If you need a desktop PC that can just disappear behind a monitor then there’s few better options than one of Intel’s NUCs, assuming of course you don’t mind a bit of work adding your own storage, memory, and operating system. They’ve never really been focused on performance, unless you are willing to spen a lot on the Hades Canyon edition. However, the new Bean Canyon NUCs promise a serious performance boost over what has come before.
As Liliputing reports, Intel just revealed its plans for the next generation of NUC, codenamed Bean Canyon. Existing NUCs rely on a 15W processor, but Bean Canyon moves to 28W 8th Gen Coffee Lake chips, which allows for a big boost in performance. Add to that the inclusion on Intel Iris Graphics 655 and you have the potential for a very impressive micro desktop.
All the Bean Canyon details are contained in a very dry 74-page Intel NUC Products document (PDF), but so as avoid sending anyone to sleep we’ll summarize the important points here.
Eight Bean Canyon NUCs are going to be offered for sale with varying levels of performance, features, and casings. As you’d expect, there’s Core i3, i5, and i7 processors available in both short and tall barebones kits. The short kits will only allow for an M.2 SSD to be fitted, where as the tall kits also include space for a 2.5-inch drive, be that an SSD or HDD. There’s also three models including 16-32GB of Intel’s Optane super fast memory combined with a 1-2TB hard drive, 4-8GB of RAM, and a copy of Windows 10 Home.
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Each Bean Canyon NUC will take advantage of Intel’s Wireless-AC 9560 card for much improved Wi-Fi. There’s also a Thunderbolt/USB Type-C port that supports DisplayPort 1.2 via an adapter, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, Bluetooth 5.0, a microSDXC reader, 3.5mm audio jack, Infrared receiver, and 7.1 channel audio over HDMI or DisplayPort.
The performance available allows for up to three displays to be connected, or two displays at 4K 60Hz. If you buy a barebones version it’s possible to install up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, which if combined with a fast M.2 SSD should make for a system capable of handling most tasks other than the latest games without you turn down the settings.
Intel hasn’t released pricing or launch details yet, but I suspect we’ll see them appear before the summer is over.