Skull Canyon NUC (2016) w/ M.2 eGPU

Ruoh

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I'm going to be pre-ordering one of these in the next few days. I'll be pairing it with 16G kit from Kingston (HyperX) and a 950 Pro M.2. If anyone has questions, or wants any particular pictures, I'll be happy to post them after I get the hardware.

After Pascal hits, I'm hoping there will be more eGPU enclosures available for use with this NUC.

 
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caycep

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nice, it has Alpine Trail?

At work, got permission to get the older broadwell NUC instead of the generic Lenovo whatevers. OMG, my life is so much better...I love that thing.
 

XcPNehVYlE4A3C

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Pre-ordered mine today as well, a bit hesitant due to the BIOS issues with the skylake nucs, but hopefully they'll have those issues worked out.
Still not sure what OS to use, what are you planning on? are there drivers for the 580 graphics for linux yet?
 

Ruoh

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Just ordered the NUC from B&H. $634, free shipping, no tax.

Selected the Kingston HyperX DDR4 16GB kit. Samsung 950 Pro SSD. I know I'm leaving some performance on the table with the SSD, as it appears the NUC will only do 6Gb/s, but the cost/speed made more sense to get the faster drive, rather then getting a HyperX Predator drive.
 
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Kaos_Drem

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Just ordered the NUC from B&H. $634, free shipping, no tax.

Selected the Kingston HyperX DDR4 16GB kit. Samsung 950 Pro SSD. I know I'm leaving some performance on the table with the SSD, as it appears the NUC will only do 6Gb/s, but the cost/speed made more sense to get the faster drive, rather then getting a HyperX Predator drive.

Wut?...

The two m.2 slots in it are definitely rated for the full pcie 3.0x4 m.2 spec, you will be able to get nearly full throughput out of the 950 pro as long as your threaded workload doesn't use more power than the cpu itself can provide.
 

DarkStar01

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If you have the chance once this little monster arrives, could you post some game settings/Fps? I have a hunch the GPU should punch about as high as a GTX750 (non 'Ti'), but benches should clarify the matter.
 

Ruoh

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Ruoh

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If you have the chance once this little monster arrives, could you post some game settings/Fps? I have a hunch the GPU should punch about as high as a GTX750 (non 'Ti'), but benches should clarify the matter.

Will do, but there may be other sites out there with benches long before I get it. I think the shipping date is around the 21st for B&H, but it was worth waiting to save another ~$75 in taxes.
 

XcPNehVYlE4A3C

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Will do, but there may be other sites out there with benches long before I get it. I think the shipping date is around the 21st for B&H, but it was worth waiting to save another ~$75 in taxes.
cheers i just did the same, switched preoder from newegg to BnH, worth the wait for the cost savings.
I got a regular sata m.2 for now since this wont be my primary workstation.
for those quiet freaks like me theres also a fanless chassis coming: FanlessTech: Fanless Skull Canyon : it's happening
 

Ruoh

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Ruoh

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Just talked to B&H, they state that availability has slipped to early July. ><
 

skiddy

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http://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/boardsandkits/NUC6i7KYK_TechProdSpec01.pdf

View attachment 2611

Take that as you will. If it supports the full speed, great. If not, I won't be disappointed.

I'm fairly certain that's saying that the m.2 slots support either SATA6 or pcie 3.0x4 which is normal for the chipset. The SATA6 max is a subnote under the SATA section. Looks like you'll get full speed to me.

On another note, I really want one of these suckers.
 

Ruoh

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I'm fairly certain that's saying that the m.2 slots support either SATA6 or pcie 3.0x4 which is normal for the chipset. The SATA6 max is a subnote under the SATA section. Looks like you'll get full speed to me.

On another note, I really want one of these suckers.

I'd be happy to be wrong. But, it looks like it's going to be a while until I get it. I've already paid for it.
 

DarkStar01

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Will do, but there may be other sites out there with benches long before I get it.

You might be right - I caught a preview not long after this thing was announced (on YouTube), and the guy doing the talking was running Warframe. He didn't mention settings, frame rate, or anything really, but went on to say the game was running at 'a full HD resolution of 1024x768'... At which point I lost it. I think he was confused. Anyway, I suppose that's why I'm curious to hear what folks here come up with - I imagine it'll be a bit more informed than the usual. I have managed to pull one interesting piece of data on this thing that may not be readily known, BTW - the Iris Pro 580 igp on this CPU has an upper clock limit of 950mhz, but the absolute limit (to my knowledge) for this part is 1150mhz (in other embedded Skylake CPUs). In other words, faster NUC or NUC-like computers may just be waiting in the wings.
 
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XcPNehVYlE4A3C

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BTW - the Iris Pro 580 igp on this CPU has an upper clock limit of 950mhz, but the absolute limit (to my knowledge) for this part is 1150mhz (in other embedded Skylake CPUs). In other words, faster NUC or NUC-like computers may just be waiting in the wings.

