Intel NUC NUC5PGYH - The First NUC That Comes With Windows!
The Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini PC debuted in 2012
as a barebone kit that consisted of just a mainboard with a 22nm Ivy Bridge Processor, CPU cooler, enclosure, VESA mounting bracket and an external power supply. Over the past several years Intel has expanded the product line and the tiny PC has gone through several generations of processors with great success. While desktop computers are still ideal for gamers and power users, most of the population just needs an affordable PC that offers decent performance and basic functionality. Intel recognized the fact that not everyone wanted a bare bone NUC kit that required other parts being purchased and then assembled only to need hours of someone sitting there installing the operating system of their choice along with all the appropriate drivers.
This is where the Intel 'Grass Canyon' NUC NUC5PGYH comes in to play as it is the first complete NUC Mini PC that comes with Windows 10 pre-installed! The Intel NUC NUC5PGYH model sports an Intel Pentium N3700 14nm Quad-Core processor, 2GB of DDR3L memory, 32GB of eMMC storage (you can add a 2.5-inch SATA III drive for expanded internal storage) and an Intel Wireless-AC 3165 M.2 802.11ac card for out of the box wireless use. Intel then tops off all that hardware with Windows 10 64-bit Home and it can be yours for for under $250 - $243.45 shipped at Amazon
to be exact under under part number BOXNUC5PGYH0AJR.
The Intel Grass Canyon NUC comes in a cube-shaped box that contains the power adapter, VESA mounting hardware, instructions and the NUC unit itself. The Intel NUC5CPYH measures only 115mm x 111mm x 56.5mm (approx. 4.5″ x 4.4″ x 2.2″) and can easily be carried around if needed.
The 2-prong wall-mount AC Power Adapter is made by FSP Technology, INC. (FSP) and has the model number FSP065-10AABA. This AC to DC adapter operates at 90 to 264 Vac and outputs 19V / 3.43A power with an overall power rating of 65 Watts. You can change out the wall plug depending on your region and it comes with IEC world plug
Intel NUC NUC5PGYH Features
- Intel Celeron N3700 quad-core CPU, 1.60GHz base, 2.40 GHz burst, 6W TDP
- Single DDR3L memory slot with 2GB installed (max memory is 8GB)
- 32GB eMMC storage drive w/ Windows 10 Home 64-bit pre-installed
- Intel HD Graphics with 16 execution units
- HDMI 1.4b and VGA connectors
- 7.1 surround audio (via HDMI)
- 4 USB 3.0 ports (fast charging on one of the front ports, max. 1.5A)
- Consumer infrared receiver
- Support for a single 2.5″ SATA III 6Gbps drive
- SDXC slot for a memory card (UHS-I support)
- RealTek RTL8168 Gigabit Ethernet adapter
- Intel Wireless-AC 3165 Wireless dual-band 1x1 adapter (802.11ac, rated for 433mbps, BlueTooth 4.2, Wireless Display)
This chassis uses an aluminum center section that left its natural color with a black colored plastic top and a black steel bottom cover. The front panel of the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH has two USB 3.0 ports (the yellow one is charging capable), headphone/microphone jack and the consumer infrared sensor. Up top you have the power button and storage drive activity light.
The Intel Pentium N3700 processor
is a quad-core processor capable of 2.40 GHz burst frequency and has a TDP of 6 watts. The processor also an Intel HD graphics processor with 16 execution units, so it should be decently capable when it comes to graphics performance. The Pentium N3700 processor is actively cooled and the hot air from the CPU cooler is blown out of the back of the case above the rear I/O panel. Below the exhaust vents you'll find the DC power plug, headphone/TOSLINK jack, HDMI 1.4b video output, RealTek RTL8168 Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports and the VGA (HDB15) video output.
The bottom of the Intel NUC has four rubber feet that keep it from sliding around a desktop. Inside the rubber feet are Philips screws that can be removed to gain access to the Intel NUC5PGYB board.
Here is a peek inside the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH with the bottom cover removed. We added a WD 1TB 2.5-inch notebook drive (actually an SSHD) on our own to aid in the Windows 10 update process as the 32GB internal storage drive wasn't big enough to install Windows 10 Threshold 2 that came out last month. The 2.5" drive cage supports up to 9.5mm thick drives, so keep an eye on the z-height of the storage drive you are wanting to install.
