02
Dec
2014

Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Unboxing and overview

As you know, I retired my old Pentium 4 system a while back since it was using too much electricity. Since then, I was hosting this site in a virtual PC running inside my computer tower. This was rather inconvenient, since it meant keeping it on all the time (so not really saving much electricity there) and downtime was caused whenever I wanted to play games under windows. Something had to be done!

I was googling around when I came across the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH, which is affordable at about £100, but you need to supply your own DDR3L 1.35V RAM and a 2.5″ storage drive. The setup I decided on was 4GB of Crucials low voltage memory and a Kingston 120GB SSDNow300. You can find all these products, including the NUC, on Amazon.

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The box was rather nice to be honest, with plenty of information and pretty pictures (though showing more of a home server use case scenario than that of a dedicated server heheh). You open the box by lifting the top up and off the bottom internal compartment, revealing the NUC:

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It was smaller than I thought it was going to be, at 4″ square! It comes with plastic protective film on the top to keep the top shiny, but leave it on until you’re done setting it up since you’re going to flip it over to install the RAM and storage, and this means it won’t get scratched on a table.

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When you flip it over, remove the four screws that are in the feet of the unit. This reveals the storage bay where you install a 2.5″ drive.

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You’ll need to tug the drive tray up and out the way to access the one RAM slot. Note the big sticker that says 1.35V! Anything else doesn’t work. You can see the included WiFi card on the mini-PCIe slot.

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This is the RAM I decided to go with, as I have used Crucial RAM before and have never had any complaints.

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And here is the RAM installed in the NUC. Just the same as installing it in a laptop.

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This is my storage solution. It’s probably way overkill for this NUC since the NUC is only SATA II 3Gbps but this should keep the unit snappy and responsive.

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And here it is installed in the NUCs drive tray and slotted into place. Put the bottom cover back on the same way as you took it off, though you’ll be lucky to put it back on right first time ;).

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A quick shot of the I/O on the unit: 12V DC in, full sized HDMI out, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports and an analogue audio out that can be used for a headset too.

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And here is the front, you have a USB 3.0 port and an infrared receiver that should work with most Windows media centre remotes. This little unit would make an extremely capable HTPC!

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Intel have even been so kind as to include a VESA mount for hiding it on the back of the telly. Excellent stuff!

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And here is the finished product! It has a white power LED and a small orange storage activity LED.

Stay tuned for the full review!

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