The Affordable Bay Trail Powered Intel NUC DN2820FYKH

What kind of DIY desktop computer kit can you get for just $128.00? The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH is so inexpensive and tiny (measures just 116.6mm x 112.0mm x 51.5mm) that it grabbed our attention and we just had to get our hands on one. The Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH is powered by an Intel Celeron N2820 processor (up to 2.4GHz dual-core, 1MB cache, 7.5W TDP) that also contains Intel HD Graphics that operates up to 756MHz with a single HDMI 1.4a video output. The kit comes with the processor, CPU cooler, power supply, motherboard, 802.11n WiFi card and the case. The only thing missing is a single 1066MHz DDR3L SO-DIMM memory module and a 2.5-inch notebook hard drive or solid-state drive. The final price of building up the NUC DN2820FYKH really depends on the hardware and OS that you install, but it shouldn't be that bad.

Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Estimated Windows Build Cost:

So, if you had to run out and buy everything you are looking at around ~$295 to get yourself into the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH. We highly suggest using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 as Intel has yet to release all the drivers for Windows 7 let alone anything older than that.

Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Estimated OpenELEC (XBMC & Linux) Build Cost:

The total build cost for building an OpenELEC powered HTPC with the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH would be around $156 if you already have something like an 8GB USB Flash drive laying around.

Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH

The code name for the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH is Forest Canyon and at one time Intel said they were going to send them out to be reviewed, but recently changed their mind. Legit Reviews went ahead and bought on through an online retailer so we can give you a look at this small form factor (SFF) system. The retail packaging was nicely done and shrink wrapped to ensure no one opens it before you bought it. 

Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH Retail Box

Once you remove the shrink wrap the box top lifts off and the NUC DN2820FYKH is sitting right on top in a plastic bag.

Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH Bundle

Under the Intel NUC there is the accessory kit that includes the a small AC power adapter with a 4-plug universal wall outlet kit (IEC types A/C/G/I), VESA mounting plate w/ mounting screws, storage drive screws and the smallest Intel Inside case sticker that we have ever seen!

Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH AC Power Adapter

The 2-prong wall-mount AC Power Adapter included with the Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH is very different than the models we have seen included with higher-end Intel Core i3/i5 NUC models. This particular AC adapter is made by Asian Power Devices, INC. (APD) and is model number WA-36A12. This AC adapter outputs 12V / 3A power and is rated at 36 Watts. This means that the Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH will pull well under 36 Watts of power at the wall if that is the included power supply. Does this AC power adapter looks familiar? With the exception of the DC plug, it is identical to the model that LaCie uses for many of their external hard drive solutions!

Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Front

The Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH is an H-SKU, so that means it features the larger chassis that supports 2.5-inch hard drives that are up to 9.5mm in z-height. This chassis measures in at 116.6mm x 112.0mm x 51.5mm (4.59"x4.41"x2.03"), so even though it is bigger than some of the NUCs previously released, it is still small and will easily mount behind a monitor on its VESA mount. The NUC uses the new uCFF form factor (Ultra Compact Form Factor), which from what we can tell means that the motherboards are no larger than 4"x4"x2", so the chassis can be any size.

This chassis uses an aluminum center section that left its natural color with a black colored plastic top and a black bottom cover with ventilation holes. Intel ships the NUC with clear plastic film to protect the black gloss finish on the plastic top piece. We highly recommend leaving it on for as long as possible as the top plastic is easily scratched. For example if you take the NUC and slide it a few inches across a piece of paper it will come up looking like you brushed it along a piece of sand paper. The power button and storage drive activity light are located on the top of the unit. Across the front bezel you’ll find the only SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port and the consumer infrared sensor.


Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH Back

When it comes to rear connectivity you’ll find the DC power plug, DMI 1.4a video output, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports and finally a 3.5mm audio jack. It is worth mentioning that Intel went with Realtek solutions for both the audio controller (Realtek ALC283) and Gigabit Ethernet. Above the rear I/O ports there are a pair of exhaust ports to expel the hot air from the CPU cooler that is ducted to this vent. On this side of the NUC Kit DN2820FYKH chassis there is Kensignton lock to prevent it from being stolen in addition to the ventilation holes.


