Is an Intel NUC still relevant in 2020 for homelabbers?

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Just out of curiosity, how many of us are still buying/running NUCs? If so, why? (I mean, besides their small footprint and low power draw...)
 

BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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I do not discriminate. I would use anything with good enough price/performance. No new NUC ever qualified but that's another question isn't it?
 
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vudu

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Dec 30, 2017
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Using a i5 NUC with 32 GB RAM for my Proxmox test box. NVME + SSD. Works great. Cheap to buy (relatively), cheap to run, easy to transport. Most of our customer new desktops are now NUCs for many of the same reasons.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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I do not discriminate. I would use anything with good enough price/performance. No new NUC ever qualified but that's another question isn't it?
Well, I wasn't thinking about brand new NUCs, it's more like those Optiplex Micros or EliteDesk Minis Corporate NUCs that are dumped on the market at clear-the-warehouse prices. I am thinking about writing a resource/guide on NUCs, but it doesn't look like people are gravitating on them anymore.
That being said, there are compelling values like this...The Ryzen R1505G is somewhere in the ballmark of a Ryzen 3 3200U or a Kaby Lake i7-7657U. Not the fastest, but if you can get them at around 150 USD they are great bang for the buck - it just came out in Q3 so the depreciation on those things are...insane.
 

WANg

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Hard to beat the form factor. You can pass through the GPU on one of the models even: GPU Passthrough of Radeon RX Vega M in Intel Hades Canyon

I have a similar low power setup for VMs that isn't exactly a NUC and imagine many others do as well.
Heh. Hades Canyon is the Kaby Lake-G machine (the weird little hybrid with the Intel 870xG and an AMD Radeon Vega) with the bigger non-standard NUC form factor? Those are...stupid expensive (900+ when new?), although I am surprised that the Intel BIOS enabled SRIOV functionality on them. I have an XPS15 2-in-one on loan from work with the Vega...would be interesting if I can boot it into ESXi and pass the GPU through. I kinda sorta wanted to do that with my i7-5775R based Gigabyte BRiX, or at the very least try to get gVTg working.

Okay, so the question is....what do you do with the NUCs (other than Proxmox node or something similar)?
 

BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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Heh. Hades Canyon is the Kaby Lake-G machine (the weird little hybrid with the Intel 870xG and an AMD Radeon Vega) with the bigger non-standard NUC form factor? Those are...stupid expensive (900+ when new?), although I am surprised that the Intel BIOS enabled SRIOV functionality on them. I have an XPS15 2-in-one on loan from work with the Vega...would be interesting if I can boot it into ESXi and pass the GPU through. I kinda sorta wanted to do that with my i7-5775R based Gigabyte BRiX, or at the very least try to get gVTg working.

Okay, so the question is....what do you do with the NUCs (other than Proxmox node or something similar)?
Yeah, that model is much larger and commands a hefty price premium still given its size. This is what I have personally (mostly because it's fanless): Fully rugged, industrial Embedded Box PC 5000 | Dell USA

I have 32GB of RAM in mine and a bunch of Hyper-V VMs. I don't have heavy use at home (only using half the RAM at the moment), so it has been plenty for me.

I actually tried to use one of my 7th gen NUCs (currently HTPC) as a VM host, but I wanted it to double as my HTPC, which didn't work so well. The IR receiver doesn't work with Windows Server and Windows 10 isn't really great as a VM host. Ah well.
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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I have a NUC6i7KYK i use for just testing whatever random thing I want to do a first install on if not a VM, I find it useful as portable and be taken to work or whatever when needed.

i liked the look of the new Xeon NUC model but at $1500 I don’t like it that much ! Just get a d-2141 in x11sdv and use rdimm, throw it in an e300 case, cheaper and more capable. (Excluding the ability to use decent video cards)
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Yeah, that model is much larger and commands a hefty price premium still given its size. This is what I have personally (mostly because it's fanless): Fully rugged, industrial Embedded Box PC 5000 | Dell USA

I have 32GB of RAM in mine and a bunch of Hyper-V VMs. I don't have heavy use at home (only using half the RAM at the moment), so it has been plenty for me.

I actually tried to use one of my 7th gen NUCs (currently HTPC) as a VM host, but I wanted it to double as my HTPC, which didn't work so well. The IR receiver doesn't work with Windows Server and Windows 10 isn't really great as a VM host. Ah well.
Wow. Thats a fairly sizable machine (the dimensions say that they are 7 liters in size), and they are not exactly common with depreciated/off-lease inventory (not likely to be replaced every 3-4 years). How did you end up with that beauty? I figure machines like that would be COM Express based and not a market Dell would enter. You learn something new every day.
 

BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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It's a bit of a brick and quite heavy. I got lucky on eBay. Not really sure how I managed to stumble upon it in the first place. I didn't know Dell sold such hardware then either.