Intel Releases the Kaby Lake NUC Full Specifications

Intel has just released the specs for all of the Kaby Lake NUC models that are going to be showcased in CES 2017. The specs are very much similar to our predictions earlier, but there’s one important thing I got wrong in my guesstimations. The i5 NUC will be powered by a i5-7260U instead of i5-7200U. This means it will get a much beefier Iris Graphics Plus 640 GPU instead of the HD Graphics 620. Excellent news as this basically means that the i5 model is not going to suck after all.

There’s a great summary on Tom’s Hardware regarding the capabilities of the Kaby Lake CPUs.

Intel Kaby Lake i7 NUC Details

Without further ado, here are the specs.

Kaby Lake NUC Specifications

NUC7i3BNH
NUC7i3BN
K
NUC7i5BNH
NUC7i5BNK
NUC7i7BNH
CPU Core i3-7100U (dual core, 2.4 GHz, 15W TDP) Core i5-7260U (dual core, hyperthreading, 2.2 GHz, boost up to 3.4 GHz, 15W TDP) Core i7-7567U (dual core, hyperthreading, 3.5 GHz, boost up to 4.0 GHz, 28W TDP)
GPU HD Graphics 620 (GT2), 24 EUs Iris Plus Graphics 640 (GT3e), 48 EUs Iris Plus Graphics 650 (GT3e), 48 EUs
Memory Dual-channel DDR4-2133 SODIMMs, 1.2V, 32GB maximum
Optane ready NUC7i3BNH only NUC7i5BNH only Yes
Storage M.2 slot for 2242 and 2280 form factor M.2 SSD
2.5″ SATA slot in NUC7i3BNH only
M.2 slot for 2242 and 2280 form factor M.2 SSD
2.5″ SATA slot in NUC7i5BNH only
M.2 slot for 2242 and 2280 form factor M.2 SSD
2.5″ SATA slot
HDMI One full-size HDMI 2.0 port with HDMI Audio 7.1 support, support for 4k@60Hz
DisplayPort One DisplayPort 1.2 via USB Type-C port
ThunderBolt 3 No Yes, via USB Type-C port
WiFi Intel Wireless-AC 8265 802.11ac adapter with Bluetooth 4.2
LAN Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN
USB Two USB 3.0 on the front panel, two USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1 (type-C) on the rear panel
Size 115 mm x 111 mm x 35 mm (NUC7i3BNK)
115 mm x 111 mm x 51 mm (NUC7i3BNH)
115 mm x 111 mm x 35 mm (NUC7i5BNK)
115 mm x 111 mm x 51 mm (NUC7i5BNH)
115 mm x 111 mm x 51 mm
Other Consumer infrared, dual microphone array, micro SD card reader

Some Thoughts

Allright, we’re eagerly waiting to get our hands on these NUCs. Unfortunately a trip to Vegas for the CES was out of question… What the Intel Optane support means in practice is still a bit unclear for me. Look forward to a review here within the next weeks! i3 model is supposed to be out still this month with the i5 and i7 following in February and March.

The Intel web site now contains the full specs and product briefs (no technical product descriptions yet though):

PS. Many thanks for all my readers who kept me posted regarding this release. I got 3 emails within 15 minutes regarding the publication of this and 1 more while writing this down. 🙂

64 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    Great news! But no clear feedback about HDR / HDMI 2.0a support.

  2. Tomi says:

    Notice how there is additional row of ventilation holes on the side of i7 model compared to 5th gen i7 NUC. There is some hope that this will help to keep the thermals down and to keep the noise in control as well!

    Also i5 CPU with Iris Plus GPU was a good surprise. As result this will be a tight game between i5 & i7 versions!

    I will have to wait for both of Olli’s reviews before putting my money in! Only positive thing is that hopefully NVME SSD prices will go down meanwhile. 🙂

  3. CiASpook says:

    These NUCs use the same kind of chips that adapters use. They support HDR, but has to be implemented in firmware to work. So it’s up to Intel implement this. I higly doubt it will be supported from day one.

  4. miles says:

    Why did they have to move to microsd? Who is that helping?

  5. Crabber50 says:

    I currently run the NUC6i5 on 12 volts DC, will any of these run on 12 volts?

  6. kingrob says:

    This is fantastic news! So glad I didn’t purchase a Skylake i5, was just about to pull the trigger on one. Instead, I’ll get an Apollo Lake NUC for the time being, then get the i5 Kaby Lake once it is released.

  7. Lackfarbe says:

    Even with the latest generation of consumer NUCs the audio connectivity is servereley crippled.