The Intel NUC NUC5PGYH has just one DDR3L (1.35V) memory slot on it and the NUC comes with a 2GB 1600MHz DDR3L memory module that featured CL11 timings. The module in our exact kit was made by ADATA, but yours might come with a different brand as it wouldn't be a shocker if that changes over time due to pricing and availability of DDR3L.
Intel also includes their Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 card that fits into a M.2 2230 PCIe slot. This is Intel's 2nd Generation 802.11ac dual-band 1x1 card that also features Bluetooth 4.2! This model featured shared Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas for Wi-Fi speeds of up to 433 Mbps.
Let's take a look at the performance on the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH compete Mini PC!
Intel NUC NUC5PGYH Mini PC Performance Testing
The Intel NUC NUC5PGYH with the Intel Pentium N3700 processor scored 14.18 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark, 134 points on the multi-core CPU test and 38 points on the single CPU test. These scores are pretty respectable for a PC that costs less than $250 for everything out the door. The ECS LIVA X2 that we reviewed last month
scored slightly lower than this with a dual-core 14nm Braswell SoC, but that mini PC also costs about $35 less.
- Intel NUC NUC5i5RYKwith the Intel core i5-5350U processor scored 31.80 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark, 259 points on the multi-core CPU test and 107 points on the single CPU test.
- ECS LIVA X2 with the Intel Celeron N3050 processor scored 12.69 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark, 64 points on the multi-core CPU test and 34 points on the single CPU test.
- ECS LIVA X with the Intel Celeron 2808 processor it scored 6.21 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark and then 66 points on the multi-core CPU test and 37 points on the single CPU test.
In 3DMark we scored 2,140 points in Cloud Gate, the benchmark for home PCs, specifically 9.4 FPS in Graphics Test 1 and 11.30 FPS in Graphics Test 2. Not the fastest of scores and it shows that the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH is only going to be cable of super basic game titles or browser based games at best.
AIDA64 v5.60 beta showed that the single channel 1600MHz DDR3L memory had 11-11-11-28 1T timings and was capable of 8060MB/s read and 9246 MB/s write speeds with a latency of 124.0 ns.
A quick look at the memory performance in SiSoftware Sandra 2016 showed 6.28 GB/s of bandwidth on the single channel DDR3 memory solution running at 1600MHz with CL11 timings.
In Sandra Processor Arithmetic benchmark test the aggregate native performance score was 23.41 GOPS.
The Sandra Processor Multi-Media test aggregate performance score was 31.57 MPix/s.
We ran the JetStream JavaSctipt on Google Chrome 46 and found an overall score of 53.279. Not bad considering the ECS LIVA X2 scored 46 and in this benchmark larger numbers are better.
The 7-Zip 15.14 benchmark test showed that the Intel Pentium N3700 Processor on this system had a total rating of 6309 MIPS. Obviously this is not going to be that fastest system for compression, but it's not too bad either.
A quick run of CrystalDiskMark v5.1.0 showed the performance of the 32GB eMMC storage drive was on par with other eMMC solutions that we have seen in the past. Sequential read speed to be around 151-152 MB/s and the sequential write speed was right around 47 MB/s depending on the compression used for the test! The Random 4K read speed was 21-22 MB/s and the 4K random write speed was 7-9 MB/s.
We also tested the internal SATA III header with a WD Blue 1TB SSHD and the HyperX Savage 240GB SSD and found that the header was operating at the advertised speeds with out SSD topping out at 563 MB/s read and 541 MB/s write when it came to sequential file transfer speeds.
The side SDXC slot supports UHS-I cards and we speed tested it with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB UHS-II memory card
that is rated at up to 280MB/s read speeds. We weren't sure if the reader would work or not, but it did and we got 46MB/s read and 36MB/s write speeds.
We also tested with an ADATA Premier Pro 32GB SDHC UHS-I card
that is rated at 95MB/s read and 45MB/s write. CrystalDiskMark showed that we were able to get 81MB/s read and 29MB/s write with the built-in SDXC card reader, so this card reader is very quick and is not using the USB 2.0 interface that many are wired to!
