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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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Beginner
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Esteban, thanks and yes its understood. Thats the problem with older posts, things change and updates to those changes may not follow in the original thread.

Nobody asked but my advice its to review your tips, update them, delete this thread and start a 2016 tips thread. In my trying to learn about NUCs im reading everything and thats actually the problem and I cant differentiate between whats old and current, valid or invalid.

You wrote a very excellent original post, tips are extremely helpful, just update everything and keep them coming.

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Beginner
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@JasonHoffman (=JasonNUC?) The SATA power cable link provided is no longer accurate (assuming it was), now it is

http://www.microsatacables.com/15pin-sata-female-to-female-power-cable-p15p-2xf-intl 15-pin SATA Female to Female Power Cable-PN # P15P-2XF-INTL

 

or forcing the non-html translation so you can see the exact link, I will leave out the protocol w's and dot com

 

........../15pin-sata-female-to-female-power-cable-p15p-2xf-intl.

The link in the OP gets changed by MicroSataCables to a male to male. PS: I've purchased from them several times over the years. Always good hunting.

Edit: WOW, just went back to look and noticed at MicrosataCables they have a dedicated NUC url:

........../intel-nuc-products/ C OOOO L!

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Valued Contributor II
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Hi all,

I'm sorry but there isn't much I can do about the post. I no longer work for Intel, so I don't have access to the account the post was written under. I use a different account these days. The original how-to is over 2 years old now, so unless someone from Intel can freeze it, my best advice is to just assume that a lot has changed since then.

I'm glad someone found the tips helpful, and I had fun writing about the NUCs, but since I'm not an Intel employee anymore I don't have access to the latest & greatest models (ahh...those were the days). I still use my NUCs on a daily basis (I'm writing this on one of them) and am excited to read about the latest NUC news. But I'm afraid unless the NUC fairy visits me, someone else will have to do a write up for the latest (Skylake) models, as I've only seen them in pictures.

As always, I'm happy to help when I can.

Jason

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Ok looks like I have to start my question again.

What connectors exist in a 5i3RYH? Will it accept a 2.5 SATA (conventional) drive or what modification is necessary first?

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Super User Retired Employee
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Let me answer this with one unambiguous statement: If you purchase a NUC that has an 'H' at the end of its name, it includes a drive bay - and all of the necessary cabling and connectors - for the inclusion of a 2.5" HDD/SSD/SSHD SATA drive.

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Valued Contributor II
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Ok, I can answer that. The "H" at the end of the model stands for "hard drive", meaning it supports 2.5" drives. The motherboard has the SATA port, and the case includes a slot that will hold up to a 9.5mm drive. The connector is built into the slot and already connected to the motherboard. So this one will support a 2.5" SSD or hard drive without needing to buy anything else.

Here's a link to the specs: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-kit-nuc5i3ryh.html Mini PC Intel® NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH

Whenever you buy a NUC, if you plan to use a 2.5" drive, just remember to look for the "H" at the end. If it doesn't have the "H" that means it's the shorter model, which can support a 2.5" drive (it's the same motherboard), but doesn't include the cable and physically doesn't have room in the case.

I hope that clears it up.

Jason

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Valued Contributor II
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Scott, we must have been typing at the same time. Jinx!

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Super User Retired Employee
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Answering your first question, the board used in the RY NUC models provides connectors for adding up to two drives,

  1. A M.2 connector supports the addition of a M.2 SSD with M Keying that utilizes either the SATA III or SATA Express interface.
  2. A standard SATA connector for connecting a 2.5" SATA III HDD/SSD/SSHD.

Another connector on the board provides power for the 2.5" drive.

Is I said, if you purchase a NUC that has an 'H' at the end of its name, it has a drive bay into which you can install a 2.5" SATA drive and it includes all of the necessary cabling and connectors to support this drive. If, on the other hand, you purchase a NUC that DOES NOT have a 'H' at the end of its name, its chassis is shorter and does not have room for a drive bay. If you want to connect a 2.5" SATA III drive to a NUC that DOES NOT have a 'H' at the end of its name - for example, if you are moving the board into another chassis that has room for a 2.5" drive - you will need to separately purchase the cable and connector assembly. Note that the power connector on the board provides sufficient power for only 2.5" drives; you CAN NOT power a 3.5" drive using this connector.

