Haswell infiltrates updated NUC lineup

Intel has added a couple of systems to its small-form-factor NUC lineup. Both have Haswell under the hood; the D54250WYK features the Core i5-4250U, while the D34010WYK sports the i3-4010U. These duallies are both equipped with Hyper-Threading, but only the i5 supports Turbo. The i5 chip can boost its CPU clock speed to 2.6GHz when thermals allow, while the i3 peaks at only 1.7GHz. The Core i5 also has a more powerful HD Graphics 5000 integrated GPU.

Apart from their processors, the new NUCs appear to be identical. Each one can drive a 4K monitor via its Mini DisplayPort output. The systems also feature one Mini HDMI out, four USB 3.0 ports, an IR reader, and an analog audio jack. The audio jack and two USB ports are up front. Around the back, you'll find an Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet port.

As with earlier NUC models, you'll need to add your own memory, storage, and Wi-Fi. Dual-channel memory configs are supported via a pair of SO-DIMM slots. The full- and half-height Mini PCI Express slots are reserved for mSATA SSDs and wireless cards, respectively.

Although the NUC chassis' 4.59" x 4.41" footprint is unchanged, the enclosure has been slimmed slightly. It's now 1.36" thick, down from 1.55" in the first-generation models.

We don't yet know how much the Haswell-based NUCs will cost, but we do know they'll face renewed competition from Gigabyte Brix systems with similar specifications. It will be interesting to see who else gets in on the action now that Haswell is here. Asus is prepping a Chromebox that looks very similar to the NUC, and the firm could easily branch into barebones territory. I suspect we'll see more designs based on the NUC's UCFF form factor before long.

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