Intel June Canyon NUC

ao_ika_red

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Aug 11, 2016
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Hello everyone.
I think my parent's PC is in dire need of upgrade. They're still using E4400 for word processing and browsing machine. At first I thought AMD's Ryzen APU would be a very good upgrade but I've read in other thread about Intel's low power NUC and it seems better fit for them since it will save a lot of space.

Fortunately, Intel looks like will update their NUC lineup this year. I really do hope their Gemini lake powered NUC a.k.a. June Canyon will hit the shelf with reasonable price. But, to be honest, I don't have any experiences with either Intel Atom cpu or their NUC product. What kind of performance can I expect from this product? A quick glance on Passmark database shows me that older Apollo lake J3455 single thread performance still way below the old Q6600, so will it be just a sidegrade for my parents or even a downgrade?

*news about June Canyon NUC
https://liliputing.com/2018/01/intel-june-canyon-nuc-specs-released-gemini-lake-mini-pcs.html

*news about Gemini Lake
https://www.anandtech.com/show/12146/intel-launches-gemini-lake-pentium-silver-and-celeron-socs-new-cpu-media-features
 
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IntelUser2000

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Here's the comparison of various CPUs(including Q6600) against Apollo Lake based Pentium J4205. I am not a fan of Passmark, as it seems to be more of a synthetic benchmark rather than a good general purpose one.

Mind you, the J4205 can clock at 2.7GHz max versus 2.3GHz for J3455.

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/the-intel-atom-thread.2341969/page-188

Gemini Lake has Goldmont Plus cores. Intel claims Pentium J5005 is 68% faster than the Pentium J2900. The J2900 is listed on the graphs from the link, so you can compare that to the Q6600.

Actually, it'll be in your favor as E4400 is a 2GHz part, while Q6600 you compared Apollo Lake against is a 2.4GHz part.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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Atom based CPUs are still going to be in the ballpark vs. the old E4400, even if different models are slightly faster/slower.

Fortunately, Intel also makes NUCs based on their desktop/mobile "big core" CPUs, so just pick up an i3 NUC and you'll be all set with a substantial upgrade.
 
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DaveSimmons

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Another option is a slim tower from Acer, Dell Business, etc. -- those use mini-ITX motherboards and laptop DVD drives but full speed i3 / i5 desktop CPUs. I use an old Acer i3-2100 mini-ITX for my music jukebox and it's tiny and quiet (though about (2 x 4) times the size of a NUC).
 

IntelUser2000

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The Gemini Lake ones will have an advantage over the Core CPU based ones in that they are cheaper, and use less power. They seem like a better option for the "Parent PCs".

I like the mITX variants for tiny, cheap, fully customizable desktop. They are bigger than the NUC, but they are still incredibly small. Plus with the mITX Apollo/Gemini variants you can get it completely passive.
 

ao_ika_red

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Actually, it'll be in your favor as E4400 is a 2GHz part, while Q6600 you compared Apollo Lake against is a 2.4GHz part.
I was mentioning Q6600 just to make sure that today's Atom will be comparable to decade old "fast cpu". Because tbh, my parents don't really bother about current PC, but I'm pretty sure that sooner or later that system will be dead anyway so I'm better be prepared of it. Thank you for pointing out the comparison, that's really helpful.

Fortunately, Intel also makes NUCs based on their desktop/mobile "big core" CPUs, so just pick up an i3 NUC and you'll be all set with a substantial upgrade.
I would like to have i3 NUC, but I believe once 2200G apu comes out, the cost of ownership will be very close. I want to have delicate balance of cost, performance, and power consumption. The only reason why I'm interested in June Canyon because it's cheap and supposed to be as good as Core2 era cpu (which is not too shabby for a word processing and browsing cpu).

Another option is a slim tower from Acer, Dell Business, etc. -- those use mini-ITX motherboards and laptop DVD drives but full speed i3 / i5 desktop CPUs.
I will keep an eye on that option. Thanks.

I like the mITX variants for tiny, cheap, fully customizable desktop. They are bigger than the NUC, but they are still incredibly small. Plus with the mITX Apollo/Gemini variants you can get it completely passive.
I remember something more or less like this. That will be a good drop-in replacement for their PC (but with Goldmont+ core, ofc). Until then, A320 board + 2200G combo and June Canyon NUC are still the better candidates.
 

IntelUser2000

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I remember something more or less like this. That will be a good drop-in replacement for their PC (but with Goldmont+ core, ofc). Until then, A320 board + 2200G combo and June Canyon NUC are still the better candidates.
Gemini Lake systems including motherboards should launch in spring of this year.

