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Intel NUC gets new processors

by on04 January 2017


But its connections are more useful


Chipzilla’s "Next Unit of Computing" (NUC) hardware has been one of the few bright spots of the PC industry, and now it seems that Intel wants to give them a refresh.

Shown off at CES, this year's models, introduced alongside the rest of Intel's new "Kaby Lake" processor lineup have new processors with new integrated GPUs. Yeah Kaby Lake is probably an indication that it is time to go for a snooze but these NUCs are rather good for the price.

There are two Core i3 models (NUC7i3BNK and NUC7i3BNH), two Core i5 models (NUC7i5BNK and NUC7i5BNH), and one Core i7 model (NUC7i7BNH) -- that last one is intended to replace the older dual-core Broadwell i7 NUC and not the recent quad-core "Skull Canyon" model.

The Core i3 and i5 versions come in both "short" and "tall" cases, the latter of which offers space for a 2.5-inch laptop-sized SATA hard drive or SSD. The i7 version only comes in a "tall" version. Like past NUCs, all five models offer two laptop-sized DDR4 RAM slots and an M.2 slot for SATA and PCI Express SSDs (up to four lanes of PCIe 3.0 bandwidth is available).

Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi is built-in. As for the rest of the NUCs' features, Intel has drawn a line between the Core i3 model and the i5/i7 models.

All of the boxes include four USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, an IR receiver, an HDMI 2.0 port, a gigabit Ethernet port, a microSD card slot, a dedicated power jack, and a new USB-C port that can be used for data or DisplayPort output.

In the i5 and i7 models, the USB-C port is also a full-fledged Thunderbolt 3 port, the first time any of the smaller dual-core NUCs have included Thunderbolt since the old Ivy Bridge model back in 2012.

Although Intel is touting the NUCs have a new design they are still about as sexy as a grey brick can be.

Last modified on 04 January 2017
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