I few weeks ago I read about Intel’s NUC for the first time. NUC is an acronym for „Next Unit of Computing“. The idea of having thin clients and barebones as very small form factor PCs on the desk is not new but Intel takes this a step further.
Intel NUC is a brand which stands for quality and compatibility by using standard components and CPUs with onboard GPU. Years ago Intel also began to sell miniATX Kits including an Atom processor for small money - all in one box. The NUCs follow the same concept: it’s a full kit including the mainboard with CPU/GPU, support for USB 3.0, SD and network as well as basic audio components. All is delivered in a small box almost ready to rumble. You just need to install memory (some models allow up to 32GB) and a 2.5“ HDD/SSD and even a m.2 SSD.
Today I got my kit which I now use as a server for running Domino on Ubuntu server. The kit came also with an A/C adapter with various plugs for all kinds of sockets. The clue is a metal plate (the VESA adapter) which allows you to mount the device directly on your monitor - if you like.
The assembly of the memory and my existing SSD was simple and done within 5 minutes - a charm!
The device is almost completely silent, of course there is a small fan inside to cool the CPU (in my case a Celeron running at 1.6 GHz). This baby boots Ubuntu server within 10 seconds now
The remarkable thing is that there are other models available at the same form factor: i3, i5 and even i7.
As I said, the idea of barebones isn’t new but I like that Intel takes this to the next level. If you are thinking about buying a new desktop PC then keep the NUCs in your mind - as long as you are not a gamer then those will be a smart and relatively low priced alternative. I am definitely thinking about buying another one - with at least an i5.