HDMI Firmware 1.65 for Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake NUCs

Intel has been struggling with the audio passthrough for some of the more advanced formats. It seems there is a new firmware for the MegaChips LSPCon. You can download the 1.65 firmware from the Intel Download Center. The update tool must be run in Windows…

Unfortunately I’m currently travelling so am unable to confirm that it really fixes the issue completely. Someone able to perform the upgrade and let everyone know in the comments whether it worked or not? Thanks!

I did describe the upgrade process in my previous post.

To recap, the issue that we were seeing was that DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD audio formats did not work at all in passthrough mode if you have a HDMI 2.0 capable amplifier. The previous fix was a step to the right direction (they started working at 1920×1200@60Hz mode and 4k modes), but it still did not work ok at 1920×1200@24p resolution.

Follow the discussion at Intel’s NUC community as well.

27 Responses

  1. ash says:

    So to confirm, will the new NUC kaby lake i5 (April release) be able to support bitstream audio and 4k resolution at all refresh rates (I’m only concerned with 4k here- amp does support 4k/ hdmi 2.0)? Thanks

  2. ash says:

    In regard to my earlier questions, I only want to use the HDMI 2.0 port not the displayport on my NUC.

    • Guest says:

      Yes it will if you’re running at the standard resolutions of 1080p or 2160p in Windows 10. The i5 uses the same internal DP to HDMI 2 converter as all the other NUCs.

      This latest patch is supposed to fix the issues with nonstandard resolutions and possibly non-Windows OS.

  3. M says:

    This only addresses the i3 versions per the Intel Website. Isn’t this an issue for all versions with the LSPCon chip?

    • nucblognet says:

      Well, the i5 and i7 versions aren’t yet publicly available, so it’s a bit hard to say yet. πŸ™‚

  4. The LSPCON (Level Shifter/Protocol CONverter) is a DP-to-HDMI adapter (but internal, so you don’t need a dongle), to allow the NUC to output 4k/60Hz on HDMI.

    So this is for HDMI only, not for DP.

    My guess is that since neither the NUC7i5 nor NUC7i7 have been released yet, they’ll most likely come with up to date firmwares. At least I hope so; I don’t have Windows, so I won’t be able to upgrade the LSPCON firmware if necessary.

  5. Gemini Lake says:

    https://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/intel-gfx/2017-February/118609.html

    “Geminilake has a native HDMI 2.0 controller, which is capable of
    driving clocks upto 594Mhz.”

    Can’t wait for Intel Gemini Lake(Apollo Lake successor) with native HDMI 2.0 support built-in, no need to deal with this horrible Megachips HDMI 2.0 LSPCon garbage needing constant firmware updates for functionality that should have been there in the first place.

  6. ash says:

    Nice. Good to know the nuc7i5bnk (just pre-ordered one) will support bitstream audio and 4k at all refresh rates through the HDMI port. If this is incorrect, please let me know so I can cancel my pre-order. thanks

  7. ash says:

    Also, could anyone talk about the noise levels. I’m assuming the nuc7i5bnk will be less noisy than the NUC7i7BNH since the latter has higher clock speed. Will the nuc7i5bnk be noisier than the taller nuc7i5bnh? thanks

    • guest says:

      The noise levels of the i5 will be similar to the i3 (using the 5th gen nuc as a point of comparison). The thermal envelope will be higher on the i5 and may engage the fan more under sustained loads, but it probably won’t be much of a sound difference between the i3 and i5 when doing tasks that are more heavy.

      This is a completely different case with the i7. The i7 will tend to run at a higher RPM to pump out heat due to the higher TDP wattage. The 5th gen NUC (again as a point of comparison) had numerous people speaking of the higher-frequency / louder fan noise since it uses the same enclosure and fan.

      If you aren’t planning on doing high-CPU intensive activities (gaming, video transcoding / editing, etc.), I’d say get the i5 if you’re concerned with noise/heat.

  8. guest says:

    regarding the difference between BNH and BNK (tall height vs. compact), I’m not sure on this one. Theoretically if you have the taller unit and don’t use the bay, you have more room for heat dissipation, so the fan may engage less; however, I suspect in practice the difference is minimal / that the fan is more tied to CPU temp rather than internal temp, which means there won’t be less fan engaging with the taller vs. compact unit. The i3 has just a small bottom ventilation row cut-out, whereas the i5 has two rows of cut-outs; in the taller unit those rows of ventilation cut-outs are longer/taller

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/products-overview.html

    I’m personally getting the tall unit because an extra inch of height isn’t a big deal for me and having the option to expand to a 2.5″ drive is a nice perk.

  9. ash says:

    You seem very knowledgeable guest. The taller unit also has Intel optane. Do you think this technology is useful and will it take off? My opinion is that with NVME SSDs, you really can’t do much better. I think the optane stuff has higher IOPS and more sustained speeds for very small files. The shorter nuc does not support optane.

    • Guest says:

      Optane is prohibitively expensive and meant for servers now. I don’t think you’ll see prices drop in the very near future where it makes sense over an m2 nvram SATA.

  10. ash says:

    also, why do you need the 2.5 ssd option? It’s only sata3. If you need more SSD space, just buy a usb 3.1 ssd like the samsung t3. it’s tiny btw.

    • Guest says:

      I don’t really. I like the idea of more room for heat dissipation tho for the RAM and SSD card. At some point if I have too much crap installed on the core OS partition though it’s nice to know I can add an internal drive. Using the thunderbolt port may potentially tax the bus / CPU more than the internal SATA

  11. Timo says:

    Olli, have you tried the recent BIOS versions for NUC6CAYH or NUC7i3 that came out March? Have they had any effect on known issues i.e. Dolby Atmos support in Linux (likely to have no effect?)

  12. Ash says:

    Since the new NUCs display HDR, is the HDR only relevant for video games and video files or does the HDR impact the windows experience? Does it make windows and other applications look better? Does windows 10 support HDR?

    • Guest says:

      Pretty much limited to playback of Main10 HDR video content (eg. Blu-ray / rips and possibly the Netflix App in Windows 10). I’ve yet to see any other content that is HDR 10-bit.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m not sure whether the Windows 10 OS itself let’s you choose (in Intel display properties ) 10 bit color. It may be defaulting to 8 bit. Can somebody with a nuc7i3 confirm whether there’s a distinct option to run windows in 10bit color? (If so, you can’t do 4:4:4 chroma btw)

  13. ash says:

    anyone know when the i5 nuc kaby lakes are coming out? There’s been a long delay… Intel said they’d be out in Feb.

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