Intel NUC my impressions, comming from RPI, ouya and ATV520

Dunkle

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Jokster, have you tried enabling dirty regions in your advancedsettings.xml?
Doing this took the cpu useage on my slightly weedy 2nd HTPC down from around 25% to less than 10% when in the gui on Aeon Nox
Can you explain this more please ?

I have my celeron based nuc delivered this morning, shoved in 4gb of ram and installed openelec onto a USB 3.0 stick (my ssd has not yet arrived) and had the whole thing up and running, with all my local library added within 10 minutes !

Brilliant, can't wait to get the ssd

Does anyone here use a flirc sensor ?
If so how did you solve the problem of repeat presses ? I'm using it with a harmony remote and it's unusable due to repeat commands being sent
 

jokster

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@ charliebrown
i can hear the fan with most skins after its been up and running for a few minutes, sitting a few feet away.
theres a fair bit of heat at the top back of the box too.
just sitting here listening to it now reving up and down and its sitting on a dimmed menu ffs.
fan control set to balanced so it shouldnt even come on till it hits 77c.
I dont get it, playing a hd movie - no fan, sitting in the menus - fan on.

@stammie
I haven't tried dirty regions yet, TBH I thought they were enabled by default.
I must give it a shot on my old revo
 

stammie

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Can you explain this more please ?
Because XBMC was originally programmed for a console it retains the xbox method of rendering the GUI, so every frame on the GUI is rendered at 60fps.
This puts a lot of useage on the CPU, I think from Frodo onwards the XBMC developers may have included a dirty regions mode by default, but this was one of the lesser settings (I really need to look up the wiki on it again), there are three different modes, I found mode one the best setting, although on older hardware this could cause flickering issues.
to set it you need this in your advancedsettings.xml which is in your userdata folder:-

<advancedsettings>
<gui>
<algorithmdirtyregions>1</algorithmdirtyregions>
<nofliptimeout>1000</nofliptimeout>
</gui>
</advancedsettings>
 

Dunkle

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Well I installed an ssd into my celeron nuc today whilst I had half hour break from work
Bearing in mind I had to get home and back to work in that time, I managed to install the drive, have a Sandwich install openelec and make sure it all ran !

The think boots in about 5 seconds

Are there any other tweaks / settings to be aware of to get even more ?
 

stammie

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Well I installed an ssd into my celeron nuc today whilst I had half hour break from work
Bearing in mind I had to get home and back to work in that time, I managed to install the drive, have a Sandwich install openelec and make sure it all ran !

The think boots in about 5 seconds

Are there any other tweaks / settings to be aware of to get even more ?
Well this is my advanced settings.xml from my Win 7 machine

<advancedsettings>
<splash>false</splash>

<videoextensions>
<add>.html</add>
</videoextensions>
<gui>
<algorithmdirtyregions>1</algorithmdirtyregions>
<nofliptimeout>0</nofliptimeout>
</gui>
<network>
<curlclienttimeout>45</curlclienttimeout>
<cachemembuffersize>0</cachemembuffersize>
</network>
<latency>
<delay>0</delay>
</latency>

</advancedsettings>

It works for me, there's loads more you can add to it and you can probably do without the <splash>false</splash> as I only have that because I use the XBMC intro addon and that makes it work properly
 

jokster

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cheers stammie, I had a look at the wiki and you are 100%
I havent had a chance to try it out yet, the young 'un is keeping me on my toes :)
noticed noise on pause too, I'm wondering if theres something not quite right with it.
 

tuxen

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To use an analogy its a bit like comparing an Aston Martin to a Fiat 500, both will get you to where you want to go but the Aston will provide an experience so much smoother, slicker and faster.
As Jokster said all these cheap set top boxes have their place but once you experience XBMC on even just a cheap proper pc you will never want to go back to the Fiat 500 equivalent again
Having all 3 platforms, well not a not but a micro form factor PC.:) To me comparing a RPi, Ouya, and a PC is what apples is to grapes and those are to oranges. Completely different beasts. And yeah the old cisc intel will still beat cheap arm processors, although I believe the licensing model of arm is better than having intel produce everything and both architectures will defenatly flat out even very very soon.
 