While researching the NUC cpu i found the beefier big brother to the 6770HQ, the 6785r which sounds like exactly what you're talking about, higher TDP and clock speed - check the thread here for more info: i7-6785R

Maybe we'll see an update of the 4770R Brix from a while back using this new CPU? I remember looking at that Brix but skipped it because lots of reviews of howling fans and bad thermals so maybe this time around with Skylake it will be viable
 

rekd0514

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Are there any eGPU solutions even on the horizon? I see news about the Razer Core and and Asus one. I have seen them in the past, but it seems like they never actually released. Those would be awesome to increase the graphics performance of something like this or a laptop.
 

iFreilicht

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The Razer Core should be pretty close to release, actually, it's even listed in Razers store. The one from ASUS seems to be further from market. It does have two Thunderbolt connections so double the transfer speed which is good, but it won't help you with this NUC as it only has one TB3 connection available.
 

tmoney1876

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I'd be happy to be wrong. But, it looks like it's going to be a while until I get it. I've already paid for it.
It says on the next bullet point, pcie 4x ahci and NVME... You're wrong.

Also, if it only supported SATA 6g, the 950 pro wouldn't work at all as it is a pcie drive.
 

Ruoh

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The Razer Core should be pretty close to release, actually, it's even listed in Razers store. The one from ASUS seems to be further from market. It does have two Thunderbolt connections so double the transfer speed which is good, but it won't help you with this NUC as it only has one TB3 connection available.

Last I saw, the ASUS also had a proprietary connector.. so it only worked with specific ASUS devices.

It says on the next bullet point, pcie 4x ahci and NVME... You're wrong.

Also, if it only supported SATA 6g, the 950 pro wouldn't work at all as it is a pcie drive.

It's a matter of interpretation at the moment. We'll find out at the end of the month, I guess.

To be more specific, the "ports" they mention (the m.2) as shared, they work with SATA and PCIE modules. I could see them easily restricting speed to the lowest common denominator. IE, NVME will work, but be restricted to max 6Gb/s or some happy crap.
 
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skiddy

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It's a matter of interpretation at the moment. We'll find out at the end of the month, I guess.

To be more specific, the "ports" they mention (the m.2) as shared, they work with SATA and PCIE modules. I could see them easily restricting speed to the lowest common denominator. IE, NVME will work, but be restricted to max 6Gb/s or some happy crap.

My NUC6i3SYH states that the m.2 supports SATA/PCIE on the m.2 slot, and I get full PCIE speeds with my 950pro. I'm pretty sure this is an Intel chipset standard... it will work with both SATA or PCIE M.2.

Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK Specifications

PCI Express Configurations ‡ Dual M.2 slots with PCIe x4 lanes
 
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skiddy

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It's a matter of interpretation at the moment. We'll find out at the end of the month, I guess.

To be more specific, the "ports" they mention (the m.2) as shared, they work with SATA and PCIE modules. I could see them easily restricting speed to the lowest common denominator. IE, NVME will work, but be restricted to max 6Gb/s or some happy crap.

My NUC6i7KYK came in today, and I paired it with 32GB of Kingston Hyper-X and a 512GB 950Pro. As you can see from the screenshot, there is no SATA limitation on the m.2 slots :)

 

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Ruoh

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Excellent. Still waiting on B&H. Supposedly they are getting another shipment on the 25th. I've been without a gaming system for a few weeks now, starting to get itchy.
 

Ruoh

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My NUC6i7KYK came in today, and I paired it with 32GB of Kingston Hyper-X and a 512GB 950Pro. As you can see from the screenshot, there is no SATA limitation on the m.2 slots :)

So, yeah, there's nothing on YT in the way of real game play reviews. Mind posting something? I'm dying to get this thing, since I'm stuck with just my Precision right now, and I'm trying to avoid setting up games on it.
 

iFreilicht

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So who's going to run dual crossfire on this thing? Seems like a reasonable thing to do.
 

skiddy

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So, yeah, there's nothing on YT in the way of real game play reviews. Mind posting something? I'm dying to get this thing, since I'm stuck with just my Precision right now, and I'm trying to avoid setting up games on it.

I'll be a bit slammed until the end of this week, but I can give it a try. Any games in particular? I really only play Diablo 3 now, but I have a decent sized Steam and Origin library.
 

NovaFan

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I'll be a bit slammed until the end of this week, but I can give it a try. Any games in particular? I really only play Diablo 3 now, but I have a decent sized Steam and Origin library.

Id love to see CS:GO benchmarks..I have a 1440p monitor so Im guessing the Iris graphics wont be enough? But if you could do a high graphic settings CS;GO benchmarks for even 1080p that be awesome!
 

