Not really a fan of Intel but find even a Pi struggles with more state of art TTS so had a looking at 2nd user NUCs as I am a fan of reuse.
Above is a Pi400 vs an old £55 NUC picked up off ebay.
The AVX instructions of the NUC i3-3217U do have the Pi400 beat and don’t get a celeron that is without as for NN frameworks such as Onnx or tensflow they add a big boost where as a general purpose processor the 1.8Ghz i3-3217U just has a small edge on a Pi400 (Pi4 1.8Ghz OC)
Its the Mini PCIe slots in the NUC where things get interesting as my recent experiments with a Jetson nano 2gb gave results where the 0.5Tops of the GPU was just a tad faster than the CPU but https://coral.ai/products/pcie-accelerator and 4Tops should be a big boost.
Hopefully maybe the Pi4A+ might come to the rescue with a PCIe lane as for offline use it still produces a sluggish brain.
The fan and heatsink got a clean and the thermal paste which took some cleaning from its concrete like state got replaced but maybe it will last another decade to the one its already had?
There are quite a number of 4/8gb with a 32/120gb SSD for £50-100 quid the above in the benchmark was £55 which is £20 less then a Pi4-8gb and comes with PSU and SSD so no need for additional PSU & SD.
Stay clear of the celerons as presume its the AVX of the I3 that give the Pi400 such a beating but even the old 1st gens with a bit of a refurb can make a decent brain.
Updated and added a Jetson nano which is surprising as cpu only and beats the pi400
Added a haswell Nuc as well the Jetson nano is on ebay as really didn’t like the bloated Ubuntu 18.04 image and had a lot of problems with 2gb that don’t seem to have with a Pi4.