At GDC 2016, Intel has announced its new NUC or Next Computing Unit, which is basically a compact (desktop) computer design. This new version is a 45-Watt design that comes with a Gen6 Core i7 processor (the i7-6700HQ) while the user will add his/her own memory (32GB max) and disk storage (M.2 NVMe compatible) after purchasing the box.
While other NUCs were built to be relatively plain (but compact) PC computers, this 2016 Intel NUC is very powerful and can handle heavy computing tasks such as video editing and entry/mid-level gaming. Intel points out that users who want to get a faster graphics processor (GPU) can add something like that the RAZER Core external GPU (an Ubergizmo Best of CES 2016) which connects over Thunderbolt.
The addition of an external GPU would create an impressively powerful design in relation to the volume of the computer: only 0.7 Liters for this NUC.
Intel expects to retail this NUC in April 2016 for about $650. When you add 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD drive, the cost will hover near $1000.
We played with one and found the design to be very nice. I shot pictures of it connected to a monitor and power so you can have an idea of what it looks like with all the cables. I would probably think of mounting it behind my monitor if I was using one.
Here are the official specifications:
- 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 wifi (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 23m – an incredibly small .69L