Intel NUC Kit NUC5i5RYK Review – Broadwell Comes to NUC!

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General NUC NUC5i5RYK Performance


In the latest build of 3DMark we found scores of 5,381 in Cloud Gate, 3,634 in Sky Diver and 870 in Fire Strike.


In PCMark 8 we found the Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK had an overall score of 3,173 with a casual gaming score of 26.1 FPS.


Moving along to Cinebench R15 we found the Intel NUC with the Intel Core i5 5250U processor scored 31.80 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark and then 259 points on the multi-core CPU test and 107pts on the single CPU test.


When we reviewed the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK in 2013 we benchmarked with Cinebench Release 11.5, so we ran that as well for those folks that want to compare this Broadwell model to the previous Haswell version. The D54250WYK is powered by the Intel Core i5-4520U processor and scored 15.72 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark and then 2.49 points on the multi-core CPU test and 1.13pts on the single CPU test. The new Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK along with the Intel Core i5-5250U processor scored 26.29 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark, which shows the Intel HD 6000 graphics is about 67% faster than the Intel HD 5000 graphics in this particular test. On the processor side we saw the single core performance go up from 1.13 pts to 1.25 pts, which is a nice 11% performance gain.


The x264 HD v5.0.1 32-bit benchmark averaged 25.93 FPS on the first pass and then 5.71 FPS on the second pass.


The benchmark built-in 7-zip showed that Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK had a total MIPS rating of 7,350.


Some readers are using these tiny systems as mobile render nodes, so we ran KeyShot 5.1 Pro (website) to see how CPU rendering works on the new Broadwell powered Intel NUC. When running KeyShot 5.1 to do some benchmarking and real-world stress testing and found that we were averaging 19.9 FPS on a scene that had nearly 42,000 triangles.


A quick look at the memory performance showed just shy of 16.1 GB/s of bandwidth. This sounds about right for a dual-channel DDR3L memory kit running at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-27 1T memory timings.


AIDA64 v5.00.3345 Beta showed memory read speeds of ~20,400 MB/s and write speeds of ~22,900 MB/s with a memory latency of 70.8ns.


In Sandra Processor Arithmetic the aggregate native performance score was 41.3 GOPS.


The Sandra Processor Multi-Media aggregate performance score was 92 MPix/s.


The Sandra processor Cryptographic score was 3 GB/s!


We ran the SunSpider 1.0.2 JavaScript Benchmark on Google Chrome 40 and received a score of 233.0ms.


In the Encryption Algorithm Benchmark that comes inside TrueCrypt we found an AES mean score of 1.5 GB/s.


The last performance test that we wanted to run was Bootracer 4.7 to see how fast the system is able to boot Windows 8.1 64-bit. We were ecstatic to find that it takes just 4 seconds to get to the logon screen and in just 17 seconds everything was up and running on the desktop!

Video Playback

The Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK has Intel HD 6000 Graphics and supports Intel QuickSync (hardware accelerated decode and encode) or Intel Clear Video HD (hardware accelerated decode). We had no issues with video playback, but we ran a few tests at 1080P to ensure there were no Full HD issues to be had.


In the screenshot above we played the 50 Shades of Grey 1080P movie trailer on YouTube and found that we were using up about 35-45% of the available processing power. It played smooth and our system had no issues with online HD video.


We also downloaded Media Player Classic – Home Cinema (MPC-HC version 1.7.8) along with several 1080P clips at various bit rates. We had no issues playing 1080P H.264 MKV video clips (one at 10Mbps and the other at 40Mbps) and found CPU usage to be right around 8%, which is nice and low.

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  • Patrik Lindgren

    About the price of this machine.
    this machine is a barebone system that comes without ram, harddrive and OS, these things you would have to add for yourselves and it adds a couple of hundred dollars to the base price som to save money I strongly recommend to run Gnu/Linux on this system because the intel NUC is not really a gaming PC so there is no real advantage to run MS Windows 8 or 10 on it and it is much cheaper to have it running Gnu/Linux. You would save at least about 90 dollars for the windows license.
    Some of you might of course still want to run Windows on this for some reason and if you do then you have to be aware of a few things
    Since MS Windows normally comes on a dvd, (as the Windows 8.1 System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit you mention in the text), it might be a good idea to get an external DVD player as well, it makes things a lot easier when installing MS Windows and MS Windows software like antivirus and MS office (witch of course might add jet another couple of hundred dollars to the total price.

    Most Gnu/Linux based systems on the other hand can easily be installed from an usb drive and most of them already have office programs pre installed, and there isn’t really a need to get an antivirus program due to lack of viruses on the Gnu/Linux platform.
    This might save you another couple of hundred dollars if you have access to another computer to create the usb installation drive from an iso image on otherwise you would still need that external DVD drive to install from a burned Linux dvd as well. this is not mentioned in the review.

    I run Ubuntu Mate 16.04 LTS on my Intel NUC and it works very fast and boots up in about an eye blink, I go to the TV, press the ON button on my NUC and then go to sit down in my couch, and during the few seconds it takes to do that, the system gets completely booted up and the login screen is up.
    I have 8 GB of ram, a normal SSD drive in it, not a super fast M.2 Drive, it was to expensivefor me.

