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Intel launches seven NUCs with Coffee Lake and 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs

Aug 16, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 2002 views

[Updated: Aug. 17] — Intel has launched five, barebones “Bean Canyon” NUC mini-PC kits equipped with 14nm, 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” CPUs starting at $299. It also unveiled two configured, Windows 10 equipped NUCs that tap its 10nm “Cannon Lake” chips.

Intel has opened pre-orders on its first 14nm fabricated 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” based NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini-PCs, with shipments in October or November, depending on the model. Intel also announced a pair of unpriced “Crimson Canyon” NUCs set to launch in September. These are some of the first products to ship with its 10nm “Cannon Lake” processor.



Intel Bean Canyon “BEK” NUC from two angles
(click images to enlarge)

The Coffee Lake NUCs are in barebones kit form without RAM or storage. They should support any Intel-ready OS including Linux and Windows. The Crimson Canyon Lake NUCs, which are fully configured and ship with Windows 10 Home, are some of the first Cannon Lake products to appear aside from a new version of the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 laptop sold in China with a dual-core, 15W TDP Core i3-8121U.

According to an ArsTechnica report on the NUC rollout, the much-delayed Cannon Lake chips won’t begin shipping in volume for another year, suggesting that availability of the two Crimson Canyon NUCs may be limited. Intel has struggled with its 10nm process, giving AMD and various Arm manufacturers time to make up ground.

Thanks to the marketing geniuses at Intel, the 10nm Cannon Lake processors are dubbed 8th Gen chips, much like the 14nm Coffee Lake CPUs. To make matters more confusing, there is also a 14nm Kaby Lake-G (or Kaby Lake Refresh) line with integrated AMD Radeon graphics that is also referred to as 8th Gen. Intel’s 8th Gen NUC Kit page lists two Kaby Lake-G based “Hades Canyon” NUC kits with the five new Coffee Lake kits, as well as two NUC systems with 8th Gen Kaby Lake-U i7-8650U chips.

Meanwhile: Intel slides about a 14nm 9th Gen Core chip family have been leaked. Intel is expected to announce the products next month, with delivery beginning in October.

 
Bean Canyon NUCs with Coffee Lake

The five new “Bean Canyon” NUCs feature three of the four Coffee Lake-U models that were announced in April along with H-, M-, and T-series Coffee Lake models. The new NUC mini-PCs share many of the same features as the earlier Baby Canyon NUCs with 7th Gen Kaby Lake-U processors. They range from $299 to to $499 without RAM or storage, so fully configured systems could still easily go for over $1,000 for a typical configuration even without a display.



Detail views for Bean Canyon NUC8i3BEK (left) and NUC8i7BEH
(click images to enlarge)

All five models have CPUs with 28W TDPs and provide support for up to 32GB dual-channel DDR4-2400 RAM. They feature Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics with 128MB eDRAM, which can be used as a general cache in addition to boosting graphics performance. They are all dual-threaded with either quad-core, 8x-thread or dual-core, 4x-thread configurations.

The only difference between the five Bean Canyon models aside from the CPU and price is that the two BEH systems are larger (115 x 111 x 51mm) to encompass both an M.2 slot with with PCIe X4 lanes and a 2.5-inch internal SATA III bay and second SATA III interface. The smaller, 190 x 116 x 31mm BEK systems are limited to M.2 storage.

Here are some basic specs on the Bean Canyon NUC kits:

  • NUC8i3BEH — $299 — i3-8109U — 2/4 core/thread, 3.0GHz/3.6GHz, 4MB cache — SATA bay
  • NUC8i3BEK — $299 — i3-8109U — 2/4 core/thread, 3.0GHz/3.6GHz, 4MB cache
  • NUC8i5BEH — $399 — i5-8259U — 4/8 core/thread, 2.3GHz/3.8GHz, 6MB cache — SATA bay
  • NUC8i5BEK — $399 — i5-8259U — 4/8 core/thread, 2.3GHz/3.8GHz, 6MB cache
  • NUC8i7BEH — $499 — i7-8559U — 4/8 core/thread, 2.7GHz/4.5GHz, 8MB cache — SATA bay

The Bean Canyon NUC kits provide an HDMI 2.0a host port with up to 4096 x 2304 resolution and 7.1 surround sound audio. There’s also a Thunderbolt 3 port with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support that can be used as a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. Other USB ports include 4x USB 3.1 host ports (one with charging support), as well as dual USB 2.0 headers.

The NUCs are equipped with dual GbE ports plus Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (Intel’s souped up WiFi-ac variation) and Bluetooth 5.0. Other features include a 3.6mm audio jack, a micro-SD slot, a power button, a 12–19VDC input, and support for a Kensington lock.

 
Crimson Canyon NUCs with Cannon Lake

The gaming-oriented Crimson Canyon NUC8i3CYSM and NUC8i3CYSN NUCs offer a glimpse into the future 10nm generation of Intel chips. You will be paying for the integrated Windows 10 Home, but theoretically you can swap this for Linux as you can with other Windows PCs,



Crimson Canyon NUC from two angles
(click images to enlarge)

Unlike the Bear Canyon NUCs with integrated Iris graphics, the Crimson Canyon NUCs have Cannon Lake CPUs that are accompanied by discrete Radeon 540 GPUs with integrated 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The decision to go discrete is likely because “the 10nm yields are so low that Intel can’t get the GPU to work reliably,” says ArsTechnica.

The only difference between the two models is that the CYSM model has 8GB of LPDDR4-2400 while the CYSN has 4GB. Both models have very similar features to the Bear Canyon NUCs with the only evident exception being the addition of a second HDMI 2.0 port instead of the DP-ready USB Type-C. Both models feature the larger form factor of the Bear Canyon BEH models to fit a 2.5-inch SATA drive with pre-installed 1TB HDD in addition to an M.2 slot.

 
Further information

The Bear Canyon barebones NUCs are available for pre-order on SimplyNUC starting at $299 with shipments due in October or November. The Windows-based, and more fully configured Crimson Canyon NUCs will go on sale in September. More information may be found on Intel’s Bear Canyon and Crimson Canyon announcement, which links to product and shopping pages, and its NUC kit page, which offers more detailed specs.
 

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