We first heard about Intel's potent little Skull Canyon NUC PC back in December when a PDF was leaked. The headline PDF slide image informed us that the Skull Canyon was the "most powerful NUC ever," and would arrive in Q1 2016. Intel has now officially unveiled this highly anticipated compact PC, confirming the specs that we are all eager to find out. In other Intel news the chipmaker has decided to wade into the VR standards sphere with its own 'VR Ready' initiative, "to help people find the PC that works best for their VR experiences". That's possibly another VR-something-or-other sticker destined for future PC front panels.
Intel has used the GDC 2016 as a platform to launch its newest, most powerful, and meanest looking NUC. The elongated, newly designed 0.69 litre chassis encased, Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) offers the following key features:
- 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor (45W TDP)
- Intel Iris Pro graphics 580
- Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) with USB 3.1 and DP1.2 over USB-C
- Support for DDR4 memory, up to 32GB at 2133+ MHz
- Support for dual M.2 slots for SATA3/PCIe x4 Gen 3 NVMe/AHCI SSDs
- Full-size HDMI 2.0 port and Mini DisplayPort version 1.2 supporting 8 channel audio (7.1 surround sound)
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 Wi-Fi (802.11 ac) and Bluetooth 4.2 pre-installed
- SD card slot (up to 512GB)
- Four USB 3.0 ports (including one charging port)
- Intel HD Audio via Headphone/Microphone jack
- Intel Gigabit LAN
- Consumer infrared sensor
- Ships with two lids – one with a skull logo, one plain matte black (Support for user-replaceable third-party lids)
- Dimension: 216mm x 116mm x 23mm – an incredibly small .69L
Razer Core compatible
It is suggested that the NUC6i7KYK unleashes the performance required for "intense game play or intensive workloads". Indeed users can use the systems straight away with 4K displays and multi-monitor configurations. However the Iris Pro graphics installed are not a brick wall in this instance, if you find them to be rather anaemic for your needs. Intel says that users can utilise the built-in Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to high-end, external graphics card(s) through a device "such as the new Razer Core". (such as – implying it is aware of competitor AMD XConnect compatible chassis solutions?).
Intel says the Skull Canyon NUC will become available to pre-order from April at Newegg. Bare bones pricing will start at $650, with a typical 6GB memory, 256GB SSD and Windows 10 configuration selling for an estimated $999. Shipping will begin in May.