    I have the NUC connected to my 40” Samsung UHD TV with HDMI and surprisingly it does UHD resolution on Ubuntu, but when I sit in my couch a few meters away from the TV, I can hardly see the menus in that resolution so I changed it down to 1920X1080 witch works better when I surf on the internet.

    The only problem I have is that I couldn’t get the sound to work through the HDMI cable but it works fine when I connect it with the analog cable, I have a Logitech Z906 sound system so I don’t know if it is the Z906, the NUC or Ubuntu Mate that is coursing this, but at least I have sound so its not a big problem.

    I hope this is helpful for someone thinking of buying one of these machines.

  • Robert Valentine

    I am working on a project and I am trying to power this NUC using the 4-pin auxiliary power connector. Can someone please tell me what the pin out is? I am not sure if the pins from left to right are 1234 or from right to left 1234. The image above is what I am referring to. I am have an auxiliary power supply that use the positive and negative pins but I am not sure what ones they are. Any help would be really appreciated.

  • ATS

    Has there been any issues with electrical arcing from the power adaptors. I am using the 230 volt UK adaptor.

  • Touya Dono

    Can anyone offer suggestions on what to cool this unit with? At least 3 please.

  • Sas Sam

    Is it possible to run VirtualBox on NUC5i5RYH/K? Or is it available only on NUC5i5MYHE? Thanks!

    • solara

      Definitely possible. I run Virtualbox 5 (on Linux) on the NUC5i3RYH for a Windows 7 x64 Guest.

  • Nos

    Can these be used as a Windows Server 2012 lab machine? Is the Ethernet card compatible?

  • MattMe

    I’m thinking about getting the i3 version of the NUC for desktop computers at work to replace the full-sized towers we currently buy.
    I’d really like to mount them behind the monitors to keep everything tidy, but my only concern is users being able to power the units on in the morning without reaching behind the screens.
    Not that much of a concern, granted, but a real one in an office environment.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or solutions?

    • peter

      power on keypress (bios)

      • MattMe

        That sounds exactly like what I’m after, however my experience of this feature is only to wake a computer from sleep.
        Some machines I’ve used have had the ability to power a machine on with the keyboard but it was PS/2 only, and required a physical jumper change on the board.

        Any experience of this working with USB from a cold boot?

        • Bobo2211

          Yes itcan boot from usb keyboard. I have an older NUC.

        • MattMe

          Ace. Can you tell me what I have to do to utilise this feature please? Is it a BIOS setting? Would it work from any key press on any USB keyboard?

  • Muhammad

    Your Windows wasn’t running in UEFI mode, which is a mistake.

  • Dan Barkley

    38 watts at load is still more than I was expecting for a 15 watt CPU.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Keep in mind that the TDP rating is for just the SoC and not the entire platform. You need to factor in the memory, SSD, wireless card (and all the other board components) and then all the USB devices that are plugged in.

  • indoubt

    From article: *then you have the operating system and software costs.*
    It seems that Legit is saving in software costs at least.
    Or are my eyes decieving, page5: *keyshot 5.1 (DEMO) not for commercial use.*

    Maybe Legit ain’t commercial though, don’t know….

    • AndyT83

      Your eyes must be deceiving you because they missed the “(Our screenshot of KeyShot 5.1 shows that it is unregistered, but we did get permission from Luxion Inc. ahead of time to include it in our review.)” right under that screen shot.

      • Nathan Kirsch

        indoubt –

        We contacted Luxion Inc. before the article was published and they actually saw the screenshot and text before the article was published. After seeing what we were using they approved the use. We have since acquired a license for the software. Feel free to contact Luxion to confirm if you’d like –

  • kgh00007

    Hi, can this nuc run 2133MHz RAM like the D54250WYK haswell nuc?

    And more importantly can the TDP be adjusted in the bios from 15W to 25 or 30W like the haswell nuc?

    Cheers, great review, I’m just deciding whether its worth upgrading my haswell nuc which has been serving me really well as a HTPC for the last year or so!

    • kgh00007

      Any chance you can let us know if this has a configurable TDP like the D54250WYK haswell nuc?

      • Nathan Kirsch

        You can change ‘modes’ in the UEFI and I have been able to get 1600MHz and 1866MHz kits to work in this model. I haven’t tried 2133MHz just yet, but I will give it a shot.

  • AndyT83

    “The highest speed officially supported by Intel is 1600MHz, but faster kits might be supported unofficially.”

    Is that correct? The Intel site ( says 1866MHz is supported, but the memory page you referenced says 1333 or 1600 MHz even though 1866MHz is listed. Just trying to figure out what to buy so I have everything ready for when this thing ships. Thanks for the review.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Intel told us that DDR3L 1333MHz and 1600MHz in 4GB and 8GB modules are officially supported. They also noted that some memory is able to run at DDR3L 1866MHz and they even have some 16GB modules working in it, but none of those speeds/capacities are validated.

  • tkuhs

    Thanks for the review. Can’t wait until it is available and until the first passive cooled cases show up 🙂

    btw. the “Legit Bottom Line” is is talking about the DN2820FYKH

  • GibMonkey

    What is the SATA connection for?

    • tkuhs

      For the NUC5i5RYH and aftermarket cases which allow you to install a 2.5″ drive