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minicomputer Intel Nuc

Why your next computer should be a minicomputer!

Introduction

In this article, I would like to introduce you to the NUC minicomputer from Intel. It’s a beautiful small computer for various needs. Nowadays you can use a minicomputer as a desktop replacement. And if that really works, why buy a clunky computer to handle word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.? Believe it or not, a minicomputer is well suited and powerful enough for all these tasks and more.

Let’s start at the very beginning. The mechanical part. The Intel NUC has two form factors, a slim and a tall chassis. It has enough ports (5x) to connect your USB drives, three external monitors HDMI 2.0a; USB-C (DP1.2), 1 LAN port, and a slot for a removable memory card. The Intel UHD graphics chipset is perfect for graphical applications. However, the Intel NUC is not a gaming machine. And it has the latest generation wireless called Wi-Fi 6 AX201.

What I like best about the Intel NUC minicomputer is that you buy it without memory and hard drives. Even though it is a minicomputer, you can install two hard drives. So you have flexibility and can buy the memory and storage that fits your needs. You won’t need an IT diploma to insert them, just the right screwdriver. The Intel NUC could even work as a server or a hypervisor for VMware if you are an IT geek.

The minicomputer ships with two form factors. A tall version (Choice 1) and a slim version (Choice 2). The difference is that in the slim version, you cannot install a 2.5inch hard drive as there is only space for an M2 hard drive.

Intel released the 10th generation of the NUCs in fall 2019. It supports up to 64GB memory.

Some buying advice

I present to you the latest Intel NUCs, Frost Canyon. That’s the internal codename given by Intel.

Intel BXNUC10i7FNH Core i7-10710U 6-Core NUC Mini PC, 2.5" Drive Bay
Intel BXNUC10i7FNH Core i7-10710U 6-Core NUC Mini PC, 2.5" Drive Bay
Choice Photo Title Price Buy
1 Intel BXNUC10i7FNH Core i7-10710U 6-Core NUC Mini PC, 2.5" Drive Bay $592.80
2 Intel BXNUC10i7FNK Core i7-10710U 6-Core NUC Mini PC (Slim Version) $598.95
3 Intel NUC NUC10i7FNH Ultra Small Mini PC/HTPC - 10th Gen Intel 6-Core i7-10710U up to 4.70 GHz CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth, Intel UHD Graphics, Windows 10 Professional $739.90

The model shown here has an i7 processor installed, offers two internal expansion possibilities for an M2 hard disk and a 2.5-inch hard disk (tall version only). You can buy an SSD drive for your operating system and application and get a second drive with plenty of storage for your data. However, the second (2.5inch) drive doesn’t need to be an SSD drive. In fact, if you need lots of storage, the less expensive SATA drive is the way to go. In summary, you could buy up to 5TB at a reasonable price. Nothing stops you from buying a seconds SSD drive for the 2.5-inch bay. The minicomputer shown here even supports RAID 1 for disk mirroring. However, I wouldn’t recommend that. Instead, buy plenty of storage.

Disk drives for Intel NUC

When buying your disk drives, pay attention to the finer details. The M.2 slot is for M2.2280 drives.

To illustrate, see my recommendation for SSD hard drives that fit the specification M2.2280 and 2.5inch disk.

 Memory for Intel NUC

As for memory, there are two slots providing up to 64GB memory. You could buy a 64GB memory card, 2x 32GB memory card, or other combinations. Memory has a technical specification; this Intel NUC minicomputer family supports DDR4-2666 1.2V SO-DIMM.

Get some ideas for suitable memory combos.

Why a minicomputer?

If you need a computer mainly for simple tasks, you should definitely consider the Intel NUC. It is compact and takes up very little desk space. This NUC minicomputer with 8GB memory and 512GB SSD drive and Windows 10 is all you need. (See Choice 3 in the table). Also, buy a new SATA 2.5inch drive if you have lots of videos and photos. I promise that you will have a lot of fun with the Intel NUC and won’t regret your purchase.

And the final word: if you need any assistance to evaluate your buy, have doubts, questions, comments, just comment below, drop me an email or contact me via Facebook messenger. I’m always happy to help! See my Facebook page.

Happy buying.

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