Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Bay Trail System Review

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Updating The BIOS, Intel Visual BIOS and Windows 8 Setup


Once you get all the hardware installed now is a great time to make sure you have the latest BIOS installed on the NUC. Our NUC shipped with the initial BIOS version 0015, but there was a newer version available online that could be downloaded and updated of a USB Flash drive.  The BIOS update process was very simple and is something you should do to ensure you are getting a trouble free experience when you install the operating system of choice.


Once the BIOS update has completed the system can be restarted and you can enter the BIOS by hitting F2 when the system posts and make any changes that you deem necessary. The image above shows the home screen for the Intel Visual BIOS that comes on the Intel Desktop Board DN2820FYK. We are using BIOS version 0024, which isn’t yet public, but the most recent we could get our hands on. Notice that the CPU temperature isn’t shown, but the memory is running at 31C and the motherboard ambient temp is listed at 33C.


From the home menu we went to the drop down menu and were amazed to see a performance menu listed, but when we clicked on it we were shown the cooling menu. It looks like Intel is re-using the Intel Visual BIOS from the other higher-end NUCs and modifying it.


The Intel Visual BIOS was easy to use as there really aren’t too many things you can change. You can’t adjust any clock frequencies, memory timings or anything like that. Most users won’t ever have to go into the BIOS unless they need to change the boot order for something.


The one setting that we changed was the IGD minimum memory, which we increased to the maximum capacity of 512MB. There is a drop down menu for selection of the primary video port, so maybe the internal VGA header that was removed was at one time functional.


The latest build of CPU-Z doesn’t properly read everything on the NUC DN2820FYKH, but it shows some of correctly and we included that screen shot above.


The Windows Experience Index score on our Windows 8 64-bit build came in with a base score of 3.5 and the Intel HD Graphics was the lowest scoring component of the system.

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  • Mateo

    Thantk you a lot for your article, i’ve learned so much from you.
    Logiciels Marketing

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  • ledia

    Thanks for the review and insights. Definitely good as a space saver. Having wired ethernet available, I’d like to build this configuration myself. look coque galaxy note 3

  • KaziQ


    Something seems to be wrong with the power consumption results. My idle power consumption is at about ~11 Watts. When I disable Audio, IR Transciever and LAN it comes down to 9 Watts. 4.6 is way below anything I could see.


  • Kim Monberg

    Would really have loved to know if the unit can utilize the gbit LAN port 100%, as i thought of using this one as a NAS?

  • anonymous
  • Guy Carmeli

    Thanks Nathan for this wonderfully thorough review. This helped me make my final decision for picking one up to set up as my HTPC.

    Sadly though I’m not experiencing the video performance you were demonstrating here. All of my videos are pretty standard – MKV’s and MP4’s at 1080 and 720 resolution – but none are playing smoothly so far. They are laggy and choppy, and the CPU is maxing out at 100%, as if the hardware acceleration isn’t kicking in.

    My setup is pretty straightforward:
    – Intel NUC DN2820FYKH
    – 60Gb SSD
    – 4Gb RAM
    – Windows Pro 8.1
    * BIOS and drivers are all up to date (3/17/2014)
    * Changed video minimum memory to 512Mb
    * Media resides on a 2Tb WD Elements connected via USB
    * Connected to display directly via HDMI

    Tried using Plex, VLC, MPC…. installed K-Lite…….. nothing. Performance varies between players, but none manage to do the job properly.

    This is very frustrating as I have purchased this machine specifically for this purpose, and from your review it seems pretty clear that it should handle these files easily.
    I was wondering if perhaps I am missing something? Any additional software I should install or setting to lookup?


    • Peter Cordes

      Have you tried DISABLING hardware decode? The CPU can probably handle harder-to-decode videos than the GPU hardware. I’ve seen this with AMD and NVidia GPUs: some videos are too high bitrate for them, and they stutter.

  • Brett2142

    Great review. I’d love to hear how this performs running the Steam Streaming beta…it should be able to do hardware decoding, if so is it powerful enough to serve as a client streaming box?

