Intel NUC Kit NUC8i3BEK/NUC8i5BEK Features – Front
After details started to slip out earlier this month, Intel has now officially revealed the company’s latest Next Unit of Computing (NUC) family, code-named “Bean Canyon.” The new devices bring the Coffee Lake CPU microarchitecture, as well as Iris Plus iGPUs.
Higher TDP And Performance
The NUCs are moving up in the world, at least when it comes to performance. Unlike most NUCs that Intel has released so far, including the previous "Baby Canyon" family, these new models almost double the TDP from 15W to 28W.
This gives room for using higher-performance CPUs with up to four cores and eight threads, with the highest-performance variant featuring a 2.7Ghz base clock speed (it’s still an U-series CPU after all), and a 4.5GHz Turbo Boost clock speed.
Intel also offers a variant with 2.3GHz base clock speed and 3.8GHz Turbo Boost. A third variant with only a dual core CPU with four threads comes with a 3.0GHz base clock speed and 3.6GHz turbo speed.
Intel NUC Kit NUC8i3BEK/NUC8i5BEK Features – Rear
If needed, the devices can also be configured to run with a lower TDP of 20W. As most people prefer the higher-performance, most Bean Canyon NUCs will likely remain at their default TDP.
If you’d like a NUC with even higher performance, Intel also offers the “Hades Canyon” NUC, with up to 100W TDP and AMD-made "Vega M" graphics, targeted gamers. Hades Canyon NUCs were released earlier this year and they are based on the previous-generation Kaby Lake microarchitecture.
Iris Plus GPU, Fast Wi-Fi Performance
All Bean Canyon SKUs will support Iris Plus Graphics 655, with 128MB eDRAM, 48 execution units, and a 1200MHz clock speed. The new devices also support the USB 3.1 gen 2 (10Gbps) standard on all of their four Type-A ports and come with Intel’s Wireless-AC 9560 with Bluetooth 5.0 WLAN module. The older DisplayPort 1.2 standard, as well as Thunderbolt 3 are also supported via USB Type-C connectors.
Block diagram of the major functional areas of the board
The new 2x2 multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output technology (MU-MIMO) Wi-Fi module gets a significant boost in performance over the previous generation, reaching a theoretical maximum of 1.73Gbps bandwidth. However, the new Wi-Fi module lacks the WPA3 security standard announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance this January.
Intel plans to offer the new NUC family both as kits as well as boards for other manufacturers. The company recommended manufacturers to use a chassis that can have a maximum temperature of 50C at the processor fan inlet for adequate thermal management.
Pricing wasn't available as of this writing, but will likely arrive soon as availability is expected in early August.