Intel NUC NUC10i7FNH Review – Frost Canyon – Comet Lake
Intel NUC 10 Performance Review – NUC10i7FNH
Intels NUC (Next Unit of Computing) was first shown off at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) back in 2012 powered by 3rd Gen Core ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors. It is hard to believe that the Intel NUC series has been around for nearly eight years, but the NUC series is still thriving in a market craving PCs that take up a minimal amount of space. Today, the latest Intel NUC models are codenamed ‘Frost Canyon’ and marketed as Intel NUC 10 Performance.
All twenty of the of the Intel NUC 10 Performance models are powered by 10th Gen Core ‘Comet Lake-U’ 25W mobile processors. Yes, Intel really does have 20 different models that you can pick from! The good news is that only three processors are used on the NUC 10 Performance lineup. You have the Intel Core i3-10110U, Intel Core i5-10210U and the Intel Core i7-1071oU. So, you have your pick between having a dual-core Core i3 processor (2C/4T) at the base, a quad-core Core i5 processor (4C/8T) at the mid-level and then there is a hexa-core Core i7 CPU (6C/12T) for those looking looking for the most performance.
The NUC 10 that we have for review today is model number NUC10i7FNHA, which is the flagship Mini PC sku for this model series. It is powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10710U processor (14nm) with six physical cores and 12-threads. This processor has a 1.1 GHz base clock, 4.7 GHz turbo clock, 12 MB of Intel Smart Cache and comes with Intel UHD Graphics (24 EUs) built-inside.
This model is not a kit, but rather a mini PC that came fully setup and configured with a 256GB NVMe Solid-State Drive (SSD), a 1TB 2.5-inch SATA III Hard drive, 16GB of RAM, and Windows 10 Home x64. If you want to pick out your own storage drives, RAM and OS you are best off going with a bare bone NUC Kit.
The outside of the NUC hasn’t changed much over the years. This model comes in the tall ‘H’ chassis that measures 117mm x 112 mm x 51mm or about 4.6″ x 4.4″ x 2.0″ in size. The slimmer ‘K’ chassis is available at only 38mm or 1.5″ in height, but it does not support a SATA III SSD/HDD. Regardless of the chassis that you go with, they will both be many times smaller than a typical traditional desktop PC.
The front of the mini PC has the power button/LED, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, quad-microphone array, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, HDD LED, consumer infrared (CIR) sensor. There is a full-size SDXC UHS-II memory card reader located on the side of the NUC.
On the back you have the HDMI 2.0a port, two 3.1 Gen2 Type-A USB ports, a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, Intel i219-V Gigabit Ethernet port, Kensington Anti-theft lock hole, and electric power inlet.
You can run up to three 4K displays off the NUC 10 if you’d like to do so. One panel would be connected to the HDMI connector and then you’d need to use a USB-C to dual DisplayPort splitter to connect the other two displays. This is not included, so you will need a splitter like the StarTech MSTCDP122DP USB-C to DisplayPort multi-monitor splitter. This multi-monitor splutter typically runs around $70 shipped.
On the bottom of the NUC you’ll find four rubber feet that have Philips screws in the middle of each pad. These four screws need to be loosened in order to gain access to the hardware inside the NUC 10.
Once inside you can swap out the DDR4 SODIMM memory kit, M.2 NVMe SSD or the SATA III drive in mere seconds. This system comes populated with 16GB (2x8GB) of Kingston DDR4 memory, but the platform can support up to 64GB (2x32GB) of system memory. Any M.2 2280 or M.2 2242 sized NVMe SSD will work in the M.2 PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drive slot. The 2.5-inch drive bay accepts all SATA III based drives, so you can run any HDD, SSD, or hybrid drive that you’d like to with ease.
The mini-PC includes a 120W power adapter from FSP Group Inc. along with a US region power cord.