Asrock Beebox N3000 Barebones Mini-PC/NUC £114.47 delivered @ morecomputers.com
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Asrock Beebox N3000 Barebones Mini-PC/NUC £114.47 delivered @ morecomputers.com

59
Found 6th Aug 2015
This is the cheapest I can find this from a reputable retailer (purchased from them in the past).

Rumour has it this can handle 4k video. Spec below. I've cancelled my Brix N2807 order and going to take a gamble with this instead as it's a far higher spec for the extra ~25 quid. Also, it'll take a fast mSATA boot drive and then a high capacity 2.5" SSD/HDD as well, which sells it for me. And in my opinion, it's prettier than the Brix!

Intel® Celeron N3000 Processor (2 cores, 2 threads)
Dual Channel DDR3L SO-DIMM (max. 16GB)
WiFi 802.11ac (also works as a wireless access point)
Supports two storage devices(1 x 2.5" SATA3 HDD + 1 x mSATA)
Supports Triple Monitor (2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort)
The world's first NUC paired with an USB Type-C port
A free bundled remote controller for controlling your PC wirelessly

Product code/model number: 90BXG2F00-A10GA0P

59 Comments

Original Poster

Full spec can be found here.

And a whole thread about it on the Kodi forums here.

I recently bought a laptop with N3050 which is slightly better than N3000 (comparison), and it was struggling even with 1080p.. don't think N3000 will be able to play a 4K video. A review on Youtube which confirms my suspicion.. Link

I would probably wait for later variant of Braswell with slightly higher clock..
Edited by: "yazri" 6th Aug 2015

yazri

and it was struggling even with 1080p.


In AnandTech's review of the BeeBox, the GPU load is around 60% when trying to play a 1080p H.264 video.

anandtech.com/sho…c/5

Wow, USB-C too, bring on the new interface Heat just for that

Bi have the Brix 2807 and it's bulletproof for 1080p. Even if the other did play 4k what's the point. An extra £25 quid just to play YouTube 4K demos?

yazri

I recently bought a laptop with N3050 which is slightly better than N3000 … I recently bought a laptop with N3050 which is slightly better than N3000 (comparison), and it was struggling even with 1080p.. don't think N3000 will be able to play a 4K video. A review on Youtube which confirms my suspicion.. LinkI would probably wait for later variant of Braswell with slightly higher clock..



If it's a mediaplayer, why not just get an rpi2? Mine plays 1080p flawlessly over the network.

It's quad core, perhaps that's why.

second vote for an rpi2, got mine set up a few weeks ago. wish id done it sooner.

Yep, it can handle 4K at 30Hz. Some stress testing in this video review too, mainly to see how it handles the heat.

yazri

I recently bought a laptop with N3050 which is slightly better than … I recently bought a laptop with N3050 which is slightly better than N3000 (comparison), and it was struggling even with 1080p.. don't think N3000 will be able to play a 4K video. A review on Youtube which confirms my suspicion.. LinkI would probably wait for later variant of Braswell with slightly higher clock..

Peter9588

second vote for an rpi2, got mine set up a few weeks ago. wish id done it … second vote for an rpi2, got mine set up a few weeks ago. wish id done it sooner.



The GPU is used for HD video playback.



Or an Android box

Would this be good as a main everyday PC? To replace a self-built i7-920 (1st gen)?
Will any of these NUC PCs be up to the task?

JoeSpur

Would this be good as a main everyday PC? To replace a self-built i7-920 … Would this be good as a main everyday PC? To replace a self-built i7-920 (1st gen)?Will any of these NUC PCs be up to the task?



To give you an idea of the performance difference your i7 benchmarks at around 5000 whereas the N3000 is 930.
5x as slow. Although these are synthetic, it gives you an indication.

In AnandTech's review of the BeeBox, the GPU load is around 60% when … In AnandTech's review of the BeeBox, the GPU load is around 60% when trying to play a 1080p H.264 video.http://www.anandtech.com/show/9434/asrock-beebox-review-a-fanless-braswell-ucff-pc/5



I was merely sharing my experience. Not sure why it was struggling though. I compared it with two other laptops (in the same price range) side by side, none are as bad as N3050.

If it's a mediaplayer, why not just get an rpi2? Mine plays 1080p … If it's a mediaplayer, why not just get an rpi2? Mine plays 1080p flawlessly over the network.It's quad core, perhaps that's why.



I was not looking for just a media player to be honest.

jouster

An extra £25 quid just to play YouTube 4K demos?



Yep. And in blind tests, the vast majority of people could not tell the difference between an original bluray @ 1080p (so uncompressed) and a YouTube 4k demo (so compressed) without pretty much sticking their faces to the screen.

This may handle compressed 4k. Doubt it'll handle uncompressed. Negating much of the benefit over uncompressed 1080p.

The 4k deception continues apace ...

(aka - digital cameras mk.2 ..... aka - more pixels does not automatically equal a better picture)

JoeSpur

Will any of these NUC PCs be up to the task?



Plenty out there that already are. There are i3/i5/i7 versions.

