Bought 5i5RYH couple of days ago, and I'm very happy with it overall.
Haven't had any issue so far, runs fast enough, its not too noisy(but I don't play any games or run CPU/GPU intensive applications), have great BIOS and driver support imo.
However its not perfect, the fan noise was definitely loud enough and noticeable(4600-4900rpm) during benchmark test, its fine for playing movies etc but when its quiet you can still hear the fan noise even if the CPU is idel(~45°C, ~3200rpm).
Its real shame imho because Asus(VivoMini) and MSI(Cubi) are same size, use similar size heatsink/fan and also have same 15W TDP processors, but they run much quieter than Intel(NUC). Not 100% sure about Gigabyte(Brix) but I'm pretty sure it also runs quieter than NUC. (and I'm only comparing them against i5 NUC, not the super loud/hot i7 NUC)
Obviously Asus, MSI, Gigabyte have expertise in developing quiet and efficient heatsink/fans from years of experience from notebook/graphics card cooling solutions, but I'm sure Intel could have used better heatsink/fans on NUC if they spent little bit more effort.
Fact that small UK based company called QuietPC sell UltraNUC Pro(Intel NUC with their own better/quieter heatsink/fan) at rip-off price proves my point I think. (UltraNUC Pro but unfortunately they don't sell the heatsink/fan by itself) They also sell Abel B2 Fanless i5 NUC Chassis, but its much larger than standard NUC case and also expensive, $230+. (I'd buy it if it was same size and price was $100-$150)
I definitely wouldn't mind spending $40-$70 for better/quieter heatsink/fan for i5 NUC, and I'm sure many other NUC owners(especially people with i7) would do the same thing.
Would it possible to sell us better heatsink/fan at additional cost? i.e.
- find better heatsink/fan manufacturer to produce better quality heatsink/fan.
- get current manufacturer to produce better heatsink/fan at higher cost.
- contact 3rd party manufacturers(e.g. Noctua/Coolermaster etc) to develop and sell their own heatsink/fan for NUC.
Silent/quiet operation noise is emphasized on Asus VivoMini(https://www.asus.com/Commercial_Desktops/VivoMini_UN42_commercial) and MSI Cubi(Desktop - The most versatile consumer pc) websites for obvious reason. I think Intel could attract more buyers if it was also listed on NUC website, and would be good for Intel's image/reputation.
Why risk losing potential buyers to other company by using low quality heatsink/fan, when you have the best processors/graphics cards with the best driver support and after sales support, etc?
I sincerely hope improved Intel heatsink/fans will be available for gen5 NUC in near future. But if not, please at least improve the cooling on gen6 NUC.
Thank you very much.
p.s. I was gonna buy i7 Cubi when I found out the heat/noise issue on i7 NUC but ended up buying i5 NUC cos I couldn't even get confirmation if 500GB mSATA SSD will work on Cubi etc from MSI forum.
Anyway, I'm planning to buy another small barebone next week for second PC, probably i3/i5 NUC/Cubi, or maybe i7 Cubi if I decide to gamble on mSATA and Win7 support and use it for main system.