Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Is this Devil’s Canyon and Skull Trail’s baby? Not quite.
When Intel has a product it thinks is ‘hot’ or needs a bit of hype generated around it, the firm typically gives it an outrageous name — something like the Bad Axe, the Skull Trail or the Devils Canyon. Whatever it is, when Intel applies an unusual product moniker, in this case “Skull Canyon”, people take note — but why?
There’s a collection of attributes that makes the Skull Canyon interesting. First and foremost is the use of the Core i7-6770HQ mobile processor containing Intel’s high-end Iris Pro Graphics 580 integrated GPU (iGPU). This iGPU is part of a unique group in Intel’s CPU-iGPU range as it sports eDRAM.
The eDRAM is an on-die extended system RAM block that effectively acts as a massive cache for the iGPU and a straight-shot communication with the CPU. Additionally, the CPU die space has extra space dedicated to the iGPU. These attributes combine to effectively elevate the iGPU to the performance of an entry-level discrete GPU (dGPU). For comparison, just look at the Skull Canyon versus the VM65N with its GeForce 930M in 3DMark — the Skull Canyon is faster! It’s no GTX 1080, but for an iGPU, it is impressive and allows for less graphicaly intensive games like CS:GO to play well without a dGPU.
Add support for dual M.2 NVMe PCIe x4 SSD, a quad-core, eight-thread CPU boosting to 3.5GHz and a Thunderbolt 3.0 port capable of supporting a 40Gbps link to an external dGPU caddy, pack it all into a slender, aesthetically pleasing form and you have the uniquely spec’ed and capable Skull Canyon NUC.
$899; AS TESTED, $1,258 | WWW.INTEL.COM.AU