Intel NUC

Intel NUC 13 Pro Mini PC Running Linux: Power Consumption

Last Updated on October 30, 2023

Power Consumption under Light Usage

In this test, we used each machine over many days performing a variety of general desktop tasks including, but not limited, to web surfing, email, compiling source code, watching video, listening to music, and running virtualized machines.

The chart shows the power consumption of each machine. The figures are the power draw for the machine, not just the CPU.

Power Consumption under Light Load

The Intel NUC is faster than its desktop counterparts. And it’s the most frugal power consumption wise too even compared to the significantly slower i5-10400 machine. Better performance at lower running costs.

Notes about the chart:

  • The tasks do not include any activities that are GPU intensive such as gaming, running locally-hosted AI apps, video recording / live streaming etc.
  • While the tests access software that uses the GPU (such as Xorg), the GPU power consumption is minimal (with the exception of the i5-12400F as the machine’s dedicated graphics card draws 21W at idle).
  • Two screens are used on each machine.
  • The i5-12400F machine hosts a dedicated graphics card, whereas the NUC and the 10th gen machine both use onboard graphics.
  • Both the i5-12400F and i5-10400 machines offer BIOS power management options. This power management is enabled. The NUC’s BIOS doesn’t offer power management functionality.
  • The Balanced CPU governor is used.

Next page: Page 3 – Full CPU Load

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Power Consumption With System Idle
Page 2 – Power Consumption With Light Usage
Page 3 – Power Consumption With CPU Stressed
Page 4 – Electricity Costs

Complete list of articles in this series:

Intel NUC 13 Pro Mini PC
Part 1Introduction to the series with interrogation of system
Part 2Benchmarking the Mini PC
Part 3Installing Ubuntu 23.10 Desktop
Part 4Configuring Ubuntu 23.10 Desktop
Part 5Power Consumption
Part 6P-Cores and E-Cores
Part 7Gaming
Part 8Installing and Configuring Manjaro
Part 9BIOS options
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Nigel Bolton
Nigel Bolton
7 months ago

How many watts does the NUC’s GPU take when idling?

7 months ago

Very interesting article, thank you 🙂

We find using the NUC 13 Pro as a desktop machine with the Power Saver CPU governor enabled greatly limits its usability.

Do you mean the machine is noticeably slow even for basic usage (web surfing, watching videos, email, etc.)?

Dave "Nacho" Skelton
Dave "Nacho" Skelton
7 months ago

Have you tried to experiment with powertop to see if you can get the idle power consumption lower?