Friday, October 11, 2013

INTEL NUC. Real quick impressions.

Here we have an INTEL NUC (Next Unit of Computing). This is a super duper small micro pc or SFF (Small Form Factor) gadget. This doesn't even use a standard at all like pico or micro-itx. Rather, it is INTEL's jab at making the smallest footprint PC in a barebone package.

This is what you get. A 4X4 motherboard with a mini-PCIe slot (for Wifi), mSATA for storage, Ethernet, two HDMI, and three USB. Some models come with Thunderbolt that replaces the Ethernet.

I got the cheap Celeron 847 which is good enough for my use: HTPC 1080p IPTV video playback. Here are my quick impressions. I'm going to install OpenELEC or something like that on this device in the next few days.

Here is how small it is. It is in the middle of a 2.5" portable hard drive, a Rolex wristwatch and mouse. That is how small it is! Tiny!

The back.

The sole USB port in the front.

The guts. I have some spare parts in my workshed I will be using on this. Hence, I will be working on this in the next few days.

One word. Amazing little piece of machinery. A Full computer this small.


  1. Really cool. I guess somewhere between a Rasberry and one of those Pico-ATX boxes. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

  2. One word...really hot!

    Did Intel sort out those temp problems with the NUC? Maybe your Celeron isn't too bad. I think heatpipes are the way to go with small form factor systems and conduct the heat out to the sides by way of the case design forming a heatsink. Although more expensive to implement but for a proprietary form factor like this, i can't see a problem. Failing that use ULV CPUs with lower TDPs which I guess would increase the cost. If it is going to be used as a media station under the TV then possibly an ARM CPU would suffice. Have you check out the Minix X5/X7 android boxes? They look interesting.

    Gigabyte are meant to be bringing some NUCs to market.

    Each to his own but, I would rather save my money and buy a Raspberry Pi and run OpenELEC or Raspbmc. It's amazing what the Pi is capable even if they did skimp on the audio and the USB ports are a little underpowered which means you need a powered USB hub.

    Which leads me on to a possible future blog post for you...

    The user has other videos about interfacing OBD2 with a Pi. Think about the possibilities a Raspberry Pi dashcam with vehicle telemetry overlay, may be add a GPS too. Now that would be a good community project!

    I enjoy reading your blog so keep doing what you are doing!

    Regards from across the pond,


    1. I looked at a few of the ARM stuff but they have, at most, only hardware acceleration for h.264. I have MKV and other file formats I want to play and x64, for right now, is the best bet. I haven't had any heating issues. It may be due to the celeron set-up. I mainly got this because the wife wanted to spend $400-500 for a satellite dish to get some foreign TV programming that I can get for free via IPTV. I tried the Android build of XBMC and it kept crashing for the in-laws when they come over to visit. The NUC was $153 from amazon so, for me, it was cheap,

  3. It probably won't affect you....

    If those posts/reports are to be believed.

  4. Hello.. This is a good Intel NUC.. and Good Article, as I also looking for this product. However, I want to ask whether the offering price from

    Is good enough or not ? please kindly advice me, Thank You..