Archive for March, 2016

Intel NUC 5th gen NUC5i5RYH / NUC5i5RYK and Ubuntu 14.04 with 4k display

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

UPDATE2 @ 2016-09-04: Late to notice it, but Intel has apparently fixed the Skylake (6gen) NUC problems. See here for more details: https://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-110236. This makes choosing 5gen NUC over 6gen kinda pointless, especially if you are running VMs – 32GB memory makes running VMs a lot smoother than 16GB, which is a memory limit on 5gen. I have NOT tested 6gen NUCs, though.

UPDATE: Ignore everything below and just use Ubuntu 16.04 and enjoy your free time. Tested with 16.04 prerelease (whatever was in apt repos on 2016-04-09).

Prologue

I bought 40 inch 4K Philips BDM4065UC display and I was left with the question: “What would drive this 4K/60Hz beast?”

MacBook Air I have is 2014 model so 4K is doable, but only at 30Hz. Silent fanless desktop i3-3xxx box with some random MSI board is only capable of 1920×1080 resolution, utter cr@p. I remembered that somewhere it lies, still unopened, since being too late to the bitcoin-mining party, some Radeon 7850 card. Found it, installed it, and lo-and-behold 4K @ 60Hz. Aaaaand my silent passive box was not silent anymore. It worked, but Radeon drivers are just a large pile of stinking cr@p (random screen flicker, fans too loud). There must be something better, I thought.

To be perfectly sincere, I had my eyes on NUC all along, but 4K was here first. Initially I was aiming at 6th generation of Intel NUC (Skylake) for the sole reason of max 32GB memory compared to 16GB in gen5, but after reading many reports of failed gen6 specimens and driver issues I went with 5th generation that looked promising on the internets. It mostly worked out of the box, but a few tweaks were necessary to make it really enjoyable in the end.
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