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Intel Skull Canyon NUC NUC6i7KYK Mini PC Review

By: Steven Bassiri | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Jun 8, 2016 1:15 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Intel

Test Setup

 

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Some shots of CPU-Z and HWINFO are provided in case you are curious about the exact setup.

 

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Installing the M.2 drive and DDR4 SO-DIMMs is a straight forward process. The power button is easy to locate since it is lit up blue.

 

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My configuration uses a Samsung 950 Pro 512GB NVMe M.2 drive and 16GB of Crucial DDR4 SO-DIMMs at 2133MHz (standard).

 

 

CPU, Memory, System, and Graphics Benchmarks

 

Since the NUC6i7KYK has Intel's latest Iris Pro 580 graphics, I decided to add in some tests and retest some gaming benchmarks as well as run some benchmarks with the previous Iris Pro 6200 graphics on the 5775C.

 

One major difference between the two Iris Pro graphics is that their eDRAM configurations are different, as can be seen through the AIDA64 Cache and Memory benchmark. The Iris Pro 6200 had its eDRAM act as L4 cache, but the Iris Pro 580 has its eDRAM added into the system memory; Intel says this new eDRAM method increases memory performance for the iGPU as you will see later on in this section.

 

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CINEBENCH 11.5

 

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wPrime

 

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AIDA64 AES and HASH

 

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HandBrake

 

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AIDA64 Memory

 

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Graphics Benchmarks

 

Gaming Benchmarks

 

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3DMark11

 

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UNIGINE Heaven 4.0

 

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Resident Evil 6

 

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3DMark CloudGate

 

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3DMark FireStrike

 

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AIDA64 GPGPU Memory

 

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Overall, compared to other NUCs, the NUC6i7KYK is very fast. It's only real competitor in the CPU front is the VisionX 471D (which is a mini PC and not an NUC form factor PC). We also have to take into account that the NUC6i7KYK is running DDR4 at spec while almost all the other competitors are running DDR3L at much lower latencies. Overall, the benchmarks are what I expected, but I was impressed with the Handbrake results dealing with 4K video.

 

The new Skylake SoCs have dedicated units for 4K. Even playing 4K video (such as that from a camera that can record 4K) is very difficult for many systems, but the NUC6i7KYK handles them very well and doesn't show any stuttering or lag when playing the video back.

 

Obviously, the NUC6i7KYK isn't a gaming PC, and you would have to be quite gullible to believe it's a true gaming PC replacement, but when it comes to integrated graphics and TDP, the Iris Pro 580 holds its own. When I tested the 5775C, it was crowned as the fastest integrated GPU solution. Taking into account that the 5775C is a desktop series CPU, is quite pricey, and has a TDP roughly 20W higher, I would say that the 6770HQ is quite formidable regarding the iGPU.

 

While I wouldn't call this NUC a gaming PC, there are many people out there who play games on integrated GPUs, and the 6770HQ's performance shows some progress in terms of integrated mobile gaming solutions. I found that the 6770HQ has a nice balance of CPU and iGPU power.

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