here comes a critical experience report about NUC5PPYH with a few questions and recommendations to Intel:
I bought the NUC5PPYH in october 2016, installed Corsair Valueselect DDR3l 1x8GB 1600Mhz, no hard disk, all OS-installations I tried used either USB3-readers (SanDisk or Kingston with fast SD-cards) or a USB-DVD-drive (Samsung).
Ubuntu 14 LTS and 16 LTS run well.
OpenBSD 6.0 does not run well (installation is more-or-less possible, but when the system starts it has graphic problems, screen flickers already in command line mode on both HDMI and VGA, graphic mode doesn't run at all).
(interesting: the same USB-SD-card that has problems in the NUC starts and runs perfectly when I insert it in an older Compaq Notebook from ca 2011 with Intel core I3 M370 cpu)
Suse 42.1 and 42.2 boot and run extremely slow (boot takes some minutes), show graphic problems (mouse pointer traces), and behave quite instable. Not better on my other machines.
Debian 8.6.0 can be installed, but crashes completly after short time (probably graphic problems).
(interesting: the same USB-SD-card that crashes in the NUC starts and runs perfectly when I insert it in an older Compaq Notebook from ca 2011 with Intel core I3 M370 cpu)
Fedora 25 runs well and uses all 4 cores.
The system worked well for several months, sometimes I used the Ubuntu-stick, sometimes Fedora.
The problems started in June 2017 when the system began refusing to boot, no matter if an OS-USB-stick was installed or not. Sometimes, I could reanimate it by temporarily disconnecting it from power and repeat the boot attempt. Things deteriorated, and then the system crashed with frozen and distorted screen (content mixed with green pixels). The NUC could not be started again.
I drove to the vendor, gave him the complete NUC package as I bought it (blue box, power supply, Vesa-bracket, no RAM), and they sent it to an Intel Service Station. 4 weeks later I received a new NUC with the comment that the old one couldn't be repaired, however, I got it without power supply, bracket, etc. After a short mudwrestling, the vendor opened another NUC-box from the shelf and handed me the missing parts. Back home again I installed the RAM and this time an SSD-harddrive WD Green 120GB Sata 2.5.
Then I booted the NUC and entered setup (F2): RAM and SSD had been recognized and I made only 3 changes: Boot USB Devices First (active), OS-Selection (Linux), Supervisor-PW.
I saved the changes, booted again to see if the changes were active, and everything was fine.
Then I shut down the NUC and disconnected it from AC-mains. Some hours later, I plugged it in again, this time with the DVD-drive in the lower front USB-port - and nothing happened: all devices dead: keyboard dark, mouse without light, dark screen, no noises/signs from DVD-drive, no boot, just the power lamp and fan were active.
The next days I tried all tricks to get the new NUC back to life: BIOS-jumper, power-button-menu, AC-disconnection. After many attempts it suddenly started and I updated the BIOS from version 57 to the latest version 62.
I started the NUC again, without any drive, just to look into the BIOS-setup. I could enter it with F2, the BIOS was updated, and the 3 old changes were still in place - and then out of the sudden the BIOS-screen froze with distorted content and green pixels again. Could not leave the BIOS properly, just power down. Boot is not possible anymore, tried again all tricks, this time I even disconnected the battery (tried it 3 times, waited ca 3 minutes), no improvement, just power lamp and fan become active. So, the life of the 2nd NUC was quite short!
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, AND SUGGESTIONS:
1) Is there anything more I can try? (besides BIOS-jumper, battery connect/disconnect, power-button-menu, AC-connect/disconnect)?
2) Can the problems be caused by disconnection from AC-mains? (even the 1st NUC had boot problems when I left it disconnected for some weeks)
3) Can the NUC be permanently damaged when the user plugs devices, that draw more current than a normal memory-stick, in the 3 weak USB-ports? (the DVD-drive starts immediately running when I plug it into the upper/charge port, but stays quite when I plug it into one of the other USB-ports). No hint in the documentation. I used Kingston-readers with the first NUC even in the weak USB-ports, and saw that those readers got hot under operation (means: they draw some current).
4) When Intel makes the next redesign of the NUC-boards, please, locate the battery connector on the component side (where the RAM is), so that the customers don't need to disassemble the whole device when they try to reanimate a crashed NUC.
5) I don't like to drive back to the innocent vendor and have long/angry discussions (they would probably throw the NUC away like the 1st one and maybe send me a new, but what's the benefit? I have no reason to believe that the 3rd NUC would work better than the others. And then, what? Complain-and-warranty-loop until the end of the warranty-period is reached?). Hence, I would prefer to send it directly to the responsible Intel-NUC-development/quality department so that the engineers can analyse it and learn from this case (and send me a new and improved NUC later on, maybe next year). Is that OK for Intel? Can Intel give me the correct contact/shipping address, please?
6) Concerning the OS-installation issues above:
If an OS-USB-installation runs on an older machine (e.g. Compaq Notebook from ca 2011 with Intel core I3 M370 cpu), is there any BIOS-configuration possible that makes the NUC compatible to the older Intel-computers? (Example: virtualization features that can be switched off).
Would be great to have compatibility switches in the BIOS (product suggestion).
Many thanks for Your response in advance.
New Unhappy Customer