Is there a recommended Intel NUC?

I think I have outgrown the Raspberry PI 4+ 8GB because it’s becoming slow on action calls. Yesterday I had motion sensors going off & it completely crashed on me. The UI becomes so slow. I reboot it almost every day because the UI is so slow on the configuration, supervisor & Node-RED it becomes responsive after a reboot but goes back to slow after a while. I’m thinking the bottleneck is the CPU & SD Card.

So I saw that people talk about Intel NUC. I’m running just HASS.io or Home Assistant image not sure the name nowadays. Is there a recommended NUC to get? There’s so many on Amazon to look at. Any help would be appreciated! :slight_smile:

You may want to look at CPU utilization, RAM utilization and Disk I/O before upgrading. Determine what is actually causing the problem. You may upgrade and be in the same exact situation.

Not really recommending a particular model right now since I haven’t researched NUCs in awhile, but wanted to give a point of reference to help your decision. Most people here will recommend you get some NUC i7 monster. This is fine if you need a Plex server or run an NVR with a bunch of cameras or just have extra money to spend, but a Celeron or similar will run just fine for most home automation software.

I purchased this NUC (LINK) about 2.5 years along with 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD (later upgraded to 480GB). I run Proxmox on it with a Docker VM (Hass, Node Red, Mosquitto, etc. etc.), a VPN VM (Wireguard and OpenVPN), a container running the Unifi controller, and a container running PiHole. Mentioning all this because even though its “only a Celeron,” after 2.5 years it still runs fast and I’ve never overwhelmed it with this setup yet. Even under “heavy” load relative to my setup, CPU usage is relatively low, there’s plenty of RAM, and the SSD is plenty fast to handle everything.

Off the top of my head, if I had to purchase a NUC right now, I’d look into an i3 model with ~500GB NVMe and 8GB of RAM. Again, if you have a more heavy duty load (NVR, Plex, etc.), then scale up accordingly.

Before going to a NUC, I’d echo @silvrr and say double-check your current system. Your issues could be caused by a bad/worn out SD card. Make sure you are using a high-endurance card and have your recorder configured to limit the amount of data retained.

That being said, if you do want to move to the NUC platform, it really depends what, if anything, you want to use the NUC for alongside Home Assistant. I’d also say, you can find other small form factor PC’s for much cheaper than a similarly-specced NUC (check eBay for example), at a cost of higher power consumption. Don’t feel like you have to only seek out NUCs just because it’s the somewhat trendy platform right now.

I agree with apop and silvrr. And replacing the SD with a SSD can do wonders.

1 Like

Thanks for all the replies. I have only had this sd card that came with the kit for 2 months so if sd cards go out this much it will be more cost-effective to just buy an Intel NUC.

I did the raspberry pi sd card test in the CLI and it did fail so I’m sure it’s the sd card now. We bought Sandisk Max Endurance until we decide If we’re going to go with an Intel NUC since there are so many of them.

I’m looking at https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1437351-REG they have an i3, i5, and i7.

I found an Intel Celeron but it’s almost as much as the i3.

I know on the older Raspberry Pi you could boot from an SSD but I don’t think it’s supported yet on a 4+ 8 GB?

With proper configuration, they shouldn’t fail that often. I upgraded to an i5 SFF PC a couple months ago, but prior to that, I ran my system on an RPi 3B for 18 months with a single SD card.

The two biggest culprits when it comes to early SD card failure in Home Assistant:

  • Power supply: Make sure you are using a quality power supply for your RPi (i.e. not a cellphone charger).
  • Recorder configuration: As I mentioned previously, making sure you are only recording what you absolutely need in the database will reduce SD card wear substantially. If you haven’t done so already, you may also want to explore moving from the default SQLite database to the MariaDB add-on. Here’s a great Community Guide on optimizing your recorder configuration: How to reduce your database size and extend the life of your SD card

If you have the money to spend and have addiitonal uses in mind for your system beyond Home Assistant, then by all means, go for the NUC. But if things were otherwise alright with your current system, try optimizing your SD card situation first and see if that lasts you awhile.

1 Like

I optimized installed MariaDB, InfluxDB & Grafana seems to be working fine now. Limited the recorder to 7 days. Might have been my whole problem was the SQLite. I looked at the SQLite database & it was at 2.2 GB. I’m going to see if it stays working now. Thanks for your help & time on this issue!

I bought an SSD Solid State Drive because they say you can boot from USB now on RPi 4 8GB.

1 Like