Temperature and Power Consumption
While the NUC5i5RYK isn't the lowest power device, it does have one of the largest deltas between idle and load power usage. This points to extremely effective power saving features built into the SOC and into the system as a whole.
The NUC5i5RYK is only bested by the ECS LIVA X which isn't even close in CPU or GPU performance to the NUC. What is very impressive is that even at full power draw, the NUC produces little noise.
Shots of the NUC5i5RYK idle and load. I ran AIDA64 stability test at the same time as 3DMark Vantage to load the CPU, memory, and graphics. You can actually see the shape of the cooler on the SOC.
Mainstream vs. Enthusiast M.2 Drive Thermal Comparison
This is Intel's 360GB 530 series M.2 drive. It has a TDP of 5.5W and without a heat sink it goes from below 33C to 70C during full load. The lid on the NUC provides a thermal-pad which cools the M.2 drive, and with the lid on it goes from 29C to only 34C.
This is Samsung's XP941 240GB M.2 drive, known for super-fast performance utilizing 4x PCI-E lanes, it goes from below 34C to 85C, which is very hot. With the lid applied it goes from 30C to 36C, which is only a few C hotter than the Intel drive. The TDP on this drive is 5.87W which is possibly why I didn't see any major power consumption differences, but the temperature difference is very apparent with the lid off.
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