date 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... 


Posted By: parsec
Date 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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Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 11:22pm
" rel="nofollow - 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...

Posted By: Xaltar
Date 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.


Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2017 at 11:33pm
" rel="nofollow - I actually still have the sandy bridge cooler in a box somewhere as I am using True Spirit cooler.. Thanks for pointing it out. I was with the impression that each new version comes with better coolers..

I guess the advantage of T series would be because of low TDP, the cooler would have less heat to dissipate, making it run at lower rpm. The advantage of S CPU, would be speed because of higher clock rates. 

On my PC, I have vents to make the air flow, but on DeskMini since it only has the CPU cooler, I am a bit worried, on using regular CPU, that it would be a problem to dissipate heat, especially with the i7.

As for SSD, the 960 EVO PCI-E x4 has a read speed maxed at 3200 MB/s. Does the motherboard and CPU choice, limit in some way the performance of the SSD?

Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2017 at 9:49pm
Now that the new Kaby Lake is out, I have a few options to choose from:
i7 7700 vs i7 7700T vs i5 7600 vs i5 7600T vs maybe i3 7320

The really main question for me now is use a T or a regular CPU. 

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 8:23am
Originally posted by alinescoo alinescoo wrote:

Now that the new Kaby Lake is out, I have a few options to choose from:
i7 7700 vs i7 7700T vs i5 7600 vs i5 7600T vs maybe i3 7320

The really main question for me now is use a T or a regular CPU. 

Intel does not include a CPU cooler only for the 'K' processor models, all the other models have a CPU cooler in the box.

If the question is between a T model and the standard processors, then let's compare them and include what your priorities are for a CPU in making the decision.

I'll compare the i7-7700 and i7-7700T. Both seem to have the same price. Both are four core, eight thread processors. They have the same suggested retail price, by Intel. You may need to search more for someone that sells the T processor, as they are more unusual.

The i7-7700 has a TDP of 65W, and i7-7700T has a TDP of 35W. The i7-7700T will run cooler an use less power. But the max CPU temperature of the i7-7700T processor is 80C, and 100C for the i7-7700.

The i7-7700's base clock speed is 3.6GHz, Turbo up to 4.2GHz, and i7-7700T base clock is 2.9GHz, Turbo up to 3.8GHz. The i7-7700 will be faster compiling code than the i7-7700T.

Both processors will allow any M.2 SSD to operate at its full speed, they have the same PCIe 3.0 x4 interface for the M.2 slot.

You plan on using the DeskMini 110 PC, which is a nice small PC, but being small it can't cool the CPU as well as a large PC case with a bigger CPU cooler and more fans. That seems to be a compromise you have decided to stay with. You are also worried about noise and CPU temperature.

You must decide what is most important to you, in an order from most to least important.

Over heating will not be a problem with either CPU. If they reach 60 - 70C during a compile, that does not hurt the CPU. The faster CPU will get its work done faster than a slower CPU, so will be at a higher temperature for less time.

While this made add more confusion to your choice, I would not discount the i7-6700 Skylake processor. It is well known now that the i7-7700 processor does not have any improvement in performance, besides the slightly higher 200MHz base and Turbo speeds. If you can find an i7-6700 for less money than the I7-7700, you won't be missing anything except for a slight improvement in the integrated graphics.

If it was my PC with the same purpose as yours, I would get the i7-7700 or i7-6700. I would compromise the noise difference for faster compile times. I would also locate the DeskMini away from my work area as much as possible, to prevent any CPU cooler fan noise from bothering me. Also, when you are compiling, as I used to do in my job, that was break time for me, and I would walk away from the keyboard and monitor. If the noise level, which should only be an issue during a long compile, was too much, I would get a different CPU cooler. You can always adjust the CPU cooler's fan to not run as fast at higher CPU temperatures. As long as you stay about 20C under the maximum CPU temperature, nothing will be damaged. You have more temperature headroom with non-T processors.

The only advantage I see for the T processor is it will need less cooling, and be quieter in general. Other than that, the non-T processors are better in performance, lower compile times, and can handle higher temperatures.

In the end, only you can know and decide what factors have priority over others. My advice, since getting the "wrong" processor is not something you can easily replace (unless you are willing to sell it used for some loss), determine your priorities clearly and don't change your mind.

