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Thread: Intel NUC issues; alternatives?

  1. #1

    Intel NUC issues; alternatives?

    I bought a NUC10 i7 in order to bring up a simple, reliable linux box to replace the various laptops I have been using.

    I don't have much use for laptops and I think due to the "killer" wifi card in both my last two, the wifi is always crap (like really high latency).

    The NUC is cool in that it's really small, but it's not cool in that the fan seems to be spinning at max rpm most of the time. Even while suspended/sleeping. If I put it to sleep with the fan on, the fan will stay on at that RPM forever. If I shut everything down and wait for the cpu to cool down and fan to stop, and then suspend it, the fan will stay off. But that sorta defeats the point of using suspend, right?

    I have found a couple of threads where people were having similar issues but no solutions. I'm thinking about returning this and building up a small desktop computer with an discrete graphics card (just so I can play some older games when I get the itch).

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    You could look for a passive cooling case. I once had a small HTPC built with one. It was awesome. Unfortunately the case itself seems to be discontinued but maybe you can find something similar.

    And incidentally, about a year or two ago the CPU fan in my home server was beginning to make some weird noises. When I went to inspect it further I noticed that the fan was barely spinning at all. Temperatures were all right, though, so I just unplugged it entirely. And that box has been rock solid ever since. So maybe you actually don't need active cooling. Maybe experiment with a bigger heat sink.

  3. #3
    I'm hesitant to pull it apart and like re-paste the processor/heatsink because it came from the factory like this. I feel like it's more of a bug with the firmware than an actual cooling issue. Fans turn off when cpu is < 40c but sitting essentially idle at the bios screen with nothing else running it's detecting 43c and has the cpu fan at 2200 rpm.

    In any case, I don't really mind the fan noise so much as the fact that the fan runs 100% of the time even when suspended. Nothing should be generating heat when suspended, right? So I guess it could be a sensor or something but not something I'm going to try to troubleshoot, I'd rather just return it and buy something else.

  4. #4
    If you hadn't said anything about gaming I would have suggested a Raspberry Pi or something similar. The new one built into a keyboard looks nice.

  5. #5
    ..would like a shrubbery.
    I also wanted some silent mini PCs. I'm running two of these:

    One older model with an i7 5557u and one with a 8650u. One is running my HTPC and one is running a NAS and VPN that all my network traffic routes through.

    I've had the older one for about 4-5 years and it's solid as a rock. Been turned on 24/7. They do get a little hot, but for passive cooling they're really impressive. They're *silent* as there are no fans which is what I was looking for for these purposes and they run great. They support linux out of the box, I've got the HTPC running Arch and the vpn/nas one running Centos.

    I've not done much gaming on them really, but I've played Rocksmith, Jackbox, Nidhogg and a Dolpin Wii emulator on them and it works fine. They'd struggle with AAA games though.
    Last edited by Ni; 11-17-2020 at 06:48 AM.

  6. #6
    I did think about getting one of these to replace my 2014 computer - mostly due to then being able to get some more space in my apartment - but apparently it's still being crowdfunded or something so I don't want to take any chances just yet.

  7. #7
    That last one looks just like the Intel NUC I just bought. I went to system76 and they're selling their version of the NUC (same _exact_ thing, just with a different top plate) with minimum 50% markup for installing (already-free) linux on it. Urgh.

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