Category Archives: Nuc

Intel’s Hades Canyon NUC is a tiny gaming powerhouse

We called Intel's last NUC the future of tiny desktops. And with this latest model, the Hades Canyon NUC, that's truer than ever. It has just about everything you'd want in a desktop, thanks to a single chip that houses Intel's eighth-generation Core…

Intel’s first ‘Skull Canyon’ NUC has Core i7 power

If you're considering an Xbox One or PS4 for gaming and entertainment, Intel has another proposition for you: The first Skull Canyon NUC (next unit of computing) mini-PC. It fits a sixth-gen Skylake Core i7 CPU, Thunderbolt 3, DDR4 RAM support and du…

Intel’s high-end quad-core NUC ships in May for $650

Enlarge / The “Skull Canyon” Core i7 NUC. (credit: Intel)

Intel talked a little about its new high-end Core i7 NUC mini PC at CES earlier this year, but today at GDC the company revealed what the final model will look like along with its specs, release date, and cost.

The new NUC6i7KYK, codenamed “Skull Canyon,” includes a 2.6GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) 45W quad-core Core i7-6770HQ—not the fastest Skylake laptop chip that Intel can sell you, but definitely one of the fastest. The other main draws are the Iris Pro 580 GPU, which includes 78 of Intel’s graphics execution units and a 128MB eDRAM cache (compared to 48EUs and 64MB of eDRAM in the standard Core i5 NUC we just reviewed), and the Thunderbolt 3 port which also supports full USB 3.1 gen 2 transfer speeds of 10Gbps. It takes DDR4 memory, M.2 SATA and PCI Express SSDs, and comes with a built-in Intel 8260 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapter, just like the Core i5 NUC.

It’s got a good port selection, including a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a mini DisplayPort 1.2 output, four USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, an SD card slot, a gigabit LAN port, and an IR sensor for use with remote controls. The HDMI 2.0 port ought to make some HTPC fans happy, since the standard NUCs are still stuck on version 1.4 and can’t view HDCP 2.2-protected content. And this is all in addition to the aforementioned Thunderbolt 3 port; this will be the first NUC since the original to support Thunderbolt, which opens up possibilities for external graphics cards down the line.

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Review: Much-improved Iris GPU makes the Skylake NUC a major upgrade

Intel’s “Next Unit of Computing” (NUC) mini desktops started off as interesting curiosities, experiments to see just how much computer could fit in a desktop PC that you could hold in your hand. Each subsequent generation has refined the overall concept and added other niceties, making it more and more like a solid consumer-ready computer (albeit one that makes you provide your own RAM and SSD and OS).

We looked at Intel’s fourth-generation NUC based on its still-relatively-new Skylake processors. On the outside, less has changed than ever before—Intel has settled on a “look” for the NUC and it’s not messing with the design much. On the inside, you get enough cool upgrades that you can almost forgive Intel’s CPU performance for improving so little in the last three or four years.

Model breakdown

Specs at a glance: Intel NUC NUC6i7SYK (as reviewed)
OS Windows 10 x64
CPU 1.8GHz Core i5-6260U (Turbo Boost up to 1.9GHz)
RAM 16GB 2133MHz DDR4 (supports up to 32GB)
GPU Intel Iris 540 (integrated with 64MB eDRAM)
HDD 256GB Samsung SM951 PCIe SSD
Networking 867Mbps 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit Ethernet
Ports 4x USB 3.0, 1x mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 1.4b, headphones, SD card slot
Size 4.53” x 4.37” x 1.26” (115 x 111 x 32mm)
Other perks Kensington lock, swappable lids, IR receiver
Warranty 3 years
Price ~$400 (barebones), about $755 as configured

There are four Skylake NUCs as of this writing. Two include a Core i5-6260U with an Iris 540 integrated GPU, and two use a slower Core i3-6100U processor and a slower HD 520 GPU. Each processor comes in two cases: a taller one that makes room for a 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD, and a shorter one that doesn’t. Otherwise, all models share the same basic design, port layout, and other features.

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Intel introduces its smallest socketed form factor yet: the 5×5

If you think mini-ITX is too big but don’t like the soldered down processor of the Intel NUC, the chip giant has come up with a new form factor that splits the difference: 5×5.