When it comes to wireless performance the we used LAN Speed Test to check the performance of the included the included Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 802.11ac PCIe solution. This is a dual-band 1x1 802.11ac Wi-Fi card with a theoretical peak speed rating of 433 Mbps. We used a desktop with Gigabit Ethernet to run LAN Speed Server that was hard connected to the ASUS RT-AC68U 802.11AC wireless router with Firmware version 220.127.116.11.378.9313. We tested the 2.4GHz and 5GHz performance with the router placed 10-feet away from the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH and ran performance tests with 1MB packet sizes. The results showed that we were averaging 40-53 Mbps (Up to 6.6 MB/s) on the 2.4GHz band and 98-279 Mbps (Up to 34.9 MB/s) on the 5GHz band. It's clear that you'll want to be using the 5GHz band to get superior performance! We are disappointed that we couldn't get near the advertised 433 Mbps theoretical speeds, but we've certainly seen worse performance!
The last performance test that we wanted to run was Bootracer 5.0 to see how fast the system is able to boot Windows 1o Home 64-bit. We found that the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH takes 12 seconds to get to the logon screen and it took a total of 37.3 seconds to get up and running on the desktop when using the internal 32GB eMMC storage drive
Let's take a look at power consumption and CPU temperatures on the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH.
Power Consumption and CPU Temperatures
The Intel NUC NUC5PGYH is said to be very energy efficient, so we figured we'd take a look and see how much power the system uses.
Our test setup included the Intel NUC NUC5PGYH w/2GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC and a 1TB HDD running Windows 10 Home. We found the the entire system was consuming 4.6 Watts of power from the wall outlet at idle. When surfing the web we averaged about 8 Watts of power and when watching Youtube 1080P videos we averaged 11.3 Watts of power draw. When running the AIDA64 System Stability test the system power consumption topped out a 18.7 Watts. One interesting thing we noted is that when the system was sleeping that the power usage was just 0.9 Watts and when the entire system was turned off it was higher at 1.3 Watts. This is the first time we've ever seen a complete PC use more power when turned off than when left on in a sleep state!
The only software that appeared to read the temperature correctly on this particular Bay Trail-M powered system was AIDA64. AIDA64 reported that the Intel Celeron N3050 processor idled at 0.588V with a core temperature of 25-28C. With the built-in AIDA64 stress test we found that we got up to 73-80C on the four CPU cores at 1.296V with the standard stress test with GPU included in our ~25 minute test.
Let's wrap this review up!
Intel NUC NUC5PGYH Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The Intel NUC Mini PC NUC5PGYH is the first NUC model offered as a complete system by Intel and it is about time! The Intel NUC series can only benefit from the decision to ship a complete system as now anyone can own a NUC! The Intel NUC NUC5PGYH was found to be a very capable little PC thanks to the somewhat powerful Intel Pentium N3700 quad-core processor. We didn't expect much out of this 6W TDP processor, but was pleasantly surprised be the performance that we received for web browsing, viewing streaming content and with mainstream applications. This $243.45
system is really all you need to get online and connected to the rest of the world. As long as you are expecting mind shattering performance the Mini PC shouldn't leave anyone disappointed.
The one thing we'd like to make crystal clear is that the 32GB eMMC drive isn't large enough. If you happened to buy an early model NUC5PGYH you already know that you can't install Windows 10 Threshold 2 without plugging in a 16GB USB Flash Drive or a 2.5-inch storage drive as there simply isn't enough free space on the drive to do the upgrade. Our test unit luckily came with Windows 10 version 1511, so we didn't have to do that, but we found that we only had 7.21GB of free space left. That simply isn't enough today and we feel that Intel should have gone with 64GB of eMMC on this drive. It would have allowed for a much better user experience and it would have made it more functional. Our test file folder more than filled up this drive and we tossed in the WD Blue 1TB drive (model WD10J31X - $87.48
) to gain much needed storage space. That added nearly $100 to the build cost though, so that is something to keep in mind.
At the end of the day the Intel NUC Mini PC NUC5PGYH was found to be a solid mini PC as long as you are willing to toss in your own 2.5-inch storage drive to have some storage space that you can actually use. With the built-in SDXC memory card reader on the side of the unit, chances are you'll be storing some pictures and movie clips on it!
Legit Bottom Line:
The Intel NUC Mini PC NUC5PGYH is a great light-use, low power, general purpose PC that comes with Windows 10 Home 64-bit for under $250