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Sorry, this was not the case in the six series NUCs. The Core i7 version (NUC6i7KYK) was an enthusiast design and it differed significantly from the Core i5 (NUC6i5SYK) mainstream design (both in capabilities and layout; the boards don't even have the same dimensions).
If you want interchangeability, you can go down to the NUC5i5RYK/NUC5i7RYH models or you can go up to the NUC7i5BNK/NUC7i7BN models. In both cases, I believe they differ only in the processor SOC used; the feature sets remain roughly the same. Unfortunately, in both cases, there is no low-profile 'K' chassis of the Core i7 model; you would be forced to purchase the Core i7 board in the more-expensive 'H' chassis, which includes bay and supporting circuitry for adding a second HDD/SSD/SSHD.
Hope this helps,
Thanks a lot!
The 7 series looks like the way to go, then!
We have to re-purpose the mainboards anyways as the enclosure and contacts mostly aren't usable to us.
If these two were sold in a board-version with ribbon-contacts and WITH wifi and bluetooth...
Throw in 2x mini-PCIe and we would basically be able to use the i7 for our "larger" unit, too
Unfortunately, it takes a significant volume before the economies of scale kick in enough to cover things like up-front design costs and bring the price of a board into a reasonable price range. There are even costs associated with (just) keeping an extra product SKU on the books to order against and thus why the board-only SKUs have been limited to the VPro-based designs. Still, depending upon your volume, anything is possible; it never hurts to ask...
Unfortunately, the (soldered-down) 8265DW2 component, which provides WiFi and Bluetooth support, consumes many of the signals that would otherwise support a second M.2 connector. Because of the limitations of the SOC design, I am unsure that enough signals remain to fully support a second M.2 connector. At the same time, there may not be enough real-estate to support this second connector - at least not without a whole new board design to free up some space. Switching over from external connectors to internal (ribbon) connectors also might require board design re-work as well. This is beginning to look more like a new design and the volumes necessary to justify that would likely need to be very significant.
What are you doing to properly cool these NUCs once you remove them from the chassis? Just leaving the heatsink-blower unit attached to the board may not be enough. The NUC chassis is designed to support this heatsink-blower unit cooling other components, on both surfaces of the board, through careful management of the overall airflow pattern. Without the chassis, there is nothing to guarantee airflow over the opposite surface of the board and there is even the possibility of the hot exhaust air being recirculated over the opposite surface of the board raising temperatures even more.
Thanks a lot!.
We have been blowing air around 4/5 series NUCs in modded chassis for 2 years, and you are right, cooling is an issue
Especially as we can not allow the fans to go at all times. Running fans during a shoot is mostly a no-go.
I don't know yet what the final fan setup will be, but we are aware of heat issues.
I see a possibility of using the thunderbolt on the series7 NUCs to get the extra IO capacity we are looking for
The NUC is a compelling platform and the "high end" embedded solutions we have tried, have not really lived up to their promise, once we have started scratching the surface.