Does that answer all of your questions (or did the additional information confuse you further)?

...Scott

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Super User Retired Employee
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Yes...

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Super User Retired Employee
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Why can't this interface inform you if someone else provides a comment while you are entering yours?

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Valued Contributor II
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Where's the fun in that? How else can you have "comment wars"?

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Beginner
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Scott said "Why can't this interface inform you if someone else provides a comment while you are entering yours?"

Most forums do, and give you the option to stop and let them post so that you can first read it. But this forum uses an unknown or proprietary forum program that Ive not seen before and is missing some modern components.

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Beginner
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Ok thanks Jason and Scott. Scott had it right the first time and then the rogue comment came along. I didnt know that the poster may have been referring to moving a motherboard into another chassis but that NUCs bought today include cabling and componentry for what the user intends to do--provided they know beforehand. If they dont, they better read that rogue comment lol

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Super User Retired Employee
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Gee, I didn't intend it to be rogue - or are you perhaps referring to that Jason rogue...

You can purchase chassis from a number of vendors (Logic Supply, QuietPC.com, etc.) that are designed to support things like fanless operation, usage in cars and boats, etc. and etc. In some cases, Intel actually sells the bare board (look for product codes ending in a 'B'). These are the ones that most often get used in these fanless (etc.) chassis - but it is not unheard of for folks to purchase the (low-profile, non-drive-bay) 'K' units and discard the chassis for one of these special ones.

...S

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Valued Contributor II
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I guess I'm the rogue...that's ok, I've been called worse.

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Beginner
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No no no, neither Scott nor Jason are the rogues! Wait a sec, maybe so....i'll go back and see who wrote what.....I care more about what was said, not who says it.

Hold on....

There, see? DrWatts-on! Everything was going ok, Scott answered and all cool, done. Then Dr Watts-on flipped over the discussion like a rogue wave on the ocean and I thought we were back to square one. But even so, Dr Watts-on's post was good info IF we were going that way.

Personally i really am grateful to you guys for the info and help. There are new users to NUC (and everything else) everyday and details in posts are needed and appreciated by people who read but may never post anything themselves.

NUCs themselves are rising. I was going to buy a MAC Mini but being mostly in Malaysia where its a Windows World i stayed in that flow to reduce troubles. In the past year shops which didnt know anything about mini PCs are now showing NUCs and similar from Asus, Dell and others. But Malaysians are not a brave lot and kits would be a major challenge. Intel would do well to promote the Community through the retailers so that potential users could get their guts up.

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New Contributor II
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Re the http://www.microsatacables.com/15pin-sata-female-to-female-power-cable-p15p-2xf-intl 10" cable mentioned above, is that the only length? I've looked everywhere I can think of, but that seems to be it.

To get more, I suppose that you'd have to use it with http://www.microsatacables.com/15-pin-sata-power-extension-cable20in-p15pmwv15pf this, correct?

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Beginner
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Hi, all, the Rogue, here. But wait! I only clicked on the link provided in this thread, found it deceased, researched to locate a valid link, and provided it! Though my fiendish gleeful grin is often present, at that moment I was trying to simply provide accurate data. I prefer my credits for fiendish behavior to be true, so that I not lose credibility with my fellow fiends!

Anyway, about the cable, I notice that the Female-Female extender linked by rseiler in post 36 dated 3/30/2016, has the 5th (orange 3.3V) wire, whereas the original cable does not.

So the extender would work, but I am concerned about the original cable that does not provide 3.3V to a device with SSD's. I can only hope the mobo provides accurate and adequate conversion from 5/12V.

Still stirring up trouble, I guess. Ah, what a wonderful heritage! He He

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Hello, All:

Thank you for the information provided as well as the feedback regarding this.

If you require any further information or support, do not hesitate to contact us back.

Regards,

Esteban C

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