Which will be better for running Home Assistant for the long run : a RPi3 or an Atom NUC?

I have recently started out with HomeAssistant, been running it under Ubuntu in a virtual machine. However, now that I feel quite confident with the UI and all the coding stuff, I think it’s time to build a dedicated physical HA machine.

Deciding between RPi and a NUC, the following things keep confusing me :
** Both are really portable. Small form factor is really a concern for me since I all I’ve got is my room to place this thing (my mom will throw the thing away if she finds any clutter elsewhere).
** Stability : Since an RPi doesn’t has any good cooling options available, I’m tipped over the NUCs hoping they can provide more stability and longer runtimes even in poorly ventilated places.
** Since softwares tend to evolve to consume more resources, maybe the RPi will become too slow in a rather short time in comparison to the NUC.
** Flexibility : with a NUC, I can easily switch to windows or ubuntu, running HA (or change to some other suite, if a better one comes out), or run HA directly on it. An RPi will limit me to Rassbian, which really is of no great use.
** Power consumption wise, electricity is really cheap here (I can easily afford to run a 250W system, but that would be an utter waste of resources).
** Cost : an RPi surely is cheaper than a NUC, but I’m willing to wait till I have enough money to buy a NUC, till then my VM is doing just fine.

Maybe some of you folks have had experiences with NUC/RPi, any inputs to help me making a decision will be really appreciated.

If your VM is doing fine, save your money and use that.

I have been using a RPI B+ for 2.5 years now, without any problems. I am on my second sd card, but I am not convinced the problem I had a few months ago was actually related to that. So if you really need dedicated hardware, a Pi will do fine.

But the NUC is a really nice piece of kit, many people run HA on them, and it is well worth saving up to buy one. Just don’t pretend that it is necessary for HA.

I run mine on a real pc not putting down the pi love it have 3 of them me and sd card don’t see eye to eye have and old desktop 4gig and 250meg hard drive running head less and has not miss a beat yet knock on wood

NUC, VM, Docker = Win !

Have to say more horsepower myself, the Rpi3 is great to start out with but something like a NUC or other PC to run it on is awesome. I’ve got mine running in a docker container with about 20-25 other containers on my media server and even loaded down with lots of components and such it takes seconds to restart HA or even the container itself.

An old laptop makes a GREAT home assistant computer as well. built in battery backup, more power than a pi. just load up a decent Linux distro, and run HA in Docker or Python Venv

If there was a simple guide to getting hassio duplicated on my ancient dust gathering Mac Mini I’d go back to it instantly for all those reasons.

The rebooting was the biggest surprise when i went in the other direction and ditched hassbian but I can’t give up the convenience and lack of programming skills needed with hassio.

Which nuc are you guys using? I looked into this the other day and there are many versions.

I’m planning to buy this NUC : INTEL® NUC KIT NUC6CAYS
Beginning with 2GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD, I’ll later upgrade to a max of 8GB (will also be running OwnCloud and Unifi).

Power consumption would ideally be around 15 watts.

Probably not the norm, but I started with an unRaid install on a PC before I even knew what HomeAssistant was. I just stumbled upon people talking about it and with the unRaid GUI it was as simple as hit search, boom, click HomeAssistant, and then 10-15 seconds later there was a docker container running to click the web GUI button on. Opened the web GUI and saw it automatically found all kinds of stuff on my network and I was impressed already before I even saw the word YAML for the first time. Been hooked ever since. I did check out Hass.io on a spare Rpi to see what all the fuss was about, it’s a great project and I’m glad it is there but I just wasn’t the target audience.

Done it it’s on a pc and it users about. 3% of the cpu thing just happen so fast thinking of upgrading it to 8gb why cause I can lol

I have the NUC6CAYS (with 8GB). The 8GB was overkill. Even this low-end NUC blows the Pi out of the water. My automations are peppier on the NUC than the Pi. And being able to run an SSD instead of an SD card gives me a little more piece-of-mind against corruption.

So, my vote is, if you can afford it, NUC all the way!

1 Like