Intel NUC 2.0 leaked specs: possible Steam Machines

Intel might be a name you'd associate more with desktop and laptops, but the chip maker has had its own line of small factor PCs as far back as 2012. Strangely called the Next Unit of Computing or NUC, these boxes seemed more like a hobbyist's toy, Intel's answer to the growing popularity of ARM boards. Leaked slides about the next generation NUCs, however, hint that Intel is dead serious about this line, to the point that they might very well be part of a living room gamer's arsenal.

The last NUC we got to see was the DN2820FYKH in January. It hosted a Bay Trail 2.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and integrated Intel HD graphics card. Compared to the different models being shown in Intel's slides, that NUC will definitely look like a toy. Some of the exact specs of the NUCs, like CPU speeds and GPU models, have not been indicated, but the "fifth generation" in the name sounds mighty fearsome. There are Core i5 and Core i3 configurations, as well as a Braswell Celeron presumably for the entry level version. But even that one is capable of supporting 8 GB of RAM at maximum, with the rest of the crew able to sport 16 GB.

Most of these boxes are advertised for media consumption and content creation, but the higher end of the spectrum is also noted to be well capable of supporting "immersive gaming". Although not explicitly stated, this could very well be a candidate for a future Steam Machine gaming system. The Intel HD graphics might sound like a turn off, but Valve has placed its bets on those even in the early days of its high-profile gaming thrust. And Intel's integrated graphics chips have certainly been improving to the point that they can be decent enough even for some high-end games.

That said, these NUCs aren't expected to hit the market until 2015, which is still a good few months away, presuming Intel is eying an early 2015 launch. As for pricing details, there is only conjecture at this point. The Braswell Celeron powered model is expected to carry around a $150 or so price tag, but the more powerful beasts will naturally have even higher costs.

VIA: ExtremeTech, FanlessTech