Flipping the DN2820FYKH over we see the plastic bottom is held on by four Philips screws that are recessed down inside four rubber feet that ensure the NUC doesn't slide or scrape the finish of your desk if you choose not to use the VESA mount. There are also more air ventilation holes on the bottom of the NUC, so airflow should be more than enough for such a small platform.

Let's take a look inside the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH

Inside The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH


When we pulled off the bottom cover we were shocked to see that Intel put a chrome finish on the plastic. The motherboard tray that Intel is using in this NUC is similar to the one we saw in the Intel NUC KIT D54250WYKH, but there were some obvious differences when it came to wiring.


The storage drive tray supports 2.5" SATA notebook style drives that are up to 9.5mm in z-height. This is the only storage drive supported by this platform as Intel didn't include an internal mSATA port on the motherboard due to costs and the target market for this platform. It should be noted that this is a SATA II 3Gbps header, so going with a high-end Solid-State Drive (SSD) with a SATA III interface would be a bit overkill for this platform as you wouldn't be using all the performance it had to offer.
The lowest priced notebook hard drive that we could find was the Seagate Momentus 5400RPM 320GB drive for $39.99 shipped.  From there you can go all the way up to larger 1TB hard drives like the WD 1TB Blue SATA II 5400 RPM hard drive (WD10JPVT) that are 9.5mm in thickness and priced at $89.99 shipped. So, you are looking at between $40 to $90 for basic rotational storage drives if you are looking to build up a low cost system with a decent amount of storage space. You could also use a solid-state drive and then have your mass storage on an external USB drive or on network attached storage.

Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Tray

The drive tray can be carefully lifted out of the chassis, but you need to remove the SATA power and data cables to completely remove it. Intel includes the necessary cables to get a 2.5-inch drive installed. You don't have to remove the drive to install the single DDR3L memory module, but we did to better show you this platform.


The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH comes with an Intel Wireless-N 7260BN WiFi card pre-installed along with the wireless antennas that are pre-routed inside the small enclosure. This half-length PCIe mini-card features support for 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0. It should be noted that it takes up the onle PCIe slot inside the NUC, so there is no using a mSATA drive inside this version of the NUC. This wireless card retails for around $17 shipped, so it is nice that Intel included it with the NUC.

2/10/14 UPDATE: Would you like to know how the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260HMW card performs in this system versus the Intel Wireless-N 7260BN WiFi card the 802.11AC? You can read that article here.


Here is a closer look at the standard SATA II 3Gbps header used on the DN2820FYB  motherboard. Notice that directly above the SATA header there is a small black power header that is used to supply power to the 2.5" storage drive that you will be using.  Intel supplies all the cables needed to get the 2.5" drive operational.


We wanted to take the DN2820FYB motherboard out of the NUC Kit DN2820FYKH to give you a better look at it. On the bottom side of the motherboard you’ll find one DDR3L SO-DIMM slot for up to 8GB of 1066MHz 1.35V Low Power DDR3L memory. On the other side of the board you’ll the  half size mini PCI express slot for a wireless card. It should be noted that the BIOS on this board is locked down to 1066MHz, so that is the only clock speed available to run the DDR3L SO-DIMM memory kit at. There aren't too many DDR3L memory modules that are sold individually at that clock speed, but the board will downclock higher-end modules. Our suggestion on memory is to get the capacity you want and start shopping around for the best price on a 4GB or 8GB module.


Some of the internal Intel glamor shots of this motherboard showed internal VGA and USB headers, but those have been removed from the retail models for some reason. The yellow jumper is for the BIOS security pins that allow you to  run the BIOS in normal, lockdown and reset modes.


On the top side of the motherboard you’ll find the CPU Cooler, which consists of a notebook style fan and heatsink that help keep the Intel Celeron processor N2820 nice and cool. Intel went with a SUNON MagLev GB0555PDV1-A 1.1W 4-pin blower style fan to keep temperatures at bay. Intel said this is a ;ow-acoustics active cooling design, so we'll have to see how quiet or loud it really is ourselves. The system battery can just be seen under the right edge of the blower. It should be noted that the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH does not have a HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) header on the motherboard (Only the more expensive D54250WYB and D34010WYB models have the HDMI CEC header).


