03
Dec
2015

The Intel DN2820FYKH NUC Server – 1 Year Later

A year ago, I got myself an Intel NUC DN2820FYKH to become my 24/7 active web server. It’s been a long year, and it’s time to summarize my experiences with this little box!

wpid-p_20151016_160612_1_p.jpg

I eventually attached the NUC to the back of my monitor using it’s VESA mount, and it’s been very happy there – kept out of the way from scratches and dust isn’t much of a problem back there.

Let’s have a look at the running temperatures over the last year:

sensors_temp1

You can tell from this graph that last winter for me was very, very cold! I ran this server in my bedroom at University, and it got very cold in that house in the winter. You can tell when I moved out, in June 2015 when the average temperature jumps up and levels off. Over the whole year, an average of 45 degrees Celsius is just fine in my books, with the highest only being about 70 degrees (which is just fine for what is essentially a chip designed for laptops that can run hotter). I set the fan speed to about 20% and it’s been totally inaudible.

As for the Kingston V300 120GB SSD, it’s been holding up a treat too. Updating the system is still very fast, and booting takes under 15 seconds until the login terminal appears (5 of those seconds are from the BIOS!). SMART data still shows a 100% “Life Curve” and temperatures have been very good over the year:

hddtemp_s1

So with an average of 32 degrees (it hit 11 degrees C once!) I can say that I have nothing to worry about with this SSD. I can see the number of power-on-hours to see how long the server has been running. Let’s do some number crunching:

  • SMART Power-On-Hours = 8693 hours.
  • Hours in a year + 1 day = ~8789 hours.
  • 8693/8789 = 98.9% availability.

Almost 99% availability is great for a home-based server I reckon. This number could have been higher, a lot of the downtime was due to me moving house or power outages (not the National Grid so much, more that we ran out of electricity because we were students and didn’t top it up enough :p ). Even through unexpected power losses, this system just fired back up and kept going. I’ve never lost any data from this server.

As for power consumption, I have still yet to get a power meter (I should really just get one off Amazon), but I suspect that it never exceeds 10W. My guess for total electricity cost over a year? Probably £10-£12 or so. Basically trivial!

I guess the last thing to talk about is the performance! It’s been a very decent performer for the price and power usage, more than capable of running this website and a load of other stuff without breaking a sweat. I’ve tried to use it with Plex, and transcoding is fast enough for content at 480p, but it won’t handle anything higher. Leave that to the big PCs. Network performance is very good over Ethernet, and whilst I had issues with WiFi at the start, since then it has been rock solid.

I’m running Ubuntu Server 15.10, and I have to say that it has been absolutely awesome in terms of reliability and stability. I almost never, ever have to use the Terminal very much to do maintenance, and I have cron scripts set up to take a daily backup of the site that I can then copy over to my RAID-5 array whenever I feel like it. Rock-on, Ubuntu Server!

So, to end this article, would I recommend the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH as a basic server for your blog, game servers etc? Absolutely. You can build yourself up on this box, and when you outgrow it, you can use it as a HTPC very easily (see my post on it’s video performance here). When I have to upgrade to something bigger, this will become my HTPC and I’ll (hopefully) be able to stream games to it – I’ll definitely be sure to make a post about that in the future! Until then, this sever will continue it’s web duties until it’s time to upgrade – which is still a fair while! Adiós!

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{2 Responses to “The Intel DN2820FYKH NUC Server – 1 Year Later”}

  1. Is this still working well for you?

    • Yep, works just fine – however my main server duties have moved to the custom NAS you can read about in recent posts 🙂 the future plans for the NUC are going to be more HTPC based

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