Apollo Lake NUC Specs Released – Includes HDMI CEC

As pointed out by a reader (thanks npcompletion!) the technical product specification for the Apollo Lake NUC (NUC6CAYH) has been released by Intel.

This is how the NUC6CAYH specifications look like:

  • CPU: Intel Celeron J3455 CPU, quad-core, 1.5 GHz (2.3 GHz burst), 10W TDP
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 500, 12 EUs, 250 MHz base frequency, up to 750 MHz
  • Memory: Up to 8 gigabytes of DDR3L-1866, 1.35 V, two slots for dual-channel mode
  • USB: 2 front USB 3.0 ports (one with fast charging), 2 rear USB 3.0 ports
  • 2.5″ SATA slot: Single slot for a 2.5″ SATA SSD or HDD drive, max. height 9.5 mm
  • Display connectivity: Full-size HDMI 2.0 port (uses MegaChips MCDP2800-BCT LSPCon) including HDMI CEC support, VGA port
  • Audio connectivity: 7.1 channel digital audio over HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack in front panel, 3.5 mm speaker/TOSLink connector in the rear panel
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek 8111HN), 802.11ac m.2 2230-size WiFi card preinstalled, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Infrared: Infrared receiver in the front panel
  • Microphone: Digital microphone array (DMIC), two microphones in the front panel
  •  

    A few things stand out here. The unit will have two memory slots for dual channel mode, but max. supported memory is 8 GB. The DMIC array was a surprise, although the two holes in the front panel were a hint. Intel says this is for supporting digital voice assistants such as Microsoft’s Cortana.

    Finally the HDMI CEC support is great news for the HTPC enthusiasts. HDMI CEC will enable you to use a single remote for controlling both the TV and the NUC – plus it will enable other kind of automation between the TV and the NUC…

    If you’d like to read the whole technical product spec it is located here. I’m hoping I can review this thing in a few days…

    40 Responses

    1. e says:

      Yeah, Intel needs to hurry up and release this thing already.

    2. Jay Kay says:

      Based on previous pricing, this should be about $120-130, have around 10% more processing power than the N3700 based NUC5PPYH, and give us hardware access to potentially Amazon Echo-like voice assistance? All while achieving over 2,000 in Passmark? Quincidentally the recommended minimum spec for streaming a transcoded 1080p video via Plex? Sign me up for 3 already!

      • e says:

        Intel is going to price this closer to the N3700 NUC, as that is what this most directly upgrades from. $180 or higher is my bet.

      • kingrob says:

        I had a look on the cpumonkey.com web site & it looks like this Celeron quad core might be equivalent to a 2nd Gen Core i3 CPU performance. Is it true?

    3. Chris says:

      Curious will this Celeron be able to do HD Audio in Windows, the previous versions nuc5cpyh haven’t been able to…

    4. ML says:

      According to the linked Intel product specification the GPU only supports up to HDCP 2.0 or am I missing something?

    5. Apollo Lake says:

      http://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/Notebooks/Acer/Aspire_ES1-332-P91H/dxvachecker.PNG

      Apollo Lake supports HEVC Main10 hardware decoding up to 8K resolution, same as Kaby Lake & VP9 Profile0 hardware decoding up to 4K resolution.

    6. Pawel says:

      Does this news means there will be no NUC with J4205 inside? Having and loving NUC5PPYH, btw.

      • Jay Kay says:

        Obviously no buddy can say for sure, but I doubt it. Honestly, the J3455 would likely be a better option anyway as it still beats out the previous generation NUC5PPYH, is still a quad core part, with basically nothing but a minor freq bump separating it from the J4205 and yet still costs $54 less. Giving it a relatively massive price break at 2/3 the cost of a J4205 tray part. With any luck, we will be looking at a $125ish part that still out performs the last generation $170 part. For a basic facebook machine, PC for mom/grandma, etc. 8GB of RAM and a value brand 240GB SSD would make this thing a pretty solid $200 PC/HTPC.

        • Pawel says:

          Thx Jay, indeed I will buy it for grandpa. I think 4GB and 120GB is enough for YT and Firefox.

