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.