Intel Cannonlake-Based Crimson Canyon NUCs Rumored To Rock Radeon RX 500 Series GPUs

Cannonlake NUC

We are pretty big fans of Intel's NUC (Next Unit of Computing) devices—it is nothing short of impressive how much power the company is able to pack inside a pint-sized form factor, the most recent of which is the Hades Canyon NUC with an Intel Core i7-8809G processor with Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics. That one is a tough act to follow, though rumor has it Intel is working on a 'Crimson Canyon' NUC that will pack a discrete AMD Radeon RX 500 GPU.

Equally interesting is that the upcoming NUC is said to feature a Cannonlake processor. Specifically, it looks as though Intel is tapping its Core i3-8121U, a lower power Cannonlake-U chip that is set to be one of the company's first slices of silicon built on a 10-nanometer manufacturing process. We have been waiting for Cannonlake to arrive for what seems like forever now, and shoving one inside a NUC is an inevitability.

Intel NUC
Image Source: WinFuture

The Core i3-8121U is a dual-core CPU with Hyper Threading support. While nothing has been officially confirmed, leaks suggest it will have a 2.2GHz or 2.4GHz clockspeed, without the benefit of Turbo Boost.

Based on WinFuture has seen, there will be at least two versions offered. Each will come with 4GB or 8GB of memory, a 2.5-inch 1TB hard drive, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and 7.1-channel surround sound. One of the first things we would want to do is add a solid state drive (if that isn't an option from the get-go), though even without one, Cannonlake paired with a Radeon RX 500 series GPU is a tantalizing combination.
Twitter user TUM APISAK claims to have already scored one of the upcoming NUCs, likely a prototype model, with a Radeon RX 550 GPU underneath the hood. He ran some benchmarks on 3DMark 11, scoring 4,434 points overall with the NUC, including 4,553 points for Graphics and 4,209 points for Physics.

It will be interesting to see how the next version of the NUC will compare to Hades Canyon, which already pairs an Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega graphics on a single module. Hopefully we will be able to get our hands on one, and if so, you can bet we'll run it through our gauntlet of benchmarks.