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Intel NUC 8th Generation - Thumbs Up!

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HomerJAU

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I just setup my new Intel NUC8i3BEH today and tested it for multichannel high resolution audio, both FLAC and DTS-HDMA. Pass!

5.1 192/24 OK (FLAC)
7.1 96/24 OK (FLAC)
5.1 DTS-HDMA OK

Will test more over the weekend.

It was running LibreElec 9 alpha (Kodi 18 Leia Beta with a Linux operating system, no need for Windows) and all working as advertised: 8 Channel 192/24 audio over HDMI 2.0a. Fully supports DTS-HDMA and TrueHD, Atmos pass-through.

Here's a review posted recently: https://nucblog.net/2018/10/coffee-lake-nuc8i3beh-review/

Here's the exact configuration I ordered (originally a link from the NucBlog post above):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aws/cart/add.html?AssociateTag=thinnubl-guru-20&SubscriptionId=144RR0T0YM45X6SVKSR2&ASIN.1=B07GX4X4PW&Quantity.1=1&ASIN.2=B014R8JUWO&Quantity.2=1&ASIN.3=B07BN5FJZQ&Quantity.3=1&add.x=127&add.y=26

I'll update with more info over next week or so.

If anyone is looking for a Media Player to play back hires MCH and watch HD concerts/music videos this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The 8th Gen Intel NUCs (i3, i5 or i7) all decode HEVC 4K UHD. Currently on Windows supports HDR. Linux next year by reports. LibreElec 'Tone-Maps' HDR content so it looks 'normal' on a 4K TV.
 

Old Quad Guy

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I just setup my new Intel NUC8i3BEH today and tested it for multichannel high resolution audio, both FLAC and DTS-HDMA. Pass!

5.1 192/24 OK (FLAC)
7.1 96/24 OK (FLAC)
5.1 DTS-HDMA OK

Will test more over the weekend.

It was running LibreElec 9 alpha (Kodi 18 Leia Beta with a Linux operating system, no need for Windows) and all working as advertised: 8 Channel 192/24 audio over HDMI 2.0a. Fully supports DTS-HDMA and TrueHD, Atmos pass-through.

Here's a review posted recently: https://nucblog.net/2018/10/coffee-lake-nuc8i3beh-review/

Here's the exact configuration I ordered (originally a link from the NucBlog post above):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aws/cart/add.html?AssociateTag=thinnubl-guru-20&SubscriptionId=144RR0T0YM45X6SVKSR2&ASIN.1=B07GX4X4PW&Quantity.1=1&ASIN.2=B014R8JUWO&Quantity.2=1&ASIN.3=B07BN5FJZQ&Quantity.3=1&add.x=127&add.y=26

I'll update with more info over next week or so.

If anyone is looking for a Media Player to play back hires MCH and watch HD concerts/music videos this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The 8th Gen Intel NUCs (i3, i5 or i7) all decode HEVC 4K UHD. Currently on Windows supports HDR. Linux next year by reports. LibreElec 'Tone-Maps' HDR content so it looks 'normal' on a 4K TV.
I need a new computer too. For only about $500, it looks great. One thing though, if it's ok, you'll have to help us put a few of the pieces together. But an excellent price for a top of the line computer. Thanks.
 

DuncanS

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I just setup my new Intel NUC8i3BEH today and tested it for multichannel high resolution audio, both FLAC and DTS-HDMA. Pass!

5.1 192/24 OK (FLAC)
7.1 96/24 OK (FLAC)
5.1 DTS-HDMA OK

Will test more over the weekend.

It was running LibreElec 9 alpha (Kodi 18 Leia Beta with a Linux operating system, no need for Windows) and all working as advertised: 8 Channel 192/24 audio over HDMI 2.0a. Fully supports DTS-HDMA and TrueHD, Atmos pass-through.

Here's a review posted recently: https://nucblog.net/2018/10/coffee-lake-nuc8i3beh-review/

Here's the exact configuration I ordered (originally a link from the NucBlog post above):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aws/cart/add.html?AssociateTag=thinnubl-guru-20&SubscriptionId=144RR0T0YM45X6SVKSR2&ASIN.1=B07GX4X4PW&Quantity.1=1&ASIN.2=B014R8JUWO&Quantity.2=1&ASIN.3=B07BN5FJZQ&Quantity.3=1&add.x=127&add.y=26

I'll update with more info over next week or so.