stammie

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@Jockster
Dirty Regions 1 had the most profound effect amongst all the machines I've set it to on my old Revo, using Aeon Nox it made the GUI as snappy as the much more powerful machines I use now, and even though that Revo was pretty much silent unless I put my ear to it the only time I ever heard the fan was if I inadvertantly left XBMC running on the GUI but after the setting i'd have to leave it on all day to hear the same.

As for your NUC I would doubt even without dirty regions XBMC would stress an i3 that much that the fan becomes that noticeable, I don't have one but my guess would be that the either the stock fan is just noisy (quite common on cheapish components) of there's not enough ventilation in the box its in.
Either way and without looking anything up I bet there will be an inexpensive 3rd party fan available that will keep things quiet
 
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Dunkle

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Tuxen, good to see you still here !
See how far I have come, now I have a nuc lol !

Any idea if can get custom builds to use gotham ?
 

jokster

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could anyone with one of these give me some average temperatures please.

i definitely think mine is running too hot - high 70s to low 80s
 

stammie

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could anyone with one of these give me some average temperatures please.

i definitely think mine is running too hot - high 70s to low 80s
Mate that sounds way too hot, on completely different hardware but running far more intensive stuff than an openelec instal those temps would give me a heart attack on my equipment

EDIT:
To put it into context, on my little HTPC I carried out a bit of an overclocking experiment, I bottled it 'cos it would've gone higher but it went from 2.7ghz to 3.2ghz for the 2 hours I left it like that without missing a beat and with only a 5 degree C increase in temp.
I do have a 3rd party fan on the APU but it aint great and only cost a tenner, the temp went from 58 degrees to 63 and there was no noticeable increase in fan speed/noise.

Stock fans aren't the best but I would really expect a lot lower temps with one
 
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charliebrown

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could anyone with one of these give me some average temperatures please.

i definitely think mine is running too hot - high 70s to low 80s
Mine is beetween 58-62c, so,yeah that seemes a little hot. But remember that theese system have a higher working temp then normal pc's. (Check intels page for info on operating temps) so its still within the specs. But yours do run higher then mine.. Try using amber as skin (same as im using), and look at the temps to measure.
 

jokster

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is there a way to get xbmc to show the temp all the time?
does debug show it?

i'll give a try later if i can

edit

even amber runs the temp up
 
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charliebrown

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A real longshot, but i havent installed the wificard, i get internet through thunderbolt adapter. Could it be the wificard running the temp up?
 

jokster

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no wifi card on mine either, im using a usb adaptor.
I've had it on all day today with amber as the skin,
between network and internet streaming and just sitting idle the temp is at 77.
I've also raised it up a bit to let more air at it.

I still think it's too hot

could try the bello skin charlie just to see what temps you get?
its not that heavy a skin I dont get why it pushes my nuc.

I tried the dirty regions stammie but bello hated it, a lot of flashing going on.
 

charliebrown

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i can give it a shot a little later, but its strange that you get those temps on amber, im between 57-62c all the time, regardless of what im doing.... im on bios version 0047
 

stammie

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Reading the intel forums there seems to have been overheating problems with regards to the wifi card and also the msata drives but it looks like those were fixed with bios updates and a hardware mod which a new machine should already have.
I don't know the NUC but those temps sound way too hot, the only other thing I can suggest is if you have some heatsink compound to take the fan off, clean up the fan and cpu then apply a some fresh paste.
You shouldn't have to do that with new equipment but it has been known in the past for manufacturers to do a shoddy job with the heatsink application.
 

jokster

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i had a look for a bios update and there is one - 048 - no idea what its on currently though
i'll give it a bash and see what happens