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  • CaptainDoug - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I wonder why just core i3. Hopefully there would be other options at different price points. Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    It's got everything to do with TDP.

    AMD partners have this exact same thing already based on the E-350 though (Zotac and ASRock boxes come to mind)
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    VIA already had this in 2003.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nano-ITX

    Then they went smaller
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico-ITX

    Anand, are you able to ask Intel why they picked 4" rather than an existing similar standard such as Pico or Nano ITX?
    Reply
  • mcturkey2 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I'd wager because 4x4 is roughly the size of a VESA mount, making this much easier to integrate into the back of an LCD. It may also just be that it was the smallest they could squeeze memory slots, mSATA slot, and all those connectors on. Pico-ITX doesn't seem to have the same capacity as a full-featured computer the way that NUC does. Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Except that this PC can probably deal properly with HD YouTube and HD Netflix unlike E-350 / E-450 based units. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Actually....No problems running HD content on an E-450 system. Making sure you have the correct drivers is always key with any system.

    399.00 for this?

    I'll PASS.

    You can buy a Raspberry PI for $35.00 and run Linux on it for XBMC. Intel should have targeted a more realistic $200.00 price point to make it more attractive....at least to me.

    Best wishes,
    Reply
  • bznotins - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Except that XBMC on the RPi is a laggy mess (interface wise) right now with limited format support (e.g. ISO). And barely any compatible addons. Speaking from firsthand experience. It isn't half the HTPC my i3 rig is.

    This form factor is designed to run like a real full-featured HTPC.

    $399 is a bit steep, but comparing an i3-powered HTPC to a RPi is truly apples and oranges.
    Reply
  • JNo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    True but compare it to the tegra 3 based Ouya console that's coming out which will be $100 and have a dedicated xbmc build coded for it and should be able to handle 1080p no problem, it still seems expensive if you just want the media playing abilities of an HTPC... Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Doesn't matter if its a 'laggy mess', it still works for practical applications like playing movies or serving content. What does the extra 350$ get me exactly? Does it suck my dick? This thing is priced far too high and needs to be shrunk down and put in an attractive package with a lot of development potential if they want people to buy it, because we already have HTPC size devices. Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Makes sense. But with Haswell coming out, TDP isn't really as big of an issue as before. I understand going for gold but I'm sure an i5 would still be pretty energy efficient. Reply
  • maglito - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Because that's all 95% of users need. With a 40-60GB drive for win7/8 ultimate HTPC (with all content streaming from NAS). Heck, forget HTPC, the possibilities are endless. Awesome, and about time! Reply
  • Captain Jackass - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    "Ultimate HTPC" must do few more things:

    1. Custom refresh rates with small step, like in nVidia drivers/cards
    2. Upsample any source to minimum 1080p60 with Smooth Video Pack 3.1.

    So, for ultimate HTPC we go to mini-ITX 1155 boad with clocked at 4.0-4.5 Ivy with graphics not worse than GTS520 or other VP5 engine based. But GTS 520 has low shaders power for something else like madVR of Smooth Video Pack.

    "Ultimate HTPC" will not fit to 4x4 inch area with 22 nm silicon process just from thermal reasons.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I wonder how it is cooled. On the bottom there seem to be 2 chips with thermal tape on them. So do they connect to the chassis and are cooled like that? Does the chassis have any airflow?
    Other than that, interesting stuff. I would hope the mPCIe slot is populated by an Intel wifi card (not sure what else could be stuck in there) and the mSATA is a beefy model. I could see niches for this thing.
    Though for my usage model it doesn't fit and I wouldn't recommend it to my family and friends because the size won't matter that much to them and I could probably get a notebook with similar performance for that price and it would offer more for them overall. :)

    Going off a tangent here: Back in the days of high-idle PC systems (Q6600 with a beefy GPU) I was briefly thinking about sticking an Atom-ITX board inside my chassis to get good idle numbers for when I'm doing just music/video or web stuff, while retaining a single chassis. Of course this isn't that time anymore. :D
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Looking at the case, I think the chips are the top, and the io ports the bottom of the board. Some of the pictures show what looks like a heat sink behind the vent mesh. I'm skeptical about passively cooling even a a mobile I3 with that small of a sink; and suspect that there's some sort of fan hiding inside. Reply
  • Metaluna - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I agree. From the position of the ports, it looks like the board is flipped upside down, with the CPU facing the top of the case. I think it would be nearly impossible to cool it passively like that. My guess is there's a thin horizontal blower like you see on laptops. Maybe one of the mesh ports is an intake and the other an exhaust, since I can't see any other vents on the case.

    Except for the price, this would make a killer XBMC box. To be truly interesting it does need to up the performance bar to well above Atom/E350 levels though.
    Reply
  • shomizu9 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    If we look at the 2nd picture, the cpu has 3 mounts around it; then look at the 5th picture, with the vent ports at the "top" (relative to the picture anyway) of the case, where you would be looking "in" at what we saw in the 2nd picture - I would guess a fan/heatsink of some kind on those 3 mounts, blowing out these ports Reply
  • mforce - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Indeed , I think the most interesting thing is how will this be cooled. If there's a small noisy fan somewhere it's useless.
    This would probably need to use 10W at most to have some decent passive cooling and I'm not sure that it uses so little.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    At 102x102mm it's roughly halfway between NanoITX (120x120) and PicoITX (100x72).

