I have been checking our databases in regard to this NUC, but I could not find any information linked to it. Intel publishes the latest news at Intel Newsroom | Intel Official News and Information, so please keep on cheeking it for the latest news.
It really looks like a fantastic product. Atleast according to the rumours at:
According to that info this nuc will look very different and be rectangular shaped instead of square.
It will practically contain massive cpu-power, and graphics beyond typical mini-PC's, and ALL the features that one can need ..unless someone is an "enthusiast" gamer and really cant settle for graphics at $125 level.
There's only one little detail that isn't cleared out yet, and that is accoustics. I hope Intel didn't compromise with this aspect just to make it small.
I really can sacrifice another 5 millimetre (0.2 inch) and make it a tad bulkier if it's needed to make it pleasantly silent, or atleast reasonably quiet. Some previous minimalistic PC's were too loud and because of that was poorly recieved by reviewers and the public. I can't even count how many times different companies have compromised with accoustics and got bad feedback because of that.
Anyway the product isn't released yet so hopefully it turns out it's silent enough to place in the living room or even a bedroom.
Most people find this a very important aspect in a small HTPC/media pc/workstation, that it's kinda silent even during high load scenarios. And with it's gaming capabilities it is extra important, since high load is one of it's intended usages.
Anyway, This productline is the future, and as long as it's "ergonomically" pleasant for the ears it's guaranteed to sell in high volumes! :-)
It will be an exciting product, however only on the surface of a paper.
Power is nothing without stability. They have to fix all the migrain Skylake NUCs before releasing Skull Canyon.
I hope it won't be M.2 alone, but so far it seems there is no room for a 2.5" drive.
Skull Canyon is finally announced by Intel (a few days ago):
Here is the press release: 2016 Game Developers Conference | Intel Newsroom
Intel's Skull Canyon NUC is Official: $650, Shipping In May
[RUMOR 1]: Benchmark TEST 1:
PCWORLD had the chance to test it with Just Cause 3, and it performed VERY well for being integrated graphics:
Also remember that this is a very new game, and they test it at Full HD 1080p, so it would look MUCH smoother in 720p, perhaps even on medium to high settings.
[RUMOR 2]: Benchmark TEST 2 (on engineering sample with old drivers):
I've also had a hands-on with a Skull Canyon!!! Only for a few minutes, but still it was much better than nothing.
It's a beautiful little creation, and I had the chance to run a few tests!!
Here's some info but take it with "a grain of salt"... Because it's with 2 months old alpha graphics drivers. Things can only get better, so expect everything from a 1%-30% increase, and if you're lucky Intel's engineers/programmers will improve the general quality with Skylake graphics drivers even further over time.
With these old drivers (on Win 10) I got a 3DMARK firestrike 1.1 score of: 1741
Important: It's important that you understand that the drivers aren't fully developed yet, and the ones on the engineering sample i touched are several months old, and not perfectly optimized for Skull Canyon yet.
This is better than Core i7-5775C CPU with "Iris Pro 6200" (48EU's) which is limited to 65 watt TDP...
The Skull Canyon i7-6770HQ with "Iris Pro 580" (72EU's) is limited to only 45 watt TDP, but thanks to better architecture and more EU's it still outperforms previous Iris Pro, even on old Alpha driver. It's not much better, but it's definatly an improvement and impressive for being at 45 watt TDP.
This level of performance will provide great 720p gaming in 95% of all cases, even with medium to high settings, while 1080p will work well with older games (like Battlefield 3/4) as long as you are careful with the settings (low/medium settings).
If I've had a night with this sweet thing I would have run every 3DMARK ever created, as well as different games, but it would still have been without proper drivers.
I didn't have a chance to test the accoustics (and it's not so relevant with a engineering sample and all) but I expect it to be a little noisy since it's so much CPU/GPU power.
Demanding users might get a 3rd party case with a bigger cooling solution, to make it more quiet and perhaps allow it to run on "turbo" frequencies for a longer time.
Also if Intel provides the possibility to let the user decide if he/she wants to activate cTDP down in the BIOS/EFI (from 45W TDP to 35W TDP) it will be possible to run on slightly lower clock speeds, and making it even more quiet.
It's also great that Skull Canyon users have the oportunity to hook up even better and very expensive Graphics cards through the Thunderbolt 3 port! The TB-port makes this particular NUC very future proof!
Finally a message to Intel:
Thank you very much for bringing such a great NUC to the market. Now leave it to the community to hype it up. Don't silence us if we talk about engineering samples, because everyone who is interrested in such knows fully well that this is alpha stage performance (and no matter that, it's still very good), and that things might improve in the final product (or worsen). The more we talk about your less known products, the more hype it will get for it's final release. And expensive products of rarer kinds needs community hype. Otherwise people will think this is "just another NUC with nothing out of the ordinary". Keeping enthusiasts happy is essential, because it's we who give purchase recommendations to familymembers and friends, and this is how trends develops. Silencing things, will take the fun out of it, and is not a good way to keep high morale among enthusiasts. Keep throwing bones at us, and it will keep us hooked and happy.
Thanks for a great community!