The heatink that Intel is using the the Intel Celeron Processor N2820 is very small and it looks to be entirely aluminum with 13 fairly thick cooling fins.


With the motherboard entirely removed from the system, you can see how the wireless cards antennas are routed around the top cover and are terminated with what appears to be conductive copper tape.

Let's install the memory and storage drive into the DN2820FYKH.

Installing DDR3L Memory and a Storage Drive into the NUC

KVR16LS11When it came to memory for the Intel NUC we turned to Kingston, which is the number one memory maker in the world. We went with their 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz SO-DIMM that is sold under part number KVR16LS11/8. This is part of Kingston's ValueRam line of memory so it should be perfect for this entry-level system that is set to run at 1066MHz at no matter what memory is installed. This memory module is a bit pricey though at $84.99 shipped. This memory module is overkill for the Bay Trail NUC, but we just couldn't help ourselves. Just remember that 1.5V DDR3 SO-DIMMs are 100% NOT supported. Intel has a list of compatible memory modules for this platform here. This Kingston kit is not on that list, but we have test it and it fully works.
The Kingston KVR16LS11/8 comes programmed with CL11 timings and is set to run at 1.35V, which is a must for any DDR3L memory kit.
To install the single 204-pin DDR3 SO-DIMM memory module you just need to insert it into the SO-DIMM socket at an angle and then gently push down on it to clip it into the retention mechanism. Installing the memory takes just a few seconds.
Once the memory module is installed it should lay flat like the Kingston module in the image above.
Here is what Intel NUC DH2820FYKH looks like inside once the DDR3L memory module is properly installed on the motherboard.
We then installed an Intel SSD Series 530 240GB Solid-State Drive to the 2.5" storage drive tray.
After you attach and tighten down the four screws on the bottom plate you can fire up the NUC DN2820FYKH for the first time!

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.

General NUC DN2820FYKH Performance


In the latest build of 3DMark we found scores of 13,890 in Ice Storm, 1,114 in Cloud Gate and 116 in Fire Strike.


Moving along to Cinebench R15 we found the Intel NUC with the Intel Celeron 2820 processor scored 2.67 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark and then 69 points on the multi-core CPU test and 37pts on the single CPU test.


A quick look at the memory performance showed just shy of 5.1 GB/s of bandwidth. This sounds about right for a single channel memory kit running at 1033MHz with 7-7-7-19 1T memory timings.


AIDA64 v4.00.2731 Beta showed memory read speeds of ~6,600 MB/s and write speeds of ~4,200 MB/s with a memory latency of 102.8ns.


In Sandra Processor Arithmetic the aggregate native performance score 10.18 was 28 GOPS.


The Sandra Processor Multi-Media aggregate performance score was 17.5 MPix/s.


The Sandra processor Cryptographic score was 185 MB/s.


We ran the SunSpider 1.0.2 JavaScript Benchmark on Google Chrome 33 and received a score of 694.0ms.


In the Encryption Algorithm Benchmark that comes inside TrueCrypt we found an AES mean score of 131 MB/s.


A quick run of CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3a showed the sequential read speed at 239.7 MB/s and the write speed at 227.4 MB/s! The Random 4K read speed was 26.6MB/s and the 4K random write speed was 46.7MB/s. Not bad scores, but we are clearly limited by the SATA II 3Gbps drive interface.


Taking a look at another storage benchmark called ATTO, we find that the SSD reaching speeds of up to 280MB/s read and 268 MB/s write. Not bad speeds, but we are clearly SATA II limited as this SSD has the ability to run much faster.


When it comes to wireless performance the we used LAN Speed Test to check the performance of the included the included Intel 7260BN 802.11n Wireless Card. This is an entry level 2x2 wireless card (TX/RX Streams) that runs on the 2.4GHz band with a theoretical peak speed rating of 300 Mbps. This card won't be breaking any speed records, but it is a budget card in a budget machine.