Don't forget your choice of the DeskMini 110 affects all your other decisions. If you can't feel confident about a top level decision like that, you'll never be happy with the other decisions you make.

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Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 2:59pm
Well said Parsec!

Performance>Heat>Noise = 7700
Noise>Performance>Heat = 7700
Noise>Heat>Performance = 7700T
Heat>Noise>Performance = 7700T


Breaking down your priorities in this way will ultimately ensure you are happy with your purchase. In your situation, given you will be using the system for coding/compiling I would go with the 7700 not the T, as Parsec noted, you can always take a break during a long compile and the stock intel coolers are not all that noisy, nothing at all compared to my Thermaltake Frio OCK at 100% fans....


Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 5:19pm
Thank you very muchj @parsec for your detailed analysis, you've made it more clear.
Thank you @Xaltar  
As a side note, on my current PC, the compile of my most important project takes from 10-20 seconds

After reading all and thinking of my priorities, seems that i7 7700 is the best choice.
i5 may also be a strong candidate as looking at some sites,  between i5 3350p and i5 7500 there's a 30% performance difference

I may wait a little longer and get DeskMini GTX, as it seems to have the best of both worlds: small size, silent and separate GPU. 

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 5:24pm
" rel="nofollow - I am drooling all over my keyboard right now. How did I not know this yet?


Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 5:28pm
:) interesting that AsRock did not have a announce around here somewhere.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 5:37pm
" rel="nofollow - CES just ended and as is always the case with CES, manufacturers use it to showcase future products. I am sure we will see announcements once the product is finalized. It is worth baring in mind that in many cases these products are prototypes and may never come to market. That said, I don't think that will be the case here. The new Desk Mini RX/GTX look to be perfect for the market given the rise in interest regarding micro form factor PCs. Portable VR ready desktop anyone?


Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 6:16pm
" rel="nofollow - I was wondering. a MXM card, will it come from AsRock so basically that MXM card has everything it needs, cooler, 1060 Graphic Card, all added ? Or the buyer need to get a separate graphics card, after getting the barebone?

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 7:14pm
I am afraid I can't provide that information. That will only be made known when the product goes to market. I would think there will probably be multiple options available much like with the current Desk Mini.


Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2017 at 10:43pm
Originally posted by alinescoo alinescoo wrote:

:) interesting that AsRock did not have a announce around here somewhere.

As Xaltar said, this is a new product that is not available yet. (Thanks for you comment, Xaltar!!)

I saw the DeskMini 110 at Computex16 last June on display, but it was not available in the USA until months later. I don't expect the RX/GTX will be available for purchase for a while yet, but you never know.

All the new ASRock Z270 boards that were announced are not yet available, the Z270 SuperCarrier, for example, I don't see in the USA yet.

Also, don't assume this new DeskMini RX/GTX will be as quiet as the original DeskMini 110W. The RX/GTX is a different creature, with a different purpose.

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Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2017 at 5:35pm
According to" rel="nofollow - the shown case was under 30db on run, so it should be quitet.

But as you noted, who knows when it will be available. I really kind find DeskMini110 in my country...

Chances are that I'll go with a DeskMini 110 with a i7 7700. 

Posted By: alinescoo
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2017 at 5:48pm
A brief update: A relative asked me to help on getting a new system so I thoughts that Deskmini was one of the best choices.
I've also got a i3 6100 (that's a 51W TDP), 2x4GB RAM and a 850 EVO 250GB.

What I can say after building and installing Windows 10 on it:
- initially the fan was loud but went into bios and set it to silent. It was quite ok
- had no problems installing the components and I like that the first SATA drive is easy to install with just 2 screws.
- it's very compact and solid
- I like the option to turn on by usb keyboard

The main downsides that I can think of are:
- the number of USB could be bigger. 2 on the back, a normal one in the front + a type C one. This can be easily fixed by getting a monitor with usb hub in it
- the audio output is at the front of the case. I can't imagine why I would want to have my speakers connected in the front of the case, looking ugly, rather than on the back. Sure it's find if you VESA mount it, but if it's sitting on a desk then it's not that nice looking. 

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