Posted by RvdH under Computer & Peripherals on Feb 06 2018

Two weeks ago my good old Fujitsu Primergy Econel 100 S2 died on me...Well died on me, actually i killed it with my clumsiness! The motherboards in these are notorious for having bad capacitors so while trying to replace some swollen capacitors (the system started to reboot unexpectedly) with replacements taken from a donor motherboard I bend (and maybe broken) a few CPU socket pins while trying to remove some old CPU thermal paste, which resulted in the system refusing to boot up. The video below show all it did, and would do continuously (loop).

First i looked around on on eBay for a replacement motherboard, but no way on earth a am going is to spend approx. €100 for a motherboard for a system i purchased back in 2009! A second hand motherboard was not a option, as the capacitors could already be bad!

Then I asked myself the question, what should a new server be able to do at a minimum?
  1. Run 24/7
  2. Run Windows
  3. Run IIS (Just a few small personal websites, eg: this blog!)
  4. Run mailserver software (hMailserver)
  5. Run MySql 
What would be also be welcome benefits over the old one?
  1. Make less noise
  2. More economical, less power consumption 
  3. More modern CPU

With the above conditions in mind I started looking for a replacement and I pretty fast dropped my eyes on the Intel NUC systems.
After examining the cons and pros of the various models I decided to go for the NUC6CAYH.

Most important in my considerations to pick the NUC6CAYH was the price, it's size and it's power consumption. I found a few shops here in the Netherlands that sell these for €115/120-. I also will need some new DDR3L SODIMM's to go with it, I got 8GB (2x4GB) for another €50,-. A SSD drive I did not need, the Primergy Econel was already upgraded a while ago with a Samsung MZ-7KM240E SM863 240GB SSD connected to a SATAII port, so I pulled that out to finally enjoy it's full speed using the SATAIII connector on the NUC!

Intel NUC6CAYH Specifications
  • CPU: Intel Celeron J3455 CPU, quad-core, 1.5 GHz (2.3 GHz burst), 10W TDP
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 500, 12 EUs, 250 MHz base frequency, up to 750 MHz
  • Memory: 2 slots, up to 8 gigabytes of DDR3L-1600/1866, 1.35 V, dual-channel
  • USB: 2 front USB 3.0 ports (one with fast charging), 2 rear USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 headers on mainboard
  • 2.5″ SATAIII slot: Single slot for a 2.5″ SATA SSD or HDD drive, max. height 9.5 mm
  • Display connectivity: Full-size HDMI 2.0 port, VGA port
  • Audio connectivity: 7.1 channel digital audio over HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack + digital microphone array in front panel, 3.5 mm speaker/TOSLink connector in the rear panel (*)
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek), Intel® Wireless-AC 3168 + Bluetooth 4.2 (*)
  • HDMI CEC: CEC header on the mainboard, TV on/off functionality supported without a separate CEC adapter (*)
  • Removable Memory Card Slot: SDXC with UHS-I support
  • Infrared: Infrared receiver in the front panel  (*)

The items above marked with an asterix, except for the Gigabit Ethernet controller probably won't be used much when used as a server and can easily be disabled in BIOS (Bluetooth not yet, but I have opened a case with Intel to allow this as well)

I have been running the NUC6CAYH for 24/7 the last week and i have to say it is a absolute breeze! It makes literally no noise at all, it is so tiny you can easily place it anywhere you like.

One note, you might like to disable the Ring LED...I found it to be way to bright and annoying!

Official Intel® NUC Kit NUC6CAYH Product Specifications
Official Intel® NUC Kit NUC6CAYH Product Website

Last edited Feb 10 2018