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Intel 8th Gen i5 NUC + Akasa Turing Fanless Case Build

psikey

Distinguished Member
Made a few Akasa Fanless Intel NUC PC's over last few years using mostly the Akasa Newton cases but if run maxed out with a dual core i5/i7 these can get a little too hot with extended load.

I upgraded to the latest 8th gen quad core i5 NUC for 4K transcode/multi-transcode using Plex server.

I believe (and read) the existing normal Plato/Newton cases may struggle with high demand of the quad core i5/i7's in the traditional Akasa cases and that a larger, higher cooling capable Turing cases was being designed.

So soon as I could source one as a special from Scan (still not on any site to order as of early this week) I ordered and arrived today (£115).

Few photos below but will add the build info & results as I go along. Visually it looks fantastic and still small.

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psikey

Distinguished Member
Currently using the NUC as standard:

Intel Quad Core 8th Gen i5 Tall NUC Barebone Mini PC Kit
Intel NUC Kit, NUC8I5BEH, i5-8259U, DDR4, M.2, 2.5" SATA3, Iris Plus Graphics 655, USB 3.1 Gen2, Thunderbolt3, Barebone



I have this configured with a 500GB Samsung Evo M.2 SSD for OS use, Internal 2TB 2.5" 9.5mm drive, 32GB RAM and an external 12TB USB 3.5" drive enclosure.

Use purely as a headless server for Movie & Music streaming. Idling including the drives (in sleep) it only pulls 11w.
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
All swapped over in ~ 1hr. Easiest NUC case to build yet. Not installed aerials/pigtail leads yet as still waiting on delivery.

Will just show build with photos & few comments then shows temps at the bottom.

Size comparison to standard NUC fan case
20190503_140230.jpg
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Space for NUC transfer
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A 5TB 15mm 2.5" drive that can't fit in other Akasa NUC cases (normally 9.5mm max)
20190503_144522.jpg
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
NUC in place
20190503_144933.jpg

Mount rails for internal 2.5" drive
20190503_144945.jpg

Best to strip out SATA/power cable from original NUC case, especially if your fitting a 15mm drive
20190503_145726.jpg

Red one comes with Turing case but would stop a 15mm drive. Angled one or original better to use
20190503_145829.jpg

Neatest solution use original one in NUC
20190503_145934.jpg
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
15mm drive finally has space (Yeh !!)
20190503_150052.jpg

I'm using my Turing Horizontal so fit feet to bottom
20190503_150320.jpg

End sections before fitting facia plates
20190503_150329.jpg

Amazing how a couple of facia plates really adds to design style. Top Marks for designer.
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Two rubber grommets where the aerials will attach
20190503_150644.jpg
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
Tucked out of way & silent in my gaming/movie/music room (you still can obviously slightly hear rotary drives if they aren't in standby
20190503_151630.jpg


Remaining bits of old case
20190503_151850.jpg

Idling temp of only 28C ! Would be 40C+ in original case
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After running all cores max out with Prime for 1hr. Peak at 64C (Would peak at 90C with original case and from other NUC build thread with Plato 8X case still would likely be 80C+)
20190503_154141.jpg

Photo above after about 30mins


After ~ 2hr of prime, Max stable at 69C and case warm to touch but not too hot to keep your hand on it. Its a :thumbsup: from me for this case for heavy NUC use. Now have it with 500GB m.2 solid state for OS & my music files, 5TB internal 2.5" 15mm drive and one external 12TB 3.5" drive storing video files. Absolute silence when used for music or general OS stuff as rotary drives sleep unless movie files being streamed. Even then its near silent with just odd click from these drives.

Standby power use of this NUC setup ~7w.
 
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EtheAv8r

Standard Member
Thanks for posting this..... I have a 1 week NUC8i7BEH that I sourced also from SCAN to run a Roon trial on. I will be subscribing when the trial period finishes, and have been looking at the Akasa Plato 8X and Turing Cases....... and wondering which would be the better one for temps - your findings have resolved this for me!

Now have a Turing on order from SCAN......
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Thanks for posting this..... I have a 1 week NUC8i7BEH that I sourced also from SCAN to run a Roon trial on. I will be subscribing when the trial period finishes, and have been looking at the Akasa Plato 8X and Turing Cases....... and wondering which would be the better one for temps - your findings have resolved this for me!

