Monday, August 7, 2017

A Review of my new NUC

The reason I bought this NUC is that it can be used as a home server without being as electricity hungry as the computer it replaces which is 11 years old.

My NUC model comes with a 1.6ghz (2.16ghz Turbo Burst Frequency) Celeron Processor with 2mb of L2 Cache (2x1mb) and I got it with 8gb of RAM and a 1TB HD at 5400rpm.

The system costs a bit less than $400CAD with 2-year warranty included, not including monitor or keyboard.

There's a cute derogatory term I could use to describe this machine which I won't use here in case someone gets offended. A better description would just be to say "You get what you pay for". This is the kind of modern and new computer that reminds us why we like buying faster hardware. Very seriously.

OK, so I'm running it with Ubuntu Server 16.04 ---- this thing is supposed to use only a maximum of 65 watts at any given time, so that makes it attractive for home server purposes.

I'm using it for::: 1) Bitcoin node and miner 2) file server, including network backup of other machines, 3) virtualization server.

It works fine for Bitcoin mining. Nothing wrong here.
I'm still in the process of downloading the information for the Bitcoin node, which is not unexpected.
But I had to stop the Bitcoin node in order to get any speed in fully backing up the system.

The Bitcoin node, as it is first loading, is a processor intensive task.
Backing up the whole system is also a processor intensive task (encrypted backup).

After about 12 hours of letting the system load Bitcoin and back up at the same time, the back up only got about 50gb of backup completed, and the Bitcoin node maybe 20% of its work done.

I had to turn off the Bitcoin node, and when I did, the system sped up considerably in the backup process (getting ~30gb of backup done in about 30 minutes to an hour).

AS A VIRTUAL SERVER:::: Once your guest operating system is loaded, it actually works quite well ---- but booting the Virtual Server is again, painfully slow --- but once it's loaded it works well.

But in all seriousness ----- this is the kind of machine that really does remind us why we like faster hardware.

I loaded the GParted OS onto this machine in order to create more space for my /home partition.

The process took over 4 hours, and I was only using less than half the hard drive space total.

At the end of the GParted task ---- I saw the status bar say there were 4 minutes left --- so I used my Apple Watch to time 4 minutes.

4 minutes on this NUC is much longer than 4 minutes.
2 minutes is much longer than 2 minutes.
and 1 minute is still considerably longer than 1 minute.

So, it is completely slow --- I'm still waiting for my system to be completely set up after more than two days of getting the system set up.

BUT ---- Once the system is set up, I think the NUC will run its tasks just fine.  That's what I THINK will happen.  It's going to be a lot more laid back once most of the heavy work is done, so it should work OK I'm guessing.

The worst that could likely happen for my purposes at this point is the hard drive gets full ---- along with possible slow downs in anything I might do.

You get what you pay for. Reminds us why we like fast machines. It's taking over 2 days to set up completely ---- but once the heavy work is done,  it should ride along smoothly for the little server tasks I put it towards, especially great because it runs on low power.

I'd give it 3/5 stars.

I would give it more stars because it works just fine considering the price paid ----- but I know a lot of people would probably be highly depressed by how slow this thing really is, so as it's not as super zippy as one would like it gets 3 stars.

As a home Linux desktop without much going on, like for email and browser --- I think it would be fine, with closer to 4/5 or 5/5 stars.

As a server 3/5 stars.

Simple Linux Desktop: it would be 5/5 stars.


Oh --- and initially booting the OS is actually quite swift. Works great - just fine.


This morning the NUC finally finished the job I had set it to do -----

So I turned it off, and plugged in THE WATTMETER.

Turned off, this NUC uses 4watts.

Turned on, as far as I used it, it used between 13watts to 20watts at any given time.

20watts was with my bitcoin miner running.

13 watts was typical with the monitor turned off (but not including the monitor itself in the measure).

Running consistently at 20 watts for a year, I estimate this device would cost me about $10.50CAD -- for the year, in electricity charges.

But, it's usually running at less than 20 watts, so that lowers the cost a bit.

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