Dell Tower vs Intel NUC

krause734

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
599
1,340
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
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4EOJNG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

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

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071S2KZGN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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?
 
Last edited:

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
366
206
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: krause734

krause734

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
599
1,340
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.
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.
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
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.

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOXNUC7I5BNK-NUC-Kit-Components/dp/B01N2UMKZ5/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1499036392&sr=1-4&keywords=NUC&th=1
 
Last edited: