General Use and Connectivity
I sit at my desktop pretty much all day writing news, reviews, articles, and general work for TweakTown. I usually use whatever PC I'm working on, but I thought I'd completely replace my work machine with the Intel NUC unit, and folks, I'm never going back.
The NUC has become my new machine, as it is way more than fast enough to do everything I want. With a fast Core i5 processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a slick mSATA SSD, I have no problems in the speed department. Connectivity-wise, I have GbE to my GbE router, miniDP out to my ASUS PB278Q 2560x1440 panel, and 4 x USB 3.0 ports to keep me happy.
I run my full desktop experience from the NUC, and it is absolutely no different to my "proper" Core i7 4770K machine. The reason? So much hardware, that everyday jobs just don't push it. All of my work takes place within Google Chrome and Microsoft Word - both of which don't require too much grunt. I easily played 1080p video back, streamed 1080p content from YouTube, compressed video with Handbrake while writing some news, all without the NUC breaking a sweat.
Performance on the NUC is nothing short of stellar. Sure, it won't break any new ground on benchmarks, but you don't need it to. The examples I used above for which I use it, most likely apply to you, too. If you don't need something that is going to break performance records, the NUC is something you should be looking into.
Idle power consumption sits at around 11W or so, down from the ~14W of the original NUC we reviewed. While load consumption is up to 30W, up from the ~26W on the original NUC. These numbers are just impressive, considering what is inside of this new NUC unit.
I benchmarked the Intel SSD using HD Tune, where I saw a result of an average of 323.7 MB/sec - which is absolutely amazing. Sure, there are SSDs on the market that are pushing 500 MB/sec in the consumer space, but this is an mSATA SSD, not a full 2.5-inch SSD.
I thought I'd test out Cinebench to see how things performed on the NUC. Nothing special at all, but it gives you an idea of what type of performance to expect from the CPU.