Intel NUC10i5FNH - Best Memory Configuration
Building your own miniPC like the Intel NUC10i5FNH is both an exciting build at the same time something to think about.

Choosing the right processor? the right storage? For now we will focus on the memory.

What is the best memory configuration and capacity should you use?

Intel NUC10i5FNH Memory & Storage Specification:
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type): 64 GB
Memory Types: DDR4-2666 1.2V SO-DIMM
Max # of Memory Channels: 2
Max # of DIMMs: 2

With this specs above we have a choice of total memory of 4GB all the way up to 64GB.

And the question is what is the difference in terms of performance and benchmark.
Also another question is, would it be better to get two memories or a single memory module.

In this test we will be using the following Kingston Memories:
These models below are proven to work without any issues with Intel NUC10i5FNH
KVR26S19D8/16 - 16GB 2Rx8 2G x 64-Bit PC4-2666 - CL19 260-Pin SODIMM
KVR26S19S6/8 - 8GB 1Rx16 1G x 64-Bit PC4-2666 - CL19 260-Pin SODIMM
KVR26S19S6/4 - 4GB 1Rx16 512M x 64-Bit PC4-2666- CL19 260-Pin SODIMM

We made sure that the memories are close to identical to each other other than it's capacity.

The following configuration will be tested:
4GB (1 x 4GB)
8GB (2 x 4GB)
8GB (1 x 8GB)
16GB (2 x 8GB)
16GB (1 x 16GB)
32GB (2 x 16GB)
Note: Although the system is capable for 64GB (2 x 32GB) this is not being tested since that module is not readily available at our office.


Actual usage sometimes is not clearly observed by the user and often times would lead to subjective results. Although this is not to be taken without importance, benchmarking could be used as a reference point. Please also take note that some of these benchmarks results to a variation of results when taken multiple times and should be analyzed for reference purposes only.

PassMark PerformanceTest 10.1 x86 will be used to do the benchmarking using the same hardware except for the memory modules installed.

One of the test running on a Intel NUC10i5FNH + 32GB(2x16GB) + Intel 240GB SSD


Results of the different memory configurations are shown in the table provided. It is also sorted from best to least on several categories. I have noticed that some of the values are too close to each other.


Based on the table above: The overall results for PassMark shows that the memories in dual channel mode are the best configuration. 8GB (2 x 4GB) is even better compared to 16GB (1 x 16GB).



Strange as it looks, but the conclusion to the above table shows that dual channel configuration still has the better advance compared to its single module setup. For graphics both in 2D and 3D, two memory modules still is far better.


For the table above which benchmark the performance for memory, clearly the higher the memory the benchmark is better. But again take note that for two equal memory capacities, the one in dual channel configuration is better.


For Disk performance, it shows in the table that their values are close to each other and that the configuration so as its capacity are not conclusive as to which configuration has the advantage. This shows that memory capacity and configuration does not affect the disk performance.


CONCLUSION

Clearly the best configuration is getting a 32GB (2 x 16GB) memory. And if we based our logic on the existing results, it will show that a 64GB (2 x 32GB) configuration would even have the best results. But let's accept reality, cost is a consideration. Practicality also comes in where having too much memory is not actually maximized. To make it easy to decide, it should be noted that the exact capacity desired should be the first choice, then getting a dual channel will be the best recommendation.
So for example, if you think you need a 16GB, then it is best to get a 2 x 8GB configuration rather than a 1 x 16GB.
One other logic of getting two modules is that if one of it fails, then it will just be a downgraded functionality rather than having a non-working system. The only reason left why you should get a single module memory is when you have plans to double your memory in the future and also if cost is a consideration coz a single 16GB is cheaper than 2 x 8GB. 2D and 3D Graphics improves by an average of 5% in favor of a dual channel configuration. Memory performance increase as much as 12% with a dual channel setup. Are these advantages good enough to convince you to go for a dual channel? There is no such thing as a wrong decision in choosing the kind of memory configuration, it just needs to be decided based with actual facts.

Enjoy your Intel NUC10i5FNH


Haven't done an actual test but it is safe to say that this should have the same impact with the other Intel NUC 10 performance units like NUC10i3FNH and NUC10i7FNH.

Plug your desired memories now :D


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