Intel’s NUC line of tiny computers are getting tinier… well, at least some of them are.

The chip maker is showing off its latest NUC desktops at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, and there’s a super-slim model designed for use with an M.2 solid state drive, as well as a thicker version which also has room for a 2.5 inch hard drive.

intel nuc_01

Even the the thinner models have room for a bunch of ports, including 4 USB ports, Ethernet, and HDMI and Mini DisplayPort (for powering two displays simultaneously) and headset jacks.

At launch these little desktops won’t be fanless: there’s plenty of ventilation in case. But these devices are designed to house Intel’s Broadwell U processors (the relatively low-power 5th-gen Core chips that are also used in laptops). Eventually Intel plans to offer versions with lower-power Cherry Trail chips, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a fanless model at that point.

Intel is also showing off a new small form-factor motherboard prototype that it’s working on, which has a socket that would allow users to replace the CPU. This motherboard is a bit bigger than a typical NUC and Intel doesn’t plan to sell the board or build a computer around it: but the company could work with partners to make the technology available in third-party devices.

intel nuc_02

That means in the future you might be able to buy an NUC-like mini-desktop and upgrade the processor in a few years when you want a faster or more efficient chip but don’t want to buy a whole new computer.

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13 replies on “Closer look at Intel’s new Broadwell-powered NUC mini PCs”

  1. Looking forward to seeing this on Amazon. I want to build a small NetBSD box.

  2. “That means in the future you might be able to buy an NUC-like mini-desktop and upgrade the processor in a few years when you want a faster or more efficient chip but don’t want to buy a whole new computer.”

    In a few years Intel will probably have moved onto a new socket format! I think it was the 90’s when I was last practically able to upgrade my CPU and retain the same motherboard… 🙂

    1. Also a slightly better Intel CPU nowdays costs almost as much as a NUC.

    2. and you’d have to redesign the cooling, so it probably won’t fit into the case, so you will have either something that’ll overheat, be equally “slow” or won’t fit.

      great idea

  3. Thanks for the video. What annoys me is that they don’t say yet when the new NUCs will be available for purchase.
    I already have a NUC that is connected to my TV and we use if for Netflix and such. It’s the cheap Celeron one.
    Now i want to get the new I5 one and use it as my browsing/youtube computer so i don’t have to turn on my “factory” PC just to browse the internet.

    1. If you go to the Intel NUC website, they say the i3 will be launched in February and the i5 in March.

    2. Why can’t you browse the internet on your Celeron NUC?

      I have a DN2820FYKH Celeron NUC, and it has no trouble running a browser. Even youtube and netflix. I have it running Xubuntu 14.10. Runs really fast on such a lightweight OS.

      1. Well the Celeron is good indeed but we keep it for movies and plus it’s under the TV on the other side of the living room.
        And if i get a new i5 i know that for what i will use it i can easily keep it for 5 years.

        1. I’m also replacing my Celeron NUC. I found the CPU sufficient for media, web browsing, and most other light tasks. But it completely choked trying to play Minecraft and other small games. I’m building a Mini ITX pc. Just waiting for the last 2 parts.

          I’m using a Pentium G3258. It is pretty close in performance to the i5 in the NUC (not not nearly as powerful as a desktop i5). The whole build will cost around $250.

          I was going to get a newer NUC, or a Brix, but this Mini ITX case will hold several HDDs (even 3.5″ sized), and a video card if I need one later.

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