Gigabyte and Asrock has ITX boards coming.

https://www.gigabyte.com/Press/News/1588
https://www.techpowerup.com/240831/asrock-intros-a-pair-of-celeron-gemini-lake-itx-motherboards

An example of Apollo Lake(current generation) ITX board is here: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157727&cm_re=J3455-_-13-157-727-_-Product

Regardless, you'll have options. They are saying $150-250 for the June Canyon NUC depending on the configuration. That seems roughly on par with current ones.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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I would like to have i3 NUC, but I believe once 2200G apu comes out, the cost of ownership will be very close. I want to have delicate balance of cost, performance, and power consumption. The only reason why I'm interested in June Canyon because it's cheap and supposed to be as good as Core2 era cpu (which is not too shabby for a word processing and browsing cpu).
There is such a thing as going too cheap, and "good enough" for some people may not be for others. Even a casual user can absolutely tell the difference between Core 2 class performance and a modern system, even for "lightweight" tasks like web browsing. (Which isn't really lightweight anymore anyway.)

I wouldn't sell an Atom to anybody I liked, I guess is my point.

Pentiums and i3s sit squarely at the "elbow" (bet value) of the price/performance curve. The power use thing is mostly a canard, since the CPUs are going to be idle most of the time anyway, and idle power use is similar.
 
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IntelUser2000

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There is such a thing as going too cheap, and "good enough" for some people may not be for others. Even a casual user can absolutely tell the difference between Core 2 class performance and a modern system, even for "lightweight" tasks like web browsing. (Which isn't really lightweight anymore anyway.)
There's a reason its called "good enough". Sure, people can notice the difference, but the low end system may be ok. That's what it means by good enough. There really is no end to top of the line. 200Hz refresh monitors, 8k resolutions, it'll never end. We've went way beyond past the point of saying things like 640K is good enough for everyone is wrong. Acceptance can do wonders here.

Pentiums and i3s sit squarely at the "elbow" (bet value) of the price/performance curve. The power use thing is mostly a canard, since the CPUs are going to be idle most of the time anyway, and idle power use is similar.
60-70% faster but at twice the cost. Yes, that's the single threaded gain per clock over Core 2.

I would look at these systems for my parents. Once you get an SSD, have decent enough RAM, Core 2 based systems still perform fine. The really old in-order based Atom devices were in need of a change. Once they went out of order, they became quite usable. These CPUs would be 50-60% on top of that. Unlike the Core 2 chips, they have the latest video playback acceleration including 4K, and even better support than some Core chips do.
 

ao_ika_red

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Thanks Dave. I agree with what you said. I don't want to give crapware to anybody that close to me but I don't want to give i7 + 860 pro ssd combo either because it's just a waste of resource. That's why I want to have a delicate balance of cost, performance, and power consumption.

I also agree with what IntelUser2000 said about using decent SSD and RAM because I believe access time has more importance to casual user than cpu speed. I hope June Canyon's tall version will have dual storage (M.2 + 2.5" HDD bay) because that should be a balanced storage configuration.

I hope we will see a proper benchmark for June Canyon in near future before pulling the trigger.
 

kenzz

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I got an NUC6i3 about 2 years ago and was not that impressed. I thought that with the Intel name the PC would work OK straight out of the box but it seemed to me that Intel had rushed the PC to market without thoroughly testing it. There were immediate problems and the BIOS had to be upgraded and a few other adjustments had to be made to get it working reasonably well. Even now I still have a feeling that the PC does not provide a "robust" operating "experience" ... which obviously is a very subjective and unsupported view. However it seems that, before buying it, you have the time to check reviews 6 months after the PC is introduced.

Alternatively I suggest the Lenovo ThinkCenter M Series Tiny for your parents. Not as compact as an NUC and perhaps usually seen as a business PC but a lot of customizing options at a reasonable price. Also perhaps, as a business PC, probably has more 'switch-on-and-forget-about-it', 'built-in' reliability than an NUC. I'm happy with mine. Also can check out ebay for i5 refurbished versions.
 

VirtualLarry

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Fortunately, Intel also makes NUCs based on their desktop/mobile "big core" CPUs, so just pick up an i3 NUC and you'll be all set with a substantial upgrade.
This. Or wait for Zotac to release their mini-PC with Ryzen Mobile APUs.

OR, get them this SFF Haswell quad-core PC, for $200 from Newegg.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883286403&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=IGNEFL020218C&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL020218C-_-EMC-020218-Latest-_-DesktopComputers-_-83286403-S2A4C&ignorebbr=1

EMCPRPR54

Honestly, a Haswell quad-core at 3.3Ghz (with Turbo), is going to blow the doors off of any Atom.
Unless space and power is at an insane premium, go with the refurb.
 
