Nvidia SHIELD TV Benchmarks in Ubuntu Shows Core i3 Like Performance

Nvidia SHIELD Android TV was announced this March with Nvidia Tegra X1 octa-core Cortex A57 + A53 processor. So far, I had not seen any Ubuntu or other Linux distribution port, but Michael Mirabel of Phoronix got remote access to a Shield TV PRO – model with a 500GB hard drive – running Ubuntu 14.10. It’s not clear who provided access, either Nvidia or third parties, but somebody posted an Ubuntu 14.10 port on XDA Developers Forums recently so it might be that one. He obviously ran Phoronix Test Suite on the device, and compared to it some other ARM devices (Compule Utilite, Jetson TK1), MIPS Creator CI20, low power x86 devices (Compute Stick, Intel NUC with Celeron N2820), and an Intel Core i3-5010u NUC. The Tegra X1 platform easily beats all other low power platforms, and comes close to the Core i3 mini PC in most tests. In the grand scheme of things, it was also compared to some …

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ASRock N3150DC-ITX Mini-ITX Motherboard is Powered by a DC Adapter

Last week, I wrote about low cost ASRock Braswell motherboards with pricing starting at just under $60. But there were mainly two complaints about these boards: performance was about the same as similarly priced Bay Trail processors, and the requirements for a large – and relatively expensive – ATX power supply. There’s not much that can be done to improve performance, but ASRock also has launched N3150DC-ITX motherboard powered by a 19V DC adapter. ASRock N3150DC-ITX motherboard specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N3150 quad core processor @ up to 2.08 GHz with Intel HD Graphics Gen8 @ up to 640 MHz – 6W TDP System Memory – 2x 240-pin DDR3/DDR3L 1600/1066 for up to 16GB RAM Storage – 4 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug Audio Codec – Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec, 7.1 CH HD Audio Expansion – 1x PCI Express 2.0 x1 Slot, 1x half size Mini PCI Express slot Rear panel ports 1x …

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Tronsmart Ara BJ19 is an NUC-like Mini PC Powered by Intel Celeron J1900 Processor

Tronsmart has launched several ARM based TV boxes in the last couple of years, but now they’ve now unveiled an Intel based mini PC with Tronsmart Ara BJ19. The barebone PC looks very much like an Intel NUC, and features an Intel Celeron J1900 Bay Trail-D quad core processor. Tronsmart Ara BJ19 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron J1900 Quad core processor  @ 2.0 GHz (base) / 2.41 GHz (burst) with Intel HD graphics (10W TDP) System Memory –  DDR3L 1333/1666 MHz SO-DIMM slot Storage – 2.5″ SATA hard drive or SSD Video Output – mini HDMI + mini DisplayPort Audio – mini HDMI, 3.5 mm jack for headphone and MIC-in Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, mPCIe Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 module USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port. Misc – Power button, power LED Power Supply – 19V/2.1A Dimensions –  116.6 x 112 x 5.1 mm Weight – ~360 grams The mini PC does not come …

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Intel Braswell Motherboards (N3150 / N3050) Are Now Available for $60 and Up

Intel recently launched Braswell processors to succeed to their Bay Trail processor family, using 14nm lithography, a newer generation Intel GPU, more L2 cache, and various other improvements. Some ASRock motherboards based on such processors are now listed on Newegg starting at $58.99 with ASRock N3050B-ITX motherboard (dual core processor), and $69.99 for the quad core version (ASRock N3150B-ITX). Apart from the different processors, both mini-ITX motherboard mostly share the same specifications: SoC Intel Celeron N3050 dual core processor @ up to 2.16 GHz with Intel HD Graphics Gen8 @ up to 600 MHz – 6W TDP Intel Celeron N3150 quad core processor @ up to 2.08 GHz with Intel HD Graphics Gen8 @ up to 640 MHz – 6W TDP System Memory – 2x 240-pin DDR3/DDR3L 1600/1066 for up to 16GB RAM Storage – 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug Audio Codec – Realtek ALC887 Audio Codec, 7.1 CH HD Audio Expansion – …

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Dell Inspiron Micro Desktop with Intel Celeron J1800 or Pentium J2900 Starts at $180

