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Intel NUC5i5RYK NUC Mini PC (with Broadwell) Review

By: Steven Bassiri | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Feb 24, 2015 9:04 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Intel

The Teardown

 

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The removal of the PCB from the chassis wasn't tough, but you do need to remove the antennas from the built in WIFI/BT/WiDi card. You will notice that the chassis is being used as a giant antenna for the WIFI/BT/WiDi.

 

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The cooler is almost all copper and even though the fan is small in size, it doesn't produce much noise. The thermal paste makes good contact with the Broadwell SOC.

 

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The free hanging battery pack is used to ensure CMOS settings are not lost when power is disconnected. Most of the chips you see on the PCB are power regulation components, as the input power can vary depending on the AC/DC adapter used and many parts of the NUC use different power rails. However, there are a few chips that have major functions.

 

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Soldered onto the PCB is Intel's new Dual Band (2.4/5GHz) Wireless AC 7265 which provides speeds up to 867Mbit/s (2x2). It also supports Intel's latest WiDi technology and Bluetooth 4.0. There are also two other chips of interest, the first is an Intersil ISL95812, which is a 3-phase PWM (two integrated drivers), all three phases are being utilized for the CPU. Another chip of interest is a Richtek RT8205, marked in code "CJ=1F" like most Richtek ICs, it is in charge of regulating the input power to the NUC.

 

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On the left, we have two of the three CPU VRM phases featuring Infineon Opti-MOS BSC0902N for the low-side and BSC0909N for the high-side. These are high quality MOSFETs which should provide very low operating temperatures. The image on the right is the DDR3L VRM which uses a single phase Anpec APW8727 PWM+driver and the same MOSFETs as the CPU VRM. All power delivery components are top notch, which is what you would expect from an Intel product.

 

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A nuvoTon NCT5577D is the Super IO in charge of fan control, temperature and voltage monitoring, as well as the IR receiver. A Realtek ALC283 is used for audio and a 64Mbit (8MB) BIOS ROM is encapsulated in a removable DIP socket in case you ever need to replace it.

 

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Intel is using their i218v which is their latest generation 1GBit NIC compliment and it features ultra-low power operation. An ASM1442K is used to convert the native digital video output to HDMI.

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