Back in January, Intel had provided us with information about the Skull Canyon NUC based on a Skylake H-Series CPU(with Iris Pro Graphics). Today, at GDC 2016, Intel made the specifications official. Pricing and availability information was also provided.

The key aspect that was not revealed before was the dimensions. The Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) will come in at 216mm x 116mm x 23mm, with the volume coming in at just 0.69L. For comparison, the Skylake NUC6i5SYK (non-2.5" drive version) comes in at 115mm x 111mm x 32mm (0.41L), while NUC6i5SYH (2.5" drive bay-enabled) one is 115mm x 111mm x 48mm (0.61L). The rest of the specifications are outlined in the table below:

Intel NUC6i7KYK (Skull Canyon) Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-6770HQ
Skylake, 4C/8T, 2.6 GHz (Turbo to 3.5 GHz), 14nm, 6MB L2, 45W TDP
Memory 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM (2133+ MHz)
Graphics Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 (Skylake-H GT4+4e with 128MB eDRAM)
Disk Drive(s) Dual M.2 (SATA3 / PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe / AHCI SSDs)
Networking Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (2x2 802.11ac - 867 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.2)
Intel I-219V Gigabit Ethernet
Audio 3.5mm Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone)
Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI)
Miscellaneous I/O Ports 1x Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
4x USB 3.0 (incl. one charging port)
1x SDXC (UHS-I)
1x HDMI 2.0, 1x mini-DP 1.2
Consumer Infrared Sensor
Operating System Barebones
Pricing $650 (Barebones)
$999 (Typical build with 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD and Windows 10)
Fact Sheet Intel NUC6i7KYK GDC Fact Sheet (PDF)

Note that the HDMI 2.0 output is enabled by an external LSPcon (not Alpine Ridge). So, we will definitely have 4Kp60 output with HDCP 2.2 support over the HDMI port, making it suitable as a future-proof HTPC platform. From a gaming perspective, the availability of Thunderbolt 3 enables users to add an external graphics dock like the recently announced Razer Core eGFX module. Note that any external GPU will be able to talk to the CPU only over a PCIe 3.0 x4 link (which should be plenty in almost all cases).

The Skull Canyon NUC will be available to pre-order on Newegg next month, with shipping in May 2016.

Source: Intel

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  • peterfares - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    Thanks for the reply. I'm not really sure I see either of those use cases having many buyers considering how expensive external GPU docks look like they're going to be but cool product nonetheless. Reply
  • CaedenV - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    Agreed! I do like the idea of an external GPU box... but so far they are all in the $3-600 range while only supplying 4 lanes of PCIe3. That is going to limit the installable card to ~$2-300 before you run into performance issues. To make this practical we need to see the external boxes drop in price considerably (at least half the price of the card you would put in it), or make thunderbolt "gangable" so you can have multiple connectors and get a decent 8-16 lanes of connectivity (which would be a nightmare to design).

    In the mean time would it be too much to ask to have a single small box that is just a little larger than the external GPU boxes coming to market that house the PC and the dGPU? The box can be sold just like a bare bones NUC is now with just the mobo, cpu, psu, and case. Then entry level users can throw in RAM and SSDs to their heart's content, leaving the GPU space empty until they can afford the upgrade. It would be a much cleaner design, allow for a direct 16 lane PCIe connection to the dGPU for use with a powerful card, cut down on overall cost, and still be extremely portable for taking to a lan party... or on-site for video editing, 3D rendering, etc. etc. etc. It would be like the Shuttle PC that Shuttle was never able to successfully make.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    PCIe 3.0 x4 is not a real life bottleneck, even for high end GPUs.You might lose 10% in extreme cases - in many other, 1-2%, or none at all. YMMV, but it's really not that bad. Reply
  • ericgl21 - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    bcpatter,
    Why no UHS-II card slot?
    Why not the i7-6870HQ?
    Why no (optional) external WiFi antennas to extend the range?
    Reply
  • 8steve8 - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    Good Question, why not i7-6870HQ

    that CPU is just better, with the exact same price, according to intel... but maybe that's a typo.
    http://ark.intel.com/compare/93340,93341
    Reply
  • ericgl21 - Sunday, March 20, 2016 - link

    There's also the competition from OEMs, such as the HP EliteDesk 800 35W G2 Mini and the Dell OptiPlex 7040 Micro. Both feature a Core i7-6700T option, which is rated 35W sTDP, and both have one M.2 slot and one SATA3 2.5" bay for an additional SSD drive. Would be nice if Ganesh pitted those against the NUC6i7KYK when he does his review... Reply
  • nclundsten - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - link

    not sure why you consider those comparable.. as neither has a thunderbolt 3 port.

    The hp elitedesk has usb type c, but that is not the same as thunderbolt 3 on a usb-c connector.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    I need to get a basic 4k video editing computer in the not too distant future. This just shot to the top of my list. Sure, I could get more CPU performance in a $1000 DIY build, but size is nearly as important in this case. With 2x16GB of DDR4 and some decent SSDs in there, this should do the job nicely. Reply
  • cm2187 - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    But don't you need large SSDs for that? Samsung will release some consumer 4TB SSDs shortly. But they will likely be in 2.5 form, not M2. Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    I said basic ;) I'd probably go for either a 256GB system drive + 1TB work drive or ditch the system drive altogether and spend the money on a large Name drive. I already have network storage, and both usb 3.1 and TB3 provide excellent external options. Reply

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