UL

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My NUC6i7KYK came in today, and I paired it with 32GB of Kingston Hyper-X and a 512GB 950Pro. As you can see from the screenshot, there is no SATA limitation on the m.2 slots :)





For Comparisons, Skiddy and I ordered the same exact systems, with exception of the size of the Samsung 950's I went the 256GB route.

You can see... perhaps i should have listened to him..... :shifty:

I did some research afterwards because i thought i had done something wrong and found a few reviews online that showed some tests where the Sammy 950 256GB actually showed benefits, specifically consistency. It still doesn't matter... I have to blow it up now... :mad:
 

Ruoh

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I'll be a bit slammed until the end of this week, but I can give it a try. Any games in particular? I really only play Diablo 3 now, but I have a decent sized Steam and Origin library.

Anything that's convenient. Don't go out of your way, but info on just how it feels in gameplay would be nice. I'm planning on going back to D3/WoW on this box, so games that are similar (I'm not expecting Witcher 3/BDO performance) would be awesome.
 

Ruoh

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For Comparisons, Skiddy and I ordered the same exact systems, with exception of the size of the Samsung 950's I went the 256GB route.

You can see... perhaps i should have listened to him..... :shifty:

I did some research afterwards because i thought i had done something wrong and found a few reviews online that showed some tests where the Sammy 950 256GB actually showed benefits, specifically consistency. It still doesn't matter... I have to blow it up now... :mad:

Meh, I got the 256 as well, and it'll be perfectly fine for OS. I'm going to get a 512 for the secondary drive (At some point), so it doesn't really matter how fast the writes are.
 

Bieberfever

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If you have any way to test thermal throttling that'd be really cool. I know I've already read that this happens which gets me to thinking about doing something like this will Skull Canyon:

Laine's Luna

From Newegg reviews:

Cons: -Under heavy CPU load the temperature increases very quickly to the upper 90C range, up to 100C and once it's in that range it starts throttling but was still hovering around 3.2GHz, so not a big impact
-Under combined CPU and GPU load it runs into power throttling (not surprising considering the 45W TDP). The one instance I'm looking at on the graph dropped CPU clocks to 2.8GHz and GPU to 900MHz. Once again not a big impact but still there.

Considering that the turbo caps out at 3.5GHz and the iGPU is supposed to run at 950MHz, it seems that it's likely losing a fair bit of performance.
 
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defaultluser

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Someone needs to make a two GPU Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with PCIe bifurcation IMO

Review is up at Anandtech:

The Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK mini-PC Review

Thunderbolt is going to be limited by the DMI bus it's attached to, since this thing runs Thunderbolt off the hub.

Also, performance is about 40% faster than the 4770r (pretty close to theoretical). Not what I was hoping for, since I figured 4770r was bandwidth-limited.

I guess eDRAM doesn't need DDR4 yet? Thing is still slower in most games than an HD 7750 :(

At least Skylake has turned-out 40% better performance than the 4770r at 45w, so the GPU performance/watt improvements I predicted are there. Only downside to having one integrated chip is it can't do BOTH CPU load and GPU load at 45w.

Also, that stupid super-slim case means it makes a racket louder than any other NUC. Idiots!
 
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Ruoh

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Good review. I agree that showing benchmarks below 1920x1080 is largely a waste. Deff. looking forward to a custom cooling solution for this puppy, and still going the eGPU route. I figure the 1070 will be more than sufficient.
 

defaultluser

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Oh, I just noticed the review uses 2133 DDR4, which would account for the 40% performance increase we saw. I thought for sure a "premium gaming" platform like this would ship with z170, so I didn't give the test setup a second glance until after.

I guess Intel cheaping-out with H170 has forever doomed this machine to mediocrity. Too bad, dropping ten bucks more on the Z170 would have allowed some much more interesting memory configurations. With DDR4 2133 we're probably castrating performance.

But I guess we'll never know will we? Intel's cheapness ruins an otherwise interesting platform.
 

Kaos_Drem

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Oh, I just noticed the review uses 2133 DDR4, which would account for the 40% performance increase we saw. I thought for sure a "premium gaming" platform like this would ship with z170, so I didn't give the test setup a second glance until after.

I guess Intel cheaping-out with H170 has forever doomed this machine to mediocrity. Too bad, dropping ten bucks more on the Z170 would have allowed some much more interesting memory configurations. With DDR4 2133 we're probably castrating performance.

But I guess we'll never know will we? Intel's cheapness ruins an otherwise interesting platform.

Not sure what you are getting at as it will run memory speeds faster than 2133. Other reviews including from the Nucblog.net have shown that faster memory is supported.
 

defaultluser

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Not sure what you are getting at as it will run memory speeds faster than 2133. Other reviews including from the Nucblog.net have shown that faster memory is supported.

Oh, well that's a first for H170. So why didn't Anandtech run one?
 
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