    I just don’t understand why Intel refuses to incude a rear speaker / optical 3.5mm AND a front headphone / microphone jack in their consumer/multimedia oriented lineup.

    Where would one permanently hook up their stereo speakers or receiver? Audio through HDMI is not always an option since it needs a audio receiver supporting video passthrough as well.
    I don’t want to have to plug out my stereo speakers occasionally when i want to connect a headphone.
    On top of that I don’t want my stereo speaker cables to be hanging out of the front of the case all the time.

    Why couldn’t Intel do the same for their flagship NUCs like they did with their NON MULTIMEDIA oriented Apollo Lakes NUCs? 3.5mm Stereo / optical connector on the back, 3.5mm headphone / microphone connector on the front?

    It would be so easy and convenient and should really be a thing on their flagship multimedia oriented lineup.

    I just don’t understand. Disappointed.

    Or am I missing something?

  8. James says:

    Great, with five total USB ports I won’t need a USB hub for my setup. Now I’m just curious if the i5 will be capable of playing back higher bitrate 4k HEVC files at 60fps than the i3..

    • Kenni says:

      Interesting…Have you experienced a limitation in terms of hardware accelerated playback of HEVC files on a Kaby Lake i3? I was under the impression that all Intel Gen10 graphics supported hardware accelerated playback of HEVC at 4K at 60 fps, and if there were a bitrate limitation, this limitation would be significantly higher than all regular usecases. This should even be true on Celeron Apollo Lake CPUs.

    • Kenni says:

      Ahh, are you talking about extremely high bit rate movies, like the 100GB Ultra HD Bluray, which theoretically can use a bitrate of up to 128MBps, which is slightly higher than the 120MBps promised by Intel for Kaby Lake?

    • David says:

      The Kaby Lake CPUs support full hardware acceleration for encode and decode of 4K HEVC Main10 profile (8 and 10 bit) videos. This is in contrast to Skylake which could only manage HEVC Main10 at 4Kp30 and did so using a “hybrid” nature GPU/CPU split.

      The only video hardware acceleration it could be considered to be missing is the Main12 profile which supports up to 12bit but the different in video quality will be negligible between 10 and 12.

      Effectively the i3 is more than good enough as an HTPC. I’m buying two of them for this very purpose as soon as they become available.

      • James says:

        Yeah that’s the idea. I’m planning to buy one to use purely as a 4K HTPC, but I want to be sure there’s no drawbacks for getting the i3 instead of the i5.

        • Kenni says:

          If you’re going to use it purely as a 4K HTPC, even the i3 would be overkill. The Apollo Lake CPUs have the same gen10 graphics engine, so even the NUC6CAYH with Celeron CPU would do the job, at a much lower price. I currently have i3 and i5 Skylake NUC for HTPCs, but I’m “downgrading” these to NUC6CAYH once they become available in my local area.

          • nucblognet says:

            Hi Kenni, that’s exactly my situation as well. 🙂 Although, I’m running an older Haswell NUC as my HTPC at the moment, but planning to replace it with Apollo Lake as soon as everything is fully supported by Linux/Kodi on it…

          • Simon says:

            Hang on – so the Apollo Lake’s will be able to handle 4K 10-bit and passthrough True HD? Where did I get the idea from that they couldn’t? Hmm; this changes things.

          • Kenni says:

            When Anandtech did their “Intel Quietly Launches Apollo Lake SoC” article, they said that Apollo Lake would only do 4K HEVC at 8-bit, and that you needed a Kaby Lake CPU to get HEVC 10-bit HW acceleration. But if you look at the Kodi forums you’ll see many confirmations that this is not the case. If you look at the following thread, you’ll see test builds of LibreELEC with HEVC 10-bit support, and people confirming that it in fact works on Apollo Lake:
            http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=270298&page=22

          • nucblognet says:

            Braswell NUC (previous gen Celeron/Pentium) already did 4k HEVC at 8-bit. Apollo Lake does 10-bit and True HD, although there are reports with passthrough issues on the Apollo Lake platform…

          • Jon says:

            I wonder if any of the Kaby Lake NUC models will be able to run SVP (Smooth Video Project) to double the frames per second of 4K videos on the fly. That would be great for an HTPC. Apparently this works with a slightly more powerful GPU and a Skylake generation CPU: https://www.svp-team.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=63327#p63327

  9. Simon says:

    I don’t know whether these dates and prices are confirmed, but this US site has the new range advertised

  10. DanMD says:

    4GB RAM and 128GB SSD
    from simplynuc.com:
    “Intel NUC7i7BNH Highlighted Features:
    – 7th generation Intel Core i7-7567U Processor (3.5 GHz Dual Core, 4GHz Turbo, 4MB Cache, 28W TDP)
    – 4GB DDR4 (1.2V) 2133MHz Memory Pre-Installed
    – 128GB SATA or PCIe M.2 Solid State Drive (SSD) Pre-Installed”

  11. Steven E. Roberts says:

    Consumer NUC Kit NUC7i7BNH retail availability ?

