Intel's latest Crimson Canyon NUC (next unit of computing) PCs powered by the chipmaker's 10 nm Cannon Lake processors have gone up for sale at major U.S. retailers, including Amazon, B&H Photo and Video, Newegg and Walmart.
Announced last August, the Crimson Canyon NUCs come inside a a tiny enclosure measuring 117 x 112 x 52 mm (4.6 x 4.4 x 2.04 inches). The units draws power through a 90 W laptop-style AC-DC power adapter.
The Crimson Canyon NUCs are built around the 8th generation Intel Core i3-8121U processor. The chip is based on the Cannon Lake microarchitecture and produced with Intel's 10 nm manufacturing process. The Core i3-8121U is a dual-core part with Hyper-threading that runs at 2.2 GHz and has a turbo clock that boosts up to 3.2 GHz. The processor also has 4 MB L3 cache and a low, 15 W TDP (thermal design power) rating.
|Header Cell - Column 0||NUC8i3CYSN||NUC8i3CYSM|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-8121U||Intel Core i3-8121U|
|Cores / Threads||2 / 4||2 / 4|
|Base Clock / Turbo Clock||2.2 GHz / 3.2 GHz||2.2 GHz / 3.2 GHz|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon 540||AMD Radeon 540|
|Memory||4 GB LPDDR4-2400||8 GB LPDDR4-2400|
|Storage||1 TB HDD||1 TB HDD|
|Removable Memory Card Slot||SDXC with UHS-I support||SDXC with UHS-I support|
|USB Ports||4x USB 3.0 Type-A||4x USB 3.0 Type-A|
|Graphics Output||2× HDMI 2.0b||2 HDMI 2.0b|
|Internet Connectivity||Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller (i219-V) Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac 2x2 + Bluetooth v5||Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller (i219-V)Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac 2x2 + Bluetooth v5|
Intel paired the Core i3-8121U with AMD's Radeon 540, which comes with 512 stream processors and a boost clock up to 1124 MHz. The graphics card is also equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1500 MHz (6000 MHz effective) across a 64-bit bus.
The Crimson Canyon NUCs are available in two flavors. The NUC8i3CYSN model comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4-2400 memory, while the NUC8i3CYSM model features 8 GB. The memory is soldered down to the PCB, eliminating the possibility of future upgrading. Therefore, it'd be to important to pick the right one for your needs at the time of purchase.
In terms of storage, the Crimson Canyon NUCs employ a 2.5-inch 1 TB hard drive. But Intel left users a M.2-2280 slot for housing SATA or PCIe drives and Optane Memory caching SSDs. A SDXC memory card slot with UHS-I support is present as well.
As for connectivity, there are four USB 3.0 Type-A ports on the Crimson Canyon NUCs. Two are located on the back panel, with the remaining two on the front panel whereby one of them supports charging. Users can connect to the internet via the Gigabit LAN Port, which is based on the Intel i219-V controller, or wirelessly. Intel has outfitted the Crimson Canyon NUCs with its Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac 2x2 and Bluetooth 5 combo that can deliver Wi-Fi speeds up to 1.73 Gbps over 160 MHz channels.
Video outputs consist of two HDMI 2.0b ports supporting resolutions up to 4K and 60 Hz refresh rates. There's a single stereo audio jack on the front panel. However, the Crimson Canyon NUCs support 7.1 surround audio through the HDMI 2.0 ports.
Intel Crimson Canyon NUC Pricing
Both the NUC8i3CYSN and NUC8i3CYSM models are sold on Newegg for $529.99 (not available in UK store) and $533.37 (£538.56), respectively. If purchased from Newegg, the Crimson Canyon NUCs come with the Intel NUC Crimson Canyon Gaming Bundle, a collection of games and software worth well over $300. The bundle includes the following:
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- GRID Autosport
- Gas Guzzlers Extreme
- World of Tanks - In Game Content
- World of Warships - In Game Content
- MAGIX Youcast
- MAGIX Movie Edit Pro Plus 2018
- Painter Essentials 6
- WinZip 21
- Iris Identity Protection for Intel Devices (U.S. Only)
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.