NUC8 (Crimson Canyon) in the test: AMD saves the Intel 10nm mini computer


If you want to experience the latest Intel CPU technology live, you need to buy an NUC8 (Crimson Canyon): the Mini PC is the only device in the Asian education industry in addition to the Ideapad 330-15ICN of Lenovo that has a Cannon Lake – a 10 nm product Processor. So sober, whose properties and performances are, so moderately we find the same NUC8. However, if you invest a little more money, you will receive a technically attractive mini PC with good performance.

Visually, the Crimson Canyon is a classic NUC (Next Unit of Computing): it consists of silver and glossy black plastic and generally measures 117 x 112 x 52 mm. The NUC8 pack contains a 100 x 100 mm vesa support. The NUC8's nearly square case has a variety of ports, such as the SD card reader (designed for the UHS-I standard) with half depth, which reads data at just under 90 MB / s and the Kensington eyelet for a pairing concluded.

The product is presented in the typical blue package. (Image: Marc Sauter /

There are two USB 3.0 A ports on the front side, with the yellow support that supports the 5-volt quick charge function of the smartphone. In addition, there is an infrared sensor for the consumer and a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the blue illuminated power button and a flashing red LED for hard drive activity. The rear panel houses the power connector for the 90-watt external power supply, two additional USB ports, the Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 connector and two HDMI 2.0b for screens or 4K televisions.

Before the actual start, we updated the firmware of the NUC8 to v0039, which was released at the beginning of December 2018: our scheme was still wrapped in aluminum foil, suggesting that it had been around for months . Immediately after the ignition, the mini-PC is audible, but this is not only due to the fan which is a little too aggressive (balance rather than silent): you can hear the unmistakable sound of a hard disk! To anticipate said that the NUC8 plus RAM costs at least 450 euros – because the antiquated technology is simply out of place.

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The computer's response is correspondingly slow. It doesn't matter if we open the Explorer, start the Edge Browser or simply look for Windows updates, all this takes more time than we've been used to with SSDs for many years. In 2010, affordable SSDs like the Gskill Falcon II with 64 GB for 150 euros were already available, and Intel could have simply soldered some flash memory; This finally works for models like the June Canyon.

Intel preinstalled Windows 10 x64 Home on the hard drive, which is why we updated the operating system and driver as usual before the test. The download of update KB4482887 took hours, from 13 to 18 – half a day. The same update was installed on Thinkpad X1 Carbon v3 in less than 20 minutes. Below, we will take a closer look at the interior of the NUC8.


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