Nowadays, the rise of the smaller computers is becoming popular. A few years ago, Intel introduced the small form factor PC which they called as the NUC or the Next Unit of Computing. The first generation was built with a Sandy Bridge Celeron CPU, the second was built with Ivy Bridge Core i3 and i5 processors, and the third generation was built with Haswell architecture.
Intel is known for making undersized computers that are pretty remarkable, however, they are not commercial. And this was changed after they released the NUC. It is a very powerful machine weighing less than 18-ounces only. This barebone device has been available for some years now, but the latest version, probably has the finest specifications so far. It has USB 3.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI connection, Gigabit Ethernet and Core i5 Haswell chip. Newer units address all the criticisms of the earlier units.
Basic NUC units will cost $350. To make this machine usable, users need to purchase a 120GB internal SSD that cost $90 and an 8GB internal memory that cost $85. There is also an optional wireless card that costs $26. You can also find a NUC device that is packed with everything for $500, which is a very outstanding price for such powerful but a minuscule device that uses Intel’s 4th Generation Intel-Core i5 processor.
Since the NUC has a mounting bracket, you can easily connect it to the back of your monitor or anywhere you wish to free some space. The main disadvantage of NUC is that, you need to build it by yourself as it only comes with a motherboard case and processor. There is no operating system included, nor a power cable. You need to buy mSATA SSD, RAM, keyboard, mouse and some optional devices. This will only measures as 4x4x2 which is quite reduced than the Mac Mini.
First Generation’s DCCP847DYE has a DCP847SKE Intel Board, Celeron 847 Processor, HD Graphics 2000 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, 2 HDMI Display Ports, 3 USB 2.0 Ports and a Gigabit Ethernet.
The Second Generation has the following:
- DC3217IYE with DC33217GKE Intel Board, Core i3-3217U Processor, HD Graphics 4000 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, 2 HDMI Display Ports, 3 USB 2.0 Ports and a Gigabit Ethernet.
- DC3217BY with DC33217CK Intel Board, Core i3-3217U Processor, HD Graphics 4000 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, 1 HDMI Display Port, 1 Thunderbolt through mDP 1.1a and 3 USB 2.0 Ports.
- DC53427HYE with D53427RKE Intel Board, Core i3-3427U Processor, HD Graphics 4000 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, 1 HDMI Display Port, 2 mDP, 2 USB 2.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.0 Port and a Gigabit Ethernet.
The Third Generation (Haswell) has the following:
- D34010WYK with D34010WYB Intel Board, Core i3-4010U Processor, HD Graphics 4400 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, Mini HDMI Display Port and mDP, 4 USB 3.0 Ports and a Gigabit Ethernet.
- D34010WYKH with D34010WYB Intel Board, Core i3-4010U Processor, HD Graphics 4400 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, Mini HDMI Display Port and mDP, 4 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 Internal 2.5 SATA and a Gigabit Ethernet.
- D54250WYK with D54250WYB Intel Board, Core i5-4250U Processor, HD Graphics 5000 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, Mini HDMI and mDP, 4 USB 3.0 Ports and Gigabit Ethernet.
- D54250WYKH with D54250WYB Intel Board, Core i5-4250U Processor, HD Graphics 5000 GPU, 16 GB Maximum RAM, Mini HDMI and mDP, 4 USB 3.0 Ports, Gigabit Ethernet and Internal 2.5 SATA.
The Third Generation’s (Bay Trail-M) DN2820FYK with DN2820FYB Intel Board, Celeron N2820 Processor, HD Graphics GPU, 8 GB Maximum RAM, HDMI Display Port, 2 USB 2.0 External Ports and 1 USB 3.0 External Port, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0 and Internal 2.5 SATA.
The Bay Trail-I’s DE3815TYKHE with DE3815TYBE Intel Board, Atom E3815 Processor, HD Graphics GPU, 8 GB Maximum RAM, HDMI Display Port, VGA and embedded DisplayPort, 2 USB 2.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.0 Port, Ethernet and Internal 2.5 SATA.
NUC is incredibly one of the best diminutive devices from Intel and yet very powerful. The NUC system is very quiet and you won’t hear even the sounds of the fan or even if you play a 1080p video. You can quickly launch the applications and will give you a smooth web browsing experience. It is small but speedy, remarkable and most of all, power-efficient.