Intel NUC10 I7 – The Best Buy Mini Computer
Intel has long been present in the market with NUC models that have changed little in appearance. Even functionally, it is still one of the best if not the best mini PC concepts today. There are other similar small computers. Some are “raw” cube-shaped with stickers to make them look “scarier”. But none of them have that subtle HiTech character like Intel NUC.
It is laptop hardware in the body of a miniature desktop case measuring 117x112x38mm. Today’s model is a thin version of the NUC. Without the option of an internal cage for the installation of 2.5 “SATA devices. But only with the M.2 option. Well, that’s what we need. It targets those users who don’t want much from the case on the table but would rather have a laptop to work mostly from home. So a replacement for a classic computer. Then, after a while, they notice that the screen on the laptop is uncomfortable for them to work with, and they are bothered by the slightly bang-soft little buttons.
So, they need some good replacement for a classic desktop. Well, for such, the real thing is Intel NUC. In the housing the size of a processor box, there is a complete PC. That can be placed on the back of a classic monitor or the wall behind the TV. The VESA Adapter comes in a package.
Today’s model comes in the form of a partially reconfigured computer. This means that in the package you get a case, a motherboard with a processor, and a wireless card. There is also a separate adapter to power the device. You need to add SO-DIMM RAM modules and an M.2SSD device. Attach peripherals and screen, after which you can start working.
Intel NUC – Performance
Compared to last time, the processor platform has changed little. Instead of a quad-core “cafeteria”. There is now a Comet Lake version of the Core processor with 6 cores and 12 threads. The 14nm fabrication process is still used. The difference that the newer one has a larger operating frequency range of 1.1-4.7 GHz.
It addresses 64GB of system memory and for this purpose, there are two SO-DIMM DDR4 slots for dual-channel RAM configuration. The processor integrates an Intel UHD graphics core that separates part of the system memory. It sends a signal to the screen via an HDMI 2.0 or USB-C port with DP1.2 specifications. It is possible to use three monitors simultaneously.
We built an M.2 SSD 2280 format into a connector connected by a 3rd generation 4x PCIe path bus. Just in case there are also two SATA 3 ports. The 10th generation NUC also offers an SDXC memory card reader with UHS-II support. When it comes to choosing the available connectors for connecting devices. This NUC10 offers four fast USB 3.1 connections of the second generation. Two at the front (Type-A, Type-C) and three at the back (2x Type-A, Type-C), marked in blue. There is also an additional mid-board USB 2.0 connector for two ports.
Then a 3.5mm audio connector and 7.1 digital output via mDP. The NUC 10 features a gigabit Intel I219-V network controller and an Intel AX201 WiFi 6 generation, with currently the fastest two-wavelength wireless network specifications and BT 5 support. There is also a mandatory part of NUC equipment in the form of an infrared receiver. Finally, let’s mention that one USB-C port comes with Thunderbolt 3 support.
Intel NUC10 – Impression in work
In terms of working with classic applications for photo processing, music, and video conversion, or working in the MS Office application package, NUC 10 is 10-15% faster than its predecessor. There are differences, but it is not so much that it would be a reason to replace your existing one with a new NUC model. Those who buy it for the first time will notice that it is very agile and fast, allowing even rendering of some less complicated static shots and simpler animations in a blender and similar programs.
4K movie playback is possible thanks to the media accelerator that is an integral part of the Intel UHD graphics core. The hardware support for decoding and encoding: 4K and 8K, 8-bit, and 10-bit H264 H.265 HEVC, as well as VP9 format. When it comes to gaming, the Intel UHD graph core has proven to be weak.
But slightly better than in the case of similar solutions on classic notebook models. The reality is that this is a time architecture weaker than the AMD APU Radeon solution. Playing is also possible with newer gaming titles, such as DOTA 2, Rocket League, or Valorant, but at the weakest settings. Just enough to be tackled by the adrenaline addiction of gaming.
Power consumption and cooling
The average consumption according to the specifications is 25W for the CPU. The truth is far from that because during more intensive computing and gaming. The processor alone draws about 64W of electricity. We already hear comments – it’s impossible. It’s very possible because why else would Intel supply a rectifier that is bigger than the NUC computer itself with an output power of 120W. The temperature is also very high on the surface of the CPU core and reaches a maximum of as much as 99 degrees during rendering when the limiter is turned on and the frequency drops.
By the way, the device itself is slightly warm on the surface. With about 40 degrees Celsius measured. It is very quiet and emits just over 30dB at a distance of one meter. Heating and possible noise are compensated by degrading performance by lowering the operating clock. WIFi6 also works great when downloading large installation packages from the Internet in combination with one 802.11ac router on the 5GHz band. We recorded a transfer of 40MB / s, which is the maximum of our subscriber’s package.
The Intel NUC 10 is still one of the best mini PCs. This time with a strong version of the ultra-economical processor and the thinnest version of the case. As it was created to be found in the living room to work with a large TV and so make your home Windows 10 smart system. It is also perfect for offices as a client station.
However, those who have money will get one of the best miniature PC systems. It remains to be seen what Intel will prepare for us in the next generation of these small, cute, and very valuable computers. On our wish list are even faster processors with smaller transistors and a better graphics processor. Which we miss the most. Until then, the Intel NUC10 remains one of the best NUC computers you can afford!