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It was rumored earlier this year that Intel would be adding Core i5 and Core i7 processors to its tiny Next Unit of Computing (NUC) boxes. And the Core i5 NUC has finally put in an appearance along with improved connectivity.
Until now you’ve had two options in terms of chips inside an NUC: a 1.1Ghz Celeron or 1.8GHz Core i3. Connectivity has also been limited to USB 2.0 and dual HDMI ports (or one HDMI and one Thunderbolt).The new model is already being offered by Logic Supply and comes with a 1.8GHz Core i5 processor. But connectivity has been greatly improved, too.
The official model number is D53427RKE and it uses a Core i5 3427U chip complete with Intel HD4000 Graphics. Support for RAM remains the same as previous models and tops out at 16GB (DDR3 1600/1333/1066 SO-DIMM). In terms of connectivity, you now get access to a single USB 3.0 port on the front of the unit, as well as two Mini DisplayPort connections, a HDMI 1.4a port, and two USB 2.0 ports on the back.
The Core i3 NUC can be picked up for around $289 complete with case, but this new model will set you back $399 just for the board. You can’t use an existing NUC case with it due to the ports being different, but it shouldn’t take long for both fan-assisted and fanless enclosures to appear.
Intel’s NUCs are by no means cheap, but then there’s nothing to really compete with the performance on offer here in such a small package.
And with the addition of this Core i5 model, an NUC can genuinely be a desktop replacement for office tasks and web surfing. It’s also going to make for a great media center box.
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Source: Associated Press