We used a desktop with Gigabit Ethernet to run LAN Speed Server that was hard connected to the ASUS RT-AC66U 802.11AC wireless router on the 2.4GHz band and moved it 15-feet away from the NUC test machine to check out performance with both 1MB and 100MB packets. We ran LAN Speed Test on the NUC with the wireless card to test the throughput and found roughly 60Mbps (7MB/s) average write speeds and 65-85Mbps (8-10MB/s)  average read speeds.


On the 100MB packet size test we hit a maximum throughput of about 75 Mbps read and write. Respectable scores for a single-band 802.11n WiFi card.

2/10/14 UPDATE: Would you like to know how the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260HMW card performs in this system versus the Intel Wireless-N 7260BN WiFi card the 802.11AC? You can read that article here.


The last performance test that we wanted to run was Bootracer 4.6 to see how fast the system is able to boot Windows 8 64-bit. We were happy it takes just 7 seconds to get to the logon screen and in just 26-27 seconds everything was up and running on the desktop!

OpenELEC, XBMC and Video Playback

The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH could be an attractive HTPC since it is small, energy efficient and very affordable. If you wanted to build a sub $300 system and run Openelec or XBMC and Linux, this could be the platform to do it with. If you wanted to run OpenELEC off a USB drive you can build a nice little HTPC with this NUC for well under $200.

The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH has Intel HD Graphics, but it should be noted that this graphics solution does not support Intel QuickSync (hardware accelerated decode and encode) or Intel Clear Video HD (hardware accelerated decode). We were worried that this might cripple this platform, but there is only one way to find out.


On Windows 8 we tried out Windows Media Center (WMC) on the Bay Trail NUC DN2820FYKH and so far it has performed very well. The Electronic Program Guide (EPG guide) loads in a couple seconds and navigation feels pretty good. In the screenshot above we played a 1080P movie trailer on YouTube and found that we were using up about 75% of the available processing power. It played well once loaded and if you were not doing anything else. At one point we noticed that we were having some audio issues, but found that a background update was taking place. The Intel Celeron N2820 processor has the ability to playback HD video, but multi-tasking or doing something in the background at the same time will noticeably impact the video playback performance. Our Kill-A-Watt power meter showed we were using around 8-10 Watts of power to play 1080p video content.


We also downloaded Media Player Classic - Home Cinema along with two 1080P H.264 MKV video clips (one at 10Mbps and the other at 40Mbps) to see how how the DN2820FYKH would perform. Both played back the clip just fine and looked to be around 7-11% CPU usage. It looks like the Bay Trail NUC has hardware decoding here since the CPU usage is so low. In the Intel External Design Specifications Document for the DN2820FYKH what the hardware acceleration is for decode and encode for various containers. Here is what the official list includes when it comes to Encode and Decode.


We have heard that many are interested in running OpenELEC on the NUC, so we downloaded the latest build (r17626) to give it a shot. We installed the latest BIOS (version 0024) with the default settings and then changed the boot order to boot off a USB drive first. Once  you do that you can install OpenELEC like normal. The Intel Wireless-N 7260BN wireless card was detected and we were able to connect to our wireless network without any issues. It should also be noted that the built-in infrared (IR) worked great and we were able to get our media center remote to work great. It even went back to the main XBMC screen when the Windows button was pressed!


Once everything is installed you have to go into the XBMC settings and change the audio output so it will work through HDMI. The Bluetooth 4.0 adapter that is built-in the Intel 802.11n wireless card was not recognized by Openelec. We were able to stream 720p and 1080P content flawlessly for the most part. Our mkv 720p/1080p and mkv 1080p dts-hd files played without stutters or any audio issues, so we were pretty happy. If you have a bunch of 1080P content ~20Mbps DTS, but it does struggle with 1080p Hi10P w/ FLAC audio, which is sort of the 800 pound gorilla in the room in terms of newer standards that are pushing the limits of hardware requirements.

Power Consumption, System Noise and CPU Temperatures


With the Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH running Windows 8 the entire system was consuming just 4.6 Watts of power from the wall outlet! For the most part it was bouncing around 4-6 Watts of power at idle on the desktop. It should be mentioned that this test was done with the 8GB Kingston DDR3L memory module, Intel 802.11n wireless card installed and with the OS running on the Intel SSD. 


