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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

Here are key points about the NUC8i7HVK.

 

What's Hot

 

This is the fastest NUC: The NUC8i7HVK takes the crown from the Skull Canyon NUC as the fastest NUC in the world. The performance increases are mostly due to the onboard Vega graphics and HBM in the 8809G processor. We see huge gaming performance increases with the new NUC, and most games are playable at 1080P. The coolest part about all of this is that you can overclock the CPU, GPU, and DRAM.

 

Cooling Improvements: The original Skull Canyon NUC used a slightly lower TDP processor with a single fan to cool the system. However, the new Hades Canyon NUC has a chip with a 100W TDP, which is huge. To compensate for the added heat, Intel tossed in a huge heat sink and two decent sized blower fans that keep the unit pretty quiet under load compared to the original Skull Canyon NUC.

 

Dual M.2 Slots: The NUC8i7HVK offers two x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slots so that you can load in the fastest storage on the market. In our case, we used a SATA based Intel drive for storage and an Optane drive for the OS. You can mix and match, and you can RAID the slots as well.

 

ThunderBolt 3 and USB 3.1: Intel's fastest consumer storage technology is included in the new NUC, and you get two of the latest Thunderbolt 3 ports that are backward compatible with pretty much any type-C device. You also get a USB 3.1 type-A and type-C port on the front of the device.

 

Lighting: Love that skull in the lid, and the customization options. While it might not be the most professional thing, it's really cool.

 

 

 

What's Not

 

230W Power Brick: The power brick is almost as big as the device, and might be hard to replace if you lose it since it offers high power output.

 

It Isn't Cheap: At close to $1000 in barebones form, the device is quite pricey.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The NUC8i7HVK might be the first review sample I have been really excited about this year. The new Hades Canyon NUC is superior to its predecessor in many ways. Not only is its performance much better, but it also offers many new features. Added video outputs, improved cooling, and highlighted aesthetics are just some of the major improvements Hades Canyon brings to the table.

 

The build quality of the device is top notch, and we are pleased with its cooling system. Overclocking through the UEFI or through Windows was pretty easy, but we only really saw gaming improvements from the GPU core frequency increase, which points to the GPU as the bottleneck in the system. Power allocation in the NUC is also dynamic, and while it could hinder your overclocking potential, temperatures will do you in far sooner.

 

We really enjoyed the ability to tweak the NUC to our liking, and we are sure tinkers will figure out ways to squeeze out every last bit of performance out of the new gaming NUC. The Hades Canyon NUC will replace the Skull Canyon as my main office PC. I had used the Skull Canyon NUC for a long time, and I was very happy with it, but when I wanted to play newer games like Ashes of the Singularity or even GTA:V at 720P, performance and silence were lacking.

 

That's exactly where the Hades Canyon NUC outshines its predecessor; it's an impressive specimen. If you want a gaming capable NUC, that can handle most games at 1080P with playable FPS, give the Hades Canyon NUC a look.

 

intel-hades-canyon-nuc8i7hvk-review_76

 

Intel's feature-packed NUC8i7HVK is jammed with top of the line hardware, which makes it possible for this tiny machine to play most games with ease at 1080P.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance94%
Quality95%
Features95%
Value88%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: Intel's feature-packed NUC8i7HVK is jammed with top of the line hardware, which makes it possible for this tiny machine to play most games with ease at 1080P.

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