Intel Braswell boxes compilation

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oWarchild Offline
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Information  Intel Braswell boxes compilation
Post: #1
Last year and up until now the Haswell Chromebox has been the reference Kodi box on the low powered x86 CPU segment. This year that will probably change due to 4K and HEVC/H.265 requirements, and Braswell is a promising candidate to take the Chromebox's place:
(2015-06-04 18:35)fritsch Wrote:  I would not invest _any_ money into a Broadwell. Especially as the new atom braswell has real HEVC support, even on linux. But on linux the ffmpeg hwaccel is still missing ... I personally go with a 3150 Braswell, when available.
Note that the Braswell may not be able to hardware decode HEVC 10-bit (main10 profile), only 8-bit. More info here.

In the last few days many Braswell boxes and motherboards have been announced and for the sake of sanity I'll try to keep an updated list here, highlighting key features such as CPU, memory (check quote below), video ports, etc. If you know of any other Braswell box/motherboard post it on this thread and I'll add it to this post.

(2015-06-05 17:30)Matt Devo Wrote:  single sodimm slot = single channel memory = potential limitation for 4K. Also, looks like HDMI 1.4, so 2160p60 not an option anyway
Also check this video: https://youtu.be/xEG3xYoct38



Boxes

Asus VivoMini UN45 / UN45H
  • Intel Braswell Celeron N3000 / N3150
  • 2 x SODIMM slots DDR3L (1333MHz / 1600MHz)
  • 1 x M.2 SSD slot
  • 1 x 2.5“ SSD or HDD (UN45H only)
  • 1 x mini-DisplayPort* (I/O ports may vary with model)
  • 1 x HDMI*
  • 1 x VGA
  • Fanless: UN45: yes, UN45H: no

ASRock Beebox
Intel NUC NUC5CPYH / NUC5PPYH
Gigabyte Brix GB-BACE-3000 / GB-BACE-3150
  • Intel Braswell Celeron N3000 / N3150
  • 1 x SODIMM slots DDR3L (1066MHz / 1600MHz)
  • 1 x 2.5“ SSD or HDD up to 9.5mm
  • 1 x HDMI (max resolution: 3840x2160 @ 30 Hz)
  • 1 x VGA
  • Fanless: N3000: yes, N3150: no
  • Review: hardwareluxx.com

ECS Liva X2
  • Intel Braswell Celeron N3050
  • 1 x SODIMM slots DDR3L
  • 32GB or 64GB of eMMC flash storage
  • 1 x M.2 SSD expansion slot
  • 1 x HDMI*
  • 1 x VGA
  • Fanless: yes
  • Review: anandtech
  • Price: $170

Minix Z series
  • Intel Braswell Celeron N3150 / Pentium N3700
  • 1 x HDMI*
  • 1 x DisplayPort*
  • 1 x S/PDIF
  • Fanless: yes

Zotac Zbox Nano
  • Intel Braswell Celeron N3150
  • 2 x SODIMM slots DDR3L-1600
  • 1 x 2.5“ SSD or HDD
  • 1 x HDMI*
  • 1 x DisplayPort*
  • 1 x VGA
  • Fanless: yes

So far all boxes feature Gigabit LAN and 802.11ac WiFi so I've removed them from the spec lists.

* HDMI/DisplayPort version unknown



Motherboards
Some noteworthy Mini-ITX motherboards

ASRock N3150-ITX / N3150DC-ITX / N3700-ITX
  • Intel Braswell Celeron N3150 / Pentium N3700
  • 2 x SODIMM slots DDR3/DDR3L (1066MHz / 1600MHz)
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.1a with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (3840x2160) @ 30Hz or 2560x1600 @ 60Hz
  • 1 x HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (3840x2160) @ 30Hz or 2560x1600 @ 60Hz
  • 1 x DVI-D with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • Reviews: techspot.com / nl.hardware.info (translation)
  • Price: N3150-ITX: €84, N3700-ITX: €112

MSI N3700I ECO
  • Intel Braswell Pentium N3700
  • 2 x SODIMM slots DDR3 (1333MHz / 1600MHz)
  • 1 x HDMI*
  • 1 x VGA

Other motherboards


Notes

Regarding the CPUs, the key difference is the number of cores, N3000 and N3050 are dual core while N3150 and N3700 are quad core:
Intel Ark - N3000 < N3050 < N3150 < N3700

Unfortunately most of the HDMI / DisplayPort versions are still unknown which is a bit annoying as anything below HDMI 2.0 / DisplayPort 1.2 won't be able to output 4K (3840x2160) @ 60Hz. Read more about this in AnandTech: Future-proofing HTPCs for the 4K Era: HDMI, HDCP and HEVC.

