The Intel NUC – Your Portal to the Cloud.

Intel-NUCI’ve got to tip my hat to the men and women over at Intel; they really understand your needs and the needs of others like you.

For the last couple of years I have been following a product that isn’t getting the press or the fanfare it deserves. The Intel NUC (pronounced nook, and stands for Next Unit of Computing) is a four inch by four inch device that packs a serious punch. Capable of housing a laptop hard drive and running the latest in chip, and chipset alike, from Intel, this little powerhouse is the last PC that businesses need to buy to act as a perfect (and very affordable) portal to the cloud.

It’s no great surprise that the lack of press this little device has received might have you asking, “What is a NUC?” Chances are you haven’t heard of it before and it might startle you that Intel is already on its forth revision of the miniature PC. The big box PC vendors might have you convinced that you still need that monster tower PC sitting on your desk cluttering up your workspace, or down under your desk keeping your feet warm and that you have to (read: really should) clean out every three months because it’s full of dust again. But the elegance and simplicity that the NUC offers just can’t be beat; it’s all Intel, and it all just works!

I can personally attest to the fact that all the bugs have been worked out. Purchasing one to play around with (And ultimately do some deeper exploration of different Linux operating system distributions, because why not, it’s a full PC), I was delighted to find that Intel has even made it extremely easy to build the little system up. In fact, ordering one of the kits means that you only need to buy two other items, a hard drive and some RAM. Four screws and three pieces that went together in under ten minutes and I had myself a fully functional and very fast little system. Here are the specifics of my build, totaling a whopping $730, and running circles around most office PC’s:

Here is the build

Intel NUC BOXD54250WYKH1

Intel 7260HMW IEEE 802.11AC, Dual-Band, 2x2 Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.0 Mini PCI Express combo Adapter

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory

Intel 530 Series SSDSC2BW240A4K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

So what makes the NUC a perfect portal to the cloud? Here are three good reasons:

It is inexpensive yet still fast; it’s ultimately a solid state PC where concerns over hard drive failures due to spinning media are a thing of the past.

It has the horsepower needed to insure a great cloud experience (Gigabit connectivity, backup wifi connectivity, latest in display options like 4K monitor support through Displayport).

It offers the capability to free up desk space, lower energy expenses (It draws as little as 11 Watts at idle vs. considerably more for a big box PC), and can be mounted right to the back of your monitor (Get rid of all the wires under your desk!)

When all is said and done the Intel NUC is a perfect replacement for the desktop PC and really is the future for office PCs. It takes up almost no space, is cheaper and more reliable to run and provides all of the power you could possibly need in a PC. Combine it with the cloud and you have a winning combination that every office will want.

Written By: Dave Thomas
Team Lead, Rapid Action Development, TOSS C3

Learn more about how your office can use the cloud here!

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