Meet the new Intel Skulltrail NUC; Changing the Game

Subject: Shows and Expos | March 16, 2016 - 09:00 PM |
Tagged: skulltrail, Skull Canyon, nuc, Intel, GDC

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No we are not talking about the motherboard from 2008 which was going to compete with AMD's QuadFX platform and worked out just as well.  We are talking about a brand new Skull Canyon NUC powered by an i7-6770HQ with Iris Pro 580 graphics and up to 32GB of DDR4-2133.  The NUC NUC6i7KYK will also be the first system we have seen with a fully capable USB Type-C port, it will offer Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity; not simultaneously but the flexibility is nothing less than impressive.  It will also sport a full-size HDMI 2.0 port and Mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs so you can still send video while using the Type C port for data transfer.  The port will also support external graphics card enclosures if you plan on using this as a gaming machine as well.

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The internal storage subsystem is equally impressive, dual M.2 slots will give you great performance, the SD card slot not so much but still a handy feature.  Connectivity is supplied by Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (802.11 ac) and Bluetooth 4.2 and an infrared sensor will let you use your favourite remote control if you set up the Skulltrail NUC as a media server.  All of these features are in a device less than 0.7 litres in size, with your choice of two covers and support for your own if you desire to personalize your system.  The price is not unreasonable, the MSRP for a barebones system is $650, one with 16GB memory, 256GB SSD and Windows 10 should retail for about $1000.  You can expect to see these for sale on NewEgg in April to ship in May.

All this and more can be found on Intel's news room, and you can click here for the full system specs.


March 16, 2016 — At Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016, Intel announced a new Intel NUC kit, code-named Skull Canyon. A mini PC with a 45-watt, quad-core 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Pro graphics, the new Intel NUC (NUC6i7KYK) unleashes maximized performance for intense game play or intensive workloads. Intel Iris Pro graphics let people edit photos and videos like a professional or immerse oneself in vividly rendered, seamless 3-D gameplay, all in brilliant 4K resolution on three monitors at once. Skull Canyon also includes Thunderbolt 3, enabling a single compact port and single cable to easily connect to 4K displays, high-speed storage and other devices, in addition to great graphics performance by connecting to high-end, external graphics card(s) through a device such as the new Razer Core.

All of this comes together to provide a great gaming experience in a system less than 0.7 litres in size! The 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor-powered NUC has a completely redesigned chassis and stylish case, allowing enthusiasts to take full advantage of every GHz of the quad-core processor without overheating - making this Intel NUC literally cool.

Key Features:

  • 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor (45W TDP)
  • Intel Iris Pro graphics 580
  • Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) with USB 3.1 and DP1.2 over USB-C
  • Support for DDR4 memory, up to 32GB at 2133+ MHz
  • Support for dual M.2 slots for SATA3/PCIe x4 Gen 3 NVMe/AHCI SSDs
  • Full-size HDMI 2.0 port and Mini DisplayPort version 1.2 supporting 8 channel audio (7.1 surround sound)
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 wifi (802.11 ac) and Bluetooth 4.2 pre-installed
  • SD card slot (up to 512GB)
  • Four USB 3.0 ports (including one charging port)
  • Intel HD Audio via Headphone/Microphone jack
  • Intel Gigabit LAN
  • Consumer infrared sensor
  • Ships with two lids – one with a skull logo, one plain matte black (Support for user-replaceable third-party lids)
  • Dimension: 216mm x 116mm x 23m – an incredibly small .69L

Suggested retail price for the Intel NUC kit (NUC6i7KYK) is $650. A typical build with 16GB memory, 256GB SSD and Windows 10 is estimated at $999.

The Intel NUC kit (NUC6i7KYK) available for pre-order on Newegg in April 2016; product will begin shipping in May 2016.

Source: Intel

Video News

March 16, 2016 | 10:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks good, but a bit expensive and under-powered for gamers that it is aiming for.

March 16, 2016 | 10:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The CPU has plenty of gusto with its 3.5 Turbo, and graphics wise, the purpose is to use a eGPU.

March 21, 2016 | 03:15 PM - Posted by extide

No, it's not really meant to use an external GPU. This GPU is going to be twice as fast as the one in the i7 5770C which was pretty damn fast. This should be competitive with like a R9 370.