If anyone is looking for a Media Player to play back hires MCH and watch HD concerts/music videos this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The 8th Gen Intel NUCs (i3, i5 or i7) all decode HEVC 4K UHD. Currently on Windows supports HDR. Linux next year by reports. LibreElec 'Tone-Maps' HDR content so it looks 'normal' on a 4K TV.
Interesting (y)that's the one I've been looking at to be hub of my music system
 

HomerJAU

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I need a new computer too. For only about $500, it looks great. One thing though, if it's ok, you'll have to help us put a few of the pieces together. But an excellent price for a top of the line computer. Thanks.
I’ll create an updated version of the thread below which was for an earlier generation NUC. If you read the opening post you’ll see it’s a pretty straight forward assembly, screwdriver only:

https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-setup-an-intel-nuc-for-kodi.24746/

Once assembled it’s down to installing the operating system. The two most common would be:
  • LibreElec (Linux and Kodi media software combined. Boots straight to Kodi) free
  • Windows 10 (paid license) Then add your media software Foobar2000 (free) JRiver (paid License) etc
 

HomerJAU

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I’d previously purchased a Minix Neo A2 air/gyroscopic mouse (wifi) and it worked in LibreElec/Kodi ‘out of the box’ with no configuration required.

https://www.amazon.com/MINIX-Keyboard-Six-Axis-Gyroscope-Technology/dp/B016OABW8S

If you do use LibreElec it has iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android smartphone/tablet remote control apps you can use via your home wifi to control the media player, select next tracks while listening to current etc.

JRiver has similar apps for Windows and smartphones/tablets too. I don’t know about Foobar compatible remotes.
 

HomerJAU

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...
Once assembled it’s down to installing the operating system. The two most common would be:
  • LibreElec (Linux and Kodi media software combined. Boots straight to Kodi) free
  • Windows 10 (paid license) Then add your media software Foobar2000 (free) JRiver (paid License) etc
Another possibility for using a NUC:
This model supports two SSD drives: One with an M.2 interface (the one used in the review linked in opening post), the second a SATA interface. M.2 is fastest and latest interface, use this if you only want one drive.

It would be easy to install one with LibreElec (use as a media player) the second could have Windows (to use for ripping/converting media with a USB BD drive or to use other Windows based apps). On startup it would default to LibreElec but you could hit F2 on a keyboard and tell it to boot to Windows to run the Windows apps.

This maybe a solution for those users that want a great media player experience that don’t a have suitable PC to do conversions. SSD drives are way faster than convention hard drives too so it will be quite fast for ripping/converting.

EDIT: If you are considering using a NUC for ripping/converting you may want to go for the i5 model. This has a quad core processor, a bit faster for conversions. The i3 model is all that’s required for a media player. Perfect HD audio and video, not much processing power required (2 cores/4 threads for i3 vs quad cores/8 threads for i5)
 
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LuvMyQuad

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That looks like a nice machine for the money.

Another reason I run windows in my media player is because my TV is not a smart TV. So I can play Netflix, Hulu, or any other web based movie service. It will take you to any internet site as well. My other half likes to do shopping on it. :(

Of course this can all be done with Linux as well. Unfortunately I'm not versed in Linux.
 

HomerJAU

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depeche76

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If you plan to use a large mechanical hard disk drive (1 TB and larger) i highly recommend to install an intel optane module......it accelerates the pc like if it was working with a ssd
 

GOS

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EDIT: If you are considering using a NUC for ripping/converting you may want to go for the i5 model. This has a quad core processor, a bit faster for conversions. The i3 model is all that’s required for a media player. Perfect HD audio and video, not much processing power required (2 cores/4 threads for i3 vs quad cores/8 threads for i5)
This is a critical comment - anyone who may be jumping in here to buy a NUC.......I am debating which way to go here. My current Dell PC is a total lemon and I've had nothing but heartache with it. I do use my PC as a main player in my audio/video world.....

Would you all recommend (still) going the route of NUC to fully replace my laptop? I would go the Windows 10 route....is it still cheaper to go the NUC route as opposed to getting a similar performing laptop? Yes, I do find all the specs confusing as different wording make it nearly impossible for ME to understand what the heck I'm buying. :(
 

DuncanS

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I am going to go down the Windows 10 based NUC route for my music media player/ripper/converter etc. and have it permanently linked up to my Amp/TV etc. (I have an Asus i7 laptop and its not much good (it should be!), and also have a Dell 8th Gen i7 Desktop PC (works brilliantly but upstairs in my office), and an old Acer i5 Desktop). I would have as much DDR memory as you can afford, and an SSD for the programs, and an HDD to store temp stuff on, like files you're playing around with say in Audacity.

If you want to have,
  1. A simple media player go for an NUC8i3BEH with an Intel Core i3-8109U (cheapest option) It'll still do lots of other stuff just more slowly.
  2. A media player with more power for ripping etc. go for an NUC8i5BEH with an Intel Core i5-8259U (medium cost option)
  3. An overkill media player that can handle multiple things like playing FLACs whilst converting files and surfing the net go for an NUC8i7BEH with an Intel Core i7-8559U. (expensive option) It may also be more future proof as updates can impact performance. At the minute this is the one I am thinking of, but I might go for the i5 NUC depends on how crazy I feel at the time!
 

bluelightning

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This is a critical comment - anyone who may be jumping in here to buy a NUC.......I am debating which way to go here. My current Dell PC is a total lemon and I've had nothing but heartache with it. I do use my PC as a main player in my audio/video world.....

