Intel's Tiny NUC "Next Unit of Computing" PC

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Power Consumption & Noise

Intel's Core i3 3217U processor has a max TDP of just 17W, so in theory the NUC shouldn't put much of a strain on your outlet. There's no power supply built into the device. Instead, it comes with a small power adapter.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

We used SeaSonic's Power Angel Power Meter to measure the amount of power our test system pulled from the wall. You'll find two figures below: peak power consumption under a full CPU/GPU load, and how much the system pulled from the wall when idle, following a fresh system boot.

At idle, the NUC hovered around 10W to 12W. To see how much juice it would pull from the wall when fully loaded, we fired up Prime95 to stress both CPU cores (you see four graphs above because the CPU supports HyperThreading) and FurMark to cook the GPU. In doing so, the NUC peaked at 42W.

Intel did a great job with balancing cooling and noise. As stated, our lockups were due to something funky going on with the wireless card, which Intel is in the process of fixing through a BIOS update. Otherwise, the system ran stable and was nearly silent, even under a full load. To hear the fan, you have to lean in real close, which is not something you're going to do under normal circumstances.
Tags:  Reviews, Intel, systems, NUC

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