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DaveSimmons

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This. Or wait for Zotac to release their mini-PC with Ryzen Mobile APUs.

OR, get them this SFF Haswell quad-core PC, for $200 from Newegg.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883286403&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=IGNEFL020218C&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL020218C-_-EMC-020218-Latest-_-DesktopComputers-_-83286403-S2A4C&ignorebbr=1

EMCPRPR54

Honestly, a Haswell quad-core at 3.3Ghz (with Turbo), is going to blow the doors off of any Atom.
Unless space and power is at an insane premium, go with the refurb.
That's a great system for the price and comes with Windows 10 Pro. The only bad part is the 90-day warranty.

Also good Egg reviews except for the idiot who bought a SFF expecting to be able to upgrade the video card and PSU with standard parts, and didn't bother to check that before buying.
 
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CSMR

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Thanks Dave. I agree with what you said. I don't want to give crapware to anybody that close to me but I don't want to give i7 + 860 pro ssd combo either because it's just a waste of resource. That's why I want to have a delicate balance of cost, performance, and power consumption.
The new atom NUC will make a great HTPC (which mainly needs fixed function video processing rather than CPU), but will not suitable for general purpose systems. If you want a decent basic system get an i3 NUC. An ordinary user will not notice the difference between an i3 and i7 but an Atom will lag noticeably.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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That's a great system for the price and comes with Windows 10 Pro. The only bad part is the 90-day warranty.

Also good Egg reviews except for the idiot who bought a SFF expecting to be able to upgrade the video card and PSU with standard parts, and didn't bother to check that before buying.
90-day is par for the course for a used/refurb system. But it's also perfectly fine - they've been run for a while somewhere, and are past the "cradle death" part of the bathtub curve. I really wouldn't worry about it.

Also, if a part fails, I can guarantee it'll cost less than $200 to get a replacement. ;)
 

ao_ika_red

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Well, thanks to you guys, now I will also look for slim PC from OEMs. A lot of stuff to choose from except the refurb thing. I don't know if there's a rule to forbid refurbished stuff in my country (Indonesia), but it's hard to find them here. Alternatively, there's a lot of used i5 Haswell in slim tower with legit win 7 or 8 OS and honestly it looks quite decent. Heck, I want them as well.

With only J4005? That will be a no-go for me.
 

DaveSimmons

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I found Passmark scores for Gemini Lake, the Pentium Silver J5005.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2875&cmp[]=1038&cmp[]=3144
That's pretty amazing for a 10 watt part to almost match a Core2 Q6600, even if that is now a decade-old part. I want one!

It's too bad the Intel NUC will probably have a whiny little laptop fan. Hopefully Zotac and others will make passively cooled versions. Of course if MSI announces one it will probably never really ship (looking at you Cubi 3).
 

IntelUser2000

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That's pretty amazing for a 10 watt part to almost match a Core2 Q6600, even if that is now a decade-old part. I want one!
Yea I want one too. I want a custom build using an ITX case though. Planning on getting a PicoPSU with a decent 60W laptop style power brick.

The performance in single thread on the fastest Apollo Lake, the J4205 is on par with Q6600. If Passmark figures translate into other applications, Gemini Lake based J5005 will be 24% faster per clock, along with running at 2.8GHz over 2.6GHz of the J4205. So something like 30% in total.

Q6600 is faster than J4205 in Multi-threading, but Gemini Lake should at least catch up with it. It's possible it can't run at full Turbo when 4 cores are active when enough demand is on the core. I think though, even the 6W Pentium Silver N5000 will be competitive with Q6600 even on multi-thread.
 

cbn

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I was thinking of getting a Gemini Lake also, but I wanted to build into a router (using an Intel dual NIC card I already have).

Still was just thinking how interesting it would be to see how J5005 and Q6600 compare in real world applications when both use a GT 1030 (which has PCIe 3.0 x 4 bus). This to standardize the GPU component.

Reason: When GT 1030 is installed in the PCIe 2.0 x 16 (electrically PCIe 2.0x x2) slot of Gemini Lake Mini-ITX board the bandwidth is the same as when running in the PCIe 1.0 x 16 slot of a Q6600's LGA 775 board . This due to the GT 1030 only being able to use PCIe 1.0 x 4 when used with LGA 775.

(PCIe 2.0 x 2 = PCIe 1.0 x 4)
 
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you2

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What is the problem with the E4400 ? Other than clunky old technology it should be plenty fast. The real issue would be (amount of) memory and disk. For my parents I go with low price pentinum (usually around $50); and small ssd (their builds predate nuc). Also if you are going with a nuc why not consider i3 ? Yea the atom series use less power but for the total system it won't be a big deal esp when the machine enter sleep state.
 

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