Top positive review
203 people found this helpful
After doing some research before buying, this thing is great!
on March 18, 2014
There seems to be a lot of confusion and conflicting information about the new Intel Haswell NUC devices. I hope my review will help some people to make a decision about this product. This is a barebones computer meaning that you yourself must buy and add parts to make it work. That requires some research to make sure you are buying the correct parts for the job. You must buy 1.35v RAM, you must pay attention to the height of the hard drive, and you must note the connections on your monitor.
I purchased the Intel D54250WYKH i5 NUC that can accommodate a laptop hard drive. I thought the i5 would help future-proof the device. I am using it as a HTPC DVR, and replaced my old HTPC DVR with this. It is hooked up to a TV (actually AV receiver) via HDMI. I purchased 8 gig of Crucial 1.35v RAM, an Intel 525 mSATA SSD, a Western Digital 1 TB Red HDD and a copy of Windows 7 Professional.
During my research I came across several posts that recommended a certain order in which to install all the software. I started the build by installing the SSD and the RAM. I left out the HDD just so I wouldn't get confused when installing Windows. The very first thing I did was to update my BIOS to the newest version on Intel's website. Second, I plugged in my USB DVD drive and installed Windows 7. Next I installed the Intel® Chipset Device Software and then the Intel® Management Engine driver. After that I installed the other drivers. The computer has to restart for a few of the driver installations. I then installed the Western Digital hard drive, booted up and installed all of the Windows Updates. There were no problems at all, everything went smooth.
I opened up Windows Media Center and discovered that my Harmony remote worked just fine. I did not have to configure anything on my computer or Harmony. The IR just worked. I setup WMC, added all of my scheduled recordings, installed the Shark007 codecs and that is about it. Everything just worked.
This thing really is great. For Windows 7, everything was easy and straight forward. The computer is powerful, yet compact and sips electricity. Like another reviewer said, "Thinking of buying one for a HTPC? Do it, you won't regret it."