Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK Skull Canyon Mini PC Review

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NUC6i7KSYK General Performance Testing


The Intel NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK with the Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor scored 86.07  FPS on the OpenGL benchmark, 711 points on the multi-core CPU test and 130 points on the single-core CPU test.


In 3DMark we scored 8,596 points in Sky Diver, the benchmark for mid-range PCs, specifically 37.29 FPS in Graphics Test 1 and 39.58 FPS in Graphics Test 2.


On the x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit video encoding benchmark we found the NUC with the Intel Core i7-6770HQ quad-core processor was capable of roughly 15 FPS with regards to the average frame rate for encoding HD (1080p) video in the new H.265 / HEVC format.


We ran Handbrake 0.10.5 and used the Big Buck Bunny 1080P 60 FPS movie as our test file. We were able to complete the transcode with an average speed of 42.2 FPS in 15 minutes and 3 seconds.


AIDA64 v5.70 beta showed that the dual channel 2400MHz DDR4 memory had 14-14-14 2T timings and was capable of 41,489 MB/s read and 60,580 MB/s write speeds with a latency of 59.7 ns. The copy test bandwidth was found to be 57,528 MB/s. These are very respectable scores and the highest that we have ever seen on an Intel NUC model since we aren’t limited to 2133MHz by a dual-core processor. If you plan on purchasing this model we highly suggest going with a 2400MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory kit.



The benchmark included in CPU-Z showed we had a single thread performance score of 1630 and a multi-thread performance score of 6203.


CipherShed v0.7.4.0 shows that the Intel NUC6i7KYK had a mean score of 3.9 GB/s on the AES Encryption test.


We ran the JetStream v1.1 JavaSctipt on Google Chrome 50 and found an overall score of 195.77.


The 7-Zip 15.14 benchmark test showed that the Intel Core i7-6770HQ Processor in this system had a total rating of 20348 MIPS and handled compression tasks well.


A quick run of CrystalDiskMark v5.1.2 showed the performance of the Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB storage drive was pretty solid. Sequential read speed to be 2550 MB/s and the sequential write speed was 1535 MB/s. The Random 4K read speed was 56 MB/s and the 4K random write speed was 215.4 MB/s.


When it comes to wireless performance the we used LAN Speed Test to check the performance of the included the included Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 802.11ac PCIe solution. This is a dual-band 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi card with a theoretical peak speed rating of 867 Mbps. We used a desktop with Gigabit Ethernet to run LAN Speed Server that was hard connected to the ASUS RT-AC68U 802.11AC wireless router with Firmware version We tested the 2.4GHz and 5GHz performance with the router placed 10-feet away from the Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK and ran performance tests with 1MB and 100MB packet sizes. The results showed that we were averaging 250-300 Mbps (Up to 37.5 MB/s) with regards to writes and 470-480 Mbps (Up to 60 MB/s) for reads on the 5GHz band.

Video Playback

Since many Intel NUC  Kits will be used in the living room we thought we’d take a second and look at a number of video types on the device to see how it would perform as a HTPC as many people might be looking into buying this and running Kodi. We took a quick look at DXVA checker and found that the Skylake processor with Intel Iris 540 Graphics offers hardware acceleration for MPEG-2, VC1, H.264, HEVC, VP9 (8-bit only) and WMV9. When it comes to audio bitstreaming the device supports DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus.


UPDATE 5/23/2016: A reader in the comment section requested that we run Intel SGEMM on the NUC6i7KYK, so we loaded up Microsoft VS2013 Update 5 and looked at the kernel performance on the 6thGeneration Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, which contains 72 EUs running at 950MHz. With 8  shader cores per EU it means that there are a total of 576 shader cores. Intel says that the compute performance of the Iris Pro Graphics 580 is 1.1 TFlops and that it is up to 75% faster than the previous generation Broadwell Iris Pro 6200 performance (GT3e with 48 EUs / 384 shader cores). The block_read_32x2_1x8 results for a 2048×2048 matrix show a 772  GFLOPS  for the peak kernal performance.  That is just over 70% compute efficiency.


Let’s take a look at power consumption and CPU temperatures on the Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK.

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