7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 17, 2014 9:56 AM by kevin_intel

    NUC D54250WYK

    sushimonster

      Just registered so bear with me ^_^.

       

      Before getting started, my planned setup:
      - D54250WYKH
      - Intel 730 240GB SSD
      - Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 card
      - 16GB DDR3L RAM
      - Windows 7 x64 Pro (a USB install from an .iso download from Digital River)
      - A 1080p display via the miniHDMI port
      - (no mSATA SSD planned at this stage)

       

      I purchased a D54250WYK to replace an ATX-sized Pentium 4 from back in 2004 (yeah, been living off Windows XP for eons). Whilst I have experience building, (extensively) using, and providing relatively moderate-to-advanced support for Windows 7 systems, this is my very first (and own) new computer since 2004.

       

      Now, I'm waiting for the RAM I ordered to get here (purchased everything seperately) so haven't had the chance to power this new puppy up. Been researching about all the possibilites a recent-era machine (a NUC specifically) can offer, and had some questions which I was hoping to get answered.

       

      1). UEFI and Legacy BIOS. I know what the differences are in a basic sense. The former for example is more recent, allows for faster booting, looks more pretty, and is used in Windows 8, among others. But I'm planning on installing Windows 7 x64 Pro on the NUC. And as far as I understand it, Windows 7 doesn't natively support UEFI unless the setup is modded in a particular way. Can anyone confirm? Is there a significant added benefit in going down the UEFI install route vs. a legacy install? A quick squizz on Intel's OS Installation Guide shows a Legacy Mode Install is recommended for Windows 7, but was still curious.

       

      2). Trudging online, a Windows 7 install via USB is just a matter of running the DVD install tool from Microsoft (to prepare the USB drive with the setup files) and booting off the USB on the NUC? I read some issues with the NTFS format not being liked by the NUC (as a work-around some people make the NTFS USB, and copy all the files to a FAT32 USB apparently?)

       

      3). Wireless card driver. I recall reading that there are two drivers for this? One for the bluetooth, the other for the Wifi? But looking at the Download Drivers page here I only see Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software and Drivers (v17.0.2). So this is all I need? Or am I missing something?

       

      4). Considering I haven't yet powered this thing up yet, I don't know what firmware the BIOS is running. Though I see that the latest version is 0025. The NUC packaging states a packaging date of February so I can assume it's shipped with a now out-dated firmware version. Should I upgrade the BIOS before the OS install (via the BIOS menu option)?

       

      Yeah. Basically everything I can think of asking so far.

       

      I've used Windows 7 machines at university since early 2009 (actually, through the MSDNAA programme when I was studying, so, since a few weeks before the mainstream launch).  But never on a personal computer. And at the risk of getting booed, never EVER used a computer with a SSD so I'm not too sure what to expect... Heck, my Pentium 4 (Northwood) rocked a 160GB HDD with 2GB of DDR1 RAM so I daresay I'm all tingly with excitement. Once the RAM arrives that is.

       

      Many thanks in advance for the help regarding the questions above. I am relatively literate with computers so go nuts if you want to go technical.

        • 1. Re: NUC D54250WYK
          Mr Harvey

          Hi sushimonster,

           

          having a new(er) SSD will make your machine more lively, I think that is pretty much guaranteed (in case of normal average use).

           

          1) right, to install Win7 x64 in UEFI mode, you should activate UEFI boot within the computer's BIOS, with the USB stick containing the Windows install files connected to one of available USB ports (something like a general course of action). Then, when booting, you should have the option of "UEFI boot" in the menu. I have installed Win7 x64 in legacy mode though, so I cannot tell you exactly what to do to install it in UEFI mode.

          Note that you cannot install Windows 7 x86 with UEFI mode, only x64.

           

          2) you have a couple of tools to make a Windows 7 installation from USB stick. Microsoft also provides a tool to prepare a USB stick to install Windows from it. There are many articles on the subject on the Internet, but they all boil down to partitioning and formatting the USB stick (4 GB minimum size), transferring the Windows files to it, making it bootable and then booting off the stick. You can format the USB stick with NTFS no problem, but in that case you should make it bootable manually. Check here for more info (the procedure on 2nd page is for us tech guys).

           

          3) correct, you need to install both WiFi driver and Bluetooth driver. There are installation files for both (open the PDF files linked to WiFi/BT drivers on NUC driver website and follow the instructions there).

           

          4) the manufacturing date on the package does not mean you will have the latest BIOS available on that date. Generally, in case the computer is working fine, there is no need to upgrade BIOS, but if there are added benefits and/or corrected issues, memory compatibility (or any other significant) improvements, then the newer BIOS can be loaded. On the NUC, you can upgrade the BIOS from within Windows too.

           

          Let us know how it goes.

           

          /HarveyV

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: NUC D54250WYK
            sushimonster

            Thanks Mr Harvey.
            Still waiting on the RAM; expected to arrive late this week, maybe early next week (being shipped from the US to New Zealand). Will update once received and everything's set-up

            One more question:

            Is there a recommended order in which the drivers should be installed? I would typically go chipset first, then the graphics, then everything after that as I see fit (and rebooting after each install). Or is there something that just must be installed before something else on the NUC?

            • 3. Re: NUC D54250WYK
              Mr Harvey

              Hi sushimonster,

               

              you're welcome.

              For the drivers installation order, based on the driver readme files, I agree with you; first install the "Intel Chipset Device Software for Intel® NUC", and then the other drivers (LAN, USB3, WiFi, BT, graphics, audio...). I installed both the Intel HD audio driver and Realtek ALC audio driver (have two devices under "Sound and game controllers" in Device manager).

