Dell Tower vs Intel NUC

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by krause734, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. krause734, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017

    krause734 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    Since Apple is abandoning their standalone desktops, I thought I'd start seeing what's out there.

    Intel Kaby Lake i3 NUC ($289) + 16GB RAM ($130) + 250GB SSD ($108) + Windows 10 Key ($110) = $636

    Dell Tower: Kaby Lake i3 + 16GB RAM + 256GB SSD + Windows 10 = $599

    I've heard people run into a few hiccups with the NUC installing drivers. Otherwise they're supposed to be great. This Dell Tower seems reasonably priced as well however. What do you recommend?
  2. JoelTheSuperior macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2014
    London, UK
    I previously worked at a school where we had 90 Intel NUCs and they were fantastic.

    The benefit of a desktop of course is the expandability - you can add additional hard drives and PCI-E cards such as a graphics card which you can't do with a NUC.

    Only thing I would ask is if you plan to install macOS - that is when drivers might be an issue and you'll want to do your research and make sure that the hardware you're going with will work with macOS.
  3. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    I will not run macOS on it. That is the major downside. But with 3+ year old hardware offerings from Apple there's not much choice.
  4. ZapNZs, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    NUCs are awesome. If it were me personally, I would buy the NUC + a NVME SSD, but would opt for the slightly higher model with the i5 given the CPU increase is so significant, the iGPU is better, and for Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 gen2 for future expandability - to me that is a lot of value for only 100 bucks more, and I can see several instances with my own work where having TB3 might potentially extend the service life of my systems in a way that USB 3.1 gen1 cannot.
  5. Strelok macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2017
    United States
    I would go with a NUC or just build a mini-itx rig myself if those were the choices.

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