BIOS updates for motherboards and mini-PCs aren't usually important enough to warrant explicit coverage. However, Intel's latest release for the Skylake NUCs (the Core i3 and Core i5 versions - NUC6i3SYK, NUC6i3SYH, NUC6i5SYK and NUC6i5SYH) deserves special mention for a number of fixes that have been made.

Intel's launch of the Skylake NUCs was quite muted, with review units making it to the press a few months after market availability. In the meanwhile, consumers were beset with problems ranging from memory incompatibility issues and Wi-Fi flakiness to unexplained BSODs. We encountered a bunch of these in our own review, and went to the extent of recommending the unit only if the reader wanted to be a beta-tester for Intel.

Fortunately, Intel has been hard at work to get to the bottom of all the reported problems. The last two BIOS releases (0042 and 004) have solved a number of serious issues, including, but not restricted to:

  • Improved electrical overstress protection in the voltage regulator circuitry - this was the reason for BSODs with WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR reports.
  • Changed default value for Round Trip Latency to Enabled - this was the reason for incompatibility with some memory modules fabricated by SKHynix.
  • Improved BIOS update function to disable keyboard and power button during flash/recovery process - this could have helped me in avoiding the bricking of our first review sample of the NUC6i5SYK.
  • Fixed issue where Wi-Fi access point occasionally drops out during warm boot - this solves the strange case of the missing 5GHz SSID upon restarting the NUC
  • Changed FITC setting, OPI Link Speed to GT4 - this is the performance fix for PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs

If you are facing issues with a Skylake NUC, updating to BIOS v0044 should resolve almost all of the problems. Readers curious about the OPI link speed and its effect on the performance and power consumption characteristics of a Skylake-U system can peruse our detailed coverage posted last week.

Note that the OPI link rate changes can only be realized using the Recovery BIOS update method (using the jumpers). Intel indicated that the new BIOS installs and functions without doing the Recovery BIOS update, but it will not make the changes needed for the OPI link rate fix. The required changes are not in the portions of the BIOS that are replaced during a normal BIOS update. After the update, it is also necessary to set BIOS system defaults by pressing the F9 function key

 

Source: Intel

POST A COMMENT

30 Comments

View All Comments

  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Yet millions of people liked Windows 8. MS stated that they were taking a risk and I'm glad that they did. Reply
  • abhaxus - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Also glad that they took the risk. The original launch of Win8 was not ideal of course, but it was stable and a massive improvement over Windows 7 at multimonitor. It taught me to stop using the start menu and rely on universal search. Glad they released it.

    Always thought it was disappointing that smart people bitched about the start button missing when the hot corners were superior in almost every way. Right clicking the corner in Win8/8.1 is quite a bit better than the start menu for power users. imo.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    You make like them, but most people would agree that the hot corners were great...on tablets. on desktop, they were a waste of resources, and took much longer than just goint to the start menu. Same with search, it was faster just to search from the start menu. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    True. Windows 8 was awful. It was fine though after Windows 8.1 Update 1, which I prefer than this W10. It will probably the same time frame for W10 to get some polish. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Intel... Anything from intel, that's new, has pretty poor drivers. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    It's because the product is built by a small team. Reply
  • yuhong - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    I wonder if all SK Hynix chips have this problem and if not which ones does. Reply
  • raf77 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Installed and tested the firmware... Does not seem to have fixed the bandwidth on the SM951. It still looks like it is running OPT2 Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Have you tried the Recovery BIOS update method (using the jumpers) ? Intel tells me that the BIOS will install and function without doing the Recovery BIOS update, but it will not make the changes needed for the OPI link rate fix as the required changes are not in the portions of BIOS that are replaced during a normal BIOS update. After the update, it is also necessary to set BIOS system defaults by pressing the F9 function key. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    FWIW, I tested out the beta BIOS and used the recovery method to get the new OPI link rate. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now