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Intel Preparing Gamer-Friendly Version Of Its NUC Mini-PC

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Intel intends to reinvent the PC and therefore has come up with its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) systems. At CES, the chip maker confirmed that it plans to release a gamer-friendly NUC, but it did not share any specific details.

Intel aims to pack big power in small devices

The small size does limit the performance of these mini-PCs because the room for components and the ability to dissipate heat is limited. Therefore, such devices are perceived to be for budget buyers. With an aim to change this perception, Intel last year introduced a NUC with a Core i7 Broadwell CPU.

Now the chip maker has gone a step further with its forthcoming model, which it expects to get much more appreciation from the performance crowd. Intel has named the new NUC “Skull Canyon,” a combination of “Skulltrail” and “Rock Canyon,” says a report from ZDNet. The former is Intel’s one-time gaming platform, while the latter is the codename of the NUC platform.

By adding more power to the NUC platform, the chip maker is taking away one of its selling points. The Skull Canyon version will be comparatively bigger to allow more space to dissipate heat from Skylake, the report says.

Thunderbolt 3 port – a game changer

Skull Canyon will come with a quad-core Skylake processor and the built-in Thunderbolt 3 port. The new CPU supports speedy DDR4 RAM and is also equipped with improved Iris Pro integrated graphics, the report said. They will only meet the purpose of the most casual of gamers, and for more, the Thunderbolt 3 port is there.

Previously, the chip maker did make several attempts of attaching graphics card via an external adaptor, but they did not become popular because interfaces have not offered the required bandwidth to harness the power of the top desktop cards. Data throughput from thr Thunderbolt 3 is up to 40Gbps, which is way higher than 5Gbps from USB 3.0 and thus could help make external graphics support a viable option.

Razer has already announced Core, its Thunderbolt 3-equipped enclosure that can handle nearly all single graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia. Though the company has designed it to accompany its Blade Stealth Ultrabook, it could be a good option for someone with a Skull Canyon NUC.

On Tuesday, Intel shares closed up 1.93% at $32.68. Year to date, the stock is down by over 5%, while in the last month, it is down by over 4%.

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