5th Gen Intel NUC with 32GB Memory

Intel NUCs with ESXi are being used as home servers and in many home labs. If you are generally interested in running ESXi on Intel NUCs, read this post first. Officially, it is limited to 16GB memory which might come a little bit short for virtualization labs. Recently Crucial has launched 16GB DDR3L modules for an affordable price (Intelligent Memory was the first in the market with 16GB modules, but they were quite expensive). I’ve ordered two Crucial 16GB modules (CT204864BF160B) and tested them in my 5th Gen Intel NUC (NUC5i5MYHE).


Both modules are detected in the UEFI without any issues:

ESXi 6.0 boots and detects the memory flawlessly:

The Crucial 16GB DDR3L SODIMM module are available as single module or kit:

Please note that these modules are not officially supported. You can see the maximum supported memory on the NUC Comparison page. That means that there is no guarantee that it works without problems.

All 5th Gen NUCs have Broadwell CPUs so I assume that these modules also work with other models:

  • Intel NUC5i7RYH
  • Intel NUC5i5RYH
  • Intel NUC5i5MYHE
  • Intel NUC5i5RYK
  • Intel NUC5i3RYH
  • Intel NUC5i3MYHE
  • Intel NUC5i3RYK

This is a side-by-side comparison of 8GB (left) and 16GB (right) Crucial modules:crucial-memory-for-esxi

Leave a comment ?


  1. Thanks Florian for being brave and testing it out!

    Anyone tried this with the 3rd generation Intel Core i5-3427U (Kit = DC53427HYE and Board = D53427RKE)? It’s the only pre-generation 5 one with vPro so it was a popular choice.

  2. Hi Florian, this is great info that you have shared. Thank you. Did you actually run up some VM’s on the 32 Gig NUC and confirm that all were running OK for a few days? No PSOD’s, or errors? Appreciate the feedback as I am keen to also do this, but it’s a few more dollars when you do the conversion from US to AUS. Cheers, Adam

    • I am using this setup since about 4 days now. Currently it runs 7 Virtual Machines with about 26GB Memory usage. No problems so far…

  3. I don’t suppose you have a laptop with a 5600u to test in haha. I guess I’ll have to give this a shot.

  4. Hey Florian, that’s really great news. Thanks for that info. Looks like I will be investing in some new memory soon. Pls update the forum if you discover any issues. Thank you, Adam

  5. Awesome website, you did a really nice job!
    Keep it up!
    Hello from France!

  6. Reporting back: Ordered 2 CT204864BF160B from Newegg and popped them in my Dell E7250 ultrabook – Success! Windows shows both modules at 1600mhz and no errors using 25GB with apps and Hyper-V.

    Thanks for the tip!

  7. Do you know if it works for the NUC5i5RYH model?

    Or is the NUC5i5MYHE a better version to virtualize on?

  8. Building a Single-Node VSAN | Virten.net - pingback on November 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm
  9. So I’m interested in using the DS57U5 for a ESXI cluster instead of the NUCs, the inclusion of a second Intel NIC seems incredibly useful. Have you done any testing of these, or would you be willing to? I’d be especially interested to know if these RAM kits also work in this chassis.

    • Yeah, I think the DS57U5 is really cool with ESXi. Both NICs have different chipsets, i218LM and i211. From what I’ve heard it is possible to use both, with some tweaking. I test everything with ESXi where I can get my hands on but unfortunately my money is not unlimited ;-)

  10. Tried the NUC D54250WYB with 32Gb and it looked like it would work but Windows 2012R2 BSOD on it. My bet is that ESX will also fail. In my Lenovo T550 it does work however. Might as well have a more portable lab :-)

  11. thanks for the tip. For others who are looking whether the memory will work or not Crucial has a compatibility check option in their website http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct204864bf160b

  12. The Affordable Homelab | Ryan's <tech>sploits - pingback on September 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm

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