May 2014 HTPC NUC Build

Steel_Wind Offline
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Post: #1
So here is my HTPC setup. It’s a little over the top, but I wanted something that could also run Windows 7 and my Express VPN app for Windows so that I could also use it for MLB.TV with a large selection of servers to choose from (the Linux version for Express VPN has a limited number of server choices).

If I had my druthers, I would have gladly purchased an i5 based NUC; however, the i5 4th gen NUC currently available does not have room for a 2.5” hard drive in the NUC enclosure. Only the i3 4th gen currently has the slightly larger enclosure. I expect an i5 based NUC to be released soon which will address this “hole” in Intel’s lineup, but I didn’t want to wait.

The preference for the NUC was based upon form factor, ease of setup and the built in IR receiver. The IR receiver on the NUC works flawlessly out of the box with a Harmony 650 remote. Add the NUC model number to the Harmony Activity profile and POOF. It all worked without ANY further mucking about. I was quite blown away by this after reading all of the threads here with much gnashing of teeth and frustrations posted by others. In fact, I didn’t even realize it worked without further messing about with it right away. I was so expecting problems and further refinements, I couldn’t believe it when I hit a button on the remote by accident during Game of Thrones and I ended up pausing the stream. I hit “play” and the show resumed and my eyes widened in amazement.
  • Intel BOXD34010WYKH1 NUC Barebone System
    - Intel Core i3 4010U Dual Core 1.70GHz, DDR3
    - Intel HD Graphics 4400 , Mini HDMI+Display Port , 7.1-Channel HD Audio,
    - GLAN, 4x USB 3.0
  • Intel 7260HMW IEEE 802.11AC, dual-band, 2x2 Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.0 Mini PCI Express combo Adapter (Necessary for wireless Networking to your NUC. It is NOT built in to the NUC – you MUST get this micro card.)
  • G.SKILL SQ Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 SODIMM Memory (F3-12800CL9D-8GBSQ)
  • ADATA XPG SX300 128GB mSATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive (SSD) Read: 550MB/s Write: 505MB/s (ASX300S3-128GM-C)
  • WD Blue 1TB 2.5" SATA3 5400RPM 8MB Cache OEM Hard Disk (WD10JPVX)
  • Micro HDMI (Type D) to HDMI (Type A) High-Speed 3D Ethernet 1.4 - 6 ft. (HMICH-34G-06) (HDMI port on NUC is micro HDMI. You must have this cable or a similar adapter if you use the Display Port output)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium OEM
  • Logitech K400 Wireless Keyboard w/built-in Touchpad - Black (A) (Note: I am NOT a fan of this wireless keyboard/touchpad combo and I do not recommend it. Reception on the NUC from the unit is choppy. Don’t buy this unit.)
  • Logitech Harmony 650 Remote (refurb)

There are some driver issues with the NUC with its Gigabit LAN. I am still screwing with this as my NUC won’t / can’t properly see my Homegroup, although its access to the Internet via hardwire to my network router is working just fine. I think the problem is that I installed the new GIGabit LAN driver package which Intel has just released for the NUC before the rest of the network drivers were installed and I believe this is why I am having the problem. (I suspect that I overwrote the Gigabit LAN fix during my driver installation). I will check on this tonight.

Anyways, this is a far more expensive solution than many people here would recommend or purchase, but I am happy with my purchase and extremely impressed by how seamless the remote set-up went.

Performance in XBMC and in Windows 7 is quite snappy. The only downside so far is the Logitech Keyboard/trackpad which is poor hardware and I would NOT buy this device again if I had the chance to do it all over again. I’d get something else if I were you.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-05 17:24 by Steel_Wind.)
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nooryani84 Offline
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Post: #2
Tried changing the batteries on your K400? Where have you put the nano-receiver? I use the same keyboard with my NUC and only had issues with reception when the battery was running very low.

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jinkyjim Offline
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Post: #3
(2014-05-05 21:27)nooryani84 Wrote:  Tried changing the batteries on your K400? Where have you put the nano-receiver? I use the same keyboard with my NUC and only had issues with reception when the battery was running very low.

+1 works great on my NUC...D34010WYKH
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MrCrispy Offline
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Post: #4
I am considering similar setup, but with lower end hardware (2/4GB memory, 32GB ssd) to save costs. My primary decision is to choose between this NUC or the BayTrail one, and I keep reading conflicting reports. Have you tried running OpenElec on your HTPC, does it feel faster/smoother than Windows? Does HD bitstreaming work under Windows?

