Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bay Trail NUC (DN2820FYKH) Review - part 3

This is the last part of the 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 play around in the NUC configurator 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.


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.


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 review, look here:

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