Intel unveils upgraded NUC mini PCs powerful enough to play League of Legends and Counterstike: Go

Mini PC

Intel has just introduced a new range of NUC devices that feature upgraded components that allow these compact PCs to better handle advanced tasks and popular games such as League of Legends.

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.

Mini PCs

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.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

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. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.