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Beginner
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NUC 10 i5 configuration HELP with RAM and SSD

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Hello Forum Members -

Am planning to get my first NUC. I wanted to get some thoughts on SSD and RAM pairing with the NUC.

Usage - Light and casual gaming. Want a quick system for Home use and somewhat Future Proof.

NUC Model - NUC10I5FNH

My local Microcenter has this model and appears a nice balance between i3 and i7.  Alternatively if you think upgrade to i7 extends the useful life of the system would be interested in feedback on that too.

I was looking at the following 2 NVMe SSD options - 

WD Black SN750 250GB - Part No. WDBRPG2500ANC

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB - Part No. MZ-V7S250B/AM

And the following RAM option

Crucial 16GB DDR4 2666MHz. Single 16GB stick. Part No. - CT16G4SFD8266

Thanks for your help

 

 

 

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Super User Retired Employee
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My opinion is that the 10th gen provides a small increase in compute power (and benefit of additional cores for parallelization) whereas the 8th gen provides a more-significant increase in graphics power. Which you go with depends upon what you will be using it for. So I am told (I am not a gamer), light gaming will definitely benefit from the 8th gen.

...S

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Super User
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1. SSD I would prefer the SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus.  On this drive you may install the Windows and all other programs. Samsung SSD is high performance SSD.

2. Since you are buying the tall model (FNH), I would suggest to install in a SATA drive bay an bigger size 2.5" HDD or even an SATA 2.5" SSD (their ar less expensive now). You may use this drive to save your data (documents, pictures, video, music and downloads). Here the speed is less important.

3. For the RAM it important to install 2 sticks, rather than 1 stick (i.e. 2 x 8 GB kit instead of 16 GB). with two memory modules, your computer will work in double channel mode, with much better performance when using one stick.

4. Check the list of Intel Validate Components, compatible for your NUC.

5. This is additional list of compatible components (SAMSUNG 970 Evo Plus included)

 

Leon

 

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Beginner
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Leon Thank You - Very helpful.

Yes makes sense to add on the 2.5" SSD.

I see the rationale for 2 sticks for Dual Channel.  I was considering single stick to have one slot free for future upgrade.  Do you think the performance difference between Dual vs Single Channel is discernible enough for me to go with 2 sticks.  

I had looked at the NUC compatibility page.  I was trying to stick with the RAM available at my local Micro Center. I did not see that specific Crucuial RAM as Intel Validated.  The specifications appear to match on surface. Any experience you have with compatibility concerns would be helpful?

Thanks -

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Super User Retired Employee
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I agree with Leon that the Samsung 970 EVO is a good choice -- but get the 512GB size to take advantage of the better DRAM cache that the larger drives have. The 256GB RW performance is 3400/1500 whereas the 512GB performance is 3400/2300.

I use Crucial memory almost exclusively, so this is a good choice. If you are fairly sure that you will add the additional memory at some point, then stick with just the one SODIMM now. Enabling Dual-Channel mode does make a difference, but you may not even notice it initially. Some of us have been, um, 'spoiled' by the high-end Core i7/i9 units we test with...

The Compatibility page lists the devices that the lab had on hand and was able to validate on the NUC. If certain memory isn't there, this often means that Intel simply had none. If they don't receive samples, they simply don't run any tests.

...S

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Super User Retired Employee
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Oops, almost forgot: Support is provided for mounting a 9.5mm high SATA drive in the drive bay. The 15mm high drives do not fit this bay. I believe the limit for 9.5mm SATA drives is 2TB right now; the 3TB and 4TB drives are all 15mm as far as I can tell.

...S

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Beginner
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Thanks so much.

Great to hear on Crucial that it should be compatible and a good match. My local Micro Center carries it and I prefer to support Micro Center to the extent possible unless I have to seek one online.

Also agree that makes sense to go with the 970 EVO 512GB instead of the 256GB.  

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Beginner
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Thanks for the clarification on the 2.5" SSD.

So assuming that I get the 512 GB NVME SSD and lets say that I don't store a whole lot of content such that even with 512GB I expect to have adequate free space.  In that situation is there still a performance advantage to store Music, Data and Content files on a separate internal 2.5" SSD as opposed to everything stored on the NVMe?

Thanks -

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Super User Retired Employee
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For seldom-accessed content (pictures, music, videos, etc.), a HDD is usually sufficiently fast and a lot less expensive. For example, a 2TB HDD is less than US$70 and a 2TB SSHD is less than US$100. You are right, though, you only need the secondary storage if you have enough content to warrant it.
...S
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Super User
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Hi  @FastPlato ,

1. You asked if Dual Channel Memory vs Single Channel Memory mode matters. Well, some time the difference can be 50% in favor of Dual Channel and sometime non. Please read this to see the results of benchmark test. If you intend in the future add an other memory stick, I suggest you not to wait, but buy 2 sticks now. In order to have Dual Channel Mode working, both memory modules have to identical and I'm doubt that in the future you will find identical memory. Therefore in order to assure Double Channel Mode, the manufactures are preparing memory kit ( 2 sticks), that are tested at manufacturer site for Double Channel Mode compatibility.

2. The other issue I would like to clarify is a fact that the NUC10 is not the best choice for gaming (even light game). This NUC has degraded GPU and therefor the gaming performance is low. 

 

Leon

 

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Beginner
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Leon Thanks so much for that.

Yes I should figure out now how much memory I want, divide that by 2 and thats what I should get.  I also see the point on subsequently matching the memory etc. that can be challenging.

I was considering the 8th Gen earlier for the Iris Plus. My local Micro Center only carries the 10th Gen. From what I can tell there is not significant jump in 10th Gen from 8th Gen. So it appears that the 8th Gen may be a better route given the Iris +. I can get the 8th Gen on Amazon.  Am I somewhat close in thinking that 10th Gen Processor not so much better than 8th Gen to offset the better Graphics Processor in 8th Gen?

Thanks - FastPlato

 

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Super User
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Hi FastPlato,

1. In my NUCs (used as desktops) I'm filling comfortable with 2x8GB=16GB memory.

2. May be this review will give you some additional information and help with decision.

 

Leon

 

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Beginner
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Leon Hi -

This is extremely helpful. Thanks so much.

Best -

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Super User Retired Employee
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My opinion is that the 10th gen provides a small increase in compute power (and benefit of additional cores for parallelization) whereas the 8th gen provides a more-significant increase in graphics power. Which you go with depends upon what you will be using it for. So I am told (I am not a gamer), light gaming will definitely benefit from the 8th gen.

...S

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Beginner
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Scott Hi -

Very Helpful. Thanks. Am getting close in deciding. These thoughts are extremely helpful as I decide.  Will let you'll know where in land as in 8th Gen vs 10th Gen.

Best -   

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