Two takes on Intel’s NUC (pros/cons)

I am a big fan of Intel’s little NUCs. They are very easy to work on and their performance is entirely satisfactory for many purposes: I built one for my dad to use as an always on storage/downloading computer, and I built another as a green mini-web-server for a client. 🙂

Along those lines, here is a rather positive review detailing a NUC as HTPC setup:

How we built a tiny home theater PC with Intel's NUC | PCWorld

How we built a tiny home theater PC with Intel’s NUC | PCWorld PCs are getting smaller every day, and Intel’s new “Next Unit of Computing,” or NUC, is yet another example of the ever-shrinking personal computer. At 4.6 by 4.4 by 1.5 inches—about the size of a very small box of chocolates—the NUC contains a Core i3 processor and two SODIMM memory slots, and can be upgraded with both a…

However, not all people like the NUC. Here is a rather scathing mention of the poor little NUC 😉

Intel’s NUC illustrates why the company struggles in a post-PC world | SemiAccurate

Intel’s NUC illustrates why the company struggles in a post-PC world | SemiAccurate is desperately trying to save the PC from the quick death looming above it, and the NUC is their latest ill-conceived master plan. More importantly, they need to do this in…



Intel NUC access screw

Intel NUC closeup

In the end it is up to you whether the NUC is right for you or not, for me it is a handy size machine that builds quickly and does what I need it to 🙂




  • Probably one of the biggest shortcommings of the NUC is that it lacks USB 3.0, even though the chipset should support it. Sometimes you have to take Charlie D’s words with a grain of salt, he isn’t really a fan of the NUC or ultrabooks. He has some points but at times goes a little overboard just to prove a point.

    • Hi John, thank you for your comment.

      I agree with you about the lack of USB 3.0 being the biggest shortcoming. I have no idea why Intel didn’t opt to put USB 3.0 in the NUC 🙁 I would also like to see another mSATA connector and/or a 2.5″ 7mm SATA bay. 🙂

      I have not read anything of Charlie D’s before, but I did find his ‘underpowered’ statement to be a bit innacurate. The NUC packs more power in a smaller size than many other comparable options like that Zotac and others offer. Specifically, it blows away any Atom or AMD brazos/zacate/llano solution when it comes to CPU compute power (and is probably fairly comparable in the integrated GPU department). The NUC is also very quiet, whereas other small system I have built in the past tended to have a fairly noisy fan when under load.

      In your email you mentioned Haswell and v2 of the NUC, I am pretty excited about that too!

      Best regards,

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