Intel introduced NUC ( Next Unit of Computing) in 2012. It is best depicted as small, barebones of personal computers that are awesome under any right circumstances. Generally, desktops are large and cumbersome devices. However, many people prefer this since they offer additional performance capabilities over tables and laptops. But the, recent technologies have succeeded in reducing the desktop PCs size to fit in smaller spaces.
Intel is the leader in the computer market and innovation. They are producing compact devices that can match the performance of the larger setups. Intel calls this NUC or Next Unit Computing. So, let us look at NUC and how to use this.
What is a NUC?
Before introducing laptops, desktop computers required a dedicated space since it was huge. They didn't fit naturally into a home, and to get a powerful PC, one needed to pay a hefty amount. Later on, laptops were made portable computers possible. These devices aid in getting rid of chained to a specific location while using the computers.
However, incorporating the battery and a screen and keeping the device's size comfortable to carry costs the room for performance enhancement. Intel noted this problem and came up with a solution. They created a small form factor PC, popularly known as NUC. The first generation of Next Unit of Computing was launched in 2013. Without an integrated display, the headless computer was made as a kit PC. This small and usually square-shaped case comes with a motherboard, power supply, and an integrated CPU.
The remaining parts need to be purchased separately by the users. It might sound like a disadvantage, but the plus point is the specifications will be as per the requirements and discretion of the users. Intel also doesn't provide peripherals; hence you need to buy as per your choice. Therefore people look for NUC compatible devices such as UPERFECT S 4K Portable Monitor, UPERFECT X Pro 4K Touchscreen with keyboard, etc. This applies even to the operating system and PC's storage.
It comes with no software. However, you can select any hard drive that suits NUC. That means if you want to install Windows 10 operating system, you need to own its copy.
How does the Next Unit Of Computing work?
You can relate to the Mac mini, also called the headless computer. But the different quality of Intel NUC is that you can customize it as per your requirements. If you purchase the Mac mini, it is pre-assembled, which means you can only get the specifications and capabilities that Apple offers to you. The Intel NUC is more versatile, cost-effective, and flexible. For example, if you want to have a system with high RAM capacity, you could customize it, or if your preference is something else, you can reduce the RAM size.
Similarly, other components of the NUC are easily swappable. The main reason it is getting the fame is that you can start with minimum specification and add on to it later. People with tight budgets prefer this method because they can get the computer at their budget with low specifications. After some weeks, they can increase the capabilities when their budget allows. The NUC lineup places itself between the Raspberry Pi and the Mac Mini in many ways. However, if you compare the intel NUC with the Raspberry Pi, the NUC is more expensive and powerful.
The Intel NUC arrives with a VESA mounting bracket to increase and maximize the space-saving capabilities. It can be attached to the back of a monitor screen. Due to the space requirement constraint, the NUC units are often unable to consist of a dedicated graphics card, and it relies on integrated graphics. However, Intel introduced NUC 9 Extreme, the first NUC supporting graphics card to counter this drawback.
The uses of the Intel NUC
The Intel NUC can be used for casual gaming, and the latest models also support the graphics card. However, it is not restricted to casual gaming. Several potential applications can use and capitalize on the compactness and power of the Intel NUC. The most common use of the NUC is obviously for home usage. The compactness of this device suits the home office workstation with space-saving capabilities. These devices are powerful enough to handle office suites and web browsing easily. Also, the NUC is small enough to fit anywhere in a living room. Hence it is ideal for home entertainment consoles, and therefore you can see these devices in the home media setups. If paired with wireless keyboards and NUC-compatible devices, this will become extra efficient.
The most significant advantage of the NUC is the flexibility in purchasing. Generally, the home theater only needs to access stored videos, Netflix, or other streaming services; using the NUC kit is a great way to save your money. You can load a NUC with Ubuntu and use your favorite browser to watch Netflix.
Businesses can also benefit from using the NUC by converting their business PCs to NUCs. The huge advantage of this switch will be the cost of deployment. The NUC can cost the business approximately the same as the low-end PC but offers a better price to performance ratio. The NUCs also draw less power than the PCs. It will also make life easy for the business since it needs less space to store and deploy. It also has fewer user-serviceable parts; hence many issues will be easy to diagnose.
The NUCs can also be deployed in the conference rooms. Since these devices are compact and powerful, they are discreet ways of powering monitors or projectors. Due to the small size of the NUCs, they are the number one choice to utilize as digital signage controllers. The NUCs are also cost-effective devices to use in schools, and you can also get all the advantages we discussed in the business cases in schools.