Solid CPU and GPU performanceSupport for gameplay-enhancing features, lượt thích FreeSyncMyriad ports, including two Thunderbolt 3 x4Can run external graphics over Thunderbolt 3Runs quiet

Our Verdict

The Hades Canyon NUC shows off Intel’s marriage of a Kaby Lake CPU with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GPU, holding up superbly during content-creation tasks & 1080p gaming on High and Ultra settings.

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Alaina Yee / IDG

Getting inside this NUC requires removing the top lid & a metal plate. Intel includes a hex wrench và spare screws for the đứng đầu lid, but you’ll still need a Phillips screwdriver for the metal plate.

The processor is equivalent lớn Intel’s 45W H-series mobile CPUs (complete with active integrated graphics that can handle video clip playback and other basic tasks), though its nguồn requirements differ slightly. The actual nguồn consumed varies depending on CPU and GPU loads, as hãng intel designed the package with a shared power nguồn budget and uses what it calls dynamic tuning khổng lồ allow each component a greater ability khổng lồ reach its max boost. As mentioned previously, it’s overclockable, with stock settings of a 3.1GHz base clock & 4.2GHz Turbo. Hãng sản xuất intel says that it’s gotten up lớn 4.7GHz when overclocking.

Linked to lớn the processor by eight PCIe lanes is the Vega M GH, which runs at a 1,063MHz base clock and 1,190MHz boost clock. The GH variant of Vega M comes with 24 compute units and 4GB of HBM2 memory, along with a slightly faster memory bandwidth of 204.8GB per second. It also supports output to six 4K displays simultaneously, with up to five at 60Hz & the sixth at 30Hz. Lượt thích the CPU, you can overclock the Vega M GH và the HBM2 memory.

Backing this star CPU-GPU pairing is a whole array of equally powerhouse technology. Two M.2 slots can take SATA 6Gbps or x4 PCIe gen 3 (AHCI or NVMe) drives in either a 42mm or 80mm length, with the option to run two drives in RAID 0 or RAID 1. An intel Wireless-AC 8265 thẻ handles both 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi và Bluetooth 4.2. Two SO-DIMM sockets accept up to lớn 32GB of DDR4/2,400MHz RAM at 1.2V, and support overclocked DDR4 RAM. There’s even a beam-forming, far-field, quad-mic array included this time around.

Adam Patrick Murray / IDG

You can expand the number of USB ports if you utilize the I/O header, which carries signals for two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, CEC, and the front panel.

The chassis once again features a replaceable đứng top lid, though this time it’s been upgraded lớn feature customizable RGB LED lights that illuminate the shape of a skull. The default is a red-and-blue màu sắc scheme, but it’s easily changed through included software lớn other hues và with different glow patterns. You also have the option lớn change the màu sắc of the status LEDs on the front panel, which are also RGB.


As you can see, performance roughly falls between that of an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti and an Nvidia GTX 1060 Max-Q part. That’s about where I estimated, especially given the fairly notable jump in performance between a 1050 Ti và a full 1060. The Vega M GH seems lớn skew closer to the 1060 Max-Q (which is a stepped-down version of the 1060) than the 1050 Ti, though.

Note: As you may have already figured out, all of the comparison systems in these charts are laptops—that’s where the bulk of our testing of smartphone parts lies. It’s not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, given that laptops have a different set of demands for cooling versus mini-PCs, but it still provides a decent representation of standing.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

I wasn’t able to benchmark these same games on other systems we had in the office in the time available. These standalone results do show, however, that this version of Hades Canyon can hold its own in contemporary games. Chú ý that the PUBG experience may not be quite as good during hairier, frenzied moments: As a complete noob, I ended up largely wandering maps on the empty outer edges during those solo matches.


(Incidentally, if you’re wondering why the Tomb Raider result skewed closer lớn GTX 1050 Ti performance instead of GTX 1060 Max-Q: My best guess is that it relates to lớn the greater role CPU performance has on Tomb Raider. It’s possible that the given the shared power nguồn management between the CPU và GPU components within the chip core i7-8809G, CPU performance is throttled enough that it affects this particular game.)


Because intel bills the lower-end variant of Hades Canyon as a nội dung creation machine, we also turned khổng lồ HandBrake, a popular encoding program, lớn put this NUC through its paces. Our real-world kiểm tra involves converting a 30GB MKV file into a smaller MP4 using the app android Tablet preset, & it hammers hard on a CPU. Systems designed with poor or limited cooling will take a very long time khổng lồ complete the benchmark, while PCs with beefier CPUs và better cooling will zip right through it.

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As in Cinebench, the chip core i7-8809G nips at the heels of older 91W parts. In concrete terms, this portable PC can complete CPU-intensive tasks in about the same amount of time as a two-year-old full-sized system.

To see how the i7-8809G handles thermals under a full CPU load, I ran HandBrake separately with Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility open in the background. According to lớn XTU’s monitoring tools, the CPU reached a max of 84 degrees Celsius while dashing along at an absolutely rock-solid 3.9GHz the whole time (just 0.3GHz below the maximum Turbo speed).

Power draw & acoustics

During testing, I recorded the various maximums for power nguồn draw using a Watts Up Pro. At idle, the NUC8i7HVK averaged about 13.8 watts. That’s just a hair under Skull Canyon’s average of about 14.6W at idle.

Power draw was highest when playing certain games (174.7W in Rise of the Tomb Raider), followed by 165.9W for a pure GPU load as simulated by running Furmark for an hour, & 115.0W for a pure CPU load as simulated by running Prime95 for an hour.

As for acoustics, the NUC8i7HVK was impressively quiet in our temperature-regulated office. That was particularly the case during pure CPU loads—I barely heard the fans at all during our Handbrake benchmark. Tín đồ noise became audible only when the GPU was active, và even then, it was a rather mellow hum.

Final thoughts

The NUC8i7HVK is capable of much more than I initially tested. Intel also touts this machine as an overclockable gaming and virtual reality machine. One idea that got bandied about was rolling your own VR backpack system: Pair it with a battery pack và your preferred VR headset, and off you go. I would have loved lớn discover what we drew in the silicon lottery, as well as seeing how easily I could dive into 3 chiều virtual worlds.

Adam Patrick Murray / IDG

Hades Canyon (left), side by side with Skull Canyon (right).

That said, I still find the NUC8i7HVK khổng lồ be a very solid PC—not just a mini-PC—and I believe that’s more important than VR & overclocking when evaluating it. VR still has relatively small traction, & Intel cautions that overclocking the bộ vi xử lý core i7-8809G requires careful consideration & patience due to lớn its power design. Based on performance at stock settings, Hades Canyon is already an extremely worthy successor to Skull Canyon & gives other mini-PCs a run for their money.

What keeps the NUC8i7HVK from being a grand slam like its predecessor is the competition. While many who gravitate toward this NUC will do so because of its size, enough people will care more about performance than size factor và be better served by a different mini-PC. Zotac, in particular, blurs the line between mini-PCs và mini-ITX systems with its Magnus PCs, which come with a choice of GTX 1060, GTX 1070, & GTX 1080 flavors. For those who care about the most raw nguồn available in the smallest possible form factor, they’re more appealing options.

Hades Canyon is a strong mini-PC that offers other possibilities as well. Consider that at just under three pounds, it weighs less than some ultrabooks—most people won’t even notice it in a backpack. If you don’t need a laptop’s included screen, mouse, and keyboard, it’s nigh impossible to lớn beat Hades Canyon as an on-the-go PC, amply powered by its hãng intel CPU & discrete AMD GPU.

Chuyên mục: Tin Tức