Also I just noticed that the DN2820 comes with a Wifi N+BT card pre-installed.
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tential Offline
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Post: #5
(2014-05-05 21:27)nooryani84 Wrote:  Tried changing the batteries on your K400? Where have you put the nano-receiver? I use the same keyboard with my NUC and only had issues with reception when the battery was running very low.

I find the reception to be horrible but I'm gaming so I notice the drops. Even if the batteries are full it happens. I test the batteries to see how much power they have left and I've had 100% batteries cut in and out for awhile. I just deal with it but I'm not a big fan of it.
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Steel_Wind Offline
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Post: #6
(2014-05-05 17:22)Steel_Wind Wrote:  There are some driver issues with the NUC with its Gigabit LAN. I am still screwing with this as my NUC won’t / can’t properly see my Homegroup, although its access to the Internet via hardwire to my network router is working just fine. I think the problem is that I installed the new GIGabit LAN driver package which Intel has just released for the NUC before the rest of the network drivers were installed and I believe this is why I am having the problem. (I suspect that I overwrote the Gigabit LAN fix during my driver installation). I will check on this tonight.

I was right. I uninstalled the Gigabit LAN drivers and reinstalled them. LAN Network issues vanished immediately and all is working fine.

(2014-05-05 22:31)jinkyjim Wrote:  
(2014-05-05 21:27)nooryani84 Wrote:  Tried changing the batteries on your K400? Where have you put the nano-receiver? I use the same keyboard with my NUC and only had issues with reception when the battery was running very low.

+1 works great on my NUC...D34010WYKH

(2014-05-05 21:27)nooryani84 Wrote:  Tried changing the batteries on your K400? Where have you put the nano-receiver? I use the same keyboard with my NUC and only had issues with reception when the battery was running very low.

I am using the batteries which ship with the unit. It might be they are bad - but I don't think so.

The USB receiver is plugged into the front of the NUC. Unless I am deliberately pointing the keyboard right at the unit, the reception is poor. I am not impressed. Distance to unit is about... 4-7 feet.

(2014-05-06 01:56)MrCrispy Wrote:  I am considering similar setup, but with lower end hardware (2/4GB memory, 32GB ssd) to save costs. My primary decision is to choose between this NUC or the BayTrail one, and I keep reading conflicting reports. Have you tried running OpenElec on your HTPC, does it feel faster/smoother than Windows? Does HD bitstreaming work under Windows?

Also I just noticed that the DN2820 comes with a Wifi N+BT card pre-installed.

I did not try this with Openelec. I was installing Win 7 on it within 20 minutes of opening the box to the NUC.

My audio setup is as vanilla as it gets where this is set up in our bedroom. Not plugged into my Onkyo HT Receiver so I can't comment on the audio quality of this NUC at 7.1. i have no evidence to doubt it -- and none to affirm it, either.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-06 05:09 by Steel_Wind.)
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nooryani84 Offline
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Post: #7
I'm assuming you have a faulty unit then. This keyboard has almost unanimous positive support within the HTPC scene.

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Steel_Wind Offline
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Post: #8
(2014-05-06 14:56)nooryani84 Wrote:  I'm assuming you have a faulty unit then. This keyboard has almost unanimous positive support within the HTPC scene.

The K400 was spoken of highly of here by many users which was one of the reasons I got it.

Perhaps it is the batteries - or it might well be the angle I have the NUC mounted at relative to the K400.

This is a bedroom HTPC setup with the 42" TV screen mounted on an wall mounted arm with the top of the monitor about an inch off of the top of the ceiling angled down. The NUC is on the edge of a shelf about 63 inches/160 cm high form the floor. It is not obstructed, though perhaps 1" of the shelf it is on may be in the way. I have largely been using the K400 while lying down on our bed (my guess is that mattress height is ~ a meter high). I wouldn't think the angle would be so large that the designers would not have anticipated it, but I might be wrong.

So it might be that the K400 keyboard signal is broadcasting its signal more directly forward and angled down and is not optimized for sending a signal angled upwards. I'll play around with this and adjust the receiver's height via USB cable if I must to see if that makes a difference.
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nooryani84 Offline
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Post: #9
(2014-05-06 17:29)Steel_Wind Wrote:  
(2014-05-06 14:56)nooryani84 Wrote:  I'm assuming you have a faulty unit then. This keyboard has almost unanimous positive support within the HTPC scene.

The K400 was spoken of highly of here by many users which was one of the reasons I got it.

Perhaps it is the batteries - or it might well be the angle I have the NUC mounted at relative to the K400.

