Intel NUC Kit NUC5i5RYK Review – Broadwell Comes to NUC!

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Final Thoughts & Conclusions

The Intel NUC has proved it has what it takes to survive in a very tough PC market and the new Broadwell powered models are the best yet. Intel has taken everything they have learned with the NUC series since it was introduced and has released a number of really nice new units. We took a look at the Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK and found that it makes for a great upgrade for those looking for a solid mainstream desktop computer. If you have a desktop PC that is 3-6 years old and are looking to upgrade to something that is smaller, faster and more energy efficient, the 5th Generation Core powered NUC models should be given a closer look.

Intel NUC next to Pepsi can

 

The Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK measures just 115mm x 111mm x 32.7mm in size, but Intel managed to pack inside a Broadwell-U processor along with four USB 3.0 ports, 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit LAN, PCIe Gen 2.0 x4 M.2 SSD and more. The Intel Core i5-5250U processor with Intel HD 6000 series graphics is potent enough to mainstream computer tasks with ease.

Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK Estimated Windows Build Cost:

All that performance does come at a relatively high price tag though as you are looking at over $700 in hardware to build a system identical to this and then you have the operating system and software costs. Keep in mind that you are basically getting a high-end Intel Ultrabook in a desktop form factor and these energy efficient parts are not cheap entry-level components. If you are looking for something tiny that you can VESA mount to the back of your display and has solid overall performance the Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK is certainly worth taking a look at.  If you wanted to build this system and use a 2.5″ drive be sure to look at the Intel NUC NUC5i5RYH as you’ll be able to save some money as the M.2 PCIe SSD is not needed. We should also note that we are using one of the most expensive M.2 PCIe SSDs on the market today. You can pick up a drive like the Intel 530 Series 120GB M.2 PCIe SSD for around $91 shipped and that would really drip the build costs.

LR Recommended Award

If you need more power than the Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK that we reviewed today we have some good news. In Q2 2015 we have learned that Intel will be releasing the first ever Intel Core i7 powered NUC under the part number NUC5i7RYH. We are excited that Intel is finally releasing a super high-end NUC kit and can’t wait to see what Intel has planned for the next-generation NUCs that will be powered by Skylake processors!

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK has more features than any other NUC model before it and we found this Broadwell powered model to be a very fast and stable system!

 

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  • Patrik Lindgren

    Hi
    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?
          Cheers!

  • 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 – http://www.luxion.com/contact.html

  • 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 (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-kit-nuc5i5ryk.html) 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