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The Skull Canyon


When the Skull Canyon first came out in 2016, with a 4C/8T [4 core/ 8 thread] Skylake i7-6770HQ, it caused quite a stir. Here was a massively powerful small form factor computer no bigger than your hand.

It came with a reasonably powerful integrated Graphics Processor (iGPU) in the Chip that provided Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580. It claims to support 3x 4K displays.

The Skull Canyon could take up to DD4 2133 MHz RAM.

As you can see by the video above, this micro-puter is a monster, lacking only high-end graphics capability. That can be dealt with if one uses a RAZER CORE to assist with high end processes, but that sort of defeats the purpose of a small form factor computer.


There is the promise of a new Skull Canyon to come in 2018

Q2/2018 will bring three NUCs with 28W Coffee Lake CPUs:

– Coffee Lake-U Core i3 with 4 cores (no hyperthreading), 28W TDP
– Coffee Lake-U Core i5 with 4 cores with hyperthreading (8T), 28W TDP
– Coffee Lake-U Core i7 with 4 cores with hyperthreading (8T), 28W TDP

Additional cores are always welcome, but I certainly hope that there are significant changes to the standard cooling solution that we’ve seen with the previous 28W NUCs. Keeping a 28-watt CPU cool and quiet in a tiny box has been a challenge in the past.
Source: — NUC Blog

There were issues with the Skull Canyon regarding heat and noise. Hopefully these will be fixed by the refresh in 2018. What the Skull Canyon really needs is a better iGPU, not that the iGPU on the i7-6770HQ is bad. It isn’t. It is just that it falls short of a graphics card. Intel has to work harder on that.

If NUCBlog is wrong, and Intel goes with a 15W processor, then taking a guess, the high end Skull Canyon (2018) might probably include the Intel Core i7-8650U, which has a lower base frequency of 1.9 GHz, but a higher Turbo Boost to 4.2 GHz, according to WCCTECH and Intel’s Ark Specifications.

This offers the promise of a real monster, yet with a lower base frequency, the newer Skull Canyon might resolve some heat issues. We can only look forward to it.