Intel Releases Skylake NUC BIOS Version 36

Quite a few people faced issues with the BIOS version 33 on their Skylake NUCs. Eventually version 33 was even pulled from Intel’s download center. There were reports of NUCs even frying themselves after 33 update. Now Intel has released the Skylake NUC BIOS version 36 and in the release notes they state (among other things):

  • Improved reliability of the heatsink fan.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the fan to stop spinning when user manually modify duty cycle increment to maximum value may cause fan stop spin, modified divisor from 256 to 255.
  • Fixed issue where the LED on an m.2 SSD would not function.
  • Fixed issue where an m.2 would not show device information in the SATA page in the BIOS.
  • Improved EFI Capsule algorithm.
  • Changed power button recovery beep count from 1 to 3.
  • Improved LED blink code.

I’ve just updated mine to version 36 and the system seems to be running ok. Though I did not observe any issues before either, but maybe my use was not stressing the NUC enough. If you’re running BIOS version 33 on your Skylake NUC, I’d suggest an upgrade… Do note that it’s recommended practise to reset the BIOS settings to defaults after a BIOS upgrade. To do this, enter BIOS normally (press F2) and then reset the defaults by pressing F9.

Have your say

I don’t have any long term experience yet running this Skylake NUC BIOS version 36, but I’m sure we’ll hear soon enough plenty of user stories in the Intel NUC community and hopefully here too. If you’re running the new version 0036 in your NUC, I’d be happy to hear your experiences in the comments section down below!

21 Responses

  1. Running it since they started shipping it with Ubuntu + kodi. Performance wise it seems fine, does everything I tell it to with ease. I love the size, the low noise and everything. In general I’m quite happy with the purchase and it is in use in my living room as HTPC solution.

    Now the (few) bad things:

    * USB controllers seem to have a bit of an issue with guaranteeing latency when they’re stressed a lot. Running a USB tuner, USB speakers and a homebrew USB ambilight (livelight.com) on the back side USB controller isn’t possible. Youll get distortions in video/sound/lighting and sooner or later one of the devices goes on strike until replugged. I had to distribute all the USB devices. This results in having USB devices plugged permanently at the front panel, which looks ugly, but hey, it works at least.

    * Suspend to ram seems very fragile. The machine will freeze most of the time. Running the same software on other machines doesn’t show that issue. I hope the Bios update will improve the situation there.

    * The IR receiver hasn’t really good sight. I still keep on using the MCE USB IR receiver along with it. With the integrated one I need to point the remote exactly towards the NUC while the MCE one will detect the signal even if I point completely the opposite direction. I still love that waking up the NUC from suspend 2 ram (assuming I’ll get that stable at some point) seems to work very well with the integrated receiver while setting that up with external ones is always a bit iffy (either you power off USB devices during suspend, or you risk other USB devices waking up the machine randomly too).

  2. nucblognet says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comment. My understanding is that all the ports share the same USB bus (run lsusb to check), so I was thinking if the unstability issue you saw could be related to power draw. Not that it makes that much of a difference for you of course…

    • Indeed, according to lsusb there’s just one bus. I might try a powered USB hub then. Thanks a lot for that hint!

      FWIW, atm I even use 2 USB tuner cards and the Speakers on the back side (on a passive hub), while having the USB IR receiver and the ambilight connected to the front ports. That works fine in exactly this combination. As soon as I move things around in a slightly different way the before mentioned issues will pop up again (distorted video recordings, distorted sound or flickering ambilight).

  3. P. Lis says:

    I was ready to buy a new skylake nuc but after seeing a thread on intel’s communities page about some of the issues users have had, dying units mainly, I was hesitant to buy one. I hope this BIOS update does fix it, because I really wanted to grab the nuc.

  4. Jarrod Spiga says:

    Well, that might explain the issues I’ve had with my NUC6i5. It’s the end of summer in Australia and seeing as my NUC was going to be living in a comms cabinet along with other noisy equipment, I upgraded the BIOS to v33 and turned the family speed to max to keep it as cool as possible. I came home from work the next day to find the unit not responsive and I needed to get an oven mitt to pick up the unit. Since then, I’ve not been able to get a Linux kernel running for more than 3 seconds without a kernel panic due to issues with the L2 cache on the CPU. I’m currently waiting for my RMA…

    • Cursor says:

      That’s interesting. What are the symptoms? Do you get MCEs and if so, what do they tell you (run them through mcelog to decode).

