3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2016 10:57 AM by 1kilo

    NUC6i7KYK recommended configuration for reliability // custom enclosure for music venues

    1kilo

      Hi all,

       

      I've been following some discussions on the forum about issues with the Skull NUC and am quite anxious about the most reliable SSD, memory, and display port on this otherwise well reviewed micro computer.

       

      I am interested in multiple USB port usage, highspeed SSD access, single microDP display and a single fast ram stick that would insure high reliability for audio processing.

       

      USB

      I am assuming that powering USB devices via the various ports won't be an issue. I've also seen mentions that there is a pin header for additional USB ports that can be attached to the motherboard. I doubt I will ever need to utilize it, but would be welcome of course. If anyone has any concern/issues that they have witnessed, please shout.

       

      SSD

      I am planning to run a stripped down version of Windows 10 PRO on this machine, but would be great to partition and have access to install Ubuntu as well. I am not sure if separating OSes and software is recommended and achieved well by simply partitioning a single drive, or to use separate SSD sticks / types for this. Of course I looked into NVME Intel drives (assuming they have more reliable support than Samsung) but your opinion would be much appreciated. I need fast audio file access and playback and audio DSP needs to use some storage space for caching operations.

       

      microDP display

      The plan is to use an ipad screen with an interface board which requires a Display Port connection. I am quite new to this interface so I am wondering if there are issues with various standards or not. I would of course like to use a larger display monitor when working on complicated tasks and assume this is possible via mDP and HDMI running concurrently - or is it best to plan towards using a single display?

       

      Memory

      One of my main concerns are the reports of stuttering, OS locking up, wrong RAM configuration, and Intel's advice to use a single memory stick. It is a vast topic with many caveats. My initial thought was to use Micron chip based ram and avoid other manufacturers, but I've seen threads where people report lockups with Crucial ram which was recommended in other forums/threads. Of course it could be hardware issues, or maybe even heat. I would be very thankful for Intel's advice here on what sort of configuration is the most reliable.

       

      General Skull NUC questions

      I am Berlin based and I assume that any Skull NUC stock in the country is the first batch - so this would mean I would have to make my own BIOS upgrades? I've seen some threads about proper approaches here, including the steps to install and upgrade drivers - but is it really that sensitive? I guess its a bit of a stupid question.

      More importantly - have there been i7KYK hardware revisions? Should I seek a particular serial number for the release?

      CPU stepping - is it possible to adjust stepping on this hardware, as I want to tune the performance to avoid any performance stepping in my application. Windows and even Linux are quite touchy with things like MIDI and sound processing, but I am guessing the Skull NUC would have no issues with such operations - perhaps only in very hot conditions.

       

      What am i doing?

      My current project calls for very robust processing in relatively high ambient temperature environments. There is also a plan for a custom enclosure that includes an lcd panel. It is pretty risky, and I have seen some infrared images of the Skull NUC that show some potential difficulties with heat in low air current environments, not to mention a 9" heater in the form of an LCD.

        • 1. Re: NUC6i7KYK recommended configuration for reliability // custom enclosure for music venues
          1kilo

          An update - i am biting the bullet and ordering the kit and some parts.

           

          NUC6i7KYK

          I figured there is only one version of the KYK at the moment and we will see what firmware it comes with. I will update the thread for the sake of information once I get it next week.

           

          SSD

          I checked the roadmap for Intel's SSDs and saw that no updates are planned this year - so the choices are the various sizes of the 600p series. 6000p seems exactly the same with some additional remote access options (?) - but I don't need that it and it won't be available until late october here anyway. I went with the 512gb size and plan to partition it.

           

          Memory

          I avoided Samsung hardware here as well, and went with the Micron sourced Crucial ram. the Ballistix stuff was a bit more complicated to find, so I simply went with the single piece 16GB Crucial CT16G4SFD8213 DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM CL15. My use cases don't usually need a lot of ram and I figure there is no need to spread the 16gb of ram into 2 sticks. I assume that would raise the internal temperature, and I need to avoid that.

           

          Screen interface

          I plan on using a miniDP 1.2 cable for the ipad screen interface board - fingers crossed that it won't confuse the NUC. I didn't have issues with it with my desktop which is an ASUS 2011 socket Rampage IV motherboard.

           

          Internal USB 3

          I found a internal to dual USB3 port cable and hoping it will work fine. Not sure if additional drivers or BIOS settings are needed for that, but figure it is simple.

           

          OS and Partitions

          The plan is to partition the drive for OS and applications. Not really necessary and not sure if it benefits speed/lifetime somehow with an SSD. I might also partition for Ubuntu and perhaps linux applications separately - making a total of 4 partitions.

          I plan on running windows 10 pro but pretty salty about how expensive it is.

           

          BIOS and OS settings for use case

          I would like to avoid any unnecessary processes and BIOS settings that would decrease the reliability of the system - including stepping and etc. Perhaps playing with fire, but will document what I do. The system won't really need networking, encryption, and all of the wonderful Windows bloatware (languages, search indexing, cortana, hardware power management).

          • 2. Re: NUC6i7KYK recommended configuration for reliability // custom enclosure for music venues
            N.Scott.Pearson

            I disagree with you memory decision. By using only a single DIMM, you are not using the interleaved access capabilities of the processor's two memory controllers. Just saying...

            • 3. Re: NUC6i7KYK recommended configuration for reliability // custom enclosure for music venues
              1kilo

              noted, Scott. But the various threads with the advice from intel to take out one dimm made me go with a single. can always throw in another i guess. Would be good to know what software to use to testrun the speeds of memory if I ever get another stick (the one I got is just under 70usd).