Home Assistant Community

What cpu are you using in your NUC?


The short story is my PI was damaged last weekend and I have a new one on the way that will be here tonight or tomorrow. But I know that is a short term solution and want something like a NUC.

Those of you who have done this already- Did you go with a low end cpu ie (J3455) to run just hass.io or did you go with something more $$$ with an I5 and run everything under a vm (like esxi?)

Just spend a ton on the house and could go low end now or wait a bit and go with I5 or the like. If you are running a low power nuc, how do you like it’s performance?

Help me decide between NUC's

Here is my $0.02

I have run HA on a N3150, i7 3770K, i5 3470T, Pi2, Pi3 and Pi3+, Pi zero (god awful) and a 3rd gen i3 I can’t remember.

The major difference in all the processors is how fast the config check runs and how fast home assistant installs/updates and restarts.

I have not seen a difference in how fast automations run. My back door light goes to 100% when opened, I don’t see a speed difference between a Pi3 and a i5. Same for my garage door, the light goes on when opened. Regardless of the processor, the light is on before I get the door open.

Extra processing power is really needed based on what else you will run. I love ESXi and being able to spin up a VM at any time and running any other service on the same foot print and power bill.

What else do you want/plan to run on the hardware?


Celeron J3455.

I run Proxmox with an Ubuntu Server VM running Docker. Then I have separate containers for Nginx, OpenVPN Access Server, and Unifi controller.

In Docker, I have the normal stuff: Home Assistant (not Hass.io), Mosquitto, Node Red, Duplicati, Glances, InfluxDB, Grafana, etc.

Runs great, no lag, and way faster then a PI.

BTW, since everyone asks, I run Proxmox to easily put things on different VLANS. This separates the VPN server, Unifi controller, and Home Automation stuff. Can it all be done in Docker? Probably, but this is way easier for me and makes backup super simple.

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Before ordering an Intel Nuc i3 I was wondering if downsizing to J3455, but the I decided for the i3.

Are you satisfied with this CPU?

I have also Proxmox and two VM, one for Hassio and addons in Docker, and one for Nodered, MotionEye and PiHole, all in Docker except the last one. And testing environment too.

I tried Glances, but it was too much heavy, I will go for InfluxDB+Grafana.

I’m still trying to understand the VLAN stuff and separating the network, but since I’m not a network expert, I decided not to proceed anymore.

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I saw noticable differences with History, Logbook, and the Front end (with graphs) when switching from a pi to the I5NUC. History loads in under a second on the nuc and it would take upwards of 30 seconds to load on the pi. Hell sometimes it would take minutes on the pi if I peered at more than 1 day.


I’m more than satisfied, but I also dedicated my NUC to the tasks I talked about. If you have the budget, get the i3.

Also, if you have anything more than just plain home automation that requires CPU, like NVR software or even Plex, go bigger. I have a second machine for Plex and other things outside of Home Automation.


I have got this:
Intel NUC6CAYH Next Unit of Computing (NUC) Celeron (J3455) 1.5GHz
8GB Ram

I am running Ubuntu Server with Docker and the following containers.
Mosquitto MQTT

It runs fine for what I need


If I go with a higher unit, I want to run HA plus another os at the same time via something like esxi. I want to be able to switch between window 7. 10, and linux. Most likely it will be linux most of the time as I already have 7 on a desktop and only use 10 when I have to.

I mentioned the J3455 for 2 reasons: 1) because amazon has a stripped one for 129.00, loaded for 369.right now.

  1. I have this same cpu in my synology nas and can already run VM’/dockers on it but they use an open source vm and HA is hardwired for VMware.
    This chip runs 10 lstb pretty well. the home version runs decent for occasionally use.

I don’t know if that cpu could run Windows 10 and HA at the same time very well and thinking I would need at least an I5?


I forgot about history! Yes, that is significantly faster, not sure if that is the SSD or the CPU but it does load faster.

I don’t use the logbook. Graphs are we talking history graph or the sensor graph? Im not sure Ive used lovelace with graphs on a Pi.

I think we can agree there is a difference going from a Pi to a i3/i5/i7. The question is there a difference in performance if you moved from a i3 to an i5 or i7? Even lower than that also, there are some good celerons and other non core series processors out there.


Yah I’m not sure if its the ssd or what.

I only got the i5 because I’m doing image processing and video capturing on the same system. Otherwise an i3 would have been fine. Even after all that, I’m only sitting at 10% cpu load with 2 cameras. When I remove both cameras, I sit at 1%. So each camera would be about 4.5%?

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CPU…: Intel® Core™ i7-6770HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz
Memory…: 4.3Gi used, 3.1Gi free, 15Gi in total

Intel NUC skullcandy. With NVME/ssd? cant recall.

Does about a load of 0.30 but mostly is IO. So i see mysql doing data constantly (more then it should for that matter, but don’t have to be picky)

Do run multiple containers but still its a bit overkill (but i can recall someone say at some point that 640kb is enough for everyone)


Ok reading more replies thanks guys…Forgive the rambling…kinda talking out loud trying to decide what to do.

  1. I know just about any cpu will work fine for HA, because HA runs good on my PI it is just the SD card issue. I am just thinking ahead to get something stronger so I can run 10, Linux, etc on the same box .

  2. Is there a big difference between Gen 7 and Gen 8 I5’s?

Right now I can get an I5 gen 8 from Amazon, but only in small case factor. I can get a tall or short form factor I5 in Gen 7. for 355 bare. I can swing that now and get the SSD and ram in a couple of weeks.

Well there is a difference between Gen 7 and Gen 8 Gen 7 is only dual core, not quad.

Is going short case a bad idea?

Just rambling out my thoughts…


model name : Intel® Core™ i5-5250U CPU @ 1.60GHz

Because it was a reasonable price second hand, and had 8GB ram. I am running home assistant in a venv, mosquitto via the ubuntu package and zigbee2mqtt and esphome in docker. No sweat. Stays up for weeks at a time (and only really went off because we got new appliance wired in and the electrician turned the mains off).

Been up 8 days and 1/2 the ram is unused, and no swap used.


Intel i7 4610Y. OR I would be if life would stop getting in the way of transfer from a Pi 3B.
XYC is much cheaper than a NUC


Indeed, this obsession with the three letters N, U & C is annoying. Many manufacturers make small intel based computers.


Should the NUC image load on any standard PC ?


I just looked at these and ‘cheaper’ seems to be an understatement.

What could be the difference, apart from the obvious, Branding, Chinese source and warranty/support?


They come with a pirate copy of windows. The memory and SSD/HDD are no name Chinese brands, none of which I purchased. I Just got the bare CPU option as I have a bunch of suitable spare parts.

I’m guessing the on-board graphics and mb chipset will be inferior to intel products. Neither of which should be a concern for this application.

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Intel® NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH
32GB internal memory

Debian 9 with docker
Hassio with a bunch of add-ons


The cheapest NUC I could find, using a Celeron Dual Core 1.6ghz.
Having no problems running 12+ docker containers, idle CPU usage is around 15%.
I’m currently getting close to running out of memory though, so I’m upgrading to 8gb soon.

Long story short, I don’t think you’ll need more than an i3 to comfortably run HA plus a whole bunch of addons.