Date Joined: 03/14/12
Pros: Great for gaming with the fast response time and high refresh rate. Well packed and no damage from shipping. I really like the "joystick" control on the back for making adjustments.
Cons: Needs adjustment for good contrast, brightness and color saturation. This is to be expected from a TN panel. I strongly suggest you get a good VESA-Certified DisplayPort cable in order to get stability and high refresh rates. Mine is a 1-meter cable made by Accell. I don't trust the cables that come with monitors. To get the full advantages of this monitor, you must use DisplayPort, not HDMI or DVI.
Overall Review: A good value for the price. Next time I will probably go for a monitor with similar specs but has either a VA or IPS panel even though those monitors are usually a lot more expensive if they have high refresh rates and low response times.
Pros: Setup is a snap
Updating BIOS (UEFI) is easy
More powerful than I thought it would be
Runs Windows 10 with ease
Cons: Won't make me a bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich.
Overall Review: I highly advise anyone contemplating getting one of these to thoroughly read Intel's Support pages for this model.
Don't expect it to do things it was not designed to do, like run Windows 7.
Set up your drives as GPT partitioned and install Windows 10 in UEFI mode.
This is state of the art equipment (7th Generation) and putting an older OS on it is like putting used oil into your brand new car -- you're inviting problems.
This NUC replaced a full size desktop that had a 51-watt full desktop CPU (Core i3-6100) and this little gem gives me a higher Passmark score than the desktop did and this NUC's CPU only draws 15 watts! Pretty amazing! I didn't think the "U" class CPUs (designed for laptops) had the power that the 7th Generation chips apparently do.
I'd been thinking of getting one of these for a long time and then I saw Newegg offering a free 4GB RAM stick with it... well, that worked. I bought an identical 4GB stick to go with it and a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD. I had an old 480GB Samsung 843 Server Class SSD laying around and put that in the 2.5" bay.
1st step: update the BIOS. Download the .bio file from Intel and put it on a flash drive. Put the drive in the USB port and turn on the NUC and press F7 while it attempts to boot. Direct the update program to the file on the drive and wait for it to finish --
that's pretty much it. Now you can install Windows and load up the drivers you downloaded from Intel's website.
Start with Chipset, then Graphics, Wireless, LAN, Audio, then the others (card reader, thunderbolt, etc.).
I ordered a USB-C to Displayport cable to use with another monitor I have that does not have an HDMI port. Startech makes a good one and Newegg has it.
Like many others, I did not like Windows 10 when it first appeared. But after using it now for almost 2 years, I'm a convert. Windows 7 now seems clunky and stupid to me and 8 was just a mistake, like Vista. But 10 is continuing to improve with each update and keep in mind that this NUC was designed with Windows 10 in mind.
I've heard Linux runs well on it -- at some point I may put Linux Mint or Ubuntu on it once the developers come up with the right drivers for all the components in this system (and that could take a year or longer).
After installing your OS be sure to run Windows update to get the latest fixes, security patches, features, etc.
I really think the days of the "big box" computer are numbered. All you really need is one of these or a similar small computer. With the Thunderbolt port on the i5 and i7 NUCs you can attach an external GPU for gaming -- like the Razer Core or something like it.
In summary, I'm very happy with this product and I have a lot more space in my tiny apartment!
Pros: I got lucky and found this during a promo and saved about $20.
Truly amazing -- it boots Windows 10 faster than my internal SSD!
I boot it up at least once a month for Microsoft's updates (patch Tuesday).
Cons: If you understand what you're buying, there are no cons.
Yes, it's bigger and heavier than normal flash drives and that's because it is more than a flash drive, it's a mini-SSD.
Overall Review: If the width of it blocks other USB ports, just buy a USB 3.0 extension cable (the shorter, the better).
Supposedly, you can only do the Windows To Go thing if you have the Enterprise or Education editions. However, there is a manual way to do it with any edition. A search will tell you how. This is an invaluable tool to have -- if your internal drive fails, you have an immediate back-up that doesn't even require installation.
Pros: Card works perfectly with my Polaroid Cube mini-camera. The seller "3C Expert" provided fast and free shipping (2 days!).
Overall Review: Unlike some other micro-SDHC cards, this one works fine with the Polaroid Cube.
Cons: None, so far.
Overall Review: These drives are basically the Samsung 840 Pro with a bit more over-provisioning for endurance (hence the 480GB capacity) and the firmware is optimized for fast reads. They're rated for one Petabyte of writes. That's 1,000 Terabytes! Not likely I'll come close to that even though I typically do 5 to 10GB of writes per day.
I generally avoid refurbished items but these drives have no moving parts and are very low-risk as a refurb. Remember that Windows will not see this drive until you run disk management and partition it and format it. Some buyers think they got duds but they don't know how to deal with a drive that's never been used. These have never been used... S.M.A.R.T. data shows zero hours of usage.
