Check the box contents and record serial numbers. Try to get the ethernet MAC address so it can be registered with the firewall.
Wonder of wonders, the MAC address (and the serial number) is on a sticker on the bottom of the machine and also on the box.
Beware: This machine has no memory, no disc and no operating system. You will need to obtain your operating system from another source. This of course is simple, inexpensive and legal for Linux.
What's in the box:
Intel Celeron Inside.
The power supply has interchangeable pins. None of them have a grounding pin. For the type letters see the IEC World Plugs website. These pin assemblies are provided:
To attach the pins to the power supply:
The top cover can get scratched. Leave the protective plastic film on it during assembly.
Put down an eating mat or a paper towel, and a square of aluminum foil over it. When handling the memory or disc, see that your bare skin touches the aluminum foil and the machine's chassis, to avoid dangerous electrostatic discharges among the parts.
Remove the screws at each corner of the bottom cover. They are captive; they don't detach from the cover. Lift diagonally opposite screws, for easier removal.
Now the drive bay is revealed. Lift it out and move it toward the front of the machine. You don't have to unplug the SATA cable.
Insert the memory cards. It will help to make them distinguishable, e.g. write 'A' or 'B' on the labels. Repeat this procedure for each one, starting with the bottom socket. (Designated 'A' in the BIOS.) Stick the memory into its socket at about a 30 degree angle, clearing the grabbers of the upper socket. There is a notch that defines the correct orientation. Make it go into the socket so the contacts (103 on each side) are barely visible, well under 1mm exposed. Now rotate the card down flat until the edge grabbers engage. The metal parts of the grabbers should be nearly centered in the notches in the memory card. At this point about 1mm of the contacts are visible.
To remove a memory card, pry outward on the grabbers until they let go (one at a time). Then rotate the card upward 30 degrees and pull it out.
At this point you could install a mSATA or M.2 device, but on the NUC6CAYH the expansion socket is already occupied by the wireless card.
Slide the disc into the drive bay. The SATA connector goes in
first. The circuit board goes
up, that is, away from the
motherboard, but the machine is upside down, and directions are
confusing. Notice which side the SATA connector is on, and turn the
drive to match. The four M3x4mm screws go in the corners from the
Reattach the bottom cover.
The Wi-Fi antennae in the top cover are preassembled; you don't have to mess with them.
A previous NUC (with memory but no hard disc) wouldn't boot the USB stick. It gave me 3 blinks on the power button (and would have beeped if speakers or phones were plugged in). See Blink and Beep Codes for Intel NUC. 3 blinks means a memory error. Did you get the right kind of memory? Try re-seating the memory [this was my problem; see instructions above for how to insert the memory]. Are the contacts clean? Try to isolate the problem by using only one stick at a time, in the upper or lower socket one at a time. Or swap known good memory into the NUC and swap the new memory into a known good machine, but be sure to label the sticks and be sure it's an exact match in type and voltage.
Other blink codes: pairs of blinks means no VGA option ROM. This error is disabled by default in the BIOS. 16 fast blinks means excessive temperature. Continual blinking occurs during a BIOS update; this is normal.
Booting from USB storage: Get into BIOS setup by pressing F2 during boot.
On the left side of the start screen is the
Boot Order panel. Use your
USB mouse; shift from the UEFI to Legacy tab. (OK to use UEFI boot, if the USB
stick has this set up.) Double click on whichever device, to boot from it
Alternatively, press F10 during boot. Use the arrow keys to scroll down to the desired device, and press enter.
As delivered, the machine has BIOS version 0038 dated 2017-03-10. Not too old, but I should check for recent updates with mitigation for the Meltdown exploit (CVE-2017-5754). How to obtain the latest BIOS version:
OS Independent. (Make your life easier.)
BIOS Flash Update. This page is also accessible from the regular setup on F2.
Unknown Device. Scroll down to this line and hit Enter.
BIOS update history:
This is the BIOS version on the machine when it arrived.
This is (was) the latest version when the machine arrived. It is believed to have a patch partially mitigating the Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and Spectre (CVE-2017-5753, CVE-2017-5715) exploits.
