Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

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Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:59 am

Last year the Intel introduced the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and we were amazed by the power, capabilities and performance of what you could do with a four inches square. PC users around the world quickly found out that the Intel NUC was small yet powerful and used them as general use PCs, home theater PCs, media servers, and/or a multitude of other configurations.The first generation NUC left us impressed, but there was certainly room for improvement. Intel is severely limited by the NUC's ultra-compact device design, but the new Intel NUC packs more features into an even slimmer form factor. This is not a small feat as the designers had a long list of changes to be made. Besides making the NUC faster and more energy efficient, they also had to improve cooling and add better connectivity options. Read on to see how it performs!

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Article Title: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-nuc-k ... wer_124251
Pricing: Should be around $363 plus shipping
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby gwolfman » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:23 pm

FYI: The "Mickey Mouse" connector is actually the IEC 60320 C5 (or IEC320 C5 for short) coupler.

Thanks for the review. I'm considering this for a near-future build. My only gripe, along with one of yours, is no space for a 2.5" drive. I got a few laying around that would work great and save me ~$200 for an SSD. :(
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Major_A » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:15 pm

I still think the Gigabyte Brix is a better option. But I'm glad to see they updated the NUC and fixed the NIC issue.
Thanks for the review. I'm considering this for a near-future build. My only gripe, along with one of yours, is no space for a 2.5" drive. I got a few laying around that would work great and save me ~$200 for an SSD. :(

It isn't as fast as the Intel SSD they used in the review but for the price I think you'd be doing fine with a BulletProof BP4.
128GB - $94.95
256GB - $173.95
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby mondo77 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:04 am

I see on the CPU side of the board along the edge next to the battery (on the right of the image below) are what looks like two sets of motherboard headers. One is black and has the 5+4 configuration and looks like a dual USB2 header. The other is blue and has the 5+(3+1) configuration and looks like an HD audio header. But there is no mention of these headers anywhere, what is the word on these?

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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby maber23 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:23 am

mondo77 wrote:...The other is blue and has the 5+(3+1) configuration and looks like an HD audio header. But there is no mention of these headers anywhere, what is the word on these?


Hi!

At missingremote says that this blue connector is a HTPC HEADER:
http://www.missingremote.com/news/2013-09-18/intel-haswell-nuc-d54250wyk-includes-htpc-header

Could it be?
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby richardm » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:20 am

That internal SATA header... Is it usable in any way with the system fully assembled? Can we bore a hole in the lid or something? Or does the heat sink and/or ducting tightly cover the port?
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:01 am

richardm wrote:That internal SATA header... Is it usable in any way with the system fully assembled? Can we bore a hole in the lid or something? Or does the heat sink and/or ducting tightly cover the port?


With this chassis not a chance as there is absolutely no room. Intel is working on a chassis that will fit a 2.5" drive inside, but that will be Nov/Dec before it hits the streets. You could modify the cover or leave it off and use the header just like you mentioned.

I did do some testing on the SATA header and it works fine. I added it to the testing page of the review (page 5), but here is a teaser:

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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:07 am

mondo77 wrote:I see on the CPU side of the board along the edge next to the battery (on the right of the image below) are what looks like two sets of motherboard headers. One is black and has the 5+4 configuration and looks like a dual USB2 header. The other is blue and has the 5+(3+1) configuration and looks like an HD audio header. But there is no mention of these headers anywhere, what is the word on these?



Yes, that is what it appears to be. It is not listed on any spec sheets online or the install guides that came with the board. I've asked Intel and am waiting to hear back before confirming that is what it is and that it is functional. I'll let you know ASAP (today).
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby kquebec » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:30 am

I'm wondering if there is 4k support for hdmi. The intel documents seems to mean that 4k is just for displayport. I would like to use this NUC with a cheap (Seiki or TCL) 4k tv, but will wait for confirmation of 4k hdmi capabilities.
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby crossblade » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:37 am

Hello,

Thank you fort his great Review. It convinced me to finally make an account here. In the review is nearly all the information I needed and here in the forum the information with the HTPC header is just great :prayer:

I have still tree questions regarding the Intel NUC board:
- It looks like there s a button on the left side of the fan. What is it for? Power? Reset? Clear CMOS?
- There was a rumour the internal power header (the white plug at the backside) is suitable for supplying 12V instead of 19V. Can you confirm that or/and make a larger picture of this area?[/list]
- Are there any internal USB3 headers? I saw none, but everything is so compact it is easy to overlook.

Thanks in advance

Edit:
@kquebec

I guess there is no4 K support via HDMI because the NUC has HDMI Spec 1.4a.
4k via HDMI will need HDMI Spec 2.0 which has been finalized just in August (so after hasswell lunch)
Last edited by crossblade on Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby smalitro » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:59 am

just 4.6 Watts in idle :shock:

i wonder how low it could be drivven only using just one ram module, a more efficient ssd, no wifi card and hdmi and display shut of.

maybe it is the first "real" pc below 3 watts if you optimize it - even less than a raspberryPi
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:17 am

smalitro wrote:just 4.6 Watts in idle :shock:

i wonder how low it could be drivven only using just one ram module, a more efficient ssd, no wifi card and hdmi and display shut of.

maybe it is the first "real" pc below 3 watts if you optimize it - even less than a raspberryPi



I can answer that for you! :partyman:

I did the following:
- Removed one DDR3L module
- Lowered DRAM Voltage from 1.35V to 1.325V
- Removed 802.11ac wireless card

The results were impressive as I saw between 3.6-4.3 Watts on average. It bounces around quite a bit and please note that this is on a clean untouched install of Windows 8 with the c8/c9 idle states enabled for Haswell. After a bit it is pretty solid at 3.7W. Here are some pics for you:

single-channel.jpg
single-channel.jpg (160.2 KiB) Viewed 10046 times

single-power.jpg
single-power.jpg (70.42 KiB) Viewed 10046 times
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:22 am

kquebec wrote:I'm wondering if there is 4k support for hdmi. The intel documents seems to mean that 4k is just for displayport. I would like to use this NUC with a cheap (Seiki or TCL) 4k tv, but will wait for confirmation of 4k hdmi capabilities.



