Do you remember the Hades Canyon model NUC (Next Unit of Computing) that Intel introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year? Now two months later Intel is giving us a tantalizing peek into the system's guts, and specifically of the tiny motherboard that houses the device's 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics.
Update, 3/29/2018 - Our full review Intel's new Hades Canyon NUC with Kaby Lake G processor and integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics, is now live. So be sure to check that out.Intel designed its latest NUC to support high-end virtual reality gaming, which is made possible through its partnership with AMD. While normally rivals, Intel and AMD collaborated on a new module design that pairs Intel's Kaby Lake-G processors with AMD's Radeon Vega M GPUs to provide a potent one-two combo for compute and graphics tasks, including gaming at 1080p.
There are two models of the Hades Canyon NUC—NUC8i7HVK and NUC8i7HNK. The higher end NUCi87HVK sports an unlocked Core i7-8809G, a 4-core/8-thread processor clocked at 3.1GHz to 4.2GHz with 8MB of cache, and a Radeon RX Vega M GH GPU with 24 compute units clocked at 1,063MHz to 1,190MHz. Inside the NUC8i7HNK is a Core i7-8705G featuring the same quad-core design with Hyper Threading, but with a lower end Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics chips with 20 compute units clocked at 931MHz to 1,011MHz.
We have already seen some leaked benchmarks of Intel's Hades Canyon NUC in action. While we always take those sort of things with a grain of salt, the benchmarks showed the higher end SKU putting up mostly playable framerates in several games at 1080p with the Ultra preset, including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Warhammer, and The Division.
While these suckers will not be cheap, packing that kind of horsepower into an impressively small chassis will undoubtedly appeal to some gamers. It's also worth mentioning that the new NUCs are capable of powering up to half a dozen 4K displays at the same time, for those who need that functionality.