Intel® Next Unit of Computing
(or “NUC”, pronounced as “Nook”)
TINY, FAST AND SUPER PORTABLE.
These are a relatively new product from Intel (the largest semiconductor chip manufacturer) which aims to fit an entire desktop PC into a 4” by 4” form factor, and succeeds! There are so many amazing uses for these due to their impressive footprint that it’s hard for us not to recommend one to everyone!
WHAT CAN I DO WITH A NUC?
The fact that these are smaller than the size of a CD mean that the possibilities for tucking them away somewhere are infinite. Anywhere space is in short supply or even if you just fancy going for a minimal look in your office, the Intel NUC is the answer. Don’t think that you’re sacrificing performance either, NUCs are endlessly configurable with a whole range of processors and configurations available. They can be upgraded months or even years down the line too for if you need a boost.
All NUCs also have a removable top panel which means that although you can’t change the soldered in processor, graphics and other parts such as ports, you are able to swap out the hard drive, M.2 SSD, RAM and coolers. It’s impressive that there are any parts at all that are user serviceable in a device this small, let alone four!
Immersive Game Streaming
Intel Iris and Iris Pro graphics may not be the most powerful, around 12% of what is possible with a full tower gaming desktop*, but they are amazing at streaming. If you’re a gamer then you are most likely familiar with Steam and hopefully with their In-Home Streaming feature. If you’re not, this allows you to almost flawlessly stream a game from your main PC to any other compatible device in your household in full HD and with little to no latency.
The NUCs size makes it essentially flawless for use with a video surveillance system. It’s small enough to hide away and the inclusion of Intel Gigabit Ethernet and Intel Iris and Iris Pro Graphics mean it will handle recording HD 1080p video with ease and streaming it to central or cloud storage even easier. The expandable on-board storage also means that it can save anything it records onto its own hard drive with no network connectivity required at all.
Home Theater PCs
Unlucky enough to purchase one of the early Smart TVs that turned out to not actually be that smart? Or maybe you have a glorious TV from back in the day when tellys were tellys! Either way, the NUC is the perfect solution for sprucing up your living room or bedroom. There are many programs designed to work in this sort of environment. Kodi (formerly XBMC) and Plex are two extremely feature rich options we might recommend.
*G3D Mark results for the Intel Iris 540 (1,445) Vs Nvidea 980Ti (11,547)
Intel® Compute Sticks
Even smaller, endless uses.
The Intel® Compute Stick is a tiny device the size of a pack of gum that can transform any HDMI-enabled TV, projector or display into a complete Microsoft Windows PC. Available with a range of Intel® processors, it’s everything you love about a desktop computer in a device that fits snugly in your palm.