Intel NUC: A Little Ahead Momentum

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I’ve approached the brand new NUC a bit gingerly, given my early reliability issues. However now that I’ve solved the show difficulty, all is properly.

As you might recall, I moved my major desktop PC from an HP AIO to the Intel NUC (NUC8i7BEH) about 10 days in the past. This isn’t usually the kind of transition I’d doc publicly; in spite of everything, I change between completely different transportable PCs usually and it’s all the time fairly seamless due to OneDrive-based doc synchronization. However my AIO experiences have been more and more damaging, particularly towards the tip when it grew to become clear that I used to be by no means going to resolve the issue. And the brand new, NUC, properly. That wasn’t supreme both.

I had initially deliberate to transition to the NUC once I bought it late final 12 months. Nevertheless it’s louder than anticipated fan noise killed that concept—I’m delicate to noise—and I ended up utilizing it since as a secondary PC for my work on the Home windows 10 Subject Information. So switching to it shouldn’t have been all that troublesome assuming I may reside with the fan noise: I had been preserving it up-to-date with Home windows 10 model 1903 already anyway.

I stored operating into issues. Along with the fan noise, I had continued reliability points with the AIO, which I had initially hoped to make use of as a show for my NUC. After which my Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard coughed up its “i” key. So not solely was I being pressured to modify computer systems, however I’d find yourself having to spend lots of of extra on a brand new show, audio system (except I bought a show with built-in audio), and a keyboard/mouse set. Plus a Thunderbolt three dock of some type, given the NUC’s restricted growth. And probably a video cable of some type.

The excellent news? I did just about resolve all the issues. Even the fan noise is a bit higher. Not … mounted. However higher.

That individual repair was the outcome, I consider, of the firmware configuration modifications I beforehand documented. Given the NUC’s small kind issue, some fan noise is inevitable, and I’m OK with that, in fact. I solely hear it when the PC wakes or boots up, or throughout acceptable moments of duress (software installs, and so on.). It’s acceptable.

I solved my show difficulty by buying a 27-inch 1440p HP Z27n G2 show from Amazon.com for $340. It really works fantastically properly, and it has a great vary of contemporary ports, plus the peak and angle changes I had wished on that earlier AIO (which wanted to be positioned on a stand to attain the right top).

Simply including the HP show didn’t really resolve any issues, nor did set up HP’s Assist Assistant software program, which the agency makes use of to examine for brand spanking new drivers and the like. Every day, once I wakened the PC, the entire at the moment open home windows could be resized to ridiculously small sizes. This kind of downside appeared acquainted, if old style, and after doing a little bit of analysis, I lastly found that biking by a collection of various shows—the unique Samsung 1080p I had been utilizing with the NUC for the ebook, the AIO’s show, an HP business-class 24-inch 1080p show, after which the brand new HP Z27n G2 show–I had principally screwed up the entire show profiles within the Registry.

The answer? Use RegEdit to edit every key with “.cx” or “.cy” to have the right values (normally “2560” for cx and “1440” for cy). That was as mind-numbing because it sounds, as there have been a lot of them. Nevertheless it labored: I haven’t had a single wake/show difficulty since.

(The opposite resolution that will surely have labored: Simply reinstall Home windows 10.)

As a result of the HP has completely different video-in ports and a few USB ports, there’s a likelihood I can get away while not having an exterior dock, which might be good. My aim is to have at the least one open full-sized USB port on the entrance of the NUC in order that I can connect gadgets quickly as wanted.

There are completely different configurations that may obtain this. For now, I’m utilizing a reasonable USB-C-to-DisplayPort cable reader really useful for video-out. I had been utilizing the NUC’s USB-C/Thunderbolt three port to attach a Pixel USB-C cable for telephones, however because the show has USB ports, I switched to a type of.

Quickly, I’ll start testing an unimaginable 14-port Thunderbolt three Dock that OWC despatched for evaluation. That is in all probability overkill for my present configuration. Nevertheless it appears like an excellent choice for the extra typical use case, the place you’ve a transportable PC as a substitute of a NUC. I’ll check it that means, too, in fact, and even with the NUC, it may show helpful as I may conceal the NUC underneath the desk and simply interface with the Dock as a substitute. It’s a neat one-cable growth resolution.

As for audio, as famous, I bought a pair of Edifier R1010BT Studio Displays for $80 at Amazon. It’s bizarre having audio system take up house on the desk once more, however the sound high quality is nice, and I’ll connect a Chromecast Audio to their second inputs in order that they will participate in whole-house audio when wanted. My greater fast concern, nevertheless, was how the audio system would work together with the headphones I have to put on when recording podcasts.

After a little bit of experimentation, I can see that this may work as earlier than: The audio system are linked to the audio-out on the show, so the default sound system is ready to the show. Once I plug within the headphones, it switches to these. This works typically, and in Skype particularly, so all is properly.

And … that’s the place I’m at. All the pieces appears to be working correctly and has been doing so for a number of days. And I can’t consider the final time I’ve been capable of say that.

Tagged with Intel NUC

Paul Thurrott

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