Hi10P: a sample test suggests the Braswell quad-core has enough power to software decode 1080p Hi10P anime.

HD Audio Bitreaming (DTS-HD and TrueHD): currently there is no Windows driver support but @fritsch has reported it works on linux / OpenELEC. More details on intel communities.
(This post was last modified: 2015-09-20 15:22 by oWarchild.)
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #2
So far, the Asus VivoMini UN45H seems to be the most promising, featuring quad core, dual-channel memory and DisplayPort but it will depend on the DisplayPort version.
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Roby77 Offline
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Post: #3
Only nuc and beebox has integrated ir ?
(This post was last modified: 2015-06-09 06:20 by Roby77.)
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #4
Looks like it, yes.
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incubus Offline
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Post: #5
(2015-06-08 19:22)oWarchild Wrote:  So far, the Asus VivoMini UN45H seems to be the most promising, featuring quad core, dual-channel memory and DisplayPort but it will depend on the DisplayPort version.

Well, it may be. I don't like there is no IR receiver but that's easy to add one.

More concerning is how the N3150 will compare with the N3700 with high HEVC streams.
The N3700 frequency is higher and has 16EU instead of 12EU. This may be a big difference between the Pentium and the Celerons.
Benchmarks will tell...

Beebox N3150 - Lubuntu 15.10 - Krypton nightly build
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Panasonic DMP-BD65 bluray - DVDO Edge scaler
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #6
Indeed benchmarks will tell. Annoyingly the NUC5PPYH, the only N3700 box so far, does not support HDMI 2.0, has no DisplayPort and looks like it won't support dual-channel memory, all important things for 4K support, namely at 50/60Hz.
(This post was last modified: 2015-06-10 18:12 by oWarchild.)
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #7
For now it's probably best to avoid single DIMM boxes/motherboards if smooth 4K is a requirement.




Originally posted by @cyborg in http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=...id2030616.

Added this videos's link to first post.
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #8
ASRock has published a new Beebox Microsite. In it they mention an Intel N3150 version with a fan which I didn't see before. According to them the noise levels are 17.5dB idle and 20.5dB under load.

I've updated the first post.
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #9
According to a FanlessTech article (sourced from Technikaffe.de) the Braswell N3150 shows a CPU improvement of 5% when compared to the Bay Trail J1900 (which should give us a good idea of what to expect). On the GPU side though, performance doubles.
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Roby77 Offline
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Post: #10
What about vs haswell 2955 ?
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Matt Devo Offline
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Post: #11
(2015-06-30 21:03)Roby77 Wrote:  What about vs haswell 2955 ?

slower per core, but that's irrelevant since it's the GPU that's the interesting part. The CPU will likely be quick enough that Kodi performance isn't compromised

Questions about Kodi on an Asus/HP/Acer/Dell ChromeBox?

Check out the wiki page and my Kodi EZ install script


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chilman408 Offline
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Post: #12
If GPU is the important factor, how come nobody considers AMD offerings?
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oWarchild Offline
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Post: #13
I can't answer that question generally but in the context of 4K HEVC the Intel Braswell offers hardware decoding support while AMD will start supporting it later this year with their 6th generation of APUs: https://community.amd.com/community/amd-...-you-care. After that we'll still need vendors, like Zotac, to build small form boxes with such processors.
(This post was last modified: 2015-07-06 01:18 by oWarchild.)
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jjd-uk Offline
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Post: #14
(2015-07-06 00:30)chilman408 Wrote:  If GPU is the important factor, how come nobody considers AMD offerings?

Perhaps because AMD are crap at coding decent drivers.
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levi.baker88 Offline
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Post: #15
(2015-07-06 04:11)jjd-uk Wrote:  
(2015-07-06 00:30)chilman408 Wrote:  If GPU is the important factor, how come nobody considers AMD offerings?

Perhaps because AMD are crap at coding decent drivers.

Lol this. AMD just doesn't have the money or development ability like they once had and nVidia has their finger in many, many pies.

Good to see the low end NUC market finally adopting 802.11ac.

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