  12. David says:

    Do we know what PCH PCIe allocation the M2 drive has? Doesnt seem to be mentioned anywhere in Intel’s specs. I’m hoping its the same PCIe 3.0 x4 links the Skylake Intel NUC had and they havent gone back to the 2.0 x2 days of Broadwell to save on cost.

  13. Steven E. Roberts says:

    Thanks Dave, after more closely reading I had noticed. My primary purchase interest is the 7i7

  14. Ivar says:

    Did they add built in CEC to these as they did to apollo lake? Can’t find a single word about cec on intels site

  15. Zane Stout says:

    Interesting to note, the 7th gen i5 CPU 7260u (as compared to the 6th gen) 6260u has a higher base frequency of course (1.8 vs 2.2 base & 2.9 vs 3.4 turbo), but ALSO has Intel’s new “Intel® Speed Shift Technology” which the 6th gen Skylake did not have (Intel’s words via website http://ark.intel.com/products/97539/Intel-Core-i5-7260U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_40-GHz):

    “Intel® Speed Shift Technology uses hardware-controlled P-states to deliver dramatically quicker responsiveness with single-threaded, transient (short duration) workloads, such as web browsing, by allowing the processor to more quickly select its best operating frequency and voltage for optimal performance and power efficiency.”

    Interesting to see how this plays out. According to other data I saw online, should be an 18-19% increase in web browsing efficiency. Pumped for the benchmarks for the new processor to come out, as well as the comparison to the Skylake Iris 540 vs Kaby Lake Iris Plus 640. Would buy one of these in a heartbeat and test it out. Skylake (I owned before) was a great NUC. Hoping this one has slightly improved graphics also.

  16. Bob says:

    Hi Guys. I guess great news regarding HDR / HDMI 2.0a playout.
    Just have a look into this PDF, page 37, table 2-19.

    “HDMI* 2.0/2.0a support is possible using LS-Pcon converter chip connected to the DP port. The LS-Pcon supports 2 modes:
    a. Level shifter for HDMI 1.4 resolutions.
    b. DP-HDMI 2.0 protocol converter for HDMI 2.0 resolutions.”

    SOURCE:
    http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/datasheets/7th-gen-core-family-desktop-s-processor-lines-datasheet-vol-1.pdf

    I still hope that the new Generation Intel Nuc`s will support HDR10 / DolbyVision Playout.

    • James says:

      HDR or HDMI 2.0a should be a must for intel, but looking at page 44.
      Says that HDMI 2.0a is supported? As it has Lspcon hdcp2.2

  17. Joe says:

    That’s a shame they’ve taken so much from the prev-gen.
    DisplayPort 1.2? Why so lame? The CPU supports 4K.
    One USB Type-C? Shall I buy adaptors, Apple-style? Does it support all the Tunderbolt modes?
    Why no UHS-II support? Will these SDs work, at least?
    I see no reasons for an upgrade, if one wants a PC, not a HT.

    • Olli says:

      Hi Joe and thanks for your comments.

      DisplayPort 1.2 supports 4k at 60Hz. The Kaby Lake-U CPU does not support HDMI 2.0, so the HDMI 2.0 port is achieved by using a converter from DP1.2 to HDMI2.0. What would you like to have seen instead of the DisplayPort 1.2 / HDMI2 combo? Considering the limitations of the CPU I think that’s about the best that could have been achieved.

      What would you need an adapter for when it comes to USB Type-C? For the MacBook you need adapters because you have one port that’s your power, USB, external monitor and audio port. On the NUC you have all these separate plus 1 type-C port. To be frank, I don’t think 90% of the people will actually even use that 1 Type-C port as there just are not that many devices yet… It will come for sure, and I think it’s good that these devices start to feature some Type-C ports.

      Lack of UHS-II support is a shame though. UHS-II cards are backwards compatible.

      If you have Skylake NUC (or any Skylake PC) already, there’s not so much difference that it probably would be worth to upgrade. After all, Kaby Lake is the third 14 nm CPU generation, so there’s just that much that can be squeezed out.

