Intel NUC

Tell us if you found a gem or a piece of shit, and who peddled it

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Intel NUC

Post by JimZipCode »

Intel's "next unit of computing" is a mini-PC, about 4 inches by 4 inches square. There's a "short" one about an inch-&-a-half high, and a "tall" one about 2 inches high. Both versions have a bay for an M2 drive; the tall one also has a bay for a 2.5" hard drive.

Some versions of the tall one use the M2 slot for a pre-installed 16GB Optane Memory module. So on those, you lose the M2 drive, and will have "only" a 2.5" drive onboard. But that's standard size for a laptop drive: you could drop $100 for a 1T SSD and be totally set for storage. The trade-off is you get Optane, which is supposed to be an incredible boost to memory performance. (I've never used it, only read about it.)

The NUCs are now in their 8th generation. They're available at different price points: either with Pentium or Celeron CPUs (at the cheap end); moving up to Core i3, i5, or i7 CPUs ($$).

I got the 7th gen one with an i5, tall. Brand new it'll run you about $350 or so without memory or storage.
It's a "kit". You buy the box, then separately buy the memory & storage that you want to put in it, and you have a system with the specs you chose. The prices above are for the "bare bones" box. You can also pay more money to buy them pre-built with memory & storage; but surveying those, they seem way more expensive than buying the additional components separately and installing them yourself. It takes laptop memory sticks and laptop drives. You could initially buy "small", say an initial buy with 4Gb of RAM; then trick it out a few months later by buying bigger RAM or an extra drive or whatever, when you're ready.

I got mine used off eBay. Guy said he wants to buy an 8th-gen and his wife said he had to sell the 7th-gen first. So mine came with 16Gb of RAM and a 256Gb M2 drive, for less than an empty one costs brand-new.

The shit just works. Plug in your mouse & keyboard, plug in your monitor (has an HD out), then plug in the NUC and turn it on. Boom, you're up and running. Has wifi built into it; also a port for an ethernet cable, if you'd rather go hardwire.

It came with Win10 installed on it. I decided that with the Alexa my wife bought, we already have enough spyware in the house. So I blew away Windows and installed Ubuntu. Could hardly have been any easier; and that shit just works, too.

Snappy little thing. Not quite a gaming rig, but more than enough for web browsing and office suite stuff. I also use a home PC for editing music files (flac) and putting mixes together: this should be well up to those tasks. It can certainly manage your gigantic porn collection, if you have an external drive with enough storage space.

Very pleased with it so far.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman