Upcoming Intel NUC models with Core i5, i7 CPUs detailed

By on April 10, 2013, 11:00 AM

Intel first announced plans to start selling small form factor barebones systems at last year’s Computex. Dubbed Next Unit of Computing (NUC), the diminutive machine represents a modern take on the traditional beige box, packing capable entry-level hardware into a 1.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide chassis.

A model based on Intel’s Core i3 processor retails for just shy of $300 on Newegg, while a less expensive model equipped with a Celeron 847 was recently added along with a new starting price of around $165.

Higher end  i5 and i7 variants were also teased in January, and if some recently leaked slides obtained by  ComputerBase.de are any indication, these should be hitting the retail channel soon. The Core i5 3427U version is code-named “Horse Canyon,” while the i7 3537U model is referenced to as “Skull Canyon.” Both models use 17W processors originally designed for notebooks and ultrabooks, so they’ll use less power than typical desktop PCs, and more importantly will be able to maintain the fanless design.

The port configuration will change a bit given the systems are based on a different motherboards compared to previous models. Namely, the Thunderbolt connector is gone in favor of USB 3.0 -- three on the i7 model, one on the i5 -- with DisplayPort 1.1a added to each along with HDMI 1.4a connectors.

There's no word on pricing yet. It’s worth noting that as with any bare-bones kit, you'll need to install your own memory, storage, wireless networking components and operating system. In other words, the NUC is geared toward hobbyists that want a capable, silent and space efficient system rather than mainstream users.

User Comments: 5

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

Getting memory and storage for such device is simple, but internal Wi-Fi - not so much. Intel should have added one integrated.

And while such low-power system would be the prime candidate for supporting PoE, not only it doesn't, but it has no Ethernet port at all. The latter is completely a deal breaker.

Pointless device. You are better off putting one together yourself, any enthusiast can. It may not be as small, but surely a better configuration and for less money.

Guest said:

Looking at the device on Newegg, it does have an Ethernet port.

axiomatic13 axiomatic13 said:

These devices could be so much more useful with 2 Gigabit lan ports.

JC713 JC713 said:

I See no point in this. I would rather buy a 7 inch tablet than this garbage.

Guest said:

This device is great for what it is. I recently purchased the Ethernet i3 version of the NUC. I installed 16GBs of memory, 128GB SSD, and set it up within an hour. The NUC is attached to my TV through HDMI, makes no noise, plays 1080p videos, connects to my seedbox flawlessly, and if I really wanted to I could make it my subsonic server. Would I totally love to have a booming machine in my living room? Hell YES, however, my girlfriend is not too keen on the idea of loud fans that drown out everything in the room.

I would prefer to have USB 3.0 for storage, but I will just get that with the next iteration. Honestly, I couldn't be happier with this device because it fits my specific needs.

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