Hmm! After a lot of reading it appears the Intel NUC platform has got a few issues.
Apparently due to a known issue with the video drivers, if there’s no screen attached at boot up, it won’t. Not what you want when you want to run it in a headless environment. It appears that there’s internal tooing and frooing between the people who write drivers at Intel and the NUC side of the company over this but nothing’s dropped out of it that helps the end users.
The advice is to delete the intel video driver completely from the system within Windows then allow Windows to install the Microsoft version and that overcomes that issue. Only problem is the supported video resolutions aren’t as clear. Also at maximum resolution with the Intel drivers installed the video has lag issues. Apparently winding that down to something you can read without having to go the SpecSavers overcomes this.
Have a look at the reviews on Amazon.co.uk
Issue number two is that again the machine won’t boot with USB3 devices attached. I skimmed over something where someone said about disabling the boot from USB in the BIOS once you’d got the machine set up to prevent it looking at what’s plugged in. This shouldn’t be a problem for Ham radio devices as I doubt people are building USB 3 stuff yet.
Still it’s a bit of a problem that a high end and not overly cheap device isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The alternatives may well have similar issues as Gigabyte’s Brix is also Intel based and when you look inside the box it’s identical to the NUC.
Fujitsu do a business based mini PC which is no where near as small but may well be an alternative. It’s cheaper but it’s not as highly spec’d so at what point do you kick yourself and wish you’d have bought an i5 or i7?
As the machine is going to be the core of any system, where the objective is small, concealed and able to be remotely accessed this could be a real pain.
I’ve got a few Acer Aspire Revo 360’s which I’m using as media boxes and they seem pretty good at what they do but they’re not running Windows 7 with all the issues that brings. Also the foot print is much larger.
Bearing in mind I haven’t got the cash to consider buying anything at the moment, hopefully there may be a few driver updates by that time which will overcome all of this.
Also, who builds a machine with mini HDMI video out and doesn’t supply an £8 cable or adaptor with it so it can be used out of the box? Come on Intel!