Intel Mini PC NUC Kit – NUC5PGYH Reviewed

Intel NUC Kit (NUC5PGYH) comes with Windows 10 installed

Intel NUC Kit (NUC5PGYH) comes with Windows 10 installed

Intel have done some great things with multimedia in the consumer market and their Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is up there with them. I reviewed the DN2820FYKH as a suitable media PC back in 2014 and have returned to do a mini review on the newer Intel NUC Mini PC NUC5PGYH.

Apart from newer hardware, the most significant change from previous models is that the NUC5PGYH kit is no longer barebones, it now includes 32GB flash storage and Windows 10. The NUC5PGYH has a street price of approximately AUD$370-399 at time of writing.

Intel NUC NUC5PGYH features:
ProcessorIntel® Braswell Pentium N3700 (2.40 GHz Quad Core , 6W TDP)
Memory2GB DDR3L SODIMM (1.35V, 1333/1600 MHz, 8GB maximum)
GraphicsIntel® HD Graphics
Video Outputs1 x HDMI
1 x VGA
Audio OutputsUp to 7.1 surround audio via HDMI
1 x Headphone/Microphone jack on the front panel
1 x Headphone/TOSLINK* jack on the rear panel
USB2 x USB 3.0 (rear)
2 x USB 3.0 ports (front, 1 x charging capable)
2 x USB 2.0 (internal)
InfraredConsumer Infrared sensor on the front panel
Storage32GB eMMC on-board
Storage Expansion1 x Internal SATA3 support for 2.5¨ HDD/SSD (up to 9.5mm thickness)
1 x SDXC slot with UHS-I support on the side
Networking10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
Wireless NetworkingIntel® Wireless-AC 3165 M.2 2230 add-in card, wireless antennas (IEEE 802.11ac, Bluetooth* 4, Intel® Wireless Display)
Dimensions115mm x 111mm x 51.6mm
Power Adapter19V, 65W wall-mount AC-DC power adapter
Operating SystemPre-loaded with Microsoft Windows® 10 Home 64-bit

The quad core mixed with gigabit ethernet or wireless AC should give us more than enough power for 4K video playback. One point of concern is the 2GB of memory, I can’t remember the last time any modern version of Windows ran well with only 2GB.

Not a lot of spare memory once everything is loaded

Not a lot of spare memory once everything is loaded

System Benchmark

The Intel NUC Mini PC NUC5PGYH performed reasonably well under the Cinebench benchmarks.

14.64 fps is a respectful score for a low powered device like the NUC

14.64 fps is a respectful score for a low powered device like the NUC

CPU performance is what we would expect from the N3700 processor

CPU performance is what we would expect from the N3700 processor

Storage Benchmark

CrystalDiskMark shows the performance of the eMMC to comparable to SATA3 SSDs we’ve seen in the past. Definately value for money.

Running CrystalDiskMark with the 50MB transfer option to simulate lots of little files

Running CrystalDiskMark with the 50MB transfer option to simulate lots of little files

Running CrystalDiskMark with the 1GB transfer option to simulate transfer of larger files

Running CrystalDiskMark with the 1GB transfer option to simulate transfer of larger files

Video Playback

The first test involved streaming HD content from YouTube.

Task Manager on YouTube - 2GB

Streaming HD media content over YouTube

The second video playback was performed using Kodi 15.2 as the media client. 1080P and 4K content was streamed from a QNAP TS-653 Pro over ethernet.

Using Kodi to Stream 4K GoPro footage over the LAN

Using Kodi to Stream 4K GoPro footage over the LAN

Using Kodi to Stream 1080P camera footage over the LAN

Using Kodi to Stream 1080P camera footage over the LAN

Final Thoughts

It’s great to finally see Intel produce a NUC that is literally plug and play. Apart from a remote control and media software (freely available e.g. Kodi) nothing else is required once the NUC5PGYH has been setup. During the setup process you do need a keyboard/mouse but beyond that, with the right media software you should be able to operate the NUC with just a remote.

The Intel NUC NUC5PGYH is an extremely capable media device. In our tests, YouTube HD (full screen) and 1080P/4K streaming with Kodi playback was flawless though we did come dangerously close to running out of memory. By today’s standard 4GB memory and 32GB storage is quite low and Intel should consider increasing these with future models.

Overall, the NUC5PGYH represents great value for money. It has a solid build, offers room for storage expansion and the memory is upgradable. I’ve been needing to replace an old Mac Mini in my media room for some time now, I think I just found the device I’m looking for.

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