Measuring, er, 5.5 inches by 5.8 inches (compared to the 4.5″×4.4″ of the NUC, and the 6.7″×6.7″ of mini-ITX), the new offering in many ways slides directly in between the form factors that bookend it. Like mini-ITX, it has an LGA socket compatible with Intel’s Core-branded processors. But like the NUC, it uses SODIMM memory, M.2 drives, and an external power supply. It also sacrifices mini-ITX’s PCIe slot. 2.5″ SATA drives are also an option, though they will increase the system height a little.

So while the 5×5 leans much closer to the NUC spec list than the mini-ITX one, that processor and socket make a world of difference. The NUC processors top out at 28W for the Broadwell Core i7-5557U. Even that’s something of an outlier; every other current generation NUC uses a 15W or 6W chip. The 5×5, however, will have two thermal targets: 35W and 65W. Though 65W systems will be a little taller to accommodate a larger heatsink, support for any Intel Core processor with a TDP up to 65W makes the system a lot more versatile. For example, the Broadwell Core i7-5775C is a 65W part. This powerhouse chip includes 128MB of eDRAM, and as a result it’s surprisingly credible at gaming. This is a chip that can play Bioshock Infinite at 1920×1080 in high quality at 30 fps, Tomb Raider in low quality at 64 fps, and Dirt Showdown in medium quality at 46 fps.

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Intel product pages detail cheap Braswell NUCs, coming in June and July

Intel continues to quietly expand the NUC family, its lineup of barebones mini PCs. Today we noticed two new low-end boxes, based on Intel’s low-end 14nm Braswell chips instead of the Ultrabook-class Broadwell CPUs in the more expensive models.

There are two new boxes to look at, each with decidedly unmemorable product numbers instead of names: the NUC5CPYH includes a 1.6GHz (2.16GHz Turbo) dual-core Celeron N3050, and it will supposedly be available this month. The NUC5PPYH uses a 1.6GHz (2.4GHz Turbo) quad-core Pentium N3700 instead, and it’s coming out at some point in July.

A quick refresher on Braswell: it uses the same “Airmont” CPU cores and cut-down Broadwell GPU as the recent Cherry Trail Atom processors, but the Celeron and Pentium parts run at a higher TDP (6W versus 2W for the Atoms), which lets them run at higher speeds for longer. They also support technologies like SATA, which makes them better suited for use in low-end desktops and laptops than their Atom counterparts. They also improve over older Bay Trail-D Celeron and Pentium chips by supporting more USB 3.0 ports and faster DDR3 1600 RAM.

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Logic Supply Core-ML320 Fanless Industrial NUC Review

Computers with completely passive cooling systems are advantageous in many respects. These aspects turn out to be very important for many industrial applications. The low power nature of the popular Intel NUC platforms make them perfect candidates for passive industrial PCs. We have reviewed an Atom-based passive industrial PCs from Logic Supply before. Today, we present results from the evaluation of their fanless version of the Haswell i5-based NUC.

Logic Supply Core-ML320 Fanless Industrial NUC Review

Computers with completely passive cooling systems are advantageous in many respects. These aspects turn out to be very important for many industrial applications. The low power nature of the popular Intel NUC platforms make them perfect candidates for passive industrial PCs. We have reviewed an Atom-based passive industrial PCs from Logic Supply before. Today, we present results from the evaluation of their fanless version of the Haswell i5-based NUC.

Logic Supply Core-ML320 Fanless Industrial NUC Review

Computers with completely passive cooling systems are advantageous in many respects. These aspects turn out to be very important for many industrial applications. The low power nature of the popular Intel NUC platforms make them perfect candidates for passive industrial PCs. We have reviewed an Atom-based passive industrial PCs from Logic Supply before. Today, we present results from the evaluation of their fanless version of the Haswell i5-based NUC.

Logic Supply Core-ML320 Fanless Industrial NUC Review

Computers with completely passive cooling systems are advantageous in many respects. These aspects turn out to be very important for many industrial applications. The low power nature of the popular Intel NUC platforms make them perfect candidates for passive industrial PCs. We have reviewed an Atom-based passive industrial PCs from Logic Supply before. Today, we present results from the evaluation of their fanless version of the Haswell i5-based NUC.