Intel’s latest NUCs get a boost from Kaby Lake

Intel continues to refine and update its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini-PCs, which take much of the hardware from its Ultrabook line and package it into a tiny square chassis. The major updates for this year's NUCs include the latest seventh-generation Intel Core processors and support for Optane memory.

Intel's Optane memory, co-developed with Micron, is a non-volatile memory technology that's faster than flash but denser than DRAM. It doesn't replace standard RAM in these NUCs, which have two familiar SO-DIMM sockets for up to 32GB of DDR4 at 2133 MT/s. Instead, Optane is meant to offer speedy storage, possibly in an M.2 format, to provide fast boot times and application launching.

This year's NUC models offer a number of processor and storage options. The top of the line NUC7i7BNH is powered by a Core i7-7567U, a dual-core processor with a max turbo clock of 4.0GHz and a 28W TDP. Intel's Iris Plus Graphics 650 IGP runs the display. For storage, there's an M.2 slot and room for a 2.5" HDD or SSD up to 9.5mm tall. All this hardware fits into a chassis that's only 4.5" x 4.4" x 2" (or 11.5 cm x 11. cm x 5.1 cm).

 

 

The NUC models with Core i5 or Core i3 CPUs are available in two configurations: one with a slot for a 9.5-mm-tall drive, and a low-profile model that only has room for an M.2 unit. The low-profile variants (whose names end in K rather than H) have similar dimensions, but are only 1.4" (3.5 cm) tall.

The kits labeled NUC7i5BNH and NUC7i5BNK are powered by Intel's Core i5-7260U, a dual core processor with a max turbo clock of 3.4GHz and a 15W TDP. This processor integrates Intel's Iris Plus Graphics 640 unit. The Core i3 variants of this year's NUCs, the NUC7i3BNH and NUC7i3BNK, have Intel's Core i3-7100U processor inside. This dual-core CPU has a base frequency of 2.4GHz, a 15W TDP, and offer up an Intel HD Graphics 620 IGP.

The rest of the feature set in these NUCs remains quite solid. They have dual-array front microphones for taking advantage of Cortana, an HDMI 2.0 port, and Intel's 802.11ac dual-band wireless connectivity. There's also a Thunderbolt 3 port on tap that can offer USB 3.1 and DisplayPort connectivity. A Micro SDXC slot with UHS-I support and Bluetooth 4.2 support round out the list of features.

Comments closed
    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Does the orange USB port mean anything?

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 3 years ago

      On my motherboard, that’s the one that’s rated to charge portable devices at full power.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Ah, cool. I guessed it was for always-on charging.

    • NovusBogus
    • 3 years ago

    “Iris, Iris, everywhere, nor any chip to run Win7”
    -Rime of the Bogus Mariner

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    They should offer interchangeable lids, one of which is a slim optical drive. (I know, that’s ancient technology and I should just be EndUser and get rid of everything made to a standard more than 6 months old, but considering all the media that isn’t on Hulu/Netflix/Prime but I can get at [url=http://blog.scarecrow.com/about-us-3/<]Scarecrow[/url<], I still use an optical drive for HT viewing on a regular basis)

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W04PJ9773<]One of these[/url<] could match up real nice with one of those.

        • UberGerbil
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, I recently prompted a discussion of these in [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=118962&p=1334657#p1334215<]a forum thread[/url<]. Something like [url=https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDR-XS06-Blu-Ray-External-Burner/dp/B00TL4HGB2<]this [/url<]would probably look fine slipped under the NUC (haven't compared the plan dimensions but I'm sure they're close); I'd just be happier with a more integrated setup.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 3 years ago

      I’m ancient, but I still have all my DVD’s including many seasons of tv shows not on Netflix.

      A slip optical drive add-on lid would be a welcome addition to old people like me.

      • Mad_Dane
      • 3 years ago

      Sounds like a job for a 3D printer.

      • CheetoPet
      • 3 years ago

      DVDs are 4.7″, bit wider than a NUC. Technically still possible to mount but yeah.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 3 years ago

      Better to use a USB optical drive and sit the NUC on top of it – they’re not wide enough to fit a slimline optical drive inside, no matter how tall you make the lid.

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    Iris Plus 640 and 650 have the eDRAM LLC, so that’s a bonus.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      The 550 is even faster than the Iris Pro 5200, despite having half the eDRAM (Intel did say it was way over provisioned originally). Impressive for its class.

      Frig, I really wish Intel management would let the Gen graphics guys cut loose with a dedicated card 😛

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