What Is Intel NUC?
Apr 9, 2019
If you’ve started looking at mini PC options, you may be asking what a NUC is. Intel’s NUC computers are generating a lot of attention thanks to their scalability, efficiency, and small footprint. Precisely what a mini PC is supposed to be, they offer a powerful, full-sized computing capability on a smaller physical scale. It’s the technological support your company has been searching for.
When Intel introduced their mini PC line, they called it the Next Unit of Computing, leading to their becoming affectionately known by their acronym: NUC. What a NUC is intended to offer you is a small form factor PC in a multitude of possible configurations that offer limitless customization options. The ability to tailor the computing system to the needs of the job at hand offers users the ability to get exactly what they need without being forced to pay for features they don’t. This makes it the right system to support a multitude of tasks across a wide range of industries.
Far from cheap PCs with budget components, NUCs start with reliable Intel processors. From the trustworthy Celeron family of processors to the latest i7 powerhouses, you know you’re getting a chipset you can count on. Once you add RAM and a preferred storage drive, you’ve got a computing solution that offers serious performance but doesn’t require a serious investment in extra infrastructure or square footage to make use of it—two often-overlooked costs of new technology upgrades.
Common NUC Options
As an example of what a NUC is, let’s take a look at one of our machines and go through it step-by-step. The Intel Dawson Canyon Enterprise NUC with i5 vPro Processor is a good example of balancing price point and performance.
- Processor - This machine uses a formidable Intel i5-7300U processor. The i5 series falls directly between the i3 and i7 families in price and performance. That makes it the perfect computer for more complex tasks, without overspending on hardware that is more than what's required. Its dual cores make it perfect for data-heavy tasks like operating as a standalone PC, mini-server, or being embedded into equipment to allow a moderate amount of remote monitoring and control.
- Memory - RAM is usually the next performance consideration after choosing a processor. Your RAM controls exactly how much your computer can “think about” at once. While simpler monitoring tasks can be run on 2GB of RAM, the amount you plan for your computer to run at once should determine what is the best mini-PC RAM option for you. NUCs can be configured with up to two DDR3 or DDR4 memory sticks of up to 16GB each at once, giving you a hefty 32GB of RAM maximum. That is more than enough for complex multitasking.
- Storage - A NUC is what modern solid-state drives were meant to support. SSDs are smaller, more energy efficient, and allow for faster access than older hard drives. For machines that need fewer locally stored applications, like those meant to connect users to a virtual desktop, 128GB of storage is plenty to allow for the operating system, needed programs, and drivers. For machines working across multiple applications, a terabyte capacity hard drive provides for fast, easy access to multiple programs and files as needed.
- Operating System - Our NUCs come with either Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise pre-installed. This gives you a ready-to-go computing solution right out of the box. Alternatively, you can get a NUC with no operating system installed to allow you to add your desired OS. This is perfect for embedded installations where a machine or system is run by a custom OS. It also lets you opt to run a skinny distribution of Ubuntu or other PC software so that you can more easily integrate it into the rest of your system.
- Other Features - While those are the main criteria most customers use when deciding what mini PC is best for their business, there are a host of other features that can factor into the decision process and how you eventually use your NUCs once they are installed. For instance, this unit can use our Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology to minimize the labor, time, and cost needed for wiring by allowing power to run to the unit through its Ethernet connection. That’s a great perk if you’re looking for a faster, trouble-free rollout or refitting existing older machines without the time or capital to install a sufficient amount of new infrastructure.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve determined your needs, you’ll be able to decide on the right NUC configuration for you. Your configured system is built inside a state of the art small-form-factor mini PC case. That is what gives a NUC its versatile installation options. By packing a full-sized computer’s worth of power inside a machine the size of a small shoebox, you’re able to better integrate it into your business, whether you need it onboard a vehicle, within a tight space on a production line machine, or on a cubicle desk empowering the employees who work for your company.
More and more businesses are finding that automation is their path to a better bottom line, and that customized mini PCs like our Intel NUCs are the path to better automation. Through our technology partnership with Intel, we’re able to offer high-quality mini PCs at a price that fits your tech budget. If you want to know more about what a NUC is capable of doing for your business, fill out our contact form or call us at (801) 948-8898. Our specialists will be happy to talk with you about your needs and how they can be met with fast, powerful Intel NUCs. Optimize your company’s technology today.