    I suppose hyping it this way lets Intel Marketing avoid admitting they still can't squeeze a board as compactly as Centaur has for the last 5 years.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    True... but I'd take an i3 over a centaur any day :-) Reply
  • mforce - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I think there's actually 2 things here.

    First and most important is why use some standard or something that's out there when you can make your own. This is very popular with companie... imagine users being able to buy a NanoITX case and then being able to choose where to get this Intel thingy, an AMD one or the cheaper Via one... now that's a big no-no. Maybe other manufacturers will adopt Intel's form factor but it will take some time and Intel can have it they way they want it.
    Second is that I think that while the PicoITX form factor does exist it's really not quite usable and to get anything our of it you need addon cards and such. I suppose there's a physical limit give by IO ports and stuff.
    Reply
  • samthefish - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I work with embedded atom boards much smaller than this, so not sure where the "smallest possible" comes from. I have an atom z530 board complete with case about the size of a deck of cards. Reply
  • Jammrock - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    A full blown Core processor and 7-series chipset is going to need a lot more circuitry than an Atom processor. More features, larger data bus, higher power dissipation, larger SMC's, two SoDIMMs slots, two mini-PCIe slots... it's an apples to oranges comparison. Reply
  • wpcoe - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    No mention of WiFi. For such a small HTPC device, less cables/wires would be better, although I guess LAN cable wouldn't be *so* bad, especially a flat CAT6 wire.

    Presumably the Core i3 chip would be one with HD4000, similar to i3-3225? Further to WiFi, WiDi would be a nice touch. Then you could have a HTPC device with no wires except the power cord.
    Reply
  • Metaluna - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    There's a mini-PCIe slot, which should take care of any WiFi needs. In fact, good luck finding anything *but* wireless cards in that form factor (though I think there are a few oddball embedded SSDs that use mPCIe). Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I'd like to set the memory slots facing the other direction so that it would be possible to higher SO-DIMM's in a larger chassis (ie they can hang off the motherboard.

    Ditto for the mini-PCI-E slot.

    Otherwise very neat board. Even has a version with Thunderbolt.
    Reply
  • profeteer - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    It's pretty cool and small, but I got my mac mini for 599 and it's a spectacular HTPC without needed anything more and an i5, so i'd say this is a bit overpriced. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I can only hope. About time the Mac mini's had some real competition =P. Not sure if $399 is too high for all that you do get. It's the full system so maybe it is a good deal. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    The OEMs will package this system to sell at their target price. Intel has no idea what a good market price is. Since when did they have a finished product to sell ?.

    At $399, it ought to have twin antenna wifi, 60GB SSD and possibly 8 GB RAM. And no USB3 ports ???.
    Reply
  • Visual - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    As long as it is an i3 with HD4000 and not HD2500, I like it. Otherwise, it has no chance. Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    They should have included a wireless chip. Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Looks like it has thunderbolt. Not sure that was mentioned in the article. Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    1 model with thunderbolt and another with a ethernet port? are there 2 of these? check the gallery. Reply
  • Captain Jackass - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Rather high pricepoint for such thing.

    People will spend $400 for this if:
    - it will have 2 SATA + mSATA, all 3 ports can work simultaneously, not mSATA+1 SATA enabled only. Better will be 1 SATA + 1 mSATA + eSATA
    - both USB will be 3.0, not 2.0
    - CPU is low voltage mobile Ivy, not worse than i3-3317U
    - good preinstalled cooling system
    - lots of compatible small cases at the market

    "Content streaming from NAS"
    NAS as it made nowadays is totally sucks.
    If it made with full RAID access speed via Thunderbolt networks up to 20-30 meters line - I will say yes to NAS.
    If it made like now - bottlenecked 60-70 Mbytes/sec via Ethernet for another $400 case without drives - I will say: "For WTF, 4 green drives will consume 30W at full load + NAS board consuming, such NAS will return its cost by electricity bills for 5-10 years, and all the time bottlenecked consuming? I will buy for this $400 another 2 x 2 Tb RE HDD drives to main desktop, they will run at full speed at main desktop and streams to another PC's via router with the same 60-70 Mbytes/sec of higher (depending on router)".
    Reply
  • amarshonarbangla - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Does this use mobile or desktop i3? Reply
  • sfprairie - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    I would like to see a motherboard like this able to get its power from POE, instead from a power adapter. Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    200 seems like the max price, 100 seems like the sweet spot. Not sure how they expec to sell any of these at 400, without an OS. Too many other options at 100. Intel needs to let go of it's massive margins if it truly wants to take business away from ARM. You can get an entire quad core SOC for what? 30 bucks? Intel expects way too much from people, as far as ignoring price. Reply

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