  • Michal

    Hi Guys, I am looking for HTPC for my LG TV from 2012. I have to use PLEX server for transcoding movies from my NAS. All transfers are over gigabit home network. Plex dosen’t support HW decoding and I need pretty strong CPU. Does this NUC transcode high bit-rate 1080p 3D movies? Movies will be played by my TV set over my home network (gigabit LAN) .
    If I install XBMC or simple Windows Media Player with right codecs, does this NUC is able to play high bit-rate 3D movies from my home network at my TV via HDMI?
    Thanks for help in advance!

    • Nathan Kirsch

      If you’d like to share some media with me I can try out exactly what you are looking to do. My info is on the contact page.

  • Adam

    Thanks for the review! Do you have plans to review any Bay Trail-D motherboards that have been recently announced / released?

    I would expect similar performance, but i’m particularly interested in the J1900 flavors.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I’ll look into it!

  • Joao Soares de Melo

    Great review! Will this be able to do some light gaming… for example i would like to play pro evolution soccer 2014 (doesnt need to have great fps or be high quality)

  • mervin39

    I don’t have much experience with ssd storage our mini-pcie devices, but do you think it’d be possible to remove the wireless and replace it with a mini-pcie ssd?

  • Exuperie

    Do you guys think the fanless Gigabyte Brix with Bay Trail-M will be more powerful CPU/GPU wise?

    • Guest

      I have asked Gigabyte if they know what CPU they will be offering in that system yet. It really depends on the CPU choice they make.

      Intel currently offers quite a few Bay Trail-M processors in the Celeron line:

      ModelCores /
      ThreadsFrequency /

      Celeron N2806
      2 / 2
      1.6 / 2 GHz
      1 MB
      311 / 756 MHz

      Celeron N2815
      2 / 2
      1.86 / 2.13 GHz
      1 MB
      311 / 756 MHz

      Celeron N2820
      2 / 2
      2.13 / 2.39 GHz
      1 MB
      311 / 756 MHz

      Celeron N2920
      4 / 4
      1.86 / 2 GHz
      2 MB
      311 / 844 MHz

      Pentium N3520
      4 / 4
      2.17 / 2.42 GHz
      2 MB
      313 / 854 MHz

    • Nathan Kirsch

      have asked Gigabyte if they know what CPU they will be offering in
      that system yet. It really depends on the CPU choice they make.

      Intel currently offers quite a few Bay Trail-M processors in the Celeron line:

      Celeron N2806
      Celeron N2815
      Celeron N2820
      Celeron N2920
      Celeron N3520

      • Nathan Kirsch

        The fanless Gigabyte BRIX would be the J1900 Baytrail processor

  • will3

    Nice review and at last we see the fan make & model number. There have been a lot of complaints about the noisy fan used in the D54250WYK on the Intel NUC forum you reviewed, yet never saw the fan make/model published. Any chance of letting us know if it is the same make and model number as on your Bay Trail one ?

    Also, are you able to test the WiFi speed versus distance so we get a measure of how good the NUC dual antenae system is ?

    Any chance of testing a range of Skype voice calls on it to see if free of stutter/dropouts ?

    Your D54250WYK review erroniously listed a DDR3L part no. which Intel state is not compatible (and isn’t). Do you know if the Bay Trail NUC is as fussy as to which DDR3L sticks work ?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Will3 – Thanks for the feedback and I’ll take a look at the crucial DDR3L part number. I e-mailed them last night to double check.

      The fans are different models. The Bay Trail-M uses a blower fan from SUNON and the Haswell NUCs use a blower fan from DELTA (model BSB05505HP). The fans are different as are the heatsinks, so there is nothing identical when it comes to cooling.

      When it comes to WiFi speeds please check this out. I think it will answer your question –

      I’ve moved on to testing some other items that need to get out the door, but if I get time I’ll try to circle back and give skype a try.

