Steam Machine killer? Details about Intel's next generation PC emerge

Intel's cheapest NUC costs under £100
Intel's cheapest NUC costs under £100

The entire roadmap of Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range has been leaked and shows some interesting readjustments that will position NUCs as decent replacements for traditional full-size computers.

According to slides leaked by Fanlesstech, the next NUC to ship will be a Maple Canyon model powered by a Core i5, specifically the 4300U. Other than V Pro and TPM, it's worth noting that it will offer both M.2 and a SATA 3 port with optional 2.5-inch drive. Intel has also opted to add NFC and an unidentified (and possibly undocumented new) feature called "WCHG HDRs".

Intel-only PCs?

Next year will also see the addition of four Broadwell-based NUCs in Q1 2015 and a Braswell-based one in the second quarter of 2015. The latter, which carries the codename Pinnacle Canyon, can accommodate only one SO-DIMM and will come with a VGA and an HDMI port.

As for the Broadwell models, they will aim for mainstream gaming, content creation and immersive gaming - potentially targeting the same audience as Steam PCs - with the ability to drive 4K displays.

We note with interest that the entry price of NUCs which are essentially NetPCs has been steadily dropping. You can now get a number of models for well under £100, which makes us wonder whether Intel partners are not finding the giant's latest initiative somewhat disruptive to their business.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.