Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK Skull Canyon Mini PC Review

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Power Consumption and CPU Temperatures

Our Intel NUC6i7KYK Build

Our Intel NUC6i7KYK Build w/ 32GB of memory and 512GB SSD

We aren’t sure how energy efficient the Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK is, so we figured we’d take a look and see how much power the system uses.

power-consumption

We found the NUC6i7KYK consumes a fair bit more power than the NUC6i5SYK. The NUC6i7KYK used 17.7 Watts of power from the wall outlet at idle. When watching Youtube 1080P videos we averaged 24.7 Watts of power draw. When running the AIDA64 System Stability test the system power consumption topped out just over 85 Watts. When playing BF4 at 1920×1080 with medium image quality settings we hit 83.2 Watts. If you run an additional M.2 drive and have other accessories plugged in we can easily see how you could top 100W of power and understand why Intel shipped the Skull Canyon NUC with a 120W external power brick!

temps

AIDA64 reported that the Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor idled on the desktop with a core temperature of 39C. With the built-in AIDA64 stress test we found that we got up to 91C on the quad-core CPU 1.184V. The noise level of the CPU coolers fan wasn’t too bad at idle (2750 RPM), but you could certainly hear it when it reached 4,200 RPM while the system was under full load. At that speed the fan was easily heard, but it shouldn’t be annoying unless you are in a totally quiet environment with no other noise.

turbo

The one thing we did notice is that the clock speeds of the Intel Core i7-6700HQ dropped shortly after we started the test. When the stress test began the Core i7-6700HQ processor was running at ~2800MHz for the first three minutes or so, but when the temperatures hit 88C the clocks dropped down to ~1400MHz. This wasn’t reported as CPU throttling by AIDA64, but the clocks dropped as did the voltage, fan speed and the CPU core temperature.

Let’s wrap this review up!

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  • Intel says it supports DDR4 2133+, but mostly it talks about simply 2133. Are there benefits from using 2400?

  • Joe Schmoe

    Still waiting on the 6770HQ to be released for 3rd parties… especially for the triple-fan Z Canvas. At least that thing would keep this from ever throttling.

  • B Brad

    Not terrible, but the GPU isn’t as fast as I expected. Anyone seen numbers to compare the Skylake integrated graphics (Intel Pro 540/580) to the previous best integrated GPU in the broadwell (i5-5675c and i7-5775c)? LegitReviews has a i5-5775c review, but don’t cover any of the same games for an apples to apples comparison.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      What would you like to see exactly? We have an office PC running a 5775C, so can run some benchmarks for you if you’d like.

      • B Brad

        Recreating any of the above published game benchmarks would be great. I just want a general idea of how the new skylake iris pros compare to the previous generation equivalents with intel’s in package video memory. From what I can tell the new iris pro 580 isn’t delivering the expected performance increase that you would expect from the published specifications.

        • Mariano Ruiz

          Did you find any direct comparison between the Iris 580 and the 6200?

          I’ve done some research but couldn’t find any direct comparison. I would say they are very even, even though the Iris 580 has more EUs.

  • KurtKrampmeier

    Can Undervolting achieve significantly better thermals and less
    cpu throttling? And if so, by how much? I want to use this as a 24/7
    load and very small and light portable cpu package. Thank you!

  • Charles Borner

    “This is the first Intel NUC to feature a mighty Intel Core i7”

    Uh. No. No it isn’t.

    The 5th Gen BOXNUC5I7RYH came with an i7…

    • Nathan Kirsch

      You are correct… I forgot to put in there ‘quad-core’ after Core i7! Thanks!

      • Charles Borner

        Ah HAAAAAA!!!!

        Don’t ever let it happen again!

        =)

  • Paul

    I wouldn’t recommend these Intel NUC’s. Filled with Bios bugs and hardware failures. Intel should just stick to what they are good at. Making cpu’s.

  • Can you try running the decent and non-naive Intel SGEMM example on the Skull Canyon? It’s a quick compile.

    https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/sgemm-for-intel-processor-graphics#_Toc419731380

    Results for 64-bit VS2013 build and .4444 drivers

    A Core i7-4790 HD4600 peaks at ~280 GFLOPS which is ~75% of theoretical (160 FMA @ 1.2 GHz)

    A NUC 5i5RYH HD6000 peaks at ~480 GFLOPS which is ~66% of theoretical (384 FMA @ 950 MHz)

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Got some KISS (keep it stupid simple) instructions as it looks like there many options you can run and don’t see any examples online on how to run it. I’ve installed VS2013 Update 5 and am running .4444 drivers.

      • You just run it with no arguments (“C:…> GEMM.exe”) and it will iterate through all of the possible kernels. The article identifies the kernels that are expected to be more performant. For example, The “block_read” kernels perform more efficient loads using an Intel OpenCL extension.

        The best result for each matrix size is probably a fair measure as it seems pretty consistent.

        • Nathan Kirsch

          send me an e-mail to nate at the sites url if you could

        • Nathan Kirsch

          Here are the results that I worked out with Allan for SGEMM! Will add these to the review for all that are interested in compiler performance of Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580!

        • Achieving over 70% of theoretical (1094.4 GFLOPS) and nearly reaching 800 GFLOPS with such a clean OpenCL implementation is a very respectable result.

          One of the neat things about the HD580 is that it can also perform lower resolution 16-bit floating point operations with doubled throughput over 32-bit floats.

          Perhaps Intel will update their benchmark to reflect this as fp16x2 support is quite interesting to some people.