  5. Oliver says:

    Hi there. Just got my nuc6i5syh and have the problem, that i dont have access to the Bios,because pressing f2 doesnt work. Only f7 is available. Maybe its because iam using an Apple Keyboard. Win 10 Shows that i have Bios Version 3.0 but that one doesnt exist as far as i know. Is there anybody having the same Problems?

    • Theo says:

      I had the same problem, it’s caused by using a TV not full hd resolution. Visual bios required a proper full hd resolution. I switched tv for a test and I’ve entered into the bios correctly.

  6. Timothy says:

    The usual bios .exe updater file didn’t work for me. Locks with red LED after shut down and doesn’t start up again. When I power off and power up again a window pops up saying successful update but when I go into bios it is still ver. 33 any ideas?

  7. Josep A. says:

    With dual cores only, is it enough to play StarCraft II & League of legends ?

  8. Ted says:

    Comments lean heavily to people with problems, so I’ll add a success comment to balance things a tiny bit. No problems at all updating from v33 to v36 using the .exe as I usually do. I reset to defaults via visual bios immediately afterwards as suggested. The fan is a lot more aggressive now, spinning up quickly during area loads in Skyrim. v33 was far more gradual.

    I do have two issues with my NUC6i5SYK: Crashes to desktop now and then while playing Skyrim, sometimes with a popup message about the display driver crashing and recovering, sometimes not. I’ve tried all graphics 540 drivers; the latest beta 4380 ones seem marginally best.

    Second issue: the SD card reader won’t recognize all my SD cards. Even though the same card(s) inserted via a USB adapter *will* work, so it’s the SD card slot itself that’s too picky. Annoying.

  9. SebasF1 says:

    Since this week I’m getting BSOD WHEA error in Win 10 pro. As soon as I get to win 10 home screen, the error appears and reboots the nuc, and this loop goes on forever. Sometimes it even appears as soon as I pass bios nuc posting. I updated the nuc to the latest 036 bios from 033 and the problem persists. Also followed suggestion to uncheck memory setting trip optimisation.
    My nuc6i5syh was manufactured Jan 7th 2016. It has installed 2 x 8gb Kingston hyperX impact 2133mhz ram modules, a crucial 500gb SSD and a 1TB WD Red HDD. It seems Intel has no clue of what’s going on.I’m paying the price of buying unproven new technology that was rushed to the market. To sum it up, 800€ of useless HW crap. Next time I will wait at least 6 months before buying new HW.

    • Frederik says:

      I had the exact same issue. The Intel support was very helpful and sent me a new device quickly at no cost. I would suggest you to contact them.

  10. Alex says:

    I’ve been running the i3 version with the latest BIOS and the only problem I seem to have is that Windows “loses” the audio chipset and forgets that drivers are installed, so I have to reinstall the drivers and Realtek software. I’ve installed three BIOS updates over the factory BIOS and it was not a problem with the factory BIOS. My unit is one of the first run Skylake NUCs from late last year and was made over a month before Skylake NUC units were available.

  11. Theo says:

    I’ve tried to upload my 6i5iSYH from 028 to 036 with no luck. First attempt via usb with f7 option, second one with the windows exe file. In both case led start red blinking until I force shutdown via power button. After that I repress start button and the nuc ask me to boot with default setting or not. I dunno know why it’s so difficult for Intel to prepare a right update method.

  12. Cel says:

    For the love of god, how the f**k can they release this pos bios update!? i got the same Theo (used win.exe) 33 to 36. Get ur shit together Intel!

    • Theo says:

      I’ve just tried with the new one, 39, and the problem is still there. I don’t want to take it down from the vesa support and open it up just to upgrade a bios… it’s pretty a shame for intel. I dunno how they works there

      • Theo says:

        Update: Finally I got the 39 update. I followed new faq guidelines published by Intel.
        Download the latest BIOS (SY0039.BIO)
        2. Transfer that file to a USB flash drive or hard drive
        3. Restart the NUC without the USB flash drive or hard drive plugged into the NUC
        4. During boot, when the F7 prompt is displayed, press F7 to enter the BIOS Flash Update tool.
        5. Attach USB device with the BIO file
        6. Select Refresh Media List
        7. Select the USB device and press Enter.

        Update went smooth this time!

  1. March 6, 2016

    […] workaround after the update, I still wanted to be cautious. Over the weekend I had noticed that Intel had released BIOS v36 for the Intel NUC which resolved the M.2 issue among a few others. I decided to give it a shot and […]

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