Intel announces Skull Canyon gaming NUC
March 17, 2016 // 1:20 p.m.
Intel has announced its first Next Unit of Computing (NUC) design to specifically target gamers, featuring its latest Skylake architecture with Iris Pro graphics.
Intel's Next Unit of Computing offers a fully-functional desktop computer in a teeny-tiny form factor, and has proven popular since launch. Among gamers, however, the technology hasn't really taken off thanks largely to the inability to connect high-powered graphics cards to the system - something neatly fixed by the upcoming range of Thunderbolt 3 external graphics cards enclosures. As a result, it's no surprise to see Intel looking to tempt gamers into shrinking the size of their rigs with the aggressively-themed Skull Canyon NUC.
Based around a Skylake Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor with a 45W thermal design profile (TDP) and Iris Pro 580 integrated graphics, the Skull Canyon includes a USB 3.1 Type-C port connected to a Thunderbolt 3 controller for full compatibility with external graphics card enclosures. Internally, the bare-bones system includes support for 32GB of DDR4 memory, two M.2 slots for solid-state storage, an Intel 8260 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 radio module, and integrated gigabit wired Ethernet port.
Additional ports on the Skull Trail NUC's housing include an infra-red sensor, four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0 and Mini DisplayPort 1.2, analogue audio in and out, and an SD Card slot. For those not particularly impressed with the engraved skull, the system also ships with a plan matte black version - and Intel has promised that design files will be available for people to create their own lids with custom designs.
Overall, the system measures 216mm x 116mm x 23mm - 0.69 litres in volume - with US pricing confirmed at $650 (around £450 excluding taxes). UK pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed, with more information expected in the coming weeks.