      • Nathan Kirsch

        I talked with Crucial and they said that everything is good with the DDR3L memory kit that I used in the Haswell review. “Both parts should be working just fine in the NUC “By both they mean the 2Gb density part and the newer 4Gb density “J” part (the one I have photographed and used in that review). If you have any ‘bad’ part numbers that are listed as good let me know and I’ll order a kit in to double check.

  • Christouf

    Thanks for this test.
    I’m very interested in this nuc because it’s energy efficient and silencious.
    I would like to listen to music, watch videos and thanks to your test I know it’s ok.
    I also would like to watch and record TV with a Usb stick, do You think that the nuc is powerfull enought for that ?
    thanks for your answer and sorry for my English 😉

  • tonyz

    I have totally depended on your reviews….Excellent Crew!

    • designer_boy

      I was looking at using this as an always on iTunes machine. Just want to load windows 7 and have only iTunes running 24/7 for access to music files (not using video at all) Will this little box be able to handle iTunes?

  • lannister

    I think HDMI is actually smart, because you want sound to go through it, having tons of cables on that tiny box is stupid .
    voir: offre galaxy note 3 & nouvel ipad air

  • jaypav

    How about running Plex and skype at the same time. I am still a little bit skeptical about these celeron processors running efficiently on full load and they get very unresponsive in those times.

    • basroil

      GFLOP wise these should be as good as a Core 2 Duo laptop chip, so you would expect about the same performance. In other words, nothing spectacular, but useable in the right context

  • ed

    A few things I’ve noticed from my own unit. As this will likely be a top search hit for the system, hopefully these will get some visibility to Intel engineers.

    – It has hardware decode, for one. Just fire up mpc-hc to verify. It is true that Youtube doesn’t seem to utilize it, which is probably an issue with the graphics drivers. The revamped Intel control panel also doesn’t support rgb / ycbcr or full / limited range switching, another oversight. The 24p bug has been fixed, though.
    – I found the default 3000rpm fan setting rather loud, but that’s easy to change. You can also make it completely silent.
    – The BIOS still has a lot of issues. The F10 boot select screen often doesn’t work. HDMI audio doesn’t work with legacy boot enabled, though they do acknowledge this one. And at least with my unit, plugging or unplugging flash drives into the USB 3.0 slot will occasionally hard shut down the entire system, which is bonkers. Also, an attached USB mouse will turn on the system from a complete off with any slight movement, and no BIOS setting to disable.

    Off the top of my head, those are the main issues. Windows 7 support is obviously a big miss at launch, but you can install an 8.1 enterprise trial until it’s sorted out. I still think it’s a solid, well-built machine and a good buy overall, if you’re not doing anything too strenuous on it.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Thanks for the feedback and yes they Intel engineers behind the NUC will be reading this and are aware that I bought one and was reviewing it. They sent over BIOS 0024 to try out and it did fix many of the problems I found in BIOS 0021 (BIOS 0015 was horrible). I hope when they release the next build many of the remaining issues are resolved.

      As for the fan noise… It isn’t that bad, but you are right you can adjust that in the Intel Visual BIOS in a few seconds.

      • will3

        As the case is still quite tiny, does it require any special types of SATA & Power cable to avoid overstuffing the small interior area ?

        • Nathan Kirsch

          It does and that is why Intel includes the cables with the purchase of all of the -H SKU NUC’s that support 2.5-inch storage drives like this model (DN2820FYKH).

    • Paramdeo Singh

      Thanks for the review and insights. Definitely good as a space saver.

      Wouldn’t dream of installing Windows though, a Linux flavor would really shine on this box.

    • Watercooled

      On the subject of hardware acceleration in Youtube, are you testing with Chrome? It seems to be broken with both HTML5 and PepperFlash, but works with the Flash plugin as it does on Firefox (and probably others, but I’ve not checked).
      Right-click video>stats for nerds. In Chrome it will probably say software decode. Note: It says software *rendering* in FF embedded view, but hardware when fullscreen.
      It’s been this way for quite some time now, and they don’t seem to be in any rush to fix it.