Intel’s ‘Hades Canyon’ NUC packs gaming hardware into just 1.2 liters

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On Sunday, January 7, Intel finally revealed its portfolio of modules pairing its seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” processor cores with AMD’s Radeon “Vega” graphics cores. The announcement originally made waves in November, with Intel and AMD-based customers seemingly looking up into the sky for flying pigs. But the collaboration is no joke, and one of the first products to benefit from the team-up is a new NUC (short for Next Unit of Computing) for enthusiasts, codenamed ‘Hades Canyon.’

Although Intel didn’t provide any detailed hardware specifications prior to Sunday’s reveal, what we do know is that it’s based on the Core i7-8809G. We saw this module briefly listed on Intel’s website in India earlier this week, but now we have confirmed hardware details to give us an idea of what this NUC for “enthusiasts” is all about. Here’s are the specifics:

Model: Core i7-8809G
Intel cores: 4
Intel threads: 8
Base speed: 3.1GHz
Maximum speed: 4.2GHz
Shared Cache: 8MB
Supported memory type: DDR4 @ 2,400MHz
Supported memory channels: 2
Integrated graphics: HD Graphics 630
Base speed: 350MHz
Maximum speed: 1,100MHz
Discrete graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GH
Discrete graphics architecture: Vega M
Compute units: 24
Stream processors: 1,536
Base speed: 1,063MHz
Maximum speed: 1,190MHz
Memory bandwidth: 204.8GB/s
Memory amount: 4GB HBM2
Render output units: 64 pixels per clock

If you haven’t kept up with recent Intel-based news, your eyes aren’t playing tricks. The Core i7-8809G is a rectangular device sporting three chips on a small, enclosed circuit board: One packing Intel’s CPU and integrated GPU cores, one playing host to AMD’s Vega M cores, and one housing dedicated HBM2 memory. The Intel and AMD chips are connected by eight PCI Express lanes while AMD’s chip connects to the HBM2 memory package using Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge technology.

Due to the module’s shape, you can’t just cram the chip into any motherboard supporting eighth-generation processors. The design saves space compared to the typical CPU/GPU/GDDR layout in notebooks and AIO PCs. The modules are also unlocked on all three levels. You can read more about Intel’s new 8th-Gen Intel Core with Radeon RX Vega M graphics in our round-up.

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Between Intel’s Kaby Lake cores and AMD’s Vega M cores, the new NUC should be able to handle PC-based VR experiences, and high-resolution gaming. AMD’s Vega M is the company’s latest GPU design that made its debut in the Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 add-in cards. AMD then brought its Vega graphics cores to its new Ryzen-branded all-in-one chips (APU) packing up to a mere 640 stream processors (10 CUs). But combined with Intel’s integrated graphics, the company’s tiny new NUC 8 can handle six displays lighting up your face at one time.

How small is the NUC 8? Intel says it takes up around 1.2 liters of space despite all the horses running inside. But keep in mind that despite its size, the NUC 8 may not sport a small price tag. Intel’s NUC 7 for enthusiasts has a starting price of $899 packing 16GB of memory, a Core i7-7667U processor, 512GB of storage, and more.