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Employee
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The Intel NUC: Haswell tips

Hi all,

Now that the Haswell NUCs are hitting stores I thought it would be a good idea to bring up a few things that should help your experience with your new NUC. There's nothing Earth-shattering here, just tips & tricks that I've come across while working with the Haswell NUCs, as well as feedback from others. So here goes.

Memory: the Haswell NUCs use 1.35v memory. They don't support 1.5v memory. So make sure when you're buying your memory that you check the voltage. Also if you're looking for top performance you'll get better memory performance out of 2 matching sticks vs. a single stick. So if you want 4GB total you'll get better performance out of 2 2GB sticks. The trade-off is that you're filling both of your RAM slots, so an upgrade down the road means replacing the sticks you have rather than just adding a new one.

mSATA: It's really your choice for which mSATA to use but be aware that there are differences. I haven't found one yet that I didn't like, but different brands/models have different advantages. For example the Intel mSATAs are pricier but you'll get an mSATA that uses very little power. That can come in handy if you're doing something portable with it or if power consumption is a concern. In contrast a drive from Muskin (just an example) will be very fast but will also have a higher power consumption. Look at the specs and decide which one meets your price, performance, power requirements.

HDMI: Remember the Haswell NUCs have a miniHDMI connector, not a full-sized HDMI. So be sure you have a miniHDMI to HDMI cable or adapter. You can also use a miniDisplayPort to HDMI cable or adapter as the NUC supports full HD and audio over DisplayPort.

Drivers: All of the latest Windows drivers are available at downloadcenter.intel.com. Get them before you start and put them on a flash drive. You'll need them because your onboard NIC will not work out of the box on some versions of Windows so you'll want the drivers handy to install. You'll be glad you did.

USB DVD drives: If you plan to install your OS from a USB DVD drive (instead of the faster, easier flash drive method) be sure you have it connected correctly. External DVD drives typically require a 2nd USB cable for power in order to be able to boot.

Wifi in Linux: This isn't strictly for the NUC, it's for the 7260 wifi card. If you plan on using Linux with your NUC and you're using the 7260 wifi card be aware that wifi will not work out of the box. Bluetooth does but wifi doesn't. There's an easy solution here: http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/iwlwifi http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/iwlwifi. It should get you up and running with wifi in just a couple of minutes. If you opt for the 6250 card it should work out of the box in Linux and Windows.

On-board SATA: If you plan on using the on-board SATA connection you'll need a standard SATA data cable and a female to female SATA power cable. As pointed out in the discussion (below) finding a female to female SATA power cable that fits well may be an issue. Here is a link to a cable that fits well: http://www.microsatacables.com/15-pin-sata-female-to-female-power-cable/ 15 Pin SATA Female to Female Power Cable. It's inexpensive too.

That's all for now. If I think of any other tips I'll add them.

Thanks.

Jason

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38 Replies
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Novice
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Great tips, Jason. Hopefully that will stop some issues arising (e.g. RAM Voltage).

One thing I might include alongside the miniHDMI section, is that the DisplayPort is also mini-DisplayPort, just in case anyone tries to get a full sized DisplayPort to HDMI cable.

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Employee
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Whoa, good catch! I edited the article to reflect it being a mini DisplayPort. Thanks!

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Community Manager
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Just curious: In what way is the "flash drive method" for OS installation easier? I just bought Windows 8.1 (still waiting for my Haswell NUC) on DVD since Microsoft doesn't provide the opportunity to buy a download version (at least not in Sweden).

Should I copy the DVD onto a USB-drive for faster and easier installation?

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Employee
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If you've already got a DVD of Windows and an external drive then that's the way to go. I was referring to when you're downloading an image of your OS. If you're downloading an ISO, it's faster to create a bootable flash drive from it than to create a DVD. The install also goes faster from a flash drive (depending on your flash drive's capabilities of course).

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Novice
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One more tip you could add - about the 2.5" SATA drive: no 12V lines and the nasty power cable that should be used.

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Employee
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Novice
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Maybe not really nasty, but not so common.

There are just a few reviews out there, that tested with 2,5" drive and they all have "we don't have that cable, so we use external power source...". Also try searching for it in eBay

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Employee
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I just did a search for "15 Pin SATA Female to Female Power Cable" on ebay and came up with a bunch of them. When I did my original review I used an external connecter because I didn't have the cable handy. I'll order one from ebay and confirm it works.

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Employee
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Ok, I think I see what you mean. There are tons of them on ebay but I don't see any with the L-shaped header to make a good fit inside the NUC case.

I'll update the tips to include the link I posted for the cable, and I'll see if there are other sources.

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Community Manager
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Thank you Jason, for the link to the 15 Pin SATA Female to Female Power Cable.

That worked well for migrating data to my new NUC.

Are there any cables 1-foot long mini-HDMI male to DVI male? or VGA male?

I did not find any. I would like to avoid using a converter.

I am currently using a 6 ft cable for a NUC Kit D54250WYK VESA mounted on a monitor with DVI and VGA ports.

Will a supplier start making short mini-HDMI male to DVI male cables for the NUCs?

I can wait a few months.

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Novice
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I've looked for these as well and found nothing. Not even monoprice has them. The best you can do for now is pair a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor with a HDMI to DVI cable I guess.

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Community Manager
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jphorx,

They are in stock and I just ordered one:

startech 8inch Mini HDMI to DVI-D Cable - M/M

startech 3.3ft Mini HDMI to DVI-D Cable - M/M

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Beginner
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Sad this thread is old, its very useful. Or, has "tips" moved somewhere else?

Im unboxing a new 5i3RYH now and appreciate all tips and help. Im not a PC tech but a new NUC fan and want to do things as right as possible.

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Hello, cwv:

Thank you for your feedback on this.

Any questions or information you would like to get, feel free to post your inquiry in the Intel Communities.

Regards,

Esteban C

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Beginner
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Estaban,

Im very confused by the last tip in your post regarding SATA. In all the youtube vids, people connect 2.5 inch SATA drives to existing cables in the NUC, they didnt buy anything extra, I have not opened the NUC yet, what am I going to find?

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Super User Retired Employee
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You don't need to worry about this. When the Haswell NUCs (D34010WYxx, D54250WYxx, etc.) were first introduced, there was a problem in the daughter card that the SATA Drive plugged into that could cause performance and even connectivity problems. This adapter card (and the cables that connect it to the NUC's motherboard) was what was being replaced. Once this issue was addressed, all subsequent WY NUCs shipped with the replacement boards installed and similar problems have NOT occurred with subsequent models of the NUC (RY, MY, SY, etc.).

...S

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Valued Contributor II
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Hi cwv,

Sorry for the confusion. I actually posted this over a year ago, and as Scott pointed out, things have changed since then. You should be just fine.

Jason

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Beginner
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Thanks Scott and Jason...ok understood. Esteban should have posted what Scott said and then even close the thread.

By the way, i'll say again that I always search before I post. Why could i not find Jason's post? My searches come up as "nothing found" and I try 3-4 different ways. Then I post. I really hate to hack up thread orders and dont mean to at all.

Im brand noob to NUC and reading all the threads to at least try to get up to speed. Can you guys spell h-e-a-d-a-c-h-e?

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Hello, cwv:

Thank you for your answer on this.

I believe that you were referring to another answer provided by me about the daughter card issue with some NUCs. If it is the post that I imagine, I provided those videos to replace the daughter card and take apart the NUC.

Hope this clarifies my answer.

If any additional questions or inquiries are present, do not hesitate to advise us.

Regards,

Esteban C

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