              I think you are right regarding the installation order of other drivers - it is not important, just make sure you reboot the NUC after installing each driver. That will ensure Windows activates the drivers properly, and the installation of subsequent drivers could depend on what the system sees as currently active.

               

              Let us know how you get on.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: NUC D54250WYK
                sushimonster

                Righto. The RAM arrived a good two weeks late, but it's here now so I've proceeded to assemble and set the unit up.


                Some more (though probably simple) questions:

                1). Ran HWMonitor and under SYSTIN it's reporting a temperature of 123'C? I'm assuming this is just a false reading? The NUC doesn't feel hot at idle, not even warm for that matter.


                2). Serious issues with my Intel 7260AC (Dual-Band). Signal drops consistently and for the life of me I can't get it to keep said signal. I've been able to activate Windows 7 but that's it. Can't even get it to run Windows Update. Any tips? Looking online this seems to be a common issue? Have tried changing power settings etc to no avail. And I've installed both the latest BT and Wireless drivers from Intel (the latest as of this writing). The antenna themselves seem fine, as well as the card itself. At times it's doing a good 2MB/sec over wireless, then that slows all the way down to 40KB/sec (until it disconnects then reconnects, which is does far too frequently).


                3). The Intel splash screen on cold-boot. That seems to flick by VERY quickly before the unit moves onto boot the OS. That splash screen lasts maybe a good fifth of a second. Is this normal? BIOS 0021 as far as I recall (I updated to 0026 immediately) did not have this 'issue' if you could call it that.


                4). Is there some sort of Powermizer-like feature with the graphics? I noticed that sometimes after being left to idle, doing some graphics intensive sees the graphics lagging for a little while before getting back up-to-speed (starts laggy, then goes fluid). A quick test with Windows Key + TAB best demonstrates this.

                 

                5). Any tips for disabling Superfetch / Prefetch? There are all sorts of random guides online and most are quite contradictory (apparently some Intel drives need these turned on to prevent performance issues with data flushing). Using a 240GB Intel 730. And, how to disable the two features safely?

                 

                EDIT - Read around and the the Wifi issue is quite widespread for those NOT using Windows 8. If anything, I've managed to get the card going (somewhat) with HT Mode DISABLED. But throughput (speeds) vary widely from 1Mbps all the way to 54Mbps (won't go higher with HT Mode disabled). This seems to have been an issue for over six months now; can an Admin please explain as to what other things I could try to maximise performance on this card? I'm on Windows 7 Pro x64, and just managed to get the NUC to download 500MB worth of updates (in less than 10 minutes actually, with HT Mode disabled, though with some random packet disrupts along the way).

                 

                EDIT 2 - Uninstalled 17.0.3 and installed 17.0.0 (restarting each time, after the uninstall and install of the 17.0.0). Works now flawlessly. No changes made to card configuration page, no changes in BIOS. Looks like the driver bundled in 17.0.3 is bad. Ping testing shows it at 1ms, the slowest at around 16ms. Can also see ASPM working (enabled via BIOS; one of the recommendations of fixing the wireless issue was disabling it; I've left this enabled after downgrading the driver).

                 

                Now, end of the day I'm happy. It works, and I can finally start migrating my data over from my old machine. My other 4 questions remain though ^_^ Thanks~

                • 5. Re: NUC D54250WYK
                  kevin_intel

                  Hi sushimonster.

                   

                  Let me help you with this:

                   

                  1. The temperature reported you is wrong. Intel® processors will shut down automatically after 100C as per security protocol to avoid damage on the product and injuries on the user.
                  2. We are working towards a solution for wireless on this card model. I know there is a coming driver for this card but I have no ETA yet. I do know it will fix several issues so I recommend waiting for this driver.
                  3. There are always BIOS versions that will improve performance. I would say based on your description it is normal NUCs boot really fast!
                  4. The Superfetch / Prefetch are included on Intel® processors by an algorithm that cannot be enabled or disabled manually but It is always running.

                   

                   

                  I hope you find helpful this information.

                  • 6. Re: NUC D54250WYK
                    sushimonster

                    Awesome.
                    1). Yep; that temperature was looking suspicious from the start. Making using of the Intel XTU and that does a decent job in itself as far as monitoring goes.
                    2). I rectified the wireless issue as mentioned; using driver version 17.0.0 and all is well. Still haven't got around making use of Bluetooth but we'll see what happens
                    3). Good to know. A little problematic sometimes when I want to change boot orders and I don't remember what key does what (a little too quick for my taste, but for most that isn't a valid complaint...)
                    4). So there's no need for me to turn off Super / Prefetch within Windows? It won't cause unnecessary wear-and-tear? (already disabled scheduled defrag on the OS, as well as file indexing on the drive)

                     

                    So yeah. My only other niggly issue is the graphics core seemingly downclocking when idle. Fair enough, but when I come along to use it again it does lag for a good 2-3 seconds before getting back up-to-speed (point 4 on my previous post). Again, not a huge issue but it is noticeable.

                     

                    All-in-all though, I bought the NUC to replace an old tower. And for what I use it for (net, media playback, bit of video decoding and photo editing to boot), all in a footprint no bigger than a CD jewel case and with it just barely sipping power. All good.


                    (I've been editing my last post with more questions; I'll stop doing that now to prevent confusion...)

                    • 7. Re: NUC D54250WYK
                      kevin_intel

                      Well I really hope you find what you were looking for on Intel® NUCs. Thank you for the feedback in regards the graphics I will pass it over.

                       

                      Kevin M