Nuc or itx build for quiet?

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by pavel, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. pavel

    pavel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    I know it is near impossible for it to be silent. But, I don't think this project will be stressed much. It will be used for surfing, watching netflix/1080p video (4k capabilities would be nice).

    Is the Nuc Bean Canyon sufficient? Does it matter whether it's the 8i3BEH or 815BEH?

    I looked at Dell, Lenovo and HP offerings but they were more expensive for what you get? The Dell sounded like the nvme only went to x2 speeds, too?

    Anyway, I compared to an itx build, like i3-8100 or 2200g and I was advised that a typical itx build would be louder? Agreed or no?

    The only concern I have for the nuc is whether the fan inside gets really loud. Also, you have to buy laptop ram but fortunately, that's not very expensive. I already have a SSD 1tb. But, I think I should get a NVMe disk as well.

    I will use Windows 10 and Linux.

    Thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions.
     
  2. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,347
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    whateverer likes this.
  3. rhansen5_99

    rhansen5_99 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,990
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    Honestly an Nvidia Shield is a great device for media consumption at 4k, also has steam streaming and the nvidia cloud gaming stuff. The reason that I suggest this is that getting 4k on win 10 seemingly is a pain as well as lacking a cleaner interface to get all of your apps. In general my experience with say a zotac e350 zbox, asus mini intel 4150, and earlier nucs is: if you load up the cpu's on them they generally have to spin up the fans to noticeable levels. With an itx build you can kind of combat this depending on the case you choose and the space available by slapping a massive heatsink on there like the Cryorig C1/similar, a nice efficient psu and quieter case fans. If you were to go this route make make sure the 2200g or the i3 8100's gpus have the codecs you need to decode without touching the cpu probably some form of h265 or vp9.
     
    ReaperX22 likes this.
  4. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,347
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Having one, I absolutely agree- but the exception to this is the use for 'browsing'. I'm sure the Shield is capable of it, but I'm not quite sure that it would be a pleasurable experience.
     
  5. ReaperX22

    ReaperX22 Gawd

    Messages:
    719
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    You'll be fine with a Nuc for general purposes. I was using an i5 Nuc with 8gb of ram at my old job, with an SSD of course, and it ran general browsing/playback just fine. That was 3+ years ago. So a newer one with hdmi 2.0 should be pretty capable.

    That said, I do love my Nvidia Shield, but it's not great for web browsing using the built-in browser. I do have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo unit that works well with it, but i just prefer the remote/for streaming/content consumption.
     
  6. johnsher

    johnsher n00b

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    I'll second the fanless suggestion although a different brand - HDPlex has provided me good service for 5 years now.
     
  7. pavel

    pavel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    How does a HDPlex work?

    Do you buy the case (looks really expensive) and psu to go with it and then the other mini-itx components like mobo, ssd, ram etc.?

    Or something else?
     
  8. DogsofJune

    DogsofJune 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,398
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    The Nuc I have is deathly quiet. Wonderful for media, not so great for gaming if you choose to. Only time I have heard it was while playing Diablo 3. Even serves up some Plex without issue.

    Quieter than the watercooled itx boxes I have, except during games. Otherwise, I forget it is on. I am impressed with the Intel Nuc's. Everyday stuff and entertainment it's been a trooper. I'd get a newer generation if I could afford it right now. Bought mine used off this forum.
     
  9. She loved E

    She loved E n00b

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    You have more ways to make an itx rig quiet imo. More CPU cooler options, fan upgrades... you can even get a passive case (for all the $$$). Someone is selling a barebones rig in an ncase m1 right now in the classifieds. You could jump on that, rock the igpu and upgrade individual pieces later if needed.
     
    atmartens likes this.
  10. johnsher

    johnsher n00b

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    yes, this. It's a case, you put in it what you want.
     
  11. pavel

    pavel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    The one I looked it, H5?, was around $300 or $400 CAD! Looked real interesting but too rich for me. :(
     
  12. johnsher

    johnsher n00b

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    well that is the most expensive option and even so it's not that crazy in the context of a home theatre system that's going to cost a few thousand if you get yourself a decent tv and sound.
     
  13. pavel

    pavel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    I looked at a new generation Nuc and it has the best specs and prices. A few people say it's pretty quiet.

    Is anyone here familiar with the HP Elitedesk g4, Dell Optiplex 7060 Micro and Lenovo thinkcentre m715q?

    I was looking at those, too, but none have hdmi. I would be afraid of not getting hdmi 2.0b since it seems you need that from the motherboard hardware?

    So, I think it's between a Nuc BOXNUC8i5BEH1 and building an itx.

    Which would be quieter? I think an i3-8100 or even i5-8400 with a LP cooler in an Inwin chopin would be as small as I could go and not be too bad with temps and noise? Or would a different case and cooler be better?

    Price wise, the nuc is about $800 total if I get an m.2 pcie ssd.

    An itx build will be anywhere from $700 (R2400G) to $900 (i5-8400) with all the parts the same except for mobo and CPU.

    Thoughts?
     
  14. ReaperX22

    ReaperX22 Gawd

    Messages:
    719
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    The NUC will give you the small form factor you want, but lose out on upgradeability and overall performance. For your use case, I'd probably go the Nuc, given I don't expect the requirements for YouTube or media streaming etc for a long while. It's also just an easy build, get the NUC, RAM and drive, throw it in, no cable management, nothing. Just works easily.

    If you ever wish to game, however (720p gaming or something) the 2400G is your better bet. More powerful CPU and reasonable integrated GPU for some retro games or 720p more modern titles, etc. Note that the 2400G really loves fast RAM so consider that with pricing as well..

    Oh the Nuc will sip power too. The others won't be particularly high, but the Nuc will be even lower.
     
  15. rhansen5_99

    rhansen5_99 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,990
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    We have a few of the sff Dell boxes at work, I think optiplex 5050 and 5060s. They are not bad, have a t version processor, m.2 ssd sodimm memory. I am pretty sure you can run active display port adapters to get hdmi 2. That being said they are not really a value add over the nuc type devices unless you need some CPU power.
    On a side note have you seen the asrock desk mini a300, it gives you stx and a possibility of 2400g and possibly a zen 2 apu down the road if they ever jump up the GPU cores. if you wanted a little gaming.
     
  16. somebrains

    somebrains Gawd

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    IMG_20190514_024510.jpg IMG_20190514_024506.jpg

    Keep an eye out for a beater t430 i7 thinkpad under $100.

    They're quiet, sometimes you find them with the Nvidia GPU option.

    You need a mini dp dongle capable of doing 4k 60, I got mine off Amazon for $20.
     
  17. Staples

    Staples [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,786
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    The NUCs are pretty quiet unless you are stressing them however they do use mobile U processors. I am impressed with the new one that uses i7 8556U (I think) for just under 500$. The CPU is very fast however it throttles within 30 seconds after it ramps up. It has impressive performance before it throttles. Anyway, I am going with mITX. I see no reason these days to buy full sized ATX parts. If you make sure all your fans and heatsink are PWM, the system should be fairly quiet.