Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK Review: Pint-Sized Gaming Powerhouse

Intel NUC NUC8i7HVK Hades Canyon: Setup, SANDRA, and PCMark

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first made sure all firmware was up to date, then we entered their respective system BIOSes / UEFI and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance" defaults. We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to the maximum officially supported speed for the given platform (without overclocking). The SSDs were then formatted, and the latest build of Windows 10 Pro x64 was installed.

NUC8i7HVK box2

When the Windows 10 installation was complete, we fully updated the OS, and installed all of the drivers necessary for our components. The patches for Spectre and Meltdown, however, were not installed. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled, and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, and cleared any temp and prefetch data. Finally, we enabled Windows Quiet Hours and let the systems reach an idle state before invoking a test.
HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head
test machines
Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2017
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with the latest version of SiSoftware's SANDRA 2017, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in sub-system tests that partially comprise the suite with Intel's latest processors (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cache and Memory, and Memory Bandwidth). All of the scores reported below were taken with the Intel NUC NUC8i7HVK running at default settings, with 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at 3200MHz, in dual-channel mode.

san CPU
Processor Arithmetic

san mm

san mem
Memory Bandwidth 

san cache
Cache and Memory

The Intel NUC NUC8i7HVK put up some surprisingly good numbers in the SiSoft SANDRA tests that we ran. In the CPU Arithmetic test, the Core i7-8809G at the heart of the machine performed very much like a full-power desktop Core i7-6700K. The in Multi-Media test, the NUC's CPU fared a bit better, and in the Cache and Memory benchmark performance was strong as well. In the Memory Bandwidth test, the NUC8i7HVK offered up over 30GB/s of bandwidth, which is right up there with Intel's HEDT processors.

PCMark 8 v2 & PCMark 10
System Level Benchmark

PCMark 8 v2 is one of Futuremark’s series of popular PC benchmarking tools. It is designed to test the performance of all types of systems, from tablets to desktops. PCMark 8 offers five separate benchmark tests -- in addition to battery life testing -- to help consumers find devices that offers the perfect combination of efficiency and performance for their particular use case.

This version of the suite improves the Home, Creative, and Work benchmarks with new tests using popular open source applications for image processing, video editing, and spreadsheets. A wide variety of workloads have also been added to the Work benchmark to better reflect the way PCs are used in enterprise environments. These tests can be run with or without OpenCL acceleration. We chose to run with OpenCL acceleration enabled to leverage all of the platforms’ available CPU and GPU compute resources…


The Intel NUC NUC8i7HVK performed well in the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, finishing in the upper-third versus our assortment of reference systems. In the Work benchmark, however, the machine put up some strong numbers and trailed only the Core i7-8700K. Note that the Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics core has an impact on these results, which helps boost the NUC's score over and above what its 8th Gen Core processor can muster.


We don't have a full set of PCMark 10 scores from current-generation desktop processors just yet, but we thought you'd like to see where the Intel NUC NUC8i7HVK stands in this benchmark as well. As you can see, versus Raven Ridge and a couple of high-end mobile Core processors, the NUC8i7HVK performs exceptionally well and ends up in the lead, across the board.

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