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I’ve been "NUC-inized"

b2ap3 icon Close-up-NUC-in-hand-1Judging by the headline, you are probably wondering: “What’s a NUC?”  A NUC is Intel’s “Next Unit of Computing.” At this year’s ISS (Intel Solutions Summit) I fell in love with the NUC. NUCs are the "Ewok" of desktops.

What’s on a NUC (Next Unit of Computing) motherboard? Be amazed. We are looked at Intel's NUC Computing Kit DC3217IYE with D33217GKE motherboard. Nice core base performance in a small form factor, 4” x 4” x 2” chassis size. This new generation of desktops from Intel is very compact, with a CORE i3-3217U processor and PCH (Platform Controller Hub).

Check out this link to learn more about the new Intel Platform Control Hub Architecture. At this site you will find out more about FDI (Flexible Display Interface), DMI (Direct Media Interface), FSB (front-side bus), clocking (the system clock) and IMC (integrated memory controller). FDI, DMI, FSB, IMC built into the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) makes the new NUC motherboards perform like David Copperfield.

The graphics are built into the new Core i3 and is on the underside of the motherboard. Intel HD 4000 Graphics with dual HDMI kicks BUTT! Intel’s HD 4000 specs: DirectX 11, OpenGL 4, OpenCL 1.1, Quick Sync Video, Wireless Display, Intel Insider, InTru 3D, and HD Clear Video Technology. I was amazed at all the NUC models with their outstanding video capability. Audio? Check that one off your list with Intel High Definition Audio (Intel HD Audio), eight-channel (7.1) digital audio through the two HDMI 1.4a outputs. Can you hear me now?

The NUC has 5 USB ports. Now this one was driving me crazy, because I only counted 3 USB ports. I saw one on the front, and 2 on the back. I had to read the fine print to find the other two. Intel’s website says “two via internal header.” On the back there is an onboard Gigabit LAN. You have two standard DDR3 SO-DIMM slots which can handle up to 16 GB of 1333/1600 MHz RAM. To round things off you have Dual mini PCIe card slots for wireless card, mSATA for storage.

You can daisy-chain devices with THUNDERBOLT. Want to know more on what THUNDERBOLT is, check out this link here. Thunderbolt is relatively new with the standards being introduced commercially by Apple in 2011.

Intel makes other NUC models, and they are keeping it simple. Thank the Lord! There are basically three models; below are the current motherboards and “Kit”.

Motherboards: NUC Board D33217CK, NUC Board D33217GKE and NUC Board DCP847SKE
Kits: NUC Kit DC3217BY, NUC Kit DC3217IYE and NUC Kit DCCP847DYE

Question: What makes a kit a “kit”?
Answer: Motherboard, processor, chassis and a 65W PSU (Power Supply Unit)

Question: How much is a kit?
Answer: Between $200 - $375 SRP

Question: What else would I need to get in order to build a complete system?
Answer: mSATA SSD, Memory and OS (Operating System).
Note: You could install wireless and use an external HDD

NUC’s come with a 3-year warranty.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. What do you think?

For more on the NUC, check out my videos here on YouTube, which I shot at the Intel Solutions Summit last week:

http://youtu.be/Ey0WwB57dds 

http://youtu.be/W69taNED4Lc

 
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