Haswell comes to NUC

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Only two components needed to be mounted:

Windows 7 Ultimate was installed from a USB 3.0 key in well under half an hour.

The bottom retains the nice captive screws in the rubber feet and an intake vent for the cooling fan.

The interior layout is virtually identical to that of our previous NUC sample, with the exception of SATA power and data ports. The half and full mini PCIe slots are stacked, as in the original NUC. You might recall The Tech Report had trouble with the bottom-placed wireless NIC card overheating (with the mSATA SSD above) during long file transfers. Good thing this NUC has gigabit wired LAN.

The Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD chosen for this build. .

NUC ready to go with 4GB x2 of 1600MHz 1.35V RAM, also from Kingston: We found after lengthy frustration that all of our SODIMM modules are 1.5V, and this NUC supports only the 1.35V variety.

No photos of the other side of the board are shown because the cooling system is exactly the same as in the previous NUC sample. (See this page for details.) It uses a notebook style blower fan and heatsink with an airflow shroud.


Software and Measurement/Analysis Tools:

Device listing.

Testing Procedures

If available, the latest BIOS is installed prior to testing. Our NUC was updated to BIOS WY0022.BIO dated 11/21/2013.

Certain Windows 7 services/features like Indexing, Superfetch, System Restore, and Windows Defender are disabled to prevent them from causing spikes in CPU/HDD usage. We also make note if energy saving features like Cool'n'Quiet/SpeedStep or S3 suspend-to-RAM do not function properly.

Our tests determine the overall AC power consumption, noise level, and heat output of the product at various states. To stress the CPU, we use either Prime95 (large FFTs setting) or CPUBurn depending on which produces higher system power consumption. To stress the GPU, we use FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. Video encoding and HD video playback isalso tested for usability, power, noise and thermal conditions.

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