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NUC or General Purpose Build

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muze

Registered
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
I'm going between whether I should buy a NUC or just build a small profile, quiet PC. My only issue is that it's been a while since I've focused on a build and I've lost track on what prices vs. power would be for what I'm trying to do.

My uses are really basic for this system:
Web stuff: email / youtube / torrents
Minor office needs: Spreadsheet / Word / etc.
Run Plex (needs to be always be, so looking for lower power consumption, but needs to be able to trancode)
Quiet, my current one was built for gaming (see below) and is just too loud
Modest gaming (super modest, like, Minecraft maybe and stuff my kids might do)
Speed.

So far, I've been looking at the NUCs and it's going to cost my ~$700
NUC6i5SYH - $370
Samsung 950 Pro m.2- $200
Kingston HyperX DDR4 16GB - $115

Seeing as I'm finding near top-setting gaming rigs for $800, it feels like the NUC might not be that great of a deal. If I wanted to look at a small form, but quiet build, where should I start? Can I do this for less than $700? I don't need a full build, but some ideas on where to start my research would be greatly appreciated.

Side note: I'm replacing the (awesomely?) ancient system in my sig. ONly changes since the build in 2007 were RMA'd RAM, but still only 4GB. On Windows 10 now, which is the entire reason for the upgrade-just too slow at this point. 9 years out and this has been super reiliable!
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
I just built a budget system. I went with an i5-6400, 16gb DDR4, 64gb SSD and 2tb HDD. Total build, with MB, case, and PSU added in, ended up at $350. It runs MS Office, GoPro Editing Suite, Chrome, Youtube, Torrents, etc perfectly. I ran some low end games on the HD530 iGPU and it was fine on 1080p (not going to handle anything graphically demanding obviously).
 
OP
M

muze

Registered
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
I just built a budget system. I went with an i5-6400, 16gb DDR4, 64gb SSD and 2tb HDD. Total build, with MB, case, and PSU added in, ended up at $350. It runs MS Office, GoPro Editing Suite, Chrome, Youtube, Torrents, etc perfectly. I ran some low end games on the HD530 iGPU and it was fine on 1080p (not going to handle anything graphically demanding obviously).

Ok, I need to spend some time doing some research. When I can build 2 of yours or 1 of mine, seems like I'm doing it wrong...lol

How big was the build? Case-wise, I mean. I'm looking for a small footprint to replace what I have now.
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
It was a micro-ATX case. Not huge, but not tiny either. But it was cheap.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
I looked at the NUCs for my grandmother a couple months back. The thing about them is for the most part they use mobile parts, so you're paying more for equivalent or lesser performance.

Unless you absolutely need a PC the size of a small paperback book, you're better off looking into a mITX or mATX PC.
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
Alternatively I would suggest (if you don't have one already) either a tablet or laptop based Core-M preferably with USB-C or Lightning 3. As long as it has USB-C it is essentially dockable, plus you have the portability a laptop provides and most Core-M laptops are indestructible as they have no moving parts whatsoever (like the current MacBook); i.e. no fans no mechanical HDDs etc.

Example from SD:

https://slickdeals.net/f/9516996-as...soft-amazon?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
So far, I've been looking at the NUCs and it's going to cost my ~$700
NUC6i5SYH - $370
Samsung 950 Pro m.2- $200
Kingston HyperX DDR4 16GB - $115

A lot of the time the NUC will come with memory or an upgrade bundle for cheap. 8GB should be enough for anything you're intending on doing. You can also save some money getting a cheaper SSD. There's a lot of good SSD options now, quality has gone up across the board. Also, the NUC isn't a top of the line machine so it may even be more of a bottleneck with a top of the line SSD. Meaning, a really good SSD is wasted money in a NUC.

You should be able to get into a NUC for under $500 with 8GB RAM and a 120+GB SSD.

I second the idea of getting a laptop or dockable tablet. Lots of good options out there right now.