Cost you a lot more than this one though .....

Really keen to get one of these to replace my Intel NUC which is locking up regularly. Waiting/hoping for Amazon to stock it and drive the price down.

Any opinion on where the UK price should be? Newegg is selling this barebones in the States for $130 (£83) with 4GB of memory thrown in.

sancheez

Yep. And in blind tests, the vast majority of people could not tell the … Yep. And in blind tests, the vast majority of people could not tell the difference between an original bluray @ 1080p (so uncompressed) and a YouTube 4k demo (so compressed) without pretty much sticking their faces to the screen.This may handle compressed 4k. Doubt it'll handle uncompressed. Negating much of the benefit over uncompressed 1080p.The 4k deception continues apace ...(aka - digital cameras mk.2 ..... aka - more pixels does not automatically equal a better picture)



I just thought it worth mentioning in case anyone isnt aware, bluray 1080p video is already considerably compressed (say 1/15th original size), uncompressed 1080p movies would be in the region of 600gb+, i totally agree about 4k just want people to be clear on whats meant by compressed. Also assuming it was uncompressed and you had a hard drive (ssd realistically) that could move that amount of data, it would probably play easier than compressed video because there's no effort going into decompressing (which is what takes the processing power).

Mrdom

I just thought it worth mentioning in case anyone isnt aware, bluray … I just thought it worth mentioning in case anyone isnt aware, bluray 1080p video is already considerably compressed (say 1/15th original size), uncompressed 1080p movies would be in the region of 600gb+, i totally agree about 4k just want people to be clear on whats meant by compressed. Also assuming it was uncompressed and you had a hard drive (ssd realistically) that could move that amount of data, it would probably play easier than compressed video because there's no effort going into decompressing (which is what takes the processing power).



Thought about bitrate?

JoeSpur

Would this be good as a main everyday PC? To replace a self-built i7-920 … Would this be good as a main everyday PC? To replace a self-built i7-920 (1st gen)?Will any of these NUC PCs be up to the task?



The faster low voltage laptop processors may be acceptable (e.g. i5-5200U). They'd fall behind in anything multi-threaded but should be similar speeds or possibly a bit faster in single threaded stuff like browsing.

If you want something faster you need to look a little larger than a NUC. You can get desktop quad cores like the i5-4690T starting at around 2 litres such as in Futjitsu's Q520/Q920. A NUC is a bit under 1L, but likely goes over if you include it's external power supply box.

rev6

Thought about bitrate?



Which is what I was inferring. Thank you.

videomaker.com/com…ate

Lower bitrate = lower quality. Low bitrate, high resolution can easily look worse than high bitrate, low(er) resolution.

Hence why people can't see the difference between streamed (compressed - lossy, low bitrate) 4k video and a 1080p bluray (not compressed, much higher birate) in most cases. 4k may have more pixels, but if they are put together with less information on how to render them you start to lose the benefits of the higher resolution.

Look at SD channels on TV. The BBC use a pretty high bitrate for their SD broadcasts. So the SD picture is not bad. I run a 65" TV and BBC SD is not bad at all on it. ITV4 use a MUCH lower bitrate on their SD channel. It's like the Minecraft channel compared to BBC1 ...
Edited by: "sancheez" 6th Aug 2015

sancheez

Which is what I was inferring. Thank … Which is what I was inferring. Thank you.http://www.videomaker.com/community/forums/topic/what-is-bit-rateLower bitrate = lower quality. Low bitrate, high resolution can easily look worse than high bitrate, low(er) resolution.Hence why people can't see the difference between streamed (compressed - lossy) 4k video and a 1080p bluray (not compressed, much higher birate) in most cases. 4k may have more pixels, but if they are pit together with less information on how to render them you start to lose the benefits of the higher resolution.Look at SD channels on TV. The BBC use a pretty high bitrate for their SD broadcasts. So the SD picture is not bad. I run a 65" TV and BBC SD is not bad at all on it. ITV4 use a MUCH lower bitrate on their SD channel. It's like the Minecraft channel compared to BBC1 ...



I didn't quote you.

rev6

I didn't quote you.



I know you didn't.

But you made the point that a low bitrate is effectively compression. (It is)

sancheez

I know you didn't.But you made the point that a low bitrate is … I know you didn't.But you made the point that a low bitrate is effectively compression. (It is)



I got you

this looks pretty awesome and i think its exactly what i am after (a media centre)
will kodibuntu work on this?
A keyboard is needed as well as RAM and a HD i assume.

nickmax1

this looks pretty awesome and i think its exactly what i am after (a … this looks pretty awesome and i think its exactly what i am after (a media centre)will kodibuntu work on this?A keyboard is needed as well as RAM and a HD i assume.



For Kodi, get an Android box or Pi2, much cheaper.


yazri

I was merely sharing my experience. Not sure why it was struggling … I was merely sharing my experience. Not sure why it was struggling though. I compared it with two other laptops (in the same price range) side by side, none are as bad as N3050.



Low powered computers like this are reliant on their GPU to decode video. This assumes the requires the right combination of codec, drivers, playback software etc.