          • Jay Kay says:

            NP!
            Just my .02
            I personally air on the side of caution with 8GB/240GB because of the concern that non-technical family members have a tendency to not understand that having an SSD means that there is actually a ceiling to their Temp file, photo, and random crap hording. I’ve done 120 GB SSDs for family members in the past and then I hear a year or two later that their PC started crawling for some reason, so rather than simply calling me and allowing me to remote in with the software I thoughtfully installed on their PC for quick, easy, remote troubleshooting, they stopped using it, or they figured it was time for a new one and went out to Best Buy and bought some overpriced, underspecced, bloatware loaded, outdated piece of crap because the clueless teenager told them that it would do everything they needed for only $500.
            That turned into a rant… Haha,
            That, and I’ve found the difference in cost between 4GB/120GB and 8GB/240GB to be relatively negligible these days for pretty visible performance gains, especially in the RAM department. Win-7, and especially Win-10 really moves so much smoother with just a little more than 4GB of RAM. Throw in all of the crap that will inevitably be running in the background a year after you set it up for them (read: multiple browsers, toolbars, fake virus scanners, multiple malware blockers, installers set to launch at boot, etc.) That 8GB gets eaten into pretty quick.
            That said, I’m always on the look out for RAM and Storage deals. I usually impulsively buy RAM when it comes in around $25-30 for 8GB and I think I even “might” have a project coming up. I usually buy value oriented 240-256GB SSDs from reputable brands when I see them around $50-55. Giving me a solid $80 combo. I’d be hard pressed to save much more if I started shopping for 4GB/120GB.

            Good luck!

            • 33 says:

              > their PC started crawling for some reason
              Maybe cause some clueless family member installed Windows instead of Linux or BSD ???

              > I personally air on the side of caution
              To air is human!

          • Jay Kay says:

            Yeah, you should totally install Linux on a non-technical family members computer that already doesn’t know the difference between Windows 95 and Windows 10, or is completely lost without the Start menu on Windows 8. Baby steps people. Keep the childish Linux jeering to a logical minimum and recognize that you will probably not get your 50+ yr old non-technical relatives to ever accept Linux as a replacement for Windows. It’s hard enough explaining to people the simple concept of an OS, or even that they can probably get by just fine with Chrome, much less some techy thing called Linux, or try to explain to them what a “Distro” is.
            As much as we would all love to shame all of our clueless family members into getting off of their lazy ignorant asses and take a coding class, or figure pretty much ANYTHING out for themselves. Companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google have a vested interest in making themselves overly idiot proof or to come to their audience. So as long as they are kept fat, dumb, and happy with their bare minimum computer knowledge, and can satisfy their facebooking and Googling needs, real technical understanding will be left to the precious few that prefer to look behind the curtain.

    7. kingrob says:

      At last!! Hopefully we shall see the new Kaby Lake NUCs starting to show up early 2017.

      • Jay Kay says:

        Current leaked schedule implies Q4′ 2016, so we are already late. Stop screwing around and get these things out in time for the holidays Intel!

    8. Bill B says:

      Wow, sad. What’s with crippling devices with such low max memory. Just bought the Iris 540 version of the NUC with 16GB ram and it’s really nice under a wide variety of application loads. Limiting such a capable box to a maximum of 8GB ram is sad. I just wanted thunderbird, plex, minecraft server, and a bunch of tabs.

      • Jay Kay says:

        Apollo Lake chips are all limited to 8GB:
        http://ark.intel.com/products/codename/80644/Apollo-Lake?q=Apollo%20Lake#@All
        It’s not a NUC limitation, it’s a CPU limitation, and not one that Intel will likely change. They already have to gimp themselves from continuing to out pace their own parts in performance. People that needed desktop i5’s two-four years ago can now get by just fine on mobile i7’s or even mobile i5’s. People that needed i3’s can make do with these Pentiums, Core ‘m’ parts, etc.
        They have to find ways to segment their markets with hard, sometimes artificial limitations when raw performance over generations continue to blur the lines.
        It’s a reality when hardware has completely outpaced standard productivity software requirements, and their only real competition these days are themselves. There is almost no reason whatsoever to buy an AMD product anymore.
        Yes, blah, blah, Zen this, Polaris that, but they will most likely fail to meet expectations as usual, and even if they do, Intel will put half an ounce of effort into their next iteration and completely outclass anything AMD can possibly do with the engineering staff, resources, and funding they currently have to work with. I’m not an Intel fanboy, and really not a fan of monopolies, but people have to face facts and recognize that right now, unless someone buys AMD, sets their leadership straight, goes on a hiring binge for better lead engineers, and floats them a ton of cash, Intel is the only logical game in town.

        • Bill B. says:

          I have the Iris 540 NUC, 16GB ram, M2 storage. Pretty nice, it’s the 14w version. I was hoping the next gen would allow for the Iris 550 (or equiv) 28 watt CPU that handles heavy workloads better (read that as throttles much slower).

