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review: Intel NUC7I7BNKQ Enthusiast Mini PC NUC Kit

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Intel NUC7I7BNKQ Enthusiast Mini PC NUC Kit

  • 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7-7567U Dual-Core
  • 16GB 2400 MHz DDR4
  • 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
  • SDXC Media Card Reader
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB Type-A | HDMI 2.0 | Thunderbolt 3
  • Windows 10 (64-Bit)

Usage: I have determined that this unit makes a fine media center PC.  I use it to run two media servers (internally Squeezebox, externally Madsonic) and a Shoutcast server for an internet radio broadcast (which has been running now for over 15 years, one way or another).  So this tiny computer is in constant, mission-critical use, and so far, it seems to meet this need.  I can play my digital music collection in any room of the house with Squeezebox, and from anywhere in the world with an internet connection via Madsonic.  I can also soothe the world with the sounds of ambient music on my station.

Build:  The NUC computer is a small square metal box with a nice plastic top.  There are plenty of ports including 3 USB 3, an Ethernet port, HDMI, Thunderbolt, and a strero audio jack.

Features:  Like any modern computer, the nuc has a fast SSD hard drive, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a sound card, a media card reader, and plenty of connectors.

Performance:  I don’t run benchmarks, but with the 16 GB of RAM and an i7 processor, this computer runs pretty well.  For my usage, I reboot the computer about once a week.

Price:  I have quite a bit of experience (30 years) purchasing computers.  I did quite a bit of comparison shopping, and this nuc won the beauty contest.  I had a previous version of this computer, but I wanted something a bit faster.

Software:   It comes as a blank slate.  I installed Windows 10 on this computer, and Webroot security.  Squeezebox runs optimally with a ram disk which I also installed.  Chrome is my browser of choice.  I also installed a Chrome extension, Chrome Remote Desktop, which allows me to control this computer from any other in the house. An excellent new feature with this computer is it’s ability to upgrade the firmware easily.

Buy the NUC7I7BNKQ here.

front view: 2 USB ports, headphone jack, power switch
back: power connection, HDMI port, ethernet port, 2 USB 3 ports, display port

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