Mini, and even pico, PCs are not uncommon, but few will probably be aware that Intel has its own special line dedicated to that computing size. The Intel NUC, short for Next Unit of Computing, is the chip maker’s own take on how mini PCs should be built, putting the whole computer in a single package rather than as separate components like most desktops. That NUC line is now getting a huge upgrade with the addition of a Core i7 configuration in the roster.
Although the NUCs have been around for quite a while now, this will be the first version that will go beyond the performance and power consumption balance of a Core i5 processor. This model, the NUC5i7RYH to be precise, will run on a dual-core Core i7-5557U. This gives the small-form computer a raw power of 3.1 GHz, 3.4 GHz on Turbo Boost. Graphics will be delivered by the latest Iris Graphics 6100.
Despite those seemingly powerful specs, this particular Core i7 is unmistakably a mobile chip variant of Intel’s highest level processors. As such, don’t expect desktop-grade processing power, but if you do, you are entirely missing the point of these PCs. They are designed for more moderate use cases like media consumption, office productivity and perhaps thin clients. They are, however, also suitable for a bit of gaming, as these NUCs share a lot of hardware in common with Valve’s proposed Steam Machines.
Details of the Core i7 NUC5i7RYH are still sparse at the moment, though if we compare it with other models, we can expect it to support at most 16 GB of DDR3L RAM and a whole host of connectivity options, both wired and wireless. It is noted to have room for 2.5-inch drives, either HDD or SSD, which hints that this will not be the “slim” NUC model. The mini PC is scheduled to launch Q2 of 2015.