Intel NUC NUC6i5SYK Skylake Mini PC Review

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Power Consumption and CPU Temperatures

Intel NUC NUC6i5SYK HSF

The Intel NUC NUC6i5SYK CPU Cooler

We aren’t sure how energy efficient the Intel NUC NUC6i5SYK is, so we figured we’d take a look and see how much power the system uses.

nuc-power-chart

We found the the entire system was consuming 9.9 Watts of power from the wall outlet at idle and just 1.5W at sleep. When watching Youtube 1080P videos we averaged 13.5 Watts of power draw. When running the AIDA64 System Stability test the system power consumption topped out just over 45 Watts and when playing BF4 at 1920×1080 with medium image quality settings we hit 47.8 Watts.

nuc temps

AIDA64 reported that the Intel Core i5-6260U processor idled on the desktop with a core temperature of 37C. With the built-in AIDA64 stress test we found that we got up to 88C on the two CPU cores at 0.960V. The noise level of the CPU coolers fan wasn’t too bad at idle and we were shocked to see it was spinning at 2900 RPM as it wasn’t noticeable in a normal office or room situation.  When the temperatures got above 80C the fan began to ramp up and reached 4,440 RPM. At that speed the inaudible fan was easily heard, but it wasn’t really that bad sounding.

clocks-drop-3min

The one thing we did notice is that the clock speeds of the Intel Core i5-6260U dropped about three minutes into the test. When the stress test began the Core i5-6260U processor was running at ~2700MHz for the first three minutes or so, but when the temperatures hit 88C the clocks dropped down to ~2300MHz. This wasn’t reported as CPU throttling by AIDA64, but the clocks dropped as did the voltage, fan speed and the CPU core temperature. The Intel Core i5-6260U has a maximum turbo frequency of 2900MHz, but we never hit that in AIDA64.

PCIe SSD Thermal Tape

Intel Placed Thermal Tape Above Where the M.2 SSD Goes.

Another interesting test that we did was to see if the thermal tape Intel adhered to the bottom of the enclosure actually did anything. For this test we removed the bottom cover and let the system run at idle for 30 minutes. The Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe drive had a temperature of 41C. We left the system running and put the cover back on and the temperature almost instantly dropped and after a few minutes the drive was at just 31C. The thermal tape lowered the idle temperatures of our storage drive by nearly 25%!

Let’s wrap this review up!

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