Intel this week announced a new family of NUC kits and mini-PCs that utilize its quad-core 8th-generation Core chipsets. And for the first time, Intel is offering discrete graphics options in its mainstream NUC PCs.
“Intel NUCs are mini PCs that offer high-performance capabilities in a space-saving design and are perfectly suited for home theater, home office, entry-level gaming or as a replacement for desktops when space is a concern,” the Intel announcement notes. “These new NUCs offer a number of new options that will fit a wide range of computing needs.”
To be clear, a NUC kit includes the mini case and the chipset/motherboard, and you can add your own RAM and storage (and operating system). I used a NUC kit two years ago to create my own mini-PC, which I’m still using. And I upgraded it over time to include more USB ports.
A NUC mini-PC is the complete PC, ready to use. So it already includes RAM and storage. and it comes with Windows 10. In both cases, Intel offers a variety of configurations with different CPUs and so on.
For its new NUC systems, Intel is utilizing “Bean Canyon” and “Coffee Lake-U” processors for its kits and “Crimson Canyon” an “Cannon Lake” processors for the mini-PCs. The Coffee Lake variants include Intel Iris graphics with eDRAM. And the Cannon Lake variants are the first mainstream NUCs to include discrete graphics.
The new Intel NUC kits and mini-PCs will be available worldwide in September, Intel says. Based on my experience with a previous-generation NUC system, I recommend NUC highly. And will be looking at building a new mini-PC based on the new kits.