Background and Identification
The impressively titled “Next Unit of Computing” (or NUC for short) is a line of small-form-factor computers released by Intel starting in 2012. Intel NUCs consist of a case, a small motherboard, and a fan for cooling. NUC motherboards are usually built to measure 4 inches (10.2 cm) on each side, which Intel calls the “Ultra-compact form factor.“ Due to their small size and relatively low price, NUCs are often used for hobby projects, as home media players, or in offices or schools.
NUCs come in three varieties which suit different types of users.
- Preassembled: the NUC comes prebuilt with memory, a drive, and a case
- DIY: the NUC comes with a disassembled case and without any memory or drives (supply your own)
- Motherboard: Intel sends just the motherboard
No matter how your NUC came from the factory, you can upgrade the memory and drives on most models, but the CPUs are soldered in place. NUCs can be mounted to a wall or to the back of some monitors using a standard 100mm or 75mm VESA bracket (as shown in this Intel article).
If you have an Intel NUC with a case, you can find the serial number on a sticker on the bottom of the device. If you have only a NUC motherboard, the serial number is printed on a sticker on the RAM slots. Intel’s stocking ID number (labelled “SA” or “AA”) is also located on the stickers. Enter these two numbers on Intel’s check warranty page to find your NUC model. You can see pictures of these numbers in this guide from Intel.