When watching 1080P movie clips we were generally in the 8.5-9.5 Watt usage range. The Max TDP of the Intel Celeron N2820 is 7.5W with a scenario design power (SDP) of 4.5W, so we are right around where we expected to be for movie playback.


At full load the NUC was found to often peak around 12 Watts in CPU+GPU intensive applications like Futuremark 3DMark. These are very low power numbers for a desktop computer and are great for someone looking for a system that is very energy efficient. If you were looking for a basic office PC for web surfing, data entry or normal tasks this could offer huge power savings if you have 10+ systems that you are looking to replace. This also is critical to those looking to leave their PC on non-stop as energy efficiency is a big deal.


With the Intel NUC turned off we found the ambient room noise to be 31.9dB. With the system up and running on the desktop in an idle state the system was observed to be right at 38.6dB. With the NUC fully loaded running Prime95 27.9 64-bit, 3DMark or Cinebench we weren't able to get the fan speed to increase and there was no measurable load noise difference from about 6 inches away. In a quiet room you can hear the single case fan spinning, but once you have some background noise and you can barely hear the fan slowly spinning when the NUC is running! The Intel NUC comes set to ramp up the fan at 78C, but with the room at 21C we were unable to get the NUC hot enough for the fan to kick into high gear. The top of the NUC gets warm, so let's take a look at the temperatures.


When it comes to temperatures, we normally use Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility to monitor temperatures and voltages.The only thing is that Intel XTU does not support the Bay Trail NUC. We tried using Intel XTU v4.​3.​0.​11.


We also tried to use Intel Desktop Utilities v3.2.8.089, but again found that this Intel desktop platform was again not supported by Intel. We hope that Intel eventually supports the DH2820FYKH with Intel XTU or IDU in the future.


The only software that appeared to read the temperature correctly on the Bay Trail NUC was AIDA64. AIDA64 reported that the Intel Celeron 2820 processor idled at 0.360V with a core temperature of 35C.


We fired up 3DMark Ice Storm to put a load on both the GPU and CPU that caused the CPU Core Voltage jump up to 0.740V and the CPU Core Temperature rose to 43C. Not a bad load temperature as we weren't too impressed by the small HSF, but it appears to be more than adequate.


Intel Bay Trail With Passive Cooling

We had a number of readers ask if the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Bay Trail unit could be passively cooled by turning the fan off, so we figured we'd give it a shot.


We should note that it is bitterly cold here in St. Louis, Missouri as it is -9F outside without the windchill and a chilly 65F inside. This results are done in a cool room to begin with, so keep that in mind.


The stock Intel Visual BIOS settings have the fan at a minimum duty cycle of 40% or right around 3,000 RPM and you can hear the fan blowing.


We went into the BIOS and changed the control mode to manual and set the duty cycle to 0%. This turns the CPU blower fan off entirely, so you end up with a passive cooler with no air at all moving inside the NUC.


At an idle we were sitting at 39C, which isn't bad. With the fan enabled at stock settings (40%) we were sitting at around 35C, so no big deal here.


To test out the load temperatures we ran Cinebench R15 and 3DMark Ice Storm over and over for 30 minutes and managed to hit 86C on the Intel Celeron N2820 processor. Not bad considering how small the HSF is in this system. Notice that the rest of the temperatures went up as the Intel SSD 530 Series 240GB drive went from 24C to 34C.

Can the Bay Trail-M powered NUC run passively? Absolutely, but your ambient room temperature will play a major roll as will what you do with the NUC.


Where did we leave our fan settings at? We found our happy medium at a 25-20% minimum duty cycle. That drops the fan speed down from 3000 RPM to 2000 RPM and at that speed you can barely hear the fan run and you don't have to worry about overheating as the fan can ramp up if needed to 100%.

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

 The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH proved to be a very decent desktop PC that can be built on a shoe string budget.  It is fairly evident that this Intel Bay Trail powered system wasn't designed to be a multi-tasking beast, but it does pretty good with one task at a time. The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH felt fairly responsive when we used it and should be a good desktop PC for those with basic computing tasks and even for those wanting to build a streaming box or HTPC. It was able to surf the web, play 720p and 1080p video and run office applications, which is all that we required from a system that can be built for well under $300 if you shop around and don't go overkill on the DDR3L memory module and storage drive. Our Windows 8 installation worked without issues as did OpenELEC and XBMC.

Intel NUC Kit Comparison Table For Haswell SKUs
Model DN2820FYKH D34010WYKH D54250WYKH
Codename Forest Canyon Wilson Canyon Wilson Canyon
CPU Intel Celeron N2820 Intel Core i3-4010U Intel Core i5-4250U
Clock Speed Up to 2.39GHz Dual-Core 1.7GHz Dual-Core Up To 2.6GHz Dual-Core
Turbo / Hyper Threading No / No No / Yes Yes / Yes
GPU Intel HD Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4400 Intel HD Graphics 5000
RAM 1 x DDR3L SO-DIMM slot 2 x DDR3L SO-DIMM slots 2 x DDR3L SO-DIMM slots
Mini HDMI Output 1 x 1.4a 1 x 1.4a 1 x 1.4a
Mini DisplayPort Output No 1 x 1.2 1 x 1.2
USB 1 USB 3.0 & 2 USB 2.0 4 x USB 3.0 4 x USB 3.0
Gigabit Ethernet Yes Yes Yes
mini PCIe (half-height) 1 1 1
mini PCIe (full-height, mSATA support) 0 1 1
Chassis Color Black Black Black
Power Supply External 19V 36W DC External 19V 65W DC External 19V 65W DC
Overall Unit Size 116.6mm x 112.0mm x 50.5mm 116.6mm x 112.0mm x 49.5mm 116.6mm x 112.0mm x 49.5mm
Warranty 3-Years 3-Years 3-Years
MSRP Guidance By Intel ~$128 ~$295 ~$373

If you were looking for a little more power or wanted the ability to run Intel WiDi or multiple displays (need Displayport) you can step up to one of the more power Intel Core i3 or Core i5 'Haswell' models.

Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYKH

After purchasing and building an Intel NUC DN2820FYKH we did learn a few things and we'll touch on those again here. For starters the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH uses a single 2.5" SATA notebook drive that operates on the SATA II 3Gbps interface. You don't have to go out and buy a high-end SATA III 6Gbps drive as you are limited to SATA II speeds, so save yourself a few bucks there. We used a Kingston 8GB DDR3L SO-DIMM and found that too was overkill as you can dedicate just 512MB of memory to the Intel HD Graphics. This isn't a multi-tasking machine, so you can get away with a lower cost 2 or 4 GB memory module.  There is no option for memory timing or clock frequency adjustments in the Intel Visual BIOS, so pay no attention to clock speeds and timings as the DN2820FYKH will downclock the memory to 1066MHz.  We also discovered after buying this system that Intel only has a full driver set for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Intel is working on getting all the drivers up and running properly for Windows 7, but as of 2/5/2014 those drivers weren't done yet. Finally, we thought that Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) would work, but we found that Intel WiDi is not supported on the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH. This was confusing as Intel lists that Intel Wireless Display is supported by the Intel Wireless-N 7260BN on the tech specs, but this system does not support Intel WiDi as the processor is not on the supported list.


Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Estimated Windows 8 System Build Cost:

At the end of the day the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH meet our expectations and it should be 'good enough' for many of the people that are looking for an affordable system that can play back their video libraries. If you have to run out and buy everything you are looking at around ~$295 to get yourself into the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH, but it can be done for less than that if you have a hard drive sitting around or can get away with using a Flash drive for the OS. We like the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH and hope our review helped answer some of the questions that you have about it. If you have any additional questions please let us know and we'll try our best to get them answered. We are not HTPC experts, so if you have specific clip or CODEC requests please be sure to leave us detailed instructions on what you want tested and we'll give it a shot if there is time.


LR Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel NUC DN2820FYKH is a budget friendly desktop PC that could make for a great HTPC or stream box depending on your video library. Right now it is best to run Windows 8 or 8.1 on the DN2820FYKH due to fact that Intel has not released Windows 7 drivers for this platform yet.


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