back to article Intel pours Raptor Lake chips into latest NUC Mini PC line

Just days after lifting the covers off the 13th-gen Core vPro CPUs, Intel has revealed the latest NUC line of miniature PCs, giving a decent chunk of compute power in a space-saving 4x4in form factor. Intel’s NUC, or Next Unit of Computing, has been going for over a decade now. It was originally a compact barebones computer …

  1. trevorde Silver badge

    Digital signage? WTF?

    Must be missing something here but do you *really* need all that horsepower, storage and memory for [checks notes] digital signage? Would've thought a Raspberry Pi would do all of that for a lot less of, well, everything.

    1. SunnyS
      Megaphone

      Re: Digital signage? WTF?

      Have you tried to get a Raspberry Pi lately. I’d like a 400 but sold out everywhere!

      Anyway I agree PIs are best for low cost devices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Digital signage? WTF?

        Pis are only hard to get if you're a retail customer. If you want them for industrial / educational use, they're still easy to get hold of if you contact Raspberry Pi directly. I work in a lab that uses them for various things and I've never had a problem getting hold of at least 10 at a time at RRP.

        They have intentionally restricted retail supply to ensure that educators / industrial users can still get hold of them. Can't say I blame them, RetroPi / Plex setups aren't particularly high priority for the Pi foundation...these are the situations I'd argue that a Pi is actually overkill for.

        As for overkill for digital signage...depends on what the digital signage is designed to do. If you just want to loop through a bunch of videos, then the Pi is probably ok...but if you want to do some more advanced stuff...like syncing up a bunch of displays running down an escalator or doing anything that requires some level of time based precision, then the Pi isn't particularly cost effective because of the extra boards etc that you need to buy to provide this functionality.

    2. Buzzword

      Re: Digital signage? WTF?

      Corporate insists on installing McAfee DLP Endpoint Protection, Trellix Endpoint Security, and a whole host of other background processes from the standard corporate build. Can't run those on a Raspberry Pi.

      1. ICL1900-G3

        Re: Digital signage? WTF?

        "Can't run those on a Raspberry Pi." ... and probably don't need to?

    3. TonyJ

      Re: Digital signage? WTF?

      No. I did a project for a very large retailer in the UK that was designed to help bring their shops into the 21st century* and my part in that was to design a digital signage system.

      The solution I chose was incredibly elegant and cost effective. Each store had a mini server - a passively cooled machine running Linux which was actually a joy to behold**

      Each display was hooked up to another tiny, passively cooled, PC running embedded Windows.

      The server got the media and details of things such as when to run particular items*** and acted as a caching device as well as a controller for each of the display PC's.

      The media and marketing teams uploaded all the media and controls to a web portal and it worked exceptionally well. The mini PC's had a serial connection that could turn the screens on and off, set the input source etc, so no random folks running around with a spare e.g. Samsung remote turning them off or to a different source.

      It was an elegant solution using relatively low powered kit that just worked.

      *Feedback from customers tended to go along the lines of "we love your shops and the staff and the items you sell, as well as the prices you sell 'em at, but my god it is like stepping back into 1991"

      **I loved these boxes except for one major design flaw - the power button glowed red when the device was on and blue when off. It was enough of an issue we had to print labels to say red is ok.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Digital signage? WTF?

        **I loved these boxes except for one major design flaw - the power button glowed red when the device was on and blue when off. It was enough of an issue we had to print labels to say red is ok.

        Two LEDs back-to-back? Couldn't you just reverse the connections? Personally I'd remove the "off" one altogether.

        (speaking here as someone whose "other half" at work keeps telling me that one or other of the LED indicators are broken on the PC they've just rebuilt but otherwise the thing's working fine, but next time I need to take the lid off and remember to look I find that the connector is put on backwards. It's amazing how frustrating the lack of a little green "power on" LED and/or a flashing orange "HDD activity" LED can be when all you want to do is check that the machine is powered up and doing something! )

        M.

    4. Eponymous Bastard
      Thumb Up

      Re: Digital signage? WTF?

      Can vouch for that!

      Running really old Raspberry Pi 2s - they take SD card - yeah full size SD cards. These have run plugged into a variety of TV screens scattered around the building and have done for many years. They're powered off the USB port in the back of the TV and boot when the TV is turned on and get shutdown brutally when the TV gets turned off. This "system" has proved remarkably resilient. I was running it via a published Google Slides show but opted for creating a LAMP on a Pi3 last year and using a nice little Wordpress slideshow. I found Chromium struggled on the old Pis as it became more bloated and sometimes Google Slides screwed me. The Pis still use Midori; and BTW they're on an internal network and run in a not-for-profit business so their security is pretty robust.

      The whole exercise has been a great learning experience for me. A NUC would definitely be overkill for basic jpg slides IMO.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Digital signage? WTF?

        Raspberry Pi 2s - they take SD card - yeah full size SD cards

        From memory, only the Pi 1s take full-size SD cards. The Pi 2s came with the new board layout and a really nice click-click microSD slot which was then dropped for a non-clicky slot in the Pi3 (and 4).

        Yes, I have large quantities of everything back to the original 256MB Pi 1B, a dozen or more of which are still in use as looping video players, and have been since mid 2012!

        M.

  2. Jim Willsher

    I have a couple of NUC8ieBEH units running in the house, both running VMWare and 8 or 9 VMs. They have been rock solid, set it and forget it hardware.

    But they are NUC8, and they can handle 64GB RAM, which is what I have. Shame the new units announced here can also only handle 64GB. I get that they are positioned as smal desktop PCs, but they are great for home servers.

    1. TonyJ

      Couldn't agree more. Being able to lob at least 128GB in one of these would make them so much more usable as home servers.

    2. NLCSGRV

      Agreed it would be very nice to fit one of these out with 128GB. Unfortunately, the maximum RAM is a function of the processor used. The top-tier NUC 13 comes with the Core i7-1370P, which has a max RAM of 64GB.

  3. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    It always amazes me that we can squeeze all that computing oomph into a box that's a fraction of the size of the C64 I learned to code on. God, I feel old today:)

    1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

      *waves cane* Get off my lawn, you young whipper-snapper!

      Started on a TRS-80 Model I, Level I in high school. Saw a C64 a couple years later, but couldn't touch.

  4. AdamWill

    also htpcs

    "In addition to those looking for a desktop PC that doesn’t take up all their desk, the NUC 13 Pro is targeting biz applications such as digital signage, edge computing and IoT. For the latter, the hardware is compatible with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, as well as various Linux distributions."

    They're also pretty commonly used as HTPCs. That what I use them for. ARM SBCs are fine if you're *sure* they have hw support for any video you might play, but you're right out of luck when folks come up with a shiny new video format or profile or whatever and your SBC doesn't have hw playback support for it; the CPU sure ain't gonna handle it. Using a NUC means that's usually not a problem.

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