Just finished building my NUC 5i5RYH using the Samsung EVO 850 ssd, 8GB ram and it stays on 24/7. Not a gamer. Photo editing, casual user. For me it's plenty fast as my 7 year old desktop with intel's E8400 Wolfdale has faster clock speed but this little package will do what I like to do with aplumb running Windows 8.1 Tucks in right behind my monitor and it's so quiet that my ears ring.
So far....very pleased.
i7 NUC coming out this month will be something to watch for...
Where are you getting the SM951 from? I have been dying to get my hand on a couple of those.
Sorry, forgot to offer my opinion about your question. If you are not gaming and not running anything that requires fast I/O, the EVO is ~60% of the cost and more than fast enough for normal desktop tasks. The EVO has sequential read/write speed above 500MB/s, that's as good as any mainstream SSD in 2.5" form factor. If you never felt that those SATA SSDs are slow, then I would think the EVO should be fast enough for you.
Thanks to Nixiedesk and jayburd for your feedback.
I haven't tried to locate an SM951 yet. Just trying to settle on a configuration. I'm willing to wait for the SM951 and the i-7 broadwell if I settle on that combo.
I've always liked to have a fast system. I want it to boot up quick. I want my excel spreadsheets or word docs to load instantaneously. I want my excel macros to run with no hesitation. It's worth the extra $ if . . .and here's the real question . . . IF the SM951 will really make a difference and not be constrained by some other component within the NUC configuration. If I get the broadwell i7 and the SM951 when they both become available and install 16 GB of 1866 RAM, what part of the entire system will be the slowest and, therefore, determine the overall throughput / speed of the system.
Need for speed I can understand that.
SM951 on paper is 4 times faster than EVO. At least 16 weeks wait time though. Just a reminder that you should check the technical spec when the i7 NUC comes out. In the current batch of i3/i5 NUCs, only some models support PCI-E M.2 drive. Even then, I actually could not find details on the PCI-E whether it is 2.0 or 3.0. To achieve the full speed of SM951 you need PCI-E 3.0 x4 lane interface for the M.2 socket.
MS Office apps already launch virtually instantly on just an i3 with only M.2 SATA, I'm not sure how it could be any faster. And I doubt that Excel will max it out regularly, and 4GB would be plenty here. To be honest, the i7/SM951/16GB seems way way over-specced and over-priced for this use-case. My advice would be to try a cheaper spec, and return it if it genuinely doesn't suit your needs.
I'm looking to build something similar myself.
As for SSD performance, spreadsheet load times are virtually identical between SSDs:
The differences only come to play if you transfer lots of large data (e.g 4k video editing)
or have very parallel, high queue depth access (e.g. compiling big applications, database uses).
In any case, get 1886 RAM for the i5 or i7 NUC
Thanks to all who responded. I guess I'm supposed to click the "Correct Answer" on one of your responses. My problem is that I don't think there is one single correct answer - just all good advice and guidance. It would be great if there was a web site where you could enter alternative custom configurations and get theoretical benchmarks to compare. I'm very happy with my current system (which I described in the original post), but have no way to know how the various NUC alternatives will compare without actually trying them.
Just for reference, my current i7-4771 system performs as follows (Windows 8.1, Fully Updated):
Power on to logon screen - 21 seconds
Logon screen to Ready - 10 seconds
Click Excel on taskbar to excel ready - 3 seconds
You must have a lot of apps loaded on your NUC
I just timed what I get out of mine:
Power on to logon screen - 7 seconds
Logon screen to Ready - 1 second
I think you definitely need SM951 in order to beat my time. Either that or clean up your Windows install.
With NUC5i3RYK, Kingston M.2 SATA SSD, 8GB memory, Win 8.1 with Fast Boot switched off:
Power on to logon screen - 6/7 seconds
Logon screen to Ready - 1 second
Excel - 1 second
Fast Boot seems to make no difference to this config either.
I'm really surprised at the results that have been posted for NUC configurations. As stated in my original post, my current desktop tower system is configured as follows:
ASUS Z-87 PRO Motherboard
ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Graphics Card with 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 RAM
Samsung 840 EVO SSD
16 GB of DDR3 RAM
Not a bad configuration that I custom built a little over a year ago. However, I can't compete with the times that have been posted. I've tried disabling all start-up apps and it still takes about 16 or 17 seconds from the time I press the power button until the logon screen appears. The only way I get times comparable to those posted is if I start from sleep mode and even this takes 7 seconds.
I thought going to a NUC configuration would cost me performance . . . looks like I was wrong. However, not being a computer engineer, I really don't understand why.
I'm also looking to get the i7 NUC and use a SM951 M.2 ssd with it. The question is: should I get the AHCI or wait for the NVMe version that will supposedly be released in the coming weeks?
Also, is there a definitive list of the NUCs that support PCIE SSDs?
Thanks in advance!