          Without going to the skull canyon giant loud plastic video card look.

      • kingrob says:

        If you buy this device with 8GB RAM and a SSD, you have very good general use pc for home/office use – and I doubt if it will ever use more than 4GB RAM.

        This NUC will be perfect for internet surfing, Microsoft Office & the odd FreeCell game. Hell, I suspect you’ll even be able to do StarCraft II on it with low/medium graphics. 😉

        Nowadays people don’t want & need big desktop cases at home or work.

    9. ABU says:

      Great news for HDR fan´s.

      The MegaChips MCDP2800-BCT LSPCon – Chip supports HDMI 2.0a!

      Source: http://www.megachips.us/products/MCDP28_Products.php
      Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/megachips-is-first-to-bridge-displayport-with-hdmi20a-in-a-single-chip-300098508.html

      But, no words about HDMI 2.0a or HDR inside the product PDF:
      http://www.megachips.us/products/documents/MCDP28x0_Databrief.pdf
      But they still write about : “4Kp60Hz, YCbCr420, up to 16bpc” and “4Kp60Hz, YCbCr422 up to 12bpc”.
      bpc = bits per color

      So let´s see.

    10. Rakkie says:

      Pre-order prices from Europe seem pretty high: €184 – €217.
      The shipping date is listed as the 20th December on one of these links,
      not sure if that is accurate.

      http://www.i-cs.at/eshop.php?action=article_detail&s_supplier_aid=6497492
      http://server5.eshopv5.com/midas/Intel-NUC-BOXNUC6CAYH-J3455-US-EU-UK-AU/product.html/eid_4089945/

    11. Jay Kay says:

      Current leaked schedule implies Q4′ 2016, so we are already late. Stop screwing around and get these things out in time for the holidays Intel!

    12. Nittany Lion says:

      I was hoping to order one of these new NUCs for Christmas, I hope Intel releases them soon.

    13. Olli says:

      Two more observations: Intel says NUC6CAYH will be shipping in January. Driver support only for Windows 10 64-bit. At least the download center doesn’t have anything for other OSs.

    14. Luigi says:

      Hi, looking at Intel’s website, there is NO mention of CEC support. Are you certain it will be supported? Also, any update on availability?

      Thanks

      • Olli says:

        The technical product description has it included. It seems the BIOS has features to turn on/off connected devices when you turn the NUC on/off (and vica versa). For further CEC support you have a HDMI CEC header on the mainboard and you can plug in HDMI CEC adapter (such as the one from Pulse Eight).

    15. Luigi says:

      Yes, I did see the adapter from Pulse Eight, but I am trying to AVOID buying that adapter (for it’s price and the international shipping costs). Reading your blog entry, I was under the impression that CEC will come INCLUDED, without the need to purchase an additional adapter.

      Can you share your source where you read that the BIOS can turn on-off connected decide? Is this full CEC support? I’d really like for my HTPC to turn up my amplifier and projector.

      • Andreas says:

        Yes it is included, from the technical product description linked above

        The board contains two mutually-exclusive methods for controlling HDMI CEC devices:
        – External CEC adaptor connected via CEC connector (item L in Figure 13; pinout in Table 18)
        – Onboard CEC control from the embedded controller via HDMI cable and BIOS setup.
        Expected behavior is provided in Table 10 below

        • Luigi says:

          Very intresting, thank you very much for the clarification. I hadn’t seen the spec.

          I just hope it works with Power Amplifiers (who support CEC, of course) and not just TV as described in the documentation.

          Look forward to getting my hands on this unit. i just wished it was fanless.

    16. Johnnie W says:

      Hi, I’m looking to get one of these to use as my HTPC. Would using a USB3 expansion drive for my media (music, shows, photos) work OK? What’s the recommended setup for the storage drive?

      • Olli says:

        Hi there,

        I’d run a NAS connected over gigabit Ethernet instead of USB, but I guess the USB3 drive should work as well. I’ve never used a USB drive for longer term, but in theory it should work. A NAS in your home network is handy for many other things as well though.

    17. peter says:

      When they say 7.1 HD Audio, do they mean DTS-HD Master and Dolby TrueHD? Does my receiver still needs a decoder or something? And this 7.1 is thru HDMI only, not the TosLink? TIA

    18. Tommi says:

      NUC7CJYH (Dual core J4005?) + NUC7PJYH (Quad core J5005?) are scheduled to come in early 2018, Gemini Lake platform.

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