Intel NUCs (Next Unit of Computing) are small, yet powerful, PCs that can sit unobtrusively in an office or even a front room, making them excellent little devices for both productivity and entertainment.
The new NUC kits are barebones boxes that come with basic hardware and allow you to add your own components to create a box that’s suited to your needs. The kits (NUC8i7BEH, NUC8i5BEH, NUC8i5BEK, NUC8i3BEH and NUC8i3BEK) went by the codename Bean Canyon and feature 8th generation Coffee Lake-U Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 processors.
These chips come with Intel Iris integrated graphics, which should be enough to power media applications, and maybe the odd casual game. Users can add their own choice of storage, memory and operating system.
If you like the compact design of the NUC kits but aren’t too keen on installing extra hardware yourself, then the new fully-built NUC mini PCs (NUC8i3CYSM and NUC8i3CYSN), which were code-named Crimson Canyon, will be more to your liking.
These come with 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8121U Cannon Lake processors and include a discrete Radeon 540 2GB graphics card. This is the first time NUC devices have featured a discrete GPU (rather than an integrated graphics chip), and this extra graphical power allows the new NUCs to play popular games at 1080p resolution.
We caught a glimpse of these devices playing Counterstrike: Go, and the gameplay definitely looked smooth and responsive. While it’s not the most graphically-intensive game, it’s a good showcase for how these tiny PCs can run popular, competitive, games, and can be easily carried around.
The mini PCs also come with 1TB of storage, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, Windows 10, two HDMI 2.0a ports and four USB 3.0 ports.
These new NUC devices will be available in September, and we’ve contacted Intel to find out pricing information.
- Intel teases its first dedicated consumer graphics cards, due to arrive in 2020
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.