Intel NUC5i5RYK Broadwell-U Mini-PC Review

Inside The NUC5i5RYK

The motherboard in the NUC5i5RYK is a tiny, highly-integrated circuit board.  It's actually pretty amazing how much is crammed into such a small PCB area.
nuc mobo 2
nuc mobo 4
nuc mobo 3
There are ports at the front and rear and various slots and headers for expansion smattered about. In the image above, you cans see the dual SO-DIMM slots at the bottom and the M.2 slot at the top. There’s a spare USB header right about in the middle of the board, which can be used to enable additional functionality on the optional lids we mentioned on the previous page. The motherboard also had an additional SATA connector, but it can’t be easily utilized on the NUC5i5RYK. There is a taller version of this system being released, however, the NUC5i5RYH, that’s got the additional height and mounts necessary to install a standard 2.5” SATA drive as well.
nuc mobo 1
Cooling all of the hardware inside the system is a single large heatsink with integrated cooling fan. The fan pulls in air from the sides of the enclosure and exhausts it out the back. With some previous generation NUC systems, the cooling fans have been known to get a little loud, but that is not the case here. The relatively low-power Broadwell-class CPU in this system does not generate much heat at all, and as such, the system remains mostly quiet.

kingston mem
intel ssd
samsung ssd
As we’ve mentioned, the NUC5i5RYK is a barebones kit, so you’ll have to provide your own RAM and drives, and install an operating system yourself. We tested the NUC5i5RYK with a dual-channel 8GB Kingston HyperX kit and a couple of different SSDs. The Samsung XP941 is a PCIe-based SSD capable of >1GB/s transfers. The Intel SSD 530 series drive features a SATA controller and maxes out around 540MB/s.


When everything is installed and the NUC5i5RYK is ready to use, the first place you’ll likely visit is the system BIOS. The system is packing a very nice version of Intel’s Visual BIOS, which is easy to navigate and displays a host of system health data right on the welcome screen. The fan speed is listed, along with temperatures for the CPU, memory, motherboard, and PCH, and system voltages as well.

Related content