Does anyone have experience with Intel NUCs

I’m helping to spec out systems for an interactive museum installation, and we were looking for something small and off-the-shelf. I see that there is an Intel NUC 11 with Nvidia graphics which would probably work well for our needs (kinect sensors, rendering, compositing, 2X 1080p outputs), but I’m not sure if there will be performance issues.

I’m also curious if anyone has used NUCs with the “Intel® UHD Graphics” in (gen 9, 10 or 11) with Touchdesigner. How does it compare to a desktop with something like a GTX1080Ti?


It is a completely different world using a discrete Nvidia GPU like the 1080ti vs the Intel GPU. The Intel GPU is very low power and will let you noodle around but you will not have any great GPU power for intensive graphics or tasks.
This benchmark comparison rates the 1080ti over 1600% more powerful, but I don’t think comparing them is even useful UserBenchmark: Intel UHD Graphics 750 vs Nvidia GTX 1080-Ti

Additionally you get the added Nvidia only features available in TouchDesigner which are summarized on this page System Requirements - Derivative

I just got a NUC with i7 processor and intel iRIS xe graphics, and it runs at 33fps when just opening up a new TouchDesigner file. I will be returning it of course. I have found another small form computer with these specs:

  • ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3060 12GB GDDR6 192-bit
  • Intel Core i5-10400 (6-core 2.9 GHz, up to 4.3 GHz) processor

The GPU seems fine, but is an i5 processor sufficient?

The computer will be used for an art installation running 3 large LED matrices, each having 32 rows of about 230 pixels per row. Communication will be through ArtNet sent to Advatek Mk3 controllers.

The operators that prepare your video data for ArtNet / sACN / e1.31 are heavily reliant on the CPU. Even so, you will probably be ok with the i5 and the RTX 3060 for around 8k pixels.

BTW, I have had some success with the Intel NUCs. I have used a few of these on projects now:

  • Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast Kit NUC11PHKi7C Mini Desktop
  • Intel Core i7 11th Gen i7-1165G7
  • NVIDIA RTX 2060

On a project with heavy graphics usage I was only getting about 44 FPS, but that was fine and worth it for the form factor. They have kept up 60 FPS on projects with only LED/pixel output. It really all depends on how what other operators you have going on to generate your graphics.

Thanks, Todd! The specs on the Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast Kit NUC11PHKi7C Mini Desktop look pretty solid. I am going to give it a try. I appreciate your recommendation.