Revised design should stop the NUC from freezing up due to heat
Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is an intriguing device. The NUC is a mini PC built around an incredibly small 4-inch by 4-inch by 2-inch chassis that Intel would like to see become the standard for miniature systems that pack a punch. Though it's small, it offers residence to a 1.8GHz dual-core, Hyper-Threaded Core i3 processor, two SO-DIMM RAM slots, mSATA SSD slot, and a built-in Wi-Fi card. That's a lot to cram into such a tiny device, and as it turned out, first generation models had a problem with overheating.
We figured out that if you remove the built-in Wi-Fi card, which sits right on top of the mSATA SSD, the system would work just fine without freezing up or any other hiccups. We've also had success using SSDs with SandForce controllers, though it can be hit or miss.
Apparently Intel has devised a better solution. First spotted by FanlessTech, there's a Product Change Notification (PCN) for the NUC, #112432-00. The primary reason for the PCN is the addition of a 9.5mm thermal pad on the bottom cover of the NUC to improve the thermal design. From what we can tell, it's there to prevent the overheating that we and others experienced.
Whether or not it fully solves the problem, that's something we're anxious to find out.