I just slapped it into my desktop and ran the Windows 8.1 installer which I have on a USB 3.0 flash drive. No problems. Installed in about 8 minutes and I was up and running at lightning speed. Be sure to attach it to a SATA III (6GB/Sec) port if you have one. All new motherboards have them now. Most newer laptops use SATA III too. CrystalDiskInfo will tell you if you have it on SATA III (it will say "SATA/600".
After making sure it worked okay, I used Acronis to clone the 320GB HDD that I had been using. Worked like a charm. I couldn't be happier. The Samsung Data Migration software won't work with this drive because it's designed for enterprise use. Most data centers have their own cloning or image-applying software.
Pros: - Noticeably faster than the Intel 530 Series and cheaper too.
- Included cable/adapter and cloning software works perfectly
- Included maintenance program works well too
- 3-yr warranty
Overall Review: I also have the 120GB version of this same model. The 250GB is faster for small file writes due to larger capacity. This is to be expected. This is the best upgrade you can give your laptop or desktop since traditional hard drives are the bottleneck in most systems.
Pros: - Powerful CPU
- Just about top of the line integrated graphics
- Easy to upgrade
- Price! (A powerful laptop for the money.)
- Back panel comes off easily and you can get to just about everything... even the fan, which is good, so you can keep it clean.
Cons: - Poor quality screen. it's a cheap TN panel with very limited viewing angles and light-bleed around the edges.
- Tons of bloatware to uninstall
But I knew these things going in .... I bought it for the pros listed above.
Overall Review: I'm using this laptop as a desktop replacement and it's perfect for that (unless you're a gamer... although you can play some games on it).
As soon as I got it I cloned the HDD to a Samsung SSD and put a 4GB stick in the empty RAM slot. Now it really screams.
I use an Acer 22" IPS monitor (1920x1080) with it and the integrated graphics doesn't even break a sweat playing full high-def movies. For a sub-$500 laptop, it's all I could ask for... great deal.
Pros: Inputs, clarity, viewing angles, brightness, lightweight, easy to put together and PRICE!
Best deal anywhere for an IPS monitor.
Full high-def looks really good on this size monitor. If you get much bigger, you can end up with the dreaded "screen door effect" (grainy).
Cons: Can't think of any cons since I'm not a graphic designer or monitor expert. The colors look fine to me.
Actually, I do have one con but it's minor. When you do a cold boot the monitor scans all of it's inputs to find a signal. Since my computer is very fast, it is already at the desktop before I can see anything because I'm using the VGA (D-sub) port and that's the last one it checks. Or it may have something to do with the fact that the monitor is attached to a laptop which is set to display only on the external monitor.
Overall Review: This is my 2nd one so I thought I should write a 2nd review to add:
The one I bought 7 months ago still works great. This one arrived quickly and was again perfectly packaged with no damage of any kind. But be waiting for it.... the OnTrac guys don't require a signature and they'll just leave it wherever they can.
Pros: -Full High Def (1920x1080)
-Bright & Beautiful
-Very thin bezel (Framing)
-IPS Panel (excellent viewing angles)
-DVI, VGA and HDMI inputs (audio output jack too)
-Well packaged and fast delivery
-A snap to set up and comes with all cables you would need
-For the price, you can't beat it
Overall Review: I got this monitor on a Promo for $119.99 and I'm stunned at the improvement over my old Dell matte screen 1280 x 1024. Some complain about the glossy, reflective surface but that's exactly what you want for movies, games, pictures. Just keep the light behind you to a minimum. The clarity is amazing.... no "screen door effect" because this is the perfect size for 1920 x 1080. (In other words, you won't see any space between the pixels.) I looked at dozens of monitors and for the money, this one had the best reviews and I feel I've made the best choice.
Pros: - Reliability
- Intel SSD Toolbox
- Very low power draw
- 5-yr Warranty
Overall Review: Performs pretty much as advertised.
My CrystalDiskMark Scores below:
Seq Read: 486.1 MB/s / Seq. Write: 326.4 MB/s
512k Read: 437.9 MB/s / Write: 323.0 MB/s
4k Read: 32.95 MB/s / Write: 70.48 MB/s
4k (QD32) Read: 200.7 MB/s / Write: 253.6 MB/s
These results on a $50 Asrock B75M Motherboard
Series 7 Chipset
SSD on SATA III Port (6GB/s)
CPU (Ivy Bridge) Core i3-3225 (3.3GHz)
8 GB 1333MHz RAM
Latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Installed
Running in AHCI Mode (of course)
*I've owned many SSDs and you can't beat the Intels for reliability. Considering how expensive they are, reliability is very important*