Intel NUC6i7KYK inside, M.2 NVMe SSD installed, noise and power draw measured

Posted by Paul Braren on Jul 31 2016 (updated on Aug 1 2016) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • GPU
  • There are many nice things to say about a tiny and efficient GPU-equipped mobile Core i7 like the latest Intel NUC, wrapped in a lovely skin and all the latest and fastest consumer tech, and finally a chipset and BIOS that allows M.2 NVMe to run at full speeds, see also:


    Today, I actually got my hands on a borrowed NUC6i7KYK, sharing my first impressions, and I'll have access to it through mid August. This brief article and video is only focused only on initial observations about the form-factor and design, as we dive under the hood together in the video below. Come to think of it, not so much like a hood, since it's actually the bottom cover you remove to easily install the separately purchased components such as M.2 and memory, mounted to the underside of motherboard. Yep, it's a somewhat unusual upside-down orientation. So far, it appears to be quite easy to work on this system, there's not much to do in there but install one or two tiny M.2 sticks of storage, and one or two compact laptop-style memory modules.

    Note that all NUCs arrive with two covers, the default Skull gamer look, and a more staid simpler cover, perhaps a nod to those using these popular little systems for non-gaming uses such as running VMware ESXi.

    I frankly don't see this as some sort of NUC versus the recently released Supermicro compact Xeon D-1500 systems. Intel is focused on consumers, Supermicro is focused on server use-cases. Each does a fine job reaching its different target audiences, see also:

    The video gets into some brief watt burn and decibel output measurements during POST, and when idling on the BIOS screen. I will be testing this system more soon, and updating this article if time permits more extensive hands-on tests including watt burn and noise under load. Stay tuned!


    Close look at the Core i7 NUC NUC6i7KYK kit, including watts and decibels


    The NUC6i7KYK is widely available, and is on Amazon and Newegg.

    See also at TinkerTry