Storage Performance, Power and Conclusions

Okay, this really isn't a fair fight, but the NVMe storage that Intel sent along with the NUC5i7RYH just begs to be benchmarked at least once.

So, what exactly can you do with 2.26 GB/s read and 1.26 GB/s write speed? Everything. But to be honest, you would likely need more compute power than the Core i7-5557U can throw at you to really take advantage of the power of NVMe storage. That doesn't make it any less impressive to show you that ATTO score above though.

Power Consumption

We already know that the Core i7-5557U uses nearly twice the power of the Core i5-5250U despite having the same core and thread count. But what does that turn into when looking at "at-the-wall" power consumption?

At idle, the NUC5i7RYH uses the same measly <7.0 watts of power that the NUC5i5RYK did, but under load that all changes. With a CPU-centric load of CineBench for example, the higher wattage system consumes nearly 36 watts, or 15.5 watts more than the NUC5i5RYK. That is a difference of 75%! With a typical graphics and CPU workload from 3DMark the total power draw of the NUC5i7RYH hits more than 51 watts, or 41% higher than the NUC5i5RYK.

Running a full system with mainstream gaming capability for just 51 watts is still impressive – even a laptop would be hard pressed to match this. Though to be fair, a laptop would have a screen to contend with…

Pricing and Availability

The Intel NUC5i7RYH with the Core i7-5557U is more expensive than the NUC5i5RYK with the Core i5-5250U by a considerable amount. As I write this, the NUC5i7RYH sells on Amazon.com for $521; compare that to the NUC5i5RYK that is listed at $369, a difference of $150 or so. For that price difference you get the ability to installed a 2.5-in hard drive or SSD along with the 35% or so performance advantage we showed you on the previous page.

  Intel Broadwell NUC5i7RYH Build
System Intel NUC5i7RYH Kit - $521
Memory Kingston HyperX Impact Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 - $62
Storage Transcend 256GB SATA M.2 SSD - $109
Samsung XP941 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD - $459
Samsung SM951 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - $???
OS Windows 8.1 OEM - $92
Total Price $784 - Full Cart on Amazon.com

A full system built around the NUC5i7RYH, depending on your other selected components and the need for an operating system, will cost you just shy of $800 ($700 if you don't need Windows). That includes 8GB of memory at just $62 from Kingston and a 256GB SATA M.2 SSD. Obviously if you want to upgrade to a PCI Express-based drive or even that magical NVMe unit you are going to increase the cost even more.

That isn't cheap - and I am well aware that you could put together a build with standard sized components that would be faster and better in nearly every way. Except size: the Intel NUC is as compact as you can get for the amount of performance demonstrated here today.

Final Thoughts

The Intel NUC still isn't for everyone though the NUC5i7RYH with the Core i7-5557U does a better job than any previous model to offer the performance and features that consumers demand in a desktop PC. With a dual-core, HyperThreaded Broadwell processor, integrated 802.11ac wireless, room for a 2.5-in HDD/SSD and M.2 support as well, this barebones system supplies enough power to tackle most computing tasks for the consumer, small business and even medical fields. For gamers, you can expect modest mainstream gaming capability but not much else. DOTA 2, League of Legends, indie-titles - they are all possible but don't expect to get GTAV up and running.

The price of the NUC5i7RYH is likely its biggest detractor; you need to be a user or business that requires a small form factor design to be willing to trade the all-mighty dollar for space conservation. But if you do, you should have no doubt that the Core i7-5557U with Iris 6100 graphics can keep up with what you need to do.

« PreviousNext »