Bay Trail NUC (DN2820FYKH) Review – part 3

This is the last part of the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH review that I’ve been working on the last few days. Today we look how the thing works under Windows. If you’re interested in the previous articles, have a look here.

Windows on the NUC

I started by installing Windows 8.1 on to the NUC from an USB stick where I had my Windows 8 installation media. The installation was uneventful and successful. After getting to the desktop, I recommend that all Windows users will visit Intel Download Center and download the latest drivers for the NUC. Drivers are available for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

Well, what can I say, it does work. All the hardware is fine. Performance is allright, but could be better of course, especially since I only have a 2 gigabyte memory module! Others have reported better performance with 4 or 8 gigabytes of RAM. So, if you plan on running Windows on the NUC, don’t skimp on the amount of RAM. For those interested in numbers, have a look what Legit Reviews had to say in their thorough review of the thing.

DTS-HD and Windows

Intel initially claimed DTS-HD support for the NUC. However, in August it turned out that the CPU in the NUC does not support Protected Audio Path (PAP) via the onboard HDMI connector. PAP is a DRM technology that is required for lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD formats when running Windows. On Linux DTS-HD output without PAP is possible, so OpenELEC is actually fine with DTS-HD. So there you have it, no DTS-HD in Windows on this NUC. The i3 NUC is your next option, in case you need that.

What kind of hardware to buy?

If you’re interested in one, you can visit the NUC Guru that will help you to choose hardware that actually works together. I’ve specified here a hew example configurations though based on your needs.

Budget NUC

This configuration is pretty much as cheap as you can go and still build a proper working NUC if you plan to run Linux on it. For Windows use, you need to look further. This actually corresponds to the configuration I had in my review and provides a full working system under $200 / €200.

  • Memory: 2Gb DDR3L
  • HDD: 120Gb 2.5″ SATA drive
  • HDMI cable

Check the price here.

Windows-desktop NUC

Reasonably equipped NUC with an SSD drive and 4 gigabytes of memory. You’ll still need to add a suitable edition of Windows to the package.

  • Memory: 4Gb DDR3L
  • HDD: 120Gb 2.5″ SSD drive
  • HDMI cable

Check the price here.

Performance NUC

About as good as it gets: The NUC with an 240Gb SSD drive and 8 gigabytes of memory.

  • Memory: 8Gb DDR3L
  • HDD: 240Gb 2.5″ SSD drive
  • HDMI cable

Check the price here.

HTPC NUC

Very balanced HTPC configuration that works fine if you’re planning to store your media outside the NUC (on a NAS or on an external hard drive).

  • Memory: 4Gb DDR3L
  • HDD: 60Gb 2.5″ SSD drive
  • HDMI cable
  • Remote Controller

Check the price here.

Build your own!

Better yet, visit the NUC Guru and build your own NUC easily and with compatible components.

Conclusion

It’s not blazing fast, but it’s inexpensive, small, rather stylish, quiet and works well as an OpenELEC HTPC. It’s an inexpensive entry into HTPCs. In case you want to read the earlier parts of this NUC DN2820FYKH review, look here:

7 Responses

  1. sam says:

    The intel nuc 2820 will be a nice little media center if intel will fix the video driver so you can scale to fit tv I’m putting mine up till they fix that if they don’t I’d say dont waste your money

  2. Trevor says:

    If u find the right driver you can pass dts-hd mstr and true hd to your supported amp on windows 8.1

  3. Kalo says:

    Just bught it. Install 4gb RAM; 500gb HDD; Windows 8.1 Pro with MC. Tested with CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra 15 I played a Blu Ray ISO and I have DTS-HD (ONKYO reciver) and the BluRay was run excellent.
    But I have a problem with overscaling on my HDTV Panasonic 55”. I tested with Dell HD monitor scaling was ok.

  4. KoiLsLick says:

    Having just bought a NUC5i3RYH I didn’t expect to have resolution settings issues either!. ie. 1920×1200 spills over the edges. 1680×1050 works, as do other settings, but I want 1920×1200 Also a warning comes up when attempting to switch away from 1920×1080. With the loss of 4K I guess. Before I dick around. Will dropping to a lower Hz setting claw it back to within the boarders? Cheers’

    • Olli says:

      Hi there! What’s the display that you are connecting to? Are we talking about a TV or about a monitor with native resolution of 1920×1200?

  5. asaf says:

    Hi, is it possible to boot the nuc from an SD card?

    • Olli says:

      There’s no SD card slot in this NUC, but you can boot the NUC from an USB SD card reader if you want to use an SD card… The newer model NUC5CPYH has an inbuilt SD card reader.

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