Would you all recommend (still) going the route of NUC to fully replace my laptop? I would go the Windows 10 route....is it still cheaper to go the NUC route as opposed to getting a similar performing laptop? Yes, I do find all the specs confusing as different wording make it nearly impossible for ME to understand what the heck I'm buying. :(
I bought one of these recently off of ebay. Another member had mentioned it earlier and I thought it was a good idea, so I tried it. It is cheap enough to try. I got it mainly so that I could have a dedicated machine connected to my TV so that I could display that fantastic Foobar skin that you use. It does fine playing MCH SACD ISOs/ DSD/DST/DSF files. At steady state while decoding these files it utilizes around 34% CPU for all 4 different SACD decoder 1.11 modes. The seller has i3 & i5 based configs. They are based on older (4th gen ) intel processors.


I would not yet go with a newer NUC. To me, they don't add anything to the box I mentioned above's capabilities, especially for music playback.

To me a big drawback of the latest NUCs are the HDMI interface. It does not support 4K HDR/Vision etc, only 4K 60 Hz.
 
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GOS

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I am going to go down the Windows 10 based NUC route for my music media player/ripper/converter etc. and have it permanently linked up to my Amp/TV etc. (I have an Asus i7 laptop and its not much good (it should be!), and also have a Dell 8th Gen i7 Desktop PC (works brilliantly but upstairs in my office), and an old Acer i5 Desktop). I would have as much DDR memory as you can afford, and an SSD for the programs, and an HDD to store temp stuff on, like files you're playing around with say in Audacity.

If you want to have,
  1. A simple media player go for an NUC8i3BEH with an Intel Core i3-8109U (cheapest option) It'll still do lots of other stuff just more slowly.
  2. A media player with more power for ripping etc. go for an NUC8i5BEH with an Intel Core i5-8259U (medium cost option)
  3. An overkill media player that can handle multiple things like playing FLACs whilst converting files and surfing the net go for an NUC8i7BEH with an Intel Core i7-8559U. (expensive option) It may also be more future proof as updates can impact performance. At the minute this is the one I am thinking of, but I might go for the i5 NUC depends on how crazy I feel at the time!
In your point number 3, here is a link on ebay, that has what you describe. From what I gather, everything is pre-installed......$819
What you think? What is it missing?

NUC
 

bluelightning

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In your point number 3, here is a link on ebay, that has what you describe. From what I gather, everything is pre-installed......$819
What you think? What is it missing?

NUC
I am not Duncan, but from my POV :
1) Costs a pretty penny. $819! . Probably could buy a number of similarly equiped laptops for @ this price
2) Won't support 4k 60 with HDR10/ Vision etc. if you care about such things. Probably better to wait until the 9th Gen proc/bridge.
 

GOS

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I am not Duncan, but from my POV :
1) Costs a pretty penny. $819! . Probably could buy a number of similarly equiped laptops for @ this price
2) Won't support 4k 60 with HDR10/ Vision etc. if you care about such things. Probably better to wait until the 9th Gen proc/bridge.
Yeah, I know. I guess I don't think $819 is that expensive......but I may be out of the laptop loop. My piece o crap Dell does not come close to those specs and I know I paid $900 for it. But, I'm sure I was paying for the 2 in 1 feature...which I could care less about. My SSD in my Dell is half the size of that NUC. Beats me..... I suppose I should care about the video part of it.
 

DuncanS

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I am not Duncan, but from my POV :
1) Costs a pretty penny. $819! . Probably could buy a number of similarly equiped laptops for @ this price
2) Won't support 4k 60 with HDR10/ Vision etc. if you care about such things. Probably better to wait until the 9th Gen proc/bridge.
They're not cheap that's for sure! I'm not after the video (I want multi-channel music + its processing capabilities) so its not a problem for me, but if others want to use it for that its a good point as it won't do HDR10 etc.
 

DuncanS

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In your point number 3, here is a link on ebay, that has what you describe. From what I gather, everything is pre-installed......$819
What you think? What is it missing?

NUC
Its Windows 10 Pro (I know that has Bitlocker encryption, not sure what other features it has, or for that matter what it doesn't contain compared to Home), so Windows 10 Home is possibly better for a media player. You probably don't require the oomph of an i7, and I would go for a bigger SSD and a 1TB HDD as well.

I'm looking to buy from the UK offshoot of Simply NUC USA as they offer a 5yr guarantee for a modest cost, as I can't be bothered to fix things! I'll probably make it dual boot so Linux & Windows.

However, the cost of the box bluelightning has is really good. There was an issue with multichannel PCM on some intel i3/i5/i7 but I can't remember which Gen it was, but it looks like the 4th Gen i5 in that box works OK.
 

bluelightning

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Yeah, I know. I guess I don't think $819 is that expensive......but I may be out of the laptop loop. My piece o crap Dell does not come close to those specs and I know I paid $900 for it. But, I'm sure I was paying for the 2 in 1 feature...which I could care less about. My SSD in my Dell is half the size of that NUC. Beats me..... I suppose I should care about the video part of it.
I hear you. With these "branded" laptops you almost have to strip out the OS and reinstall everything to get it working well, with all the bloatware and crap they install.
 
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