We’ve already seen Chinese mini PCs based on Intel Bay Trail-D processors for less than $200, even with a 500 GB HDD as found in VX2 mini PC, but if you’d like to buy from a more established brand, Dell has launched two models of Inspiron 3050 Micro Desktop with Intel Celeron J1800 (dual core) and Pentium J2900 (quad core) selling respectively for $179.99 and $229.99 direct from Dell US, and they also have built-in Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac that you may not always find in the cheaper Chinese models. Beside the different processors, but models share the same specifications: SoC Intel Celeron J800 dual core processor @ up to 2.58GHz with Intel HD graphics Intel Pentium J2900 quad core processor @ up to 2.67 with Intel HD graphics System Memory – 2GB DDR3L @ 1600MHz (SO-DIMM slot, up to 8GB supported) Storage – 32GB SSD, SATA 3Gbps (up to 500GB),  3-in-1 Media Card Reader Video Output – DisplayPort and …

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Intel Introduces Braswell NUCs with Celeron N3050 and Pentium N3700 Processors

Intel has already announced several Braswell processors as successors for Bay Trail-M processor with 4 to 6W TDP and 14nm manufacturing process. Two of these, namely Intel Celeron N3050 (dual core) and Pentium 3700 (quad core), have fund their way into the latest Intel NUCs that are currently listed for $140 and $180 in the US with the official release date fixed on June 8. The dual core version is called NUC5CPYH, while the quad core is NUC5PPYH. Both share the following specs: Processor Intel Celeron N3050 dual core processor @ up to 2.16 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics @ 600 MHz max, 6W TDP Intel Pentium N3700 quad core processor @ up to 2.4 GHz with 2MB cache, Intel HD Graphics @ 700 MHZ max, 6W TDP Memory – 1x DDR3L SODIMM 1.35V, 1333/1600 MHz up to 8GB maximum Storage – 1x SATA @ 6.0 Gbps for 2.5¨ HDD or SSD up to 9.5mm thick, 1x SDXC …

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Open Hour Chameleon RK3288 TV Box Gets (Partial) DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD HDMI Pass-through Support

People owning AV receivers capable of outputting 7.1 channels or more have had a hard time finding Android TV boxes that supports HD audio pass-through via HDMI. Many devices can pass through 5.1 codec like DTS or Dolby Digital (AC3 / E-AC3), but so far, none of the boxes I’ve tried could manage content with DTS-HD (MA / HR) and Dolby TrueHD with 8 channels properly. The one that came close was Zidoo X9 with support for Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and 7.1, but it downmixes 7.1 channels to 5.1 channels. So the only cost effective options to get proper 7.1 channel pass-through were Intel based mini PCs running Linux such as Asus Chromebox M004U or Intel NUCs. But recently, I’ve seen some progress. For example, yesterday Cloud Media released a new firmware for their Open Hour Chameleon media player based on Rockchip RK3288 processor. Their Android 4.4.2 firmware (version 1.0.23) is promises support for HD audio pass-through, albeit with some …

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Intel Celeron N3000 2-in-1 Laptop, and MSI Motherboards with Celeron N3050/N3150 and Pentium N3700 Processors

Intel introduced the first low power Braswell Celeron and Pentium processors with 4 to 6W TDP, meaning a lower power consumption compared to Bay Trail-M processors, and with better performance. The first devices and motherboards based on these have started to show up with Intel’s Orchid Island 2-in-1 Reference Design based on Celeron N3000, and three MSI motherboards: N3050I ECO, N3150I ECO, and N3700I ECO respectively powered by Celeron N3050 dual core processor, Celeron N3150 quad core processor, and Pentium N3700 quad core processor, all clocked @ 1.6GHz (base frequency) and with 6W TDP. MSI did not release full details about their motherboards but we still now they’ll support H.265/HEVC hardware decoding up to 4K, Blu-ray playback and 8-channel HD Audio via an HDMI 1.4b port. Other connectors and interfaces include two DDR3L-1600MHz SO-DIMM slots (up to 8GB), two SATA III ports, one PCIe slot, Gigabit Ethernet, a COM port, a VGA port, and USB 3.0 ports. Pricing and availability …

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