March 16, 2016 | 11:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is that wrong pic? Looks like it'll handle duel CPUs.

March 17, 2016 | 12:34 AM - Posted by Simms (not verified)

it is ok
it's Jeremy

March 17, 2016 | 02:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's intel's original skull trail product. A dual socket motherboard.

March 17, 2016 | 12:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's perfect, but I would prefer it in a laptop form factor. Put this in a new Razer Blade and add a bigger screen (smaller bezel like xps) please!

March 18, 2016 | 04:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just buy an XPS 15.

March 17, 2016 | 02:33 AM - Posted by Hakuren

Jeremey darn you. And I was already drooling at motherboard. Who cares about NUC. Grrr :P

March 17, 2016 | 06:22 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

There are rumors flying around that this has better IG than the currently top 5775C. Is that true? And if so, better by how much exactly, I wonder...

March 17, 2016 | 08:59 AM - Posted by patrickjp93 (not verified)

Yes, 50% more SPs and better eDRAM, so take that how you will.

March 17, 2016 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Need factual benchmarks...

March 17, 2016 | 01:27 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

need actual product first

March 17, 2016 | 04:58 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

That's synonymous to each other.

March 17, 2016 | 08:53 PM - Posted by yenic (not verified)

More than that. Skylake's eDRAM cache is used by every bus on the system, rather than Broadwell's access was limited to only for the CPU/GPU.

March 17, 2016 | 07:18 AM - Posted by VeixES (not verified)

With eGPU attached, there should be some nice extra L4 cache(from 128MB eDRAM) available AFAIK ? Also, i believe this L4 cache should work better than in 577C.
Please test :)

March 17, 2016 | 09:54 PM - Posted by yenic (not verified)

In that case the 128MB L4 will be used for the CPU and system bus components (like storage, networking). It's the same L4 as in the 5775C but the design of Skylake is different so it can be used for any part of the system as cache.

The 128MB eDRAM is worth about an extra 500Mhz in a CPU. When at full turboboost, this NUC should perform about like a 4Ghz Skylake.

In some ways, the cache grants more advantages than just the 500Mhz equivalency. This system with a high end external GPU will be very fast and 2nd to very few alternative rigs.

It's a really strong buy, definitely a safe one. Once Rosewill starts pumping out fair priced external GPU enclosures that is. I don't need an external GPU, the ~GF 750Ti performance (or more) that this NUC has is enough for my needs. They're only going to get faster and games are plateauing in many ways (discounting VR).

March 17, 2016 | 09:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

~Xbox One but 3 times as expensive :(

March 17, 2016 | 11:46 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

5775C's Iris Pro IG runs circles around Kusone.

March 18, 2016 | 10:03 AM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

March 18, 2016 | 12:47 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

You'd better stop.
Don't embarrass yourself any more than you've just did right now.

March 21, 2016 | 05:35 AM - Posted by n (not verified)

Buyers remorse?

March 18, 2016 | 11:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't understand the photo at the top. Is that some sort of bad joke considering it's also the image used in the summary front page article. Click bait?

March 21, 2016 | 03:18 PM - Posted by extide

Intel released a board called "Skulltrail" in 2008, along with a new SKU of Core 2 quad, (which were basically the Xeon version of the chips) but marketed at gamers. First intel desktop platform that could do 8 cores.

That board and this NUC share the same name so it is a bit of a throwback.

March 21, 2016 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Almost ... this one is Skull Canyon and it was just too amusing not to do.

March 18, 2016 | 08:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

LMG reporting in

March 19, 2016 | 01:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Perfect for light video editing and gaming. A great price though .

March 23, 2016 | 07:05 PM - Posted by RobC (not verified)

Please make the corrections to the dimensions, because now it looks like it is almost so long as a swimming pool (25m) and you have 23m and the Liter size might be wrong as well. =)

March 23, 2016 | 07:28 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

That's the Intel PR, not what I typed so I don't know for sure that it is wrong :P

July 28, 2016 | 04:54 PM - Posted by Stunt Panda (not verified)

This would be an awesome Hackintosh replacement for a Mac Mini.

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