Amazon, Newegg, and Walmart have started to sell Intel’s Crimson Canyon NUC that is based on Cannon Lake processors produced using the company’s 10 nm process technology. Availability of the NUC8i3CY-series UCFF PCs at major retailers indicated that Intel is making its 10 nm CPUs in rather sizeable volumes.

The Intel NUC8i3CY-series UCFF PCs are powered by Intel’s dual-core Core i3-8121U processor paired with soldered-down 4 GB or 8 GB of LPDDR4-2666 memory and AMD’s Radeon 540 dGPU (codenamed Lexa, based on Polaris architecture featuring 512 SPs) with 2 GB of GDDR5. The computer is equipped with 1 TB SATA hard drive, but it also has an M.2-2280 slot for a SATA or a PCIe SSD. When it comes to connectivity, the new NUCs are outfitted with Intel’s Wireless-AC 9560 CNVi 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 solution that supports up to 1.73 Gbps throughput over 160 MHz channels. In addition, the systems have one GbE, two HDMI 2.0a outputs, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports (one supporting charging), an SD card reader, a TRRS audio connector for headsets, and a digital audio connector for 7.1-channel sound systems.

Intel Crimson Canyon NUC PCs
  NUC8i3CYSN NUC8i3CYSM
CPU Intel Core i3-8121U
2C/4T
2.2 - 3.2 GHz
4 MB cache
15 W TDP
Graphics AMD Radeon 540 GPU
512 stream processors
32 texture units
16 ROPs
2 GB GDDR5 memory
PCH Integrated into CPU
Memory 4 GB LPDDR4-2666 8 GB LPDDR4-2666
Storage 2.5-inch 1 TB HDD pre-installed
M.2 M.2-2280 slot supporting SSDs and Intel Optane Memory caching SSDs
Wi-Fi/BT Intel Wireless-AC 9560
802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 5
Ethernet Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller (i219-V)
Display Outputs 2 × HDMI 2.0a
Audio 3.5 mm TRRS audio jack
7.1 channel audio output via HDMI
Optical output
IR Consumer Infrared (CIR) sensor on the front panel
USB 4 USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps), one with charging
Other I/O SDXC card reader with UHS-I support
Dimensions 117 × 112 × 52 mm | 4.6 × 4.4 × 2.04 inch
PSU External, 90 W
OS Pre-installed Microsoft Windows 10 Home x64

Intel's NUC8i3CYSM and NUC8i3CYSN UCFF PCs were announced several months ago and were available from smaller retailers, possibly because the volumes were not large. Availability at Amazon and Walmart indicates that Intel can now offer relatively large volumes of its chips produced at 10 nm node.

When it comes to performance, Cannon Lake has its perks, such as AVX-512 support, though they may not be that obvious in the SFF space as they are in the HPC/HEDT space. Obviously, AMD’s Radeon 540 should also be faster than Intel’s UHD 630 Graphics in games, but keep in mind that when it comes to media playback Intel’s contemporary iGPUs have certain advantages over AMD’s Polaris (e.g., VP9 10-bit decode, support for sophisticated copyright protection methods that require Intel’s SGX, etc.).

Intel's Core Architecture Cadence
Core Generation Microarchitecture Process Node Release Year
2nd Sandy Bridge 32nm 2011
3rd Ivy Bridge 22nm 2012
4th Haswell 22nm 2013
5th Broadwell 14nm 2014
6th Skylake 14nm 2015
7th Kaby Lake 14nm+ 2016
8th Kaby Lake-R
Coffee Lake-S
Kaby Lake-G
Coffee Lake-U/H
Whiskey Lake-U
Amber Lake-Y
Cannon Lake-U
14nm+
14nm++
14nm+
14nm++
14nm++
14nm+
10nm
2017
2017-2018
2018
2018
2018
2018
2017*
9th Coffee Lake Refresh 14nm** 2018
Unknown Ice Lake (Consumer) 10nm? 2019?
Cascade Lake (Server)
Cooper Lake (Server)
Ice Lake (Server)
14nm**
14nm**
10nm
2018
2019
2020
* Single CPU For Revenue
** Intel '14nm Class'

The Intel NUC8i3CYSM with 4 GB of RAM and 1 TB HDD currently costs $540 at Amazon.com, which is in line with MSRP of $530 announced in August. Newegg sells the same product for $533.6. Meanwhile, Walmart carries the version with 8 GB of RAM for $570.

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Source: Dylan522p/Twitter

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  • nicolaim - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    The NUC has "ac" WiFi. Reply
  • Wasabi_Vengeance - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    Ahh, thanks. The amazon page says a/g/n, but anand clearly says ac. Def trust anandtech more :P Reply
  • dan_ger - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    Are there any IPC or clock for clock comparisons between coffee lake and cannon lake? or any other 14nm vs the new 10nm. Reply
  • MattMe - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    Compared to the i3 in the standard NUC (the i3-8109U), the difference appears to be a lower clock speed but also substantially lower power draw for the same cores/thread. 15w for the 8121U vs 28w for the 8109U, which is quite impressive if correct. Also adds support for LPDDR4.

    Intel's ARK page for comparison here: https://ark.intel.com/compare/136863,135936
    Reply
  • MattMe - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    I know that doesn't explain any IPC comparisons but just wanted to highlight what the differences between the two models are. Reply
  • Eris_Floralia - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    8109U is Coffee Lake-U with GT3e graphics and higher TDP.
    You should compare it with the 8130U.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    Soldered memory? No thank you.

    One of the draws of NuCs is the ability to stick whatever you want into them, and tinker with speeds. Soldering memory makes this as worthless as a netbook. Seriously, 4GB of RAM? Anyone who buys that is in for a bad time.
    Reply
  • tomatotree - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    I mean yeah, the 4gb one is not great for general desktop use, but for that isn't what this is really for imo. Think things like kiosks and digital signage. Reply
  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, December 05, 2018 - link

    Why would a kiosk need a 1TB hdd? Reply
  • hallstein - Monday, December 03, 2018 - link

    It would be fascinating to know how this performance in CPU and GPU compared to the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G.

    ...I'm guessing not well!
    Reply

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