Now have a Turing on order from SCAN......
Be careful getting motherboard out of Intel case. Its much tighter in these new Intel cases compared to the older aluminium cases.

Once all screws out (only 4), bow original plastic case out slightly at the back and use a wood/plastic rod type implement to lever/push-up out slightly via the rear connection ports connectors. Doesn't need much force but wouldn't come out for me without doing this. Older NUCs just lifted out easily.

Also take off the rear facia plate on the Turing before installing NUC motherboard then re-attach rear facia.

Also, remove the two thin small pieces of heat conduction foam from the NUC CPU area and use the paste on all three CPU areas. Those pads are purely used for the original Intel heat pipe cooler which has insets for the two small heat strips.

If blue power light too bright there is room on inside to put a thin piece of tape to either reduce or block the light from the motherboard LED (stick on before installing motherboard).
 
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EtheAv8r

Standard Member
Thank you very much for the heads-up advice, I will certainly take heed when I perform the transfer.
 

Let7

Novice Member
Hi there, noticed you have the fascia plates flushed up against the fins, did you not like the stand offs for the end fascia plates?
 

harshw

Novice Member
After running all cores max out with Prime for 1hr. Peak at 64C (Would peak at 90C with original case and from other NUC build thread with Plato 8X case still would likely be 80C+)
View attachment 1146579
Photo above after about 30mins
Those SSD temps are super low. I have the NUC8i7BEH in the Turing and it idles at 38c to 40c. The SSD temps are 45c and will go to 60c during benchmarks. How do you get the SSD temps to be 38c? Are you using a heatsink on the drive?
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
No, just as shown in the photo. The Akasa Newton case did include a thermal pad for syncing the SSD to the case lid but not in the Turing. There are openings either side on the Turing case so this would let some convective heat out.

If the m.2 SSD gets extended heavy loading then It does hit 60C max but have read the Samsung EVO drives do run hot anyway and ideally should be at 40-50C for performance/durability (they prefer to run warm).

Only other thing to mention is that its located in a room that gets very little sun and only low level heating when it gets colder. Maybe the i7 runs a fair bit hotter.
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
Sorry for being a newbie to this, would a nuc run madvr
I imagine so, provided it is up to spec. My fanless (ex NUC) PC is very capable - my build is also in the threads. @psikey, is very knowledgeable though and can answer best. All the very best.
 

carburetor

Novice Member
Hi @psikey, thank you for this excellent review of the Turing case. I have the same NUC and I am thinking about doing what you did.

There is only one thing I don't understand: what are those little metal foil-wrapped foam blocks that you removed from the original case, and why aren't they needed in the new case? (I noticed you left them out.)


My guess is that they have something to do with EMI shielding or grounding, but I know very little about such things.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
You find those silver fabric pads in lots of laptops and tiny PC's. I think they act as antistatic links and cushioning.

Not needed in the Akasa cases. Come with all the bits you need.
 

Viirgon

Novice Member
Hi @psikey I read somewhere else that to keep Wifi and Bluetooth, separate antennas need to be purchased? Why is that? Did you have to do this?
 

carburetor

Novice Member
Hi @psikey I read somewhere else that to keep Wifi and Bluetooth, separate antennas need to be purchased? Why is that? Did you have to do this?
From quietpc.com: "Akasa’s Fanless NUC Chassis is machined from aluminium and is therefore excellent at providing electromagnetic shielding to the NUC circuit board. As a side-effect of this, if the NUC is fitted with a wireless card, it is necessary to use external antennae in order to allow the radio signals to be reliably received and transmitted."

The NUC has internal antennas under the plastic lid on top. I think if you just transferred these to the inside of the Akasa case, they wouldn't work.

You'll need two antennas and two RP-SMA female to MHF4 cables. I found both pretty cheap on Amazon.
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
Hi @psikey I read somewhere else that to keep Wifi and Bluetooth, separate antennas need to be purchased? Why is that? Did you have to do this?
Good afternoon @Viirgon,

There is x1 antenna for Wi-Fi and x1 for Bluetooth. The Akasa Turing and Akasa Plato X8 - which is the case I used (my build is also in the threads where I detail this aspect) both use aluminium cases which block the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals as @carburetor mentions above. However, I did have a Wi-Fi (did not install a Bluetooth antenna) signal when I used internal antennas but it was very, very poor. Removing the top lid of my Plato X8 boosted the signal back up to normal. I then switched to external antennas and the signal is good.

