Intel takes the lid off the full specs of its Apollo Lake NUCs

The rumors of Atom's death were greatly exaggerated. Intel just released documents with the final specifications of its latest NUC kits, called the NUC6CAYH and NUC6CAYS. Both NUCs are based on the Apollo Lake-family Celeron J3455 SoC and its four Goldmont cores. The CAYH is the barebones version, and the CAYS includes a 2GB SO-DIMM and 32GB of eMMC storage. The two kits are otherwise identical.

The little 1.5-GHz Celeron isn't likely to set anyone's pants on fire with its performance. Still, its ability to "burst" up to 2.3 GHz should help it power through the occasional bit of meaty computing that desktop use requires. The J3455's graphics bits are called Intel HD Graphics 500, and comprise twelve Gen9 execution units running at up to 750 MHz. This GPU's video block is a relative of Kaby Lake's, so it can handle decoding duties for VP9 Profile0 in up to 4K resolution, and HEVC Main10 in up to 8K resolution.

The NUCs can accept two DDR3L-1866 SO-DIMMs. Besides the 32GB eMMC SSD on the CAYS model, the only storage options on the new NUCs are a single 2.5" SATA drive bay and an SDXC slot. That's par for the course for NUCs, though. Even though Skylake officially dropped support for the ancient HD15 VGA connector, it's back on the new NUCs alongside a full-size HDMI 2.0 connector. These little PCs look well-suited for HTPC use, too: besides the headset jack on the front of the machine, Intel also includes a mini-Toslink optical audio jack on the rear panel.

For peripheral connectivity, the new NUCs offer four USB 3.0 ports. One of the ports is amber-colored and specifically intended for device charging. Internal headers offer access to two more USB 2.0 ports. Intel includes a 3168 Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module on an M.2 card, and Realtek provides gigabit Ethernet. Interestingly enough, Intel also builds in two mics on the front of the device for use with Windows 10's Cortana (and other apps, presumably).

Users are free to install their own operating system on the NUC6CAYH, while the NUC6CAYS comes with Windows 10 Home pre-installed on its eMMC module. Pricing and availability info remains a mystery.

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