"Hades Canyon" NUCs finally give Intel's tiny PCs the gaming chops they deserve

Intel's VR-ready NUC is smaller than a graphics card

Credit: Intel

Intel’s tiny NUC PC initiative finally gets the gaming chips it deserves with the roll out of two new models that feature one of the company’s new Kaby Lake G chips, pairing a Core i7 with AMD Radeon Vega M graphics.

  • The NUC8i7HVK features an unlocked Core i7-8809G CPU, which includes an unlocked quad-core CPU with Hyper-Threading and the faster Radeon RX Vega M GH GPU. 
  • The NUC8i7HNK features a Core i7-8705G, which contains a quad-core CPU with Hyper-Threading and the lower-end Radeon RX Vega M GL.

The fastest previous Intel NUC machine was the “Skull Canyon” model that featured a quad-core 6th gen Skylake CPU and Iris Pro graphics. While faster than lower-end Intel graphics chips, most gamers would turn their noses up at it. It’s unlikely graphics will be what turns gamers off on the new “Hades Canyon” NUC though.

The main difference between the two new models will primarily be the graphics performance. From what Intel has claimed, Core i7 CPUs with the “GH” version of the custom Radeon RX Vega M will reach up to GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q levels of gaming performance. The “GL” will offer greater than GeForce GTX 1050 performance. 

nuc8i7hvk front panel Intel

Intel’s newest Hades Canyon NUC feautres a crazy amount of ports on front.

That basically translates to 1080p gaming on Very High graphics settings on most games with the GH version, and 1080p/Medium with the GL version if Intel’s claims are true.

As always, Intel won’t ship the Hades Canyon NUCs as complete PCs but as BYOC kits. You buy the NUC and need to add your own M.2 drive, DDR4 SO-DIMMs, and an operating system. Internal expansion is decent for a tiny computer and can take up to two M.2 PCIe SSDs and two DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM modules.

Intel goes hog-wild on external features though. Each NUC features no less than two Gigabit ethernet ports, six USB Type-A ports, two HDMI ports, two miniDisplayports, and three Thunderbolt 3 ports. (Phew!) All told, Intel said up to six displays can be simultaneously driven by the Hades Canyon NUC. For power, Intel includes a 230-watt power brick in the box with both models.

The GL version of the NUC is expected to retail for $800 while the highest-end version will come in at $1,000.

nuc8i7hvk back panel Intel

And the back of the NUC has even more ports!

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags intelCES 2018

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?