Hi. I’m Rob… and I have a problem. Lets just say, when you find the limitations on Amazon’s wishlist features for single items, you know you have a problem. My problem? I’m kinda addicted to Intel NUCs. They are so versitle, low-ish power consumption, and incredibly powerful and TINY. I carry 3 of these (the older / cheaper ones) around to run my trainings / classes from.

The follow is my current wishlist. It is an i7 NUC w/ 500GB of high speed M2 SSD, plus a 1TB SATA SSD, and 32 GB of RAM… ya, thats right 1.5 TB of SSD space, and 32 gigs of RAM!!

Intel NUC Kit NUC5i7RYH Barebone System

Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB M.2 3.5-Inch SSD (MZ-N5E500BW)

Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E1T0B/AM)

Crucial (PC3L-12800) SODIMM 204-Pin Memory CT204864BF160B

Total Cost: 1328.28

I have gone back and forth between virtualization software (ESXi and Xen mostly)

Xen works out of the box but only has a decent interface in it’s Windows GUI. OpenXenManager for Linux is ok. and Xen Orchestrator (Web UI) leaves a bit to be desired. If you’re ok with keeping a Windows box around, Xen is the superior choice when it comes to feature sets. (Mainly clone and templating out of the gate and free)

If you do go the ESXi route follow steps here: https://www.virten.net/2015/03/esxi-6-0-image-for-intel-nuc/ because it doesn’t work out of the box. I did create the ISO already, so if you want to use the one I made you can find it here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2627512/ESXi-6.0.0.update01-3073146-NUC.iso

You may run into the Manufacturer and Model being random strings (question marks in diamonds), but you can follow: http://www.virten.net/2015/02/how-to-install-esxi-on-5th-gen-intel-nuc-nic-and-ahci-workaround/

Again, I’ve already done these steps so you can download the pre-built BIOS rom here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2627512/RY0350-FIXED.bio

WARNING: I doubt the BIOS is universal so if you don’t buy the NUC listed above, you probably want to just follow the steps yourself. Flashing a BIOS with the wrong ROM could brick the device.