This is a bedroom HTPC setup with the 42" TV screen mounted on an wall mounted arm with the top of the monitor about an inch off of the top of the ceiling angled down. The NUC is on the edge of a shelf about 63 inches/160 cm high form the floor. It is not obstructed, though perhaps 1" of the shelf it is on may be in the way. I have largely been using the K400 while lying down on our bed (my guess is that mattress height is ~ a meter high). I wouldn't think the angle would be so large that the designers would not have anticipated it, but I might be wrong.

So it might be that the K400 keyboard signal is broadcasting its signal more directly forward and angled down and is not optimized for sending a signal angled upwards. I'll play around with this and adjust the receiver's height via USB cable if I must to see if that makes a difference.

I believe the batteries that came with the keyboard might be old, so that would be the first thing you can try. Are you using bluetooth or anything else at the same time? As far as I know this shouldn't interfere, though it's worth a shot. Let me know how it works out.

(2014-05-06 02:05)tential Wrote:  
(2014-05-05 21:27)nooryani84 Wrote:  Tried changing the batteries on your K400? Where have you put the nano-receiver? I use the same keyboard with my NUC and only had issues with reception when the battery was running very low.

I find the reception to be horrible but I'm gaming so I notice the drops. Even if the batteries are full it happens. I test the batteries to see how much power they have left and I've had 100% batteries cut in and out for awhile. I just deal with it but I'm not a big fan of it.

It's definitely (IMO) a keyboard that's meant for light usage, so your less than stellar experience with it is understandable.

[Image: all-thin-banner@2x.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-06 17:44 by nooryani84.)
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renocz Offline
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Post: #10
Hi guys,

I have the same nuc and the same issue with gigabit lan. How do you proceed to have a proper setup and the lan working correctly?

Thanks!

Renaud
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Steel_Wind Offline
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(2014-05-07 15:58)renocz Wrote:  Hi guys,

I have the same nuc and the same issue with gigabit lan. How do you proceed to have a proper setup and the lan working correctly?

Thanks!

Renaud

I assume you have access to the internet through your NUC and the problem is that you have no access to your Homegroup on your local LAN. If your problem is something other than this, let me know and be specific.

How to Fix the GIGABIT LAN issue

Intel released a new Gigabit lan set of drivers. I think the most recent zip is April 15, 2014. It is available off of Intel's support site.

Download that file and save it to somewhere you can access it later.

Now, go into your current driver directory (assuming you created one) where all your drivers are for your NUC and go into the subdir for your GIGAbit LAN. By default, the subdir is called "LAN". Run the setup executable in that subdir. It should prompt you and ask whether you want to modify the Lan Drivers, or delete them from your system.

Choose delete. Let the program do its thing and wipe the drivers from your drive. Restart Win 7. When you reboot, you should not have network access of any kind and the Windows system tray should be "Red Flagged" over network access.

Now, reinstall the LAN drivers from the April 15, GIGABIT Lan Drivers zip file. Restart Win 7.

All should now be well and your Homegroup should be visible.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-07 20:02 by Steel_Wind.)
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renocz Offline
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Post: #12
Thanks for the tips!

In fact my issue was connection limited with last drivers. I just uninstall them and it was ok!

Renaud
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Gropax Offline
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Post: #13
I'm about to build the same NUC just waiting for my parts to get here the only thing i did different was get a 4 bay usb 3.0 eSATA raid box to put my 2 WD green 2tb drives in and it has enough room to add more drives and it was only $99. this is my build

Intel NUC BOXD34010WYKH1
4GB of ram i already had
Intel Network 7260.HMWG WiFi Wireless-AC 7260 H/T Dual Band 2x2 AC+Bluetooth HMC
Crucial M500 120GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT120M500SSD3
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad
2 WD Green 2TB Harddrives
Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 & eSATA

how well does yours play back videos while using windows 7.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-09 05:57 by Gropax.)
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renocz Offline
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Post: #14
Hi,

My setup is :
Intel NUC D34010WYKH1
Kingston KVR16LS11/8 8GB (1600MHz, FBGA) DDR3-RAM
Intel Network 7260.HMWG WiFi Wireless-AC 7260 H/T Dual Band 2x2 AC+Bluetooth HMC
Kingston Technology - SSDNow mS200 mSATA - 60 Go
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad

for the setup i used a Sandisk SDCZ80-016G-G46 Extreme USB 3.0 16 Go and i setup windows 8.1

everything is connected to an Asustor NAS AS302T with a 4To Western Red

video playback is fine for me using xmbc 13.0 with aeon nox but i still have some setup to do Wink

EDIT: and i just bought an USB pulse eight Wink
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-09 08:53 by renocz.)
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LazerBlue Offline
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Post: #15
Maybe its just me, but is it really a showcase of your setup with out showing off your setup?
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