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Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK, USB 3.0, Supports M.2 SSD card, Intel HD Graphics 6000, Mini HDMI, Mini DisplayPort
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Great little system for so many uses. Bought one of these to save electricity when my big workstations aren't needed. This averages around 5 watts where my workstation eats up almost 200 completely idle. Have it attached to 3 monitors, one each on the DP and HDMI ports and a 3rd using a USB to VGA adapter. Respectable performance considering the size and power usage. Amazing such a capable system can be packed into such a small size.

Cons: None that I can honestly criticize the system for. More USB ports are always nice, but in a 4.5 inch square system, it's just not realistic.

Other Thoughts: This is the second NUC I've bought/built. Love the form factor. Price creeps up, especially after adding a Windows license, but given the size and quality, they're not outrageous. Definitely my go-to system when I need something compact but with decent performance.

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ASUS Z9PA-D8 ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600/1333/1066
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Great board, great price 12/12/2013

This review is from: ASUS Z9PA-D8 ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600/1333/1066

Pros: Inexpensive for a dual LGA 2011 board.
ATX size/layout
Includes ASMB6 management module
Supports 1866 memory (on v2 Xeon)
Asus customer/tech support.

Cons: None that I can think of. A few more USB ports would be nice, but as this IS a server board, they're not really needed.

Other Thoughts: Bought this to use as a workstation rather than a server. I didn't need multiple graphics cards, 8 dimm slots was plenty, and the ATX form factor made finding a suitable case much easier.

System build couldn't have been easier:

-Two E5-2690v2's
-Two Noctua NH-U12DXi4 coolers
-Corsair HX1050 PS
-32 gigs of 1866 Crucial DDR3 (approved modules from their site, unfortunately not sold by NewEgg).
-EVGA GTX760
-Crucial M500 480 gig SSD
-Sound Blaster AudigyFX

Everything fit and worked without issue. The system is incredibly fast, surprisingly quiet and only draws ~320 watts under full load.

One thing to watch out for is that the v2 Xeon processors are only supported on the latest 1-2 BIOS versions (as of December 2013). Luckily my board included one of them. I had e-mailed Asus tech support before purchase, and was informed that in a worse case scenario (board comes with an older BIOS, and won't flash with unsupported CPUs), I'd just have to send it back to them to be flashed with the latest. Not a con in any way, just one of the things you have to deal with assembling your own system using new(ish) processors.

Again, my board came with a supporting BIOS, so everything went together without a single issue. It was one of the easiest systems to build to date.

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Intel DC3217IYE Intel QS77 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated by CPU Chassis: Aluminum and Plastic Black Next Unit of Computing Kit
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Absolutely tiny
Nearly silent
Super fast boot times with Windows 7/8
Decent speed for such a compact i3 system

Cons: Not the most inexpensive system when you add a drive and memory

Power cord really should be included given the price. They're only a few $, but still...

Other Thoughts: People reviewing these negatively aren't being realistic. Of course you can build a more expandable system, and probably a more powerful one, for the same or a little less. But these obviously aren't designed for people looking for expand ability.

These are for people who want a tiny but capable system to bolt to the back of their TV/monitor or put on a shelf. I'm using mine to run a small CNC milling machine, and it's working perfectly.

As soon as my current Intel Atom system I'm using for a TV/movie player kicks the bucket, I'm going to replace it with one of these.

So as long as your expectations are reasonable, these are great little systems. Perfect to attach to a TV to watch movies, internet TV or browse the web. Perfect for a basic desktop system for browsing/e-mail/etc. Perfect for a small home file/print server. If you want high-end graphics for games or the ability to load it up with terabytes of storage, it's simply not for you.

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Christopher O.'s Profile

Display Name: Christopher O.

Date Joined: 11/04/06

  • Reviews: 13
  • Helpfulness: 7
  • First Review: 02/27/12
  • Last Review: 05/20/15
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