During last June’s Computex, Shuttle surprised everyone on two aspects with a single product: the NC01U. Indeed, when the brand introduced a new machine size within its range, fairly close to Intel NUC. At the same time, it opened the door to an external graphics card solution.
The machine has since entered the market, in different versions, the Celeron 3205U via the Core i3 5005U, 5200U i5 and i7 5500U. We for our part, decided to look at the most affordable of the lot offered for vacuum on the French market for just under 170 euros.
The opportunity to see if Shuttle also happens to work wonders on a little more compact formats than usual, and begin to approach this machine will soon be entitled to an external GPU. This is also one of the few disappointments we have vis-à-vis this product: This module will not be marketed before the start of next year after all.
Shuttle has told us at CES that it will approach the first quarter. It will be the same for the Las Vegas show will undoubtedly opportunity to learn a little more about the subject, and additional boxes to be proposed.
Stand and VESA kit program
The brand has provided us a review sample so we can get an idea. As always with the brand packaging is quite compact and rather plain. We thus find a simple box with a sticker indicating the characteristics of the beast.
The bundle includes a signed power supply FSP announcing an output to 19 volts 3.42 amps (approximately 65 W), which seems a bit high for a product of this ilk. We would like also that Shuttle draws some some competitors on this, brands like Intel providing adapters that have the form of a single decision, more compact.
It is also entitled to a base for placing the vertical machine, and a VESA mounting kit and screws for those who want to make a mount on the back of a screen, for example. Extras always appreciable.
A déjà vu format, but the sauce Shuttle
If the machine itself is based on Intel’s NUC, successful format in recent years, she also away on various points. The NC01U is flat enough effect but also larger than the average, with dimensions of 141 x 141 x 29 mm with a volume of 0.577 liter. The machine is light enough with its 360 grams.
The appearance is also rather simple, with a black dress and some golden keys that avoid falling into the bling bling side. But as always, we regret too strong a tendency to gloss which, if can please at first, to regret the early manipulation and other fingerprints. Especially it concerns both the upper sides of a product. Only the bottom and the back are spared.
Connectivity and connectors: there which must, and we can complete
Connectivity is pretty comprehensive, no frills. Thus, we find in the front an SD card reader, SDHC and SDXC (Genesys Logic GL823-OGY08) that allows you to boot from a memory card. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports (with fast charging 2A) and the usual Power / Reset and Power / HDD LED buttons that are quite discreet.
On the right, a Kensington system is present. On the left we have the right to a RS232 serial port. What destabilize those who have a classic use of such products but may be interested in others in a professional setting. Finally, at the back, besides the power connector is entitled to a combo jack connector (Realtek ALC-269Q VC3), two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit RJ45 socket (Intel i218LM) and a pair of video outputs HDMI 1.4 / Mini DisplayPort 1.2.
On the underside of the machine is finally noted the presence of a port behind a plastic cover … sticker. This is intended to allow the use of additional external modules. Remember, Shuttle evokes three for now: the graphics card AMD M370 R7, and two sets of I / O:
1 Gigabit port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 rack 2.5 “(SATA 6 Gb / s)
3 RS232 ports, 1 rack 2.5 “(SATA 6 Gb / s)
In terms of connectivity, Shuttle has relied on a Realtek chip RTL8821AE through M.2 card format that supports both Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac with a maximum throughput of 433 Mb / s ( 5 GHz). The module is thus removable and therefore replaceable.
Easy access, but some components only
The opening of the machine is also fairly simply. Two of the four legs under the machine hiding small screws that allow free access to the motherboard. This gives direct access to the location for a storage device 2.5, “the SO-DIMM connector (DDR3L only) and the Wi-Fi module.
As we could have noted in our analysis of DS57U which was based on the same processor, it will be necessary to pay attention to the memory module used to be sure that everything goes smoothly during assembly, need to opt for the DDR3L forces.
To access certain other items, it will take against by the motherboard and thus completely remove many small additional screws. This is particularly the case for the second memory module or 2242 M.2 connector type that can accommodate a SSD in this format. This will not necessarily be very complicated, but some may regret this additional difficulty.
BIOS and ventilation: can (largely) do better
BIOS side, things are pretty simple and pretty standard options. We regret also a key point for us is the only true failure of this machine: managing ventilation. Shuttle indeed offers five options: a “Smart” mode, fully automatic, and the possibility of freezing four different speeds, higher or lower.
But unlike what we have seen in the past, and enjoy in the brand, the choice in the matter are not really great. Indeed, the fixed mode imposes a slower speed of 3760 rpm the main fan. Not enough to make it really noisy machine, but then we can not consider it as quiet.
And we can only do this climb speed 4240, 5450 or 5710 rpm, what’s the problem matters worse. CPU temperature at rest and in load will be the next in these cases:
Ultra-Low: 33 ° C – 42 ° C
Low: 32 ° C – 41 ° C
Mid and Full: 31 ° C – 39 ° C
The highest levels of It is clear that the granularity is not a crazy utility, whereas we probably would appreciate to have a way to go under 3000 rpm even ride a little more temperature.
Shuttle NC01U BIOS
“Smart” mode on, he is almost completely silent … except when seeking the machine. It thus passes to the first speed step and this, too easily. It does so, moreover, without the intermediate level, and that’s a shame. One senses here that the lack of space was a bit poorly understood by the manufacturer which probably could have done better. Hopefully this will be fixed for future models, no new BIOS pretend unfortunately currently scheduled.
And those who want to have a perfectly quiet machine, but with somewhat higher operating temperatures can examine the proposed DS57U around 230/240 euros in France in its version Celeron. He also declined in basic models of Core i3, i5 and i7.
Classic performance for office oriented Machine
In terms of consumption, by cons is already much better. Broadwell allows for as DS57U get enough small numbers of 3.5 watts to 10 watts at rest in full CPU load and just over 20 watts when the graphic part is sought.
We will not dwell in detail on the performance of the beast because its architecture is unchanged from the previous model that we tested in detail on Linux or Windows. Shuttle NC01U BenchmarkShuttle NC01U Benchmark
So again we note a predominance for office type of operation, the processor power is still limited and therefore quite unsuitable for heavy tasks like video or 3D processing outside the use of Intel QSV. One can also use it as a small local server with an x86 processor that still minimal respondent.
For games, it is still possible to indulge in a little greedy Hearthstone titles like World of Warcraft or other, as long as one does not push the graphic details. But again it will not be to expect miracles.
Shuttle offers an inexpensive, modular product: it changes
This is also the interest of the external graphics module that we can not wait to test in our labs to see what it brings in practice.
It is besides this mere possibility and the price of the beast that you have to decide between you and this new model DS57U. The first is not completely silent, but more compact and more accessible, with the ability to accommodate additional modules next year. The second will focus on silence, a more connections provided and a slightly more robust design for a higher price.
There will also quite few alternatives at this price, the Brix BXCE-GB-3205 is generally more expensive and not very available, the Vivo Mini-UN42 M073M operator platform of the previous generation and offering a connection less complete. Those who want a cheaper solution without going to the Raspberry Pi 2 can then be run on a PC that is in the Stick 130 euros but without requiring additional components.
This is probably what saves this small shuttle which ultimately shows that the brand also knows provision of accessible products, although less sophisticated than his usual