Straight from the Intel labs:

"We have run 4K resolution on our 50” Seiki display in the lab. It works, but only at 30 Hz refresh or lower. The technical issue is that we did not use active level shifters on the HDMI output. That means it should not be capable of displaying 4K on the HDMI. But with our testing it does. To get it stable on our Seiki we had to updated the TV’s firmware prior it to actually synching.

We want to get a LG or other screen in that can handle 60Hz at 4K to see what the HDMI output can actually do."


So, the Intel testing could get HDMI 4K to work, but they didn't think it would. (basically, they don't officially support it, but it could work). Intel thinks that because the distance on the board is so short that is why 4K over HDMI without the active Level shifters is working. They also mentioned that you can do DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport too. With the correct monitors you can have 3 DisplayPort panels running off the NUC too. The one issue they said they have run into with that though is that as you add more DisplayPort monitors downstream the resolution has to decrease. I hope this helps you kquebec!
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:27 am

mondo77 wrote:I see on the CPU side of the board along the edge next to the battery (on the right of the image below) are what looks like two sets of motherboard headers. One is black and has the 5+4 configuration and looks like a dual USB2 header. The other is blue and has the 5+(3+1) configuration and looks like an HD audio header. But there is no mention of these headers anywhere, what is the word on these?


Mondo77,

I hope you are still around and I finally got some answers for you.

The black header is the LPC header. Used for monitoring Post Codes for Debug.

The blue header is called the Custom Solutions Header. Here is the pinout for it:

custom-solutions-header.jpg
custom-solutions-header.jpg (35.87 KiB) Viewed 10041 times
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:36 am

crossblade wrote:Hello,

I have still tree questions regarding the Intel NUC board:
- It looks like there s a button on the left side of the fan. What is it for? Power? Reset? Clear CMOS?
- There was a rumour the internal power header (the white plug at the backside) is suitable for supplying 12V instead of 19V. Can you confirm that or/and make a larger picture of this area?[/list]
- Are there any internal USB3 headers? I saw none, but everything is so compact it is easy to overlook.


That is the power button, just like on the original NUC. Many aftermarket cases use it and the front panel connectors: http://www.legitreviews.com/lian-li-pc- ... eview_2141
There are no internal SuperSpeed USB 3.0 headers
Looks like the internal 2-pin DC power header is feeding out 19V:
19v-dc.jpg
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby crossblade » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:01 am

Thank you for the fast response and additional test

It looks like the internal power header and the external are parallel connected. So maybe it the power regulators have a wide input range. It is definitely worth a closer look. The official intel specification says something form 12 to 19V of input power. The header is a typical 12V internal connecter. I will try to boot it up this way.

The power button is also very useful – I did not know that because this will be my first NUC 8-[

Also thank you very much for the additional power test it really shows what is possible with this system!

And yes your review has infected me with the NUC fever. I can’t wait to order mine up. I will try a to shave a little of the power consumption off but can’t see it going any lower :)
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:05 am

My pleasure... Just let me know what else you guys want to see and I'll do my best to test it myself or get the answer from Intel for you.

I'm really liking this Haswell version of the NUC and it's a great system. I can't wait till Nov/Dec though as you'll see a couple significant models come out. The first being the Intel enclosure that supports a 2.5" notebook drive/SSD and the second being an Iris Pro version of this to compete with the Gigabyte Brix II w/ Iris Pro (that was a sweet system that I really want - http://www.legitreviews.com/gigabyte-br ... 013_123498). You know the Haswell NUC is good when you want like all the versions they have on the roadmap! (Don't get me started on Broadwell-U and next years NUC!)

Now back writing up my NUC overclocking article ... Overclocked the memory up to 1866MHz to see how it performs with some more memory bandwidth! Nice little gains here and there! I can't get any 16GB 2x8GB memory kit stable still, so crossing my fingers that Intel will be able to fix the memory glitch when run at full capacity.
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby smalitro » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:24 am

Wow that is great service here. :partyman:

The next task is to get a full PC below 3 watts. I guess this could be possible if you boot from network (no ssd installed)... Then a cluster of 10 of these - ideling at 30W - less than a normal PC :mrgreen:

I cant wait for your next article on this fantastic piece of hardware.
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby kquebec » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:51 am

Thanks for the quick and detailed response!!! Loving legitreviews!

I think I will go to try anyway. High resolution monitors are still expensive these days and cheap 4k tv monitors are to tempting. Plan B is to use an active displayport to hdmi adapter (Accell Ultraav) that some people are reporting to work well for converting displayport supported to hdmi at 4k resolutions.
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Re: Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK Review

Postby robotica » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:26 am

Great work on the review!!

I still wonder a few things:
- how many 1080P@60 streams it can transcode simultaniously?
- how good (drivers) and easy is a Dual monitor setup?
- aren't there any internal USB headers at all? Aha, I see in the specs: 2 USB 2.0 ports via internal header. Will they boot from it?

And when you undervolted to check how low power draw could go at idle, is it possible to also underclock and see when it hits <3W?
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