All the very best,

fallinlight
 

Yro

Novice Member
You'll need two antennas and two RP-SMA female to MHF4 cables. I found both pretty cheap on Amazon.
Good afternoon @Viirgon,
I then switched to external antennas and the signal is good.
Could you please tell the exact model of the antennas that you used?

I tried finding the best variant based on the wifi card that is in the 8th gen NUCs, to my understanding this Intel® Wireless-AC 9560, M.2 card. However on the amazon page for this card reviewers tell that standard antennas won't fit very well and the best way to get an antenna is to use one from the official Intel kit (card + antenna).

The amazon page for Intel® Wireless-AC 9560: https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Wireless-AC-9560-2230-Gigabit/dp/B07G42J6KQ
 

carburetor

Novice Member
Hello @Yro,

I have not actually bought the antennas or done the conversion yet. I believe you are right that the NUC 8 has the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (although I'm pretty sure it's soldered on the motherboard, not a separate card). As far as I can tell from my research, any wifi antenna will do. The only "tricky" thing is getting the right cables - you need ones with MHF4 connectors to connect to the wireless module. This is the smallest version of that type of connector - IPEX MHF4 Mini Coax Connector | Wellshow -RF Connector, RF Coaxial Cable Assembly, GSM, GPS, WiFi Antenna Manufacturer. You can find the cables on amazon - that link is just to show the different types of connectors.
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
Could you please tell the exact model of the antennas that you used?

I tried finding the best variant based on the wifi card that is in the 8th gen NUCs, to my understanding this Intel® Wireless-AC 9560, M.2 card. However on the amazon page for this card reviewers tell that standard antennas won't fit very well and the best way to get an antenna is to use one from the official Intel kit (card + antenna).

The amazon page for Intel® Wireless-AC 9560: https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Wireless-AC-9560-2230-Gigabit/dp/B07G42J6KQ
Good afternoon @Yro,

I had no issues with the fit of the antennas I purchased, apart from not securing them tightly enough initially. I purchased the below leads for W-Fi and Bluetooth. However, the one intended for Bluetooth was too short and I never bothered getting a longer lead.

10CM/ 3.94 inch RP-SMA Female Bulkhead to U.FL IPX MHF4 Mini PCI Pigtail Antenna WiFi Cable IPEX Aerial Extension for Mini PCI to PCIE Card Wireless LAN WLAN Pack of 2:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GZN5GBF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And the below are the antennas I purchased,

2 x 2.4GHz 6dBi Indoor Omni-directional Antenna 802.11n/b/g RP-SMA Female Connector + 2 x 12cm U.FL Mini PCI to RP-SMA Pigtail Antenna WiFi Cable

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FDN82D8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

All the very best,

fallinlight
 

shoeoffhead

Novice Member
How did you come to the conclusion to buy this cable? I also ordered an IPEX MHF4 (not your antenna) antenna but it didn't fit. I think the plug is slightly too small. I also didn't find in the specs from Intel NUC anything about that plug. Is it some Intel-specific version of the IPEX? Maybe some cables fit, some don't depending on manufacturing tolerances.
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
How did you come to the conclusion to buy this cable? I also ordered an IPEX MHF4 (not your antenna) antenna but it didn't fit. I think the plug is slightly too small. I also didn't find in the specs from Intel NUC anything about that plug. Is it some Intel-specific version of the IPEX? Maybe some cables fit, some don't depending on manufacturing tolerances.
Some connectors are definitely smaller/ of different tolerance than others. One I purchased from Amazon was the correct type, but for the life of me, I could not get it to fit. I actually gave up on it for weeks until trying again, and eventually got it to fit. I think it loosened up into shape even. I needed extremely firm pressure from my thumb nail I think it was, to get it in. Keep trying.
 

shoeoffhead

Novice Member
Some connectors are definitely smaller/ of different tolerance than others. One I purchased from Amazon was the correct type, but for the life of me, I could not get it to fit. I actually gave up on it for weeks until trying again, and eventually got it to fit. I think it loosened up into shape even. I needed extremely firm pressure from my thumb nail I think it was, to get it in. Keep trying.
The problem is, that WIFI card is soldered to the mainboard. If I damage its plugs it's game over :(

Probably I bought low quality plugs. The original plugs are already tricky to plug in just because they are very tiny. My new plugs are of the same size but probably of low quality so the measurements don't fit well.
 

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