Looking at an Intel NUC to build a new, small rack mount gig system. I’m leaning toward the NUC 13 since it appears I’ll get slightly better single thread performance. Thoughts? Anyone else using either chip?
I’m mainly trying to reduce weight since I’ve been using a rack mounted PC in a 6U rack and it’s pretty heavy. I’ll shave about 12 lbs. off, plus another 4 lbs. from a short rack. I’ll also be getting 32GM RAM, 2 SSD drives. I use a Quantum 2626 interface so I need Thunderbolt, and I like the fact I have 2 TB4 ports on either unit. Cooling is a concern, but I always mount a small USB-powered fan in my racks.
Thanks for your input!
Can’t speak for those exact models but I have an i5 NUC and it’s been working fine with moderate usage. I don’t have loads of plugins at once but a few has not got close to 100% CPU.
Edit: I have https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/95061/intel-nuc-kit-nuc7i5bnk.html
Have you considered an alternative to NUCs? NUCs are based on mobile (laptop) chipsets, so a lot of them are plagued by the corresponding power management difficulties.
My live setup is based on the ASRock DeskMini series - these little boxes (< 2 l volume) run desktop processors and are easier to optimize for audio setups. And they weigh only 1.4 kg (roughly 3 lbs). I have two of these little boxes just sitting on my live rack in “cold standby”, so I can simply switch the cables (power, network, 3x USB, HDMI) from the active one to the backup and boot it up should one of them fail.
This setup is so easy and flexible that I’ve given up on any rack-mount experiments. Simply grab the little cube and plug it into my live setup. I have multiple different live setups (different audio / MIDI interfaces, with / without VoiceLive, …) that all use the same two LiveCubes. And activating the “cold standby” is a lot easier if the cube is just sitting on top of my rack instead of fiddling with cabling inside a rack…
This is my “big” live rack:
The cubes connect to the rack with short USB & HDMI cables; the rack (sitting at the back of the stage) then takes care of the connection to my actual keyboard setup via a HDMI/USB-via-Cat5 connection, so the rack doesn’t need to sit next to me on-stage.
Nice and flexible!
P.S.: just note: the DeskMini will currently only support Intel CPUs up to Gen11 - so i7-11700 or i9-11900 is the limit
Thanks Torsten! I did look at those and agree that would be better, but I didn’t find any that were already built or close to being complete. I did find a couple but no TB. I just don’t have the time or inclination to source and build these days. Do you know of any that are pre built?