Intel wants to make an impression in 2016, and for that, it touts that its 'Skull Canyon' platform will prove to be the "most powerful NUC yet."
The blue-chip giant relies on the powerful configuration and optimization of the device. According to a teasing document from Intel, the mini-PC will sport the latest Skylake architecture, as well as solid graphics from the Gen9 GT4e. This means that the Iris Pro 580 comes with 128 MB of bundled eDRAM.
The tech savvy might know that the Next Unit of Compute (NUC) manufactured by Intel is actually a really portable all-in-one PC, which usually comes with a spicy price point. Uses for the expensive powerhouses range from high capacity distributed computing to being the leading processing source for a robotics project. Some enterprises use it as HTPCs that can be placed discretely out of sight.
So far, most NUCs featured sufficient CPU power, but in terms of iGPU, things were a little different. However, Intel aims to change that by packing the Iris Pro 580 graphics in the Skull Canyon flagship.
Some Skylake configurations come bundled with the Intel GT4e Iris Pro graphics. The GT4e Iris Pro is a Generation9 processor which features 128 MB of eDRAM.
It should be noted that the eDRAM has quick L4 cache and allows for the 72 Execution Units (EUs) to be fully optimized.
Intel's material tells that the main chip runs at 1 Ghz, but the thermal enclosing of the NUC can add a modifier to that performance. To get technical, the chip works at 1152 GFlops of Single Precision. That is a promising 1.15 TFlops. For good measure, that makes the Iris Pro 580 almost as potent as the Nvidia's Geforce GTX 750.
For gaming buffs, this means that Skull Canyon's Iris Pro 580 will be good enough to run last year's 3D titles at decent frame rates, in medium settings, at 1080p.
The new NUC lineup might bring a change in CPUs as well, with Intel's Skylake-U replacing the Broadwell-U processors.
The rumored processors for the Skull Canyon are dual core models, but no more specific details exist.
What is known, however, is that the Core i7-6600U will be the cream of the crop for this lineup.
Until the Skull Canyon hits the stores, Intel's best existing NUC on the market is still the Broadwell NUC5i7RYH.
In the mini-PC, the company packed an i7-5557U processor which is backed by dual-channel 1.35V DDR3L SODIMMs upgradable up to 16 GB. The gizmo also sports one mini DisplayPort 1.2, and a mini HDMI 1.4a. Four USB 3.0 ports allow for peripherals to be plugged in, one of which is charging-compatible.