Oopsie! On two occasions the machine got into a very strange state and had to be rebooted. There are reports that the Meltdown mitigagion patch has been causing weird behavior on a broad range of machines, and Intel has withdrawn recent BIOSes; in particular, 0047 has vanished from the download page. I reverted to 0043. Actually 0045 is the currently latest survivor, but I got confused as to whether it was already on the machine (it wasn't).
Here's a good guide to the present very complicated status of Meltdown/Spectre mitigation: A Clear Guide to Meltdown and Spectre Patches by Jonathan Crowe (latest update 2018-01-29).
When you boot, sometimes the video is shown on HDMI, sometimes on VGA, and sometimes on both. I haven't figured out what the logic here is. This is probably why the NUC5i5RYH would sometimes not show the splash screen: it was on VGA, and that machine has no VGA connector. It will still respond to function keys like F2, and it usually shows the BIOS GUI on the active display.
This should be done after the BIOS update because that resets at least some options to factory defaults.
Press F2 during booting to get into BIOS setup. It shows
Intel NUC for about one second, and likely you have to hit F2
while that screen is showing.
The boot menu is on the start page; double click with your mouse
on a device to boot from it immediately. (It's also available if you
hit F10 while booting.)
Home page: In Boot Order, enable both UEFI and Legacy booting. The NUC5i5RYH required this. It looks like the NUC6CAYH works OK with only one enabled, but since I have both kinds of booters on different media, I continued to enable both.
Information: processor signature is 000506c9 ; family 6 model 5c stepping 9 (in hex).
Realtime clock was set to 2018-01-14 01:57:02 PM, when UTC was 2018-01-14 05:57:xx. Timezone is +8 = China. I set the clock to UTC to avoid weird time jumps when it first boots.
To get off the home page, click on Advanced in the top row and choose one of the traditional categories. In later pages there is a tab bar with categories in the top row.
Devices: I left everything at the default. Looks like graphics shares 256Mb video RAM with the CPU. There is only one M2 30mm slot, populated with 8086:24FB (Wi-Fi).
Cooling: One person suggests turning the fan speed at idle down
to about 2200rpm. By default the
Fan Control Mode is
Balanced but I changed it to
Quiet. The fan off
temperature is now 49C (changed from 40C).
Security: Totally unlocked. I left these alone. In a public computer lab you will want to set a BIOS password. These features are enabled: execute disable bit; virtualization with direct I/O; Platform Trust Technology.
Power: I left the
Primary settings at their default.
Secondary, I changed the power button indicator in S3 to
steady amber (was blinking amber). Default for S5 is 8% steady amber,
and it is visible on this machine, while it wasn't on the 5i5RYH.
For the ring LED I changed to S3 off. After power failure, changed to
reboot. I turned on S4/S5 deep sleep; it will wake from the power
button, RTC or LAN, but not USB or CIR.
Boot: I actually left all these at the default, except selecting both Legacy Boot and UEFI. In a normal BIOS you can say to boot a USB stick first if there's one plugged in, but in this BIOS when you remove the USB stick it's forgotten. You need to use the boot menu to boot it.
Hit F10 to save and reboot.
A small app to update HDMI firmware version to 1.72 for NUC6CAY and 7ixBN. Windows only.
As it happens, I had a disc with Windows on it, for Baobei awaiting installation, so I stuck that in Iris and tried running the patcher. But it requires a HDMI-2.0 device to be attached, and mine is only HDMI-1.0. So I was unable to update the HDMI converter firmware. Hiss, boo! This really holds back using the NUC6CAYH in the home theater role.
Speed test on Jimc's benchmark. Columns in the output:
The test was run 3 times and the last one is reported. Actually the test is designed to be reasonably immune to buffer cache effects and scores vary only about 3% between repetitions. Numbers are in kbytes/sec.
Comparing the 7i5BNH and the 6CAYH, one core of each one, the Core i5 is twice as fast as the Celeron, but if all cores are contributing, the CPU power is just about the same for both. For video playback, the VLC player uses multiple cores if available. The same disc drive was used in all three tests. I believe that when the NUC7i5BNH was tested, its virtual machine was being tested at the same time (hiss, boo!) causing the suspiciously low disc score.
Unlike on the Fit-PC Pro and LP, the NUC has only one USB bus and all of the ports connect to it. This bus is provided with a XHCI (USB-3.0) and a EHCI (USB-2.0) controller. Port usage on Jacinth goes like this: