Rumor: Intel to Launch Cannon Lake-U NUCs with AMD RX 500-series Graphics

Subject: Systems | April 20, 2018 - 01:05 PM |
Tagged: RX 550, radeon, NUC8i3CYSM3, NUC8i3CYSM2, nuc, Intel, i3-8121u, Dawson Canyon, crimson canyon, cnl-u, cannon lake u, baby canyon, amd


Rumors surfacing from the WinFuture site seem to indicate that the Hades Canyon NUC and Kaby Lake-G processors aren't the end of Intel and AMD's relationship for compact PCs.

WinFuture was able to get their hands on some photos of both the hardware and software of the yet to be announced Crimson Canyon NUC. While there have been rumors, and even retail listings floating around recently about this Cannon Lake U-based NUC, WinFuture has uncovered a secret within this device—a discrete AMD Radeon GPU.

View Full Size


On the CPU side, the Crimson Canyon NUC seems to be based on the i3-8121U. Based on previous leaks, this processor will be part of the Cannon Lake-U family and one of the first parts produced on Intel's 10nm manufacturing process.

View Full Size


WinFuture has also sourced an image from what appears to be the AMD's Radeon Software package showing this NUC features "Radeon 500-series" graphics. While this could mean a few things, we take it along with reference to "2GB of GDDR5" on the leaked NUC box to mean that Intel is integrating a Polaris-based GPU and GDDR5 memory into a NUC system.

Unlike the Hades Canyon NUC, we do not expect this to be a CPU and GPU on the same package. Rather, it appears that Intel will be integrating the Polaris GPU, GDDR5, and associated power circuitry on the NUC motherboard.

Based on the 90W power adapter for the entire system, 2GB of GDDR5, and the leaked core clock frequency from the Radeon Software, it seems likely this GPU will be most closely related to AMD's current RX 550 GPU. 

Update: It appears our speculation of the mystery GPU being an RX 550 is correct according to a 3DMark score listing we've been pointed to. For reference, this would place 3DMark 11 performance levels around the MX150 found in a lot of ultrabooks, as we measured here.

Interestingly enough, we found the RX550 to be in the same class of graphics performance as AMD's Ryzen 5 2400G APU when we reviewed that processor a few months ago.

View Full Size

A leaked Geekbench score from earlier in the year outs the i3-8121U as a dual-core, hyperthreaded part. Performance of this i3 part seems to be roughly in line with the Baby Canyon-based NUC7i5BNH containing an i5-7260U processor. 

View Full Size

Interestingly enough, from the retail listings it appears this NUC will be sold as pre-configured systems, with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 2.5" HDD, and Windows 10 as opposed to the traditional barebones NUC options.

Overall, it seems odd for Intel to be launching their first traditional form factor NUC with discrete graphics on top of an i3-based CPU. We'd love to see the potential for discrete AMD graphics with a quad-core based U-series part like i7-8650U found in the Dawson Canyon NUC we took a look at recently.

We're eager to hear more about this Crimson Canyon NUC, it's Radeon graphics, and the 10nm Cannon Lake-U processor hiding inside. Stay tuned for more news about this platform as they become available!

Source: WinFuture

Video News

April 20, 2018 | 04:48 PM - Posted by InTheBellyOfTheBeastIsWhereYouWillEndUpRed (not verified)

Intel is trying very hard to Keep AMD's APUs outside of the NUC/NUC like OEM form factor devices and has even taken to using AMD's discrete GPUs to do so.

That makes the ZBOX MA551 Mini-PC with the Raven Ridge APU options that much more attractive with Raven Ridge Desktop APUs with Vega graphics are going to still be more affordable than any Intel CPU/discrete RX550 SKU. If Zotac can properly price its ZBOX MA551 Mini-PC to compete with Intel then they stand a chance of becoming first to a market that may be larger than they expected. It's still an uphill battle against Intel as Intel will subsidize its prices in an attempt to keep Raven Ridge outside of this market.

AMD could make out both ways in the graphics department and still be able to get its Zen/With Vage graphics SKUs in the lowest cost of these NUC Like Form Factor devices. AMD should also be trying its best to get some Linux OS Mini-PC OEM to partner with on the lowest cost market and get a start at the Linux Market that used to make more use of AMD's embedded APU SKUs in the past.

Intel still has no SOC/Integrated Graphics solution to compete with Zen/Vega 11-nCU based SKU or even the lower binned variants of Raven Ridge Desktop APUs. Also for any Fanless Mini-PC devices AMD's Mobile Raven Ridge Zen/Vega integrated graphics options have the better graphics.

AMD really needs to Get an Interposer based Zen/Vega with HBM2(4GB) variant out there ASAP as that's a level of CPU to GPU integration, via the Infinity Fabric IP, that Intel can not match even with that EMIB/MCM based Kaby Lake G/With Semi-Custom Vega Discrete die graphics.

AMD can do fine doing some short term business dealings with Intel but AMD can not afford to sit back and let Intel lull AMD into a false sense of security, Intel can never be fully trusted and Raja is working at Intel currently. So AMD beware when dealing with the beast, that Chipzilla can never be trusted ever. Watch Out AMD is that Chipzilla turns to you and demands: "get in mah belly"!

April 23, 2018 | 03:29 PM - Posted by remc86007

Any idea when the MA551 will be released? I've been waiting for it.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.