If you don't properly utilise GPU acceleration, you fall back to software decoding using the CPU. And a machine like this has a weak CPU. So indeed, your video may be choppy.

The GPU in this can definitely decode most popular formats including HEVC (Main Profile). So if you're getting choppy playback the solution is to figure out why GPU decoding is not occurring. It may be that your drivers are out of date. If you're watching web video, depending on the website and browser, it may be coming in an unsupported format. etc

rev6

For Kodi, get an Android box or Pi2, much cheaper.



I am interested in the pi2 but am not sure how to go to build a media centre from it that is updateable remotely (so i can add movies to the attached hard drive from my phone for example)

Install OpenELEC on the Pi2. It has built in SMB support so you can access the network share using //192.168.0.2 for example to upload files to it. That's one way

I was thinking of attaching my external HD to the pi2 which would then be connected to the TV. Would that work? Could i update the external HD using the network share you mentioned?

nickmax1

I was thinking of attaching my external HD to the pi2 which would then be … I was thinking of attaching my external HD to the pi2 which would then be connected to the TV. Would that work? Could i update the external HD using the network share you mentioned?



Yes.

rev6

Thought about bitrate?



For truly uncompressed video the bitrate would be fixed based on bit depth, resolution and fps
Stolen from Wikipedia:
1080i and 1080p HDTV uncompressed
8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 24fps = 95 MB/s, or 334 GB/h.
10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 24fps = 127 MB/s, or 445 GB/h.

Before buying an android box bear in mind they still can't output at 24p so you won't get 1:1 frames when watching movies which will either be irrelevant or a living nightmare depending on how into your movies you are. I personally find this kind of thing infuriating as you either have to settle for lumpy frames rates or worse still godawful motion smoothing and the cinema effect.

I ended up getting a linx 7" tablet, runs kodi beautifully at 24p and has the added advantage of being a general purpose windows pc and a tablet.
Edited by: "fatdeeman" 6th Aug 2015

fatdeeman

Before buying an android box bear in mind they still can't output at 24p … Before buying an android box bear in mind they still can't output at 24p so you won't get 1:1 frames when watching movies which will either be irrelevant or a living nightmare depending on how into your movies you are. I personally find this kind of thing infuriating as you either have to settle for lumpy frames test or worse still godawful motion smoothing and the cinema effect.I ended up getting a link 7" tablet, runs kodi beautifully at 24p and has the added advantage of being a general purpose windows pc and a tablet.



That's why you put OpenELEC on the Android box (make sure you get one that has support).

Low powered computers like this are reliant on their GPU to decode video. … Low powered computers like this are reliant on their GPU to decode video. This assumes the requires the right combination of codec, drivers, playback software etc. If you don't properly utilise GPU acceleration, you fall back to software decoding using the CPU. And a machine like this has a weak CPU. So indeed, your video may be choppy. The GPU in this can definitely decode most popular formats including HEVC (Main Profile). So if you're getting choppy playback the solution is to figure out why GPU decoding is not occurring. It may be that your drivers are out of date. If you're watching web video, depending on the website and browser, it may be coming in an unsupported format. etc



I agree. However I was looking for a laptop for the missus, and she is not a power user. "Updating driver" would be the last thing she would do. Thus I prefer to have something which is already good right out of the box, instead of needing to update.

yazri

I agree. However I was looking for a laptop for the missus, and she is … I agree. However I was looking for a laptop for the missus, and she is not a power user. "Updating driver" would be the last thing she would do. Thus I prefer to have something which is already good right out of the box, instead of needing to update.



WDTV.

Idiot proof. (And they work well)

WDTV.Idiot proof. (And they work well)



Thanks but not exactly looking for a media player. I was just indicating that I'm a bit skeptical N3000 could play 4K videos, when N3050 (which is slightly better) in the laptop I bought was struggling at 1080p.

sancheez

WDTV.Idiot proof. (And they work well)



Horses for courses, I couldn't do half the stuff Kodi does with a WDTV. Can't imagine it running a centralised SQL database so I can stop in one room continue in another, let me drop out to Firefox for websites that don't have an app or run old school arcade emulators with an X-Arcade stick on the TV. Lots of people also use it to run dodgy streaming sites that would never get a plugin for WDTV. All that comes at a cost though and they are more work to set up and maintain. It is like some people want to build a PC to game and others just buy a PS4.

Absolutely.

I switched from WDTV to Kodi on an HTPC. My OH still prefers the WDTV box (she has her own) as it's so simple to use.

sibeer

Horses for courses, I couldn't do half the stuff Kodi does with a WDTV. … Horses for courses, I couldn't do half the stuff Kodi does with a WDTV. Can't imagine it running a centralised SQL database so I can stop in one room continue in another, let me drop out to Firefox for websites that don't have an app or run old school arcade emulators with an X-Arcade stick on the TV. Lots of people also use it to run dodgy streaming sites that would never get a plugin for WDTV. All that comes at a cost though and they are more work to set up and maintain. It is like some people want to build a PC to game and others just buy a PS4.



What do you use Kodi for exactly?
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