Power Consumption and Thermal Performance

The power consumption at the wall was measured with a 1080p display being driven through the HDMI port. In the graphs below, we compare the idle and load power of the Intel NUC6i7KYK (Skull Canyon) with other low power PCs evaluated before. For load power consumption, we ran Furmark 1.12.0 and Prime95 v27.9 together. The idle number is a bit disappointing, though, I assume that a change in the BIOS to the low power profile could help improve things. Otherwise, the idle number is just slightly higher than what is typical for a system with a 45W TDP CPU and a PCIe M.2 SSD.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption (Prime95 + FurMark)

The load power number in the graph above is the maximum sustained value. As we can see from the graphs below, instantaneous peak numbers can go as high as 95W. Addition of bus-powered USB devices will also tend to drive up this number further.

Our thermal stress routine starts with the system at idle, followed by 30 minutes of pure CPU loading. This is followed by another 30 minutes of both CPU and GPU being loaded simultaneously. After this, the CPU load gets removed, allowing the GPU to be loaded alone for another 30 minutes. The various clocks in the system as well as the temperatures within the unit are presented below.

The graph below present the power consumption profile of various blocks in the CPU package during the course of our thermal stress. Following that, we have the power consumption at the wall for the system during the same period.

According to the official specifications, the junction temperature of the Core i7-6770HQ is 100 C. Unfortunately, the cooling solution is not able to prevent the CPU from hitting it with turbo speeds activated. However, the frequency does remain above the base 2.6 GHz throughout the pure CPU loading segment. The package power settles down to a steady 45W, and that continues throughout the duration of our test. Our only concern is that the cooling solution keeps the temperature of the cores too close to the junction temperature during periods of heavy CPU load. Once the load gets distributed across both the CPU and the GPU, we see the package come down to around 90C.

Another important aspect to keep note of while evaluating mini-PCs is the chassis temperature. Using the Android version of the FLIR One thermal imager, we observed the chassis temperature after the CPU package temperature reached the steady state value in the above graph.

We have additional thermal images in the gallery below.

The maximum chassis temperature observed by the thermal imager was slightly above 60 C near the fan's exhaust vent. At that point, a sound level Android app running on the HTC One M7 recorded 59 dB. For comparison purposes, the Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN970 recorded 50 dB in a similar scenario.

HTPC Credentials Miscellaneous Aspects and Concluding Remarks
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  • jasonelmore - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    it will work fine. Intel has been using the Razer External GPU Chassis and they even commented on it here on Anandtech Comments, on the last article that was posted about it. DMI 3.0 still does 4GB/s and the CPU is not transferring huge amounts of bandwidth hungry texture data back and forth with the CPU Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Plus the fact that PCIe 2.0 x4 was shown to be the tipping point between bandwidth limited and not for single GPU systems, I believe. 3.0 is twice that, and 2.0 4x barely even throttled that one graphics card -> there's a decent bit of overhead available. Reply
  • Cuhulin - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - link

    The only question I have about the Razer Core approach is price. Wouldn't it be better to simply buy a Razer Stealth instead? Reply
  • fanofanand - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Grandpa/Grandma don't need a 1k PC. They would be adequately served by the PC sticks. This would be massive overkill for Fakebook browsing. This is a product desperately searching for a niche market. Reply
  • gurok - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    You say that, but they've incorporated a skull design specifically for grandpas/grandmas. Reply
  • Cuhulin - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - link

    Let's see whether you think the same way when you are a grandparent, or at least old enough to be one. I am a grandfather, and I need a decent PC for my 4k gaming, among other things - which means way more than 1k at this time. (I have at least 2k in the 3 4k monitors on my desk, for one thing). I suck at FPS games these days - reflexes just aren't what they were decades ago - but I still have fun. So maybe the ageism should be put away? Reply
  • Calista - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Why would you spend 1000 dollars on something a 300 dollar machine does almost just as well? No, this is a really an odd product which can't be upgraded, which can't play current games and which cost an arm and a leg. And why, to save a little bit of space on a desk already housing a (most likely) large monitor, large keyboard and a mouse. I could see the charm of something like this had we had easy access to MXM (or similar standard) modules. But for anyone else far better and almost as small options seem to exist. Reply
  • milkod2001 - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - link

    for $1000 one can get same specs laptop which comes with screen and keyboard already = much better buy/value.

    The only thing when NUCs make sense is if you need to hook it behind telly and use it as streaming device otherwise any other option gives you much more.
    Reply
  • Calista - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - link

    Yeah. I have never understood this "I need a high-end PC, thus I buy an expensive PC which will only be high-end for the next 12 months" while keeping it for the next three years. Either we need high-end components and then we will always need the latest high-end components or else we don't need high-end components and then it doesn't make sense to buy expensive bleeding edge stuff. Reply
  • JBSZQn1LI06L8j33 - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - link

    i am thinking about it, but it is too expensive right now. it needs to be $400 and should come with windows usb. Right now it is basically laptop without keyboard, screen, touch-pad and external power supply. I really like the form factor ... Reply

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