Does PC Size Matter?

– So, I’ve done just a few videos on desktops. Usually, I take a look at the big, beefy, gaming rigs. So sure, it’s great to have a lot of graphics, horsepower, and a ton of storage, however, sometimes, I like to take a look at something just a little bit smaller. So this is a complete mini-PC. Or at least it says that on the box. This is an Intel NUC. So this is about the cheapest version of the NUC that you can buy that’s ready to go out of the box. However, there are different models that are even cheaper, if you don’t mind supplying your own drive and Windows, or if you need more power, you can also get these things with Core i3s and Core i5s. So inside the box, we get the NUC itself. So, these are really helpful little computers. So as you can see, it is actually really tiny. I mean, it really does fit in the palm of your hand. The idea here is that this is really meant for more basic tasks, such as Excel or web-browsing, but I’m curious what we can actually do with it.

It also comes with a VESA mount, so, because this is so small, in theory you could just pop this right onto the back of a monitor. We also have a pretty small power adapter. Alongside that we have all the different international adapters, depending on what country you’re from. And that’s pretty much it for the actual unboxing. Take a look around the NUC, and you’ll see it’s a pretty cool little piece of tech. Up front we have a pair of USB 3 ports, one of which will charge your devices even when the NUC is off. And on back, you have two more USB ports, you have optical/ audio out, a VGA port, Gigabit Ethernet, as well HDMI.

And what’s cool about this is that’s HDMI 2.0, which means that this tiny little PC can do 4k 60 hertz output. So what’s nice about the NUC is it really is just so portable. So inside my bag here, I have everything I need for a full desktop setup. So, I have a wireless keyboard with a trackpad as well as all the stuff I need to actually get the NUC up and running, which includes the tiny power adapter and the NUC itself. Inside the NUC, it’s rocking an Intel Celeron J3455 Quad Core processor, two gigabytes of memory and 32 gigs of storage.

Now, that might not sound like a lot, however, not only can you upgrade to those core i3 and i5 models if you do need more horsepower, but on top of that, you can easily upgrade this guy with additional RAM and storage. So the NUC is meant to be fairly easy to open. If you get a Bare Bones version, you actually have to open it up to put things in like memory and a hard drive, but even this one, even though it is pretty much ready to go out of the box, does have some upgrade options.

If you take the four screws on the bottom out, you have access to the two and half inch drive bay. Below that, not only can you get at the WiFi card, which this already has installed, but also the memory. So this NUC has two gigs of RAM pre-installed. However, it’s easy enough to just pop this out and upgrade it with four or even eight gigabytes no problem. So since this guy only has 32 gigs of storage built in, it’s easy enough to just throw in an SSD or in fact, just any kind of regular hard drive. So all you need to do is just line it up and it should pretty much click right into place. As simple as that we have upgraded our NUC with a full SSD! And now all you have to do is just screw the top panel back on, and we’re up and running.

So, while the NUC might not be the most powerful PC in the world, it actually can handle some light gaming such as Minecraft. So we’re averaging around 40 or 50 frames per second here. Now, no, we’re not ready to play Crisis on ultimate settings, however, as long as you keep in mind that this is a $200 mini-PC that actually can handle some light gaming. Now, on top of that, you can actually upgrade the performance a little bit by adding an additional DIMM of RAM. It might not make a huge difference, but by running this thing in dual channel, you should get a little bit more performance out of it. Something else you can do with the NUC is game stream.

It has dual band AC Wi-Fi, which means that even if you don’t have it connected via ethernet, it should be fairly easy to stream from other devices in your house, such as an XBOX One. Oh, too far around, too far around! Oh, yeah! (laughing) So Fortress might not be the most demanding game as far as latency goes, but it’s actually not bad here. So while I’m streaming on very high settings, it’s not quite as crisp as I was playing on an actual XBOX One. But the thing is this could be anywhere in my house. So even though I, for example, have the XBOX behind me, this could be in another room altogether and the NUC could be a separate gaming setup. It works pretty well. The NUC is a pretty cool little PC.

So whether you want something that’s for a home theater use, you want something that’s a little bit portable, or you just don’t need a giant desktop to be able to basic stuff like web browsing, then the NUC might be worth a look. So what do you guys think? Definitely be sure to let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one..

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