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Intel Brings Skylake To Its NUC PCs

Taking advantage of its latest high-performance low-power microarchitecture, Intel updated its line of NUC mini-PCs.

Of the new NUC devices released, the NUC6i4SYH features the most performance, but it may not be the fastest NUC on the market. Instead, NUC6i4SYH will trade blows with Intel’s NUC5i7RYH, which might be faster overall.

The NUC6i4SYH is centered on an Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i5-6260U processor with two CPU cores and a max turbo clock speed of 2.8 GHz. The NUC5i7RYH has a 5th Gen (Broadwell) Core i7-5557U with two CPU cores as well and a considerably higher turbo clock speed off 3.4 GHz. In this area, the older NUC with the Core i7 is probably faster because of the higher clock speed. The improved platform and architecture on the Skylake system will help to make up for this difference in clock speed though.

On the GPU side of the equation, however, the NUC6i4SYH should be faster. Both systems use a form of Intel’s Iris graphics, but they have the same core count, and the Skylake based system benefit from performance enhancements in the GPU architecture. The Skylake iGPU also benefits from the use of DDR4 memory.

Although it shouldn’t impact performance, the NUC6i4SYH uses considerably less power and has a TDP rating of just 15 W. This enabled Intel to reduce the overall size of the NUC, reducing the height by 16.7 mm compared to the NUC5i7RYH.

As for the lower-end NUC6i3SYH, which uses an Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i3-6100U, it should be faster than the previous Core i3 NUCs released by Intel. The fastest Broadwell Core i3 NUC was limited to 2.1 GHz, but the Core i3-6100U runs at 2.3 GHz and has the various architectural improvements related to Skylake to increase performance even more. Although both the Broadwell and Skylake Core i3 NUCs have a TDP of 15 W, Intel was still able to reduce the size of the Skylake NUC by 16.7 mm compared to the older model.

Intel Skylake NUCs (Broadwell listed for comparison only)
NUCNUC6i3SYKNUC6i3SYHNUC6i5SYKNUC6i5SYHNUC5i7RYH
CPUIntel 6th Gen Skylake Core i3-6100U - 2.3 GHz Dual-Core, 3 MB Cache, 15 W TDPIntel 6th Gen Skylake Core i3-6100U - 2.3 GHz Dual-Core, 3 MB Cache, 15 W TDPIntel 6th Gen Skylake Core i5-6260U - 1.9 GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo) Dual-Core, 4 MB Cache, 15 W TDPIntel 6th Gen Skylake Core i5-6260U - 1.9 GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo) Dual-Core, 4 MB Cache, 15 W TDPIntel 5th Gen Broadwell Core i7-5557U - 3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz Turbo) Dual-Core, 4 MB Cache, 28 W TDP
MemoryDual-Channel DDR4 SO-DIMMs, 1.2 V, 1866 MHz, 32 GB MaxDual-Channel DDR4 SO-DIMMs, 1.2 V, 1866 MHz, 32 GB MaxDual-Channel DDR4 SO-DIMMs, 1.2 V, 2133 MHz, 32 GB MaxDual-Channel DDR4 SO-DIMMs, 1.2 V, 2133 MHz, 32 GB MaxDual-Channel DDR3 SO-DIMMs, 1.35 V, 1333/1600 MHz, 16 GB Max
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 520Intel HD Graphics 520Intel Iris Graphics 540Intel Iris Graphics 540Intel Iris Graphics 6100
StorageInternal M.2 SSDSDXC SlotInternal M.2 SSDInternal SATA-III 2.5”SDXC SlotInternal M.2 SSDSDXC SlotInternal M.2 SSDInternal SATA-III 2.5”SDXC SlotInternal M.2 SSDInternal SATA-III 2.5
Dimensions (L x W x H)115 mm x 111 mm x 32 mm115 mm x 111 mm x 32 mm115 mm x 111 mm x 32 mm115 mm x 111 mm x 32 mm115 mm x 111 mm x 48.7 mm

There is currently no word on pricing or availability.

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  • weilin
    I think the sizes should be checked, why is it possible for the model with a 2.5" HD slot to be the exact size as the one without?
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    17280560 said:
    I think the sizes should be checked, why is it possible for the model with a 2.5" HD slot to be the exact size as the one without?

    The size is correct by the Intel source documents I have. I am not sure why they did it that way. Perhaps it is because there is a change on the motherboard or another issue. I messaged Intel and asked about this, but they haven't replied to me yet.
    Reply
  • weilin
    thanks for looking into this, I expected the one supporting 2.5" HDs to be taller than the one that doesn't...
    Reply
  • stuffofinterest
    The editors blew it a bit with this article. First, all through the text there is "NUC6i4SYH" which should have been NUC6i5SYH". Next the same dimensions are listed for the one with and without the 2.5"drive slot. This is not the case as photos of the boxes show different sizes. If you go to product brief PDF (http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/nuc-kit-nuc6i3syh-nuc6i3syk-brief.pdf) you can see the actual dimensions. The shorter one is 32mm and the taller is 48mm.

    The Intel pages for these boxes has been out for nearly two months (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/products-overview.html). And some are starting to show up in the listings at retail sites with the i5 version listing for about $400 (on Newegg) and the i3 version listing for about $300 (on Amazon). I've been waiting since these were announced in November for them to show up at retail so I can get a NUC6i5SYK (the short i5 one) to go on a desk at home and let my Broadwell i5 NUC go back to serving as a HTPC where it was borrowed from a couple of months ago.
    Reply
  • stuffofinterest
    17280830 said:
    17280560 said:
    I think the sizes should be checked, why is it possible for the model with a 2.5" HD slot to be the exact size as the one without?

    The size is correct by the Intel source documents I have. I am not sure why they did it that way. Perhaps it is because there is a change on the motherboard or another issue. I messaged Intel and asked about this, but they haven't replied to me yet.

    Look at the product PDF file linked from the overview page.

    http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/nuc-kit-nuc6i3syh-nuc6i3syk-brief.pdf

    Reply
  • guocity
    why intel don't include usb type c in latest NUC
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    Leaks over the past week have said that the Skull Canyon NUC with quad-core i7 and Iris Pro graphics will also have USB type C with Thunderbolt 3. BTW, the Skull Canyon NUC is apparently designated NUC6i7KYK.
    Reply
  • weilin
    17283071 said:
    why intel don't include usb type c in latest NUC

    For Skylake platform, all the features associated with USB-C is not integrated into the chip. It's actually a companion chip on the board that gives you HDMI 2.0 and Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 capability. With such a small device, including the companion chip may not have been feasible.

    They could have given you a USB-C connector supporting only USB 3.0 speeds with no alternative modes or power delivery but that may just confuse customers down the line.
    Reply
  • Dr_b_
    these would make great firewalls if they only had 2 NICs
    Reply
  • stuffofinterest
    17292380 said:
    these would make great firewalls if they only had 2 NICs

    If you really need a second Ethernet adapter, you can always add a USB 3.0 to Ethernet interface for under $20.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BBD7NFU
    Reply