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Intel NUC - 7th Generation (Current)

(NUC = Next Unit of Computing)

This is a high end “barebones” machine and needs ram and storage added at minimum (see below).  You will also need a keyboard and mouse as well as a display if you do not already have these peripherals.  Other useful add-ons are listed below too.  With highly efficient processors, the fans on these machines can run very slowly and the machines are silent except when under extreme load.

These machines are tiny: only about 4.25 inches square!

If you would like professional assembly of your system and optimal operating system installation, please contact us.

NUC – 7th generation

The main CPU, graphics processor and other items are once again impressively improved from the previous generation.

Now the NUCs include the 6xx level of Intel’s IRIS Graphics processing engine.  This is enough horsepower to play all but the most demanding contemporary games, to say nothing of video playback and even editing.

Finally, the 7th generation NUCs were physically redesigned:

We are very impressed with the consistent improvements and Intel’s continuing commitment to the platform.

Power user version!

For the first time we are recommending an i7 version of the NUC for our power users.  This is available in the “tall” version only

Intel 7th gen i7 NUC - 'Tall'

The version above is the "tall," high power (i7) version which also allows you to add a 2.5 inch drive in addition to the M.2 solid state drive.  It includes the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 and is awesome as a very small high power workstation or tiny server!

“Regular” user versions!

Intel 7th gen i5 NUC - 'Tall'

The version above is the "tall," regular power (i5) version which also allows you to add a 2.5 inch drive in addition to the M.2 solid state drive.  It includes the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 and is awesome as a very small desktop computer or tiny low power server!


Intel 7th gen. i5 NUC - 'Short'

The version above is the “short” version which only allows you to add a single M.2 solid state drive.  It is fabulous as an ultra-tiny, silent desktop!  Please note: to store terabytes worth of files, you will need an external drive or a networked file-server.  ALSO, this “short” version is often a little more expensive than the “tall” version due to high demand for tiny computers.

To finish your NUC build, you will need these additional items.

RAM for the NUC

for 7th generation (use DDR4 for maximum speed!)

Kingston (DDR4 2400 — super fast, slightly more expensive and as a result sometimes more readily available)

We recommend at least 16GB ram for "future-proofing" your system.  It is also more in keeping with this high-end device.  RAM for the NUC should be bought two modules at a time so as to take advantage of the memory controller's dual channel feature (each of the RAM links above contain the two modules as recommended).

Storage for the NUC

Primary storage (for Operating System and applications)

These drives are solid state and very fast!  “Cold” boot times of less than 9 seconds are not uncommon.

Transcend M.2 card (80mm)
Transcend M.2 SSD

This above links to a 128 gigabyte model which should probably be your minimum size if:

Other capacities are also available:

Premium PCIe M.2 storage cards

Samsung 960 EVO 256GB PCIe M.2 card (80mm)
Transcend M.2 SSD

This above links to a 250GB which is the only affordable size in this line.  One of the very real benefits of the 960 EVO is that it is approximately 6 times faster on both reads and writes.  “Cold” boot times with the NUC might regularly approach 2.5 seconds.  We’ll update this page as we test these newer devices.

Secondary storage (for data)

These drives use conventional platters for maximum capacity in a small form factor.  These drives will only fit in the “tall versions of the NUC.

Seagate 2TB BarraCuda hard drive
Seagate 2.5 Inch BarraCuda drive

Be sure that you do not buy a capacity more than 2GB in the BarraCuda 2.5 inch product line.  The higher-capacity models are also thicker and will not fit into the NUC.

Accessories for the NUC

Display adapters

The NUC has both a full size HDMI port and a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port (which supports the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol and is capable of driving up to three different 4k screens through a splitter or by daisy chaining).
Multi-Head Display adapters
Single-Head Display adapters
“Headless” adapters

This is necessary if running NUC as a server and you want to connect via graphical remote desktop.

Page Last Edited: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Page First Published: June 19, 2017

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