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Intel i7 NUC - is it suitable as a DAW platform?

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Intel i7 NUC - is it suitable as a DAW platform?

Postby Chromeman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 am

I'm thinking of moving to a fanless PC because I record far more acoustic stuff these days and my 2008 Cheesegrater Mac is feeling its age and is quite noisy in my small space. I noticed on the Scan website and in Youtube vids that a combination of a i7 NUC and an Akasa Turing case seems pretty powerful and silent. Anybody using this combination and would it work as a DAW - can't see why not but thought I'd at least ask the question.
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Re: Intel i7 NUC - is it suitable as a DAW platform?

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:45 am

All the models it lists as compatible are low powered "U" series NUC's, which are the chips you find in netbooks and low power laptop setups and I wouldn't tend to advise them in a laptop for music,
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Re: Intel i7 NUC - is it suitable as a DAW platform?

Postby Agharta » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:34 pm

On the CPU front it depends on how much grunt you need and what are the sustained clock speeds when using a fanless system.
The latest NUCs due soon range up to 6 cores but as they are still using an old fabrication node the power efficiency isn't going to be great.
Have you seen a review of the fanless chassis and how it copes with a quad core under a sustained load?
Even though the TDP can still be as low as 15W, under load it will consume a lot more which makes fanless a problem as the CPU will be thermally throttled.

This is some info on the next generation:
https://hothardware.com/news/intel-nuc-comet-lake-u

My full size desktop is silent with a 6 core at 3.9GHz, so if you have the space it's easier to cool silently when you can accommodate large heat sinks and large slow moving silent fans.
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Re: Intel i7 NUC - is it suitable as a DAW platform?

Postby Chromeman » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:18 pm

Thanks for the replies, that's very helpful. I think I'll look at a proper desktop solution instead.
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