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Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK Review

By: Steven Bassiri | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Mar 29, 2018 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Intel

The Teardown

 

 

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There are some headers, hinting that top expansion modules are possible. One of these headers is even a SATA power header, so there is the possibility of Intel or a third party making SATA docking lids. Removing one screw allows the metal internal lid to easily be removed, and that reveals two thermal pads over both x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slots.

 

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Tearing the unit down wasn't that simple, but the first thing we needed to do was unplug the microphones. We found four internal microphones.

 

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We can see here that the two-tone light effect of the lid is accomplished through two separate LED diffusion layers. Once we removed the PCB, we find a nice and hefty heat sink and two large blower fans that result in a thicker NUC than the Skull Canyon NUC.

 

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Thermal paste was liberally applied, most of it seeped out the sides of the side, but we can see solid contact was made.

 

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The front and back of the PCB both contain tons of hardware, and there also seems to be two replaceable BIOS ROMs (one for the CPU and one for the GPU).

 

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The i7-8809G has both a CPU and GPU, and they each get power from different VRMs. The CPU VRM uses an IR3567B digital PWM controller and five phases for its main voltage. It uses 50A dual N-Channel MOSFETs from Alpha and Omega, the AON6992 and CHL8515 drivers (part of Infineon's Chil acquired portfolio).

 

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The GPU VRM uses the same power stages with an Intersil ISL95829A PWM controller and ISL6608 drivers in a five-phase configuration. We aren't sure why Intel had to change the PWM vendor, it might have something to do with the GPU's reference design. We also get a nice chipset, which seems to be the HM175.

 

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Wireless AC is provided by the Intel 8265NGW M.2 card. Audio is provided by the ALC700.

 

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Two Intel Gbit NICs come from an i219LM PHY and a standalone i210AT. Both NICs seem to also have ESD protection ICs.

 

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Intel's JHL6540 uses an x4 PCI-E 3.0 link to the PCH and offers two full-featured ThunderBolt 3 ports. Two Texas Instruments TPS65982 type-C controllers are also present for both ports. Another Texas Instrument's chip is connected to the front USB 3.1 type-C port.

 

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The 19v delivered into the NUC is too high for most devices, and so a power management IC is required. The Texas Instruments TPS650830 power chip is used for total system power management. Front USB 3.1 comes from an ASMedia ASM3142 controller. We also find a Texas Instruments TPS2544 2.5A USB charging chip for the front fast charging port.

 

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The IT8987 is the Super IO on the motherboard, and it offers system monitoring and management. A Texas Instruments TLC59116 offers 16 LED drivers, and handles the LEDs under the lid. A small chip labeled 611FJ1 seems to be responsible for the SD card slot.

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