      In general I thought that the new NUC actually offered more new things than most of the NUCs lately and thus was a positive surprise, but of course we all have our opinions.

      • Joe says:

        Yeah, you’re right about DP, I thought it didn’t support 4K.

        Only one USB Type-C means I should choose between DP display (in 2 monitor config), Thunderbolt storage and charging a phone. In any case, I’ll have to buy a cable, an adapter or a splitter, and that’s very lame.

      • MG says:

        The review states: “The Kaby Lake NUC should make a nice HTPC due to a couple of reasons. Lively performance, small size and quietness are just a few of them. In addition it has a HDMI 2.0 interface (needed for 4k at 60 Hz) and it features full hardware decoding of H.264 and HEVC video even at 4k resolutions @60 Hz refresh rate. Even 10-bit HEVC video decoding is supported by the hardware. VP9 hardware decoding is also included with both 8 and 10-bit content support.”

        I don’t think that Skylake NUC supported the following :

        – hardware decoding of H.264 and HEVC video at 4k resolutions @60 Hz refresh rate
        – 10-bit HEVC video decoding supported by the hardware
        – VP9 hardware decoding with both 8 and 10-bit content support.”

        So the new Kaby Lake CPU based NUCs are a huge improvement for HTPC fans that want a powerful, feature proof HTPC that can play any 4K content via hardware decoding methods.

        Only if HDR was supported – both HDR10 and Dolby Vision 🙁

        Regards,
        M

        • Olli says:

          Skylake supported 4k H.264 decoding at 60 Hz just fine – you needed to output it via the DisplayPort though. Even the Braswell can do that actually, but it just does not have a port for output. Skylake can do 8-bit HEVC at 4k@60Hz.

          10-bit HEVC is not supported by Skylake nor is VP9.

          The HDR situation is really messy, it would be really good to have some clarification here. There are 2 questions: is the hardware able to support it? Is it just a matter of coding the drivers to support HDR? Dolby Vision should work with HDMI 1.4 interfaces, so maybe that’s just a matter of drivers? HDR10 requires HDMI 2.0a.

    • David says:

      Worst comment ever.

  18. In the product overview of the nuc7i5bnh ( http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-kit-nuc7i5bnh.html ) one can read “2 x internal USB 2.0 via header”.

    In the technical product specification of the older NUC6i5 on page 26 ( http://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/boardsandkits/NUC6i5SYB_NUC6i3SYB_TechProdSpec06.pdf ) one can read:

    USB 2.0 ports (maximum current is 500 mA for each port of the white header (1 A total)
    ― Two ports via two single-port internal 1×4 1.25 mm pitch headers (white)
    ― One port is reserved for the M.2 2230 Wireless module

    So, one internal USB 2.0 port seems to be reserved? Does this mean one may only connect one USB 2.0 cable. And which of the two internal (4 pin) ports is the reserved one?

    Greetings, Reinhard Sündermann (Vienna, Austria)

    • Has been answered at https://communities.intel.com/community/tech/nuc:

      N.Scott.Pearson am 06.01.2017 14:47
      This information is really awkwardly presented in the TPS. Neither of these ports is reserved (I have used them both). It is a separate USB 2.0 port that is reserved for the M.2 Wireless Module’s Bluetooth interface.
       
      As additional information, I would note that, within the design of the processor SOC, the USB 2.0 ports are behind a USB 3.0 hub and thus you need USB 3.0 drivers installed and running to use these USB 2.0 ports. This architecture contributes to the issues using Windows 7 – which doesn’t have native USB 3.0 support – on these NUCs; folks think that these internal USB 2.0 ports will get them around the USB 3.0 driver requirement – but they do not…
       
      Hope this helps,
      …S

      NucNucMoose 06.01.2017 16:34
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMhLtIS-Ea0
       
      That vid shows the specifics you want to see and how to install a USB add-on lid.

  19. kingrob says:

    I reckon I shall be abandoning the Intel NUC in favour of the Zotac mini pcs, as a few of them comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port and let you hook up an external graphics card + 3 USB 3.1 ports – two in front, one in back. Intel NUCs suddenly look old and out of date.

    More about the Zotac mini pc lineup for 2017 :

    http://liliputing.com/2017/01/zotac-unveils-2017-line-kaby-lake-mini-pcs-thunderbolt-3-graphics-dock.html

    “The smallest model with a Thunderbolt 3 port is the ZBOX Mini MI549 Nano with a Core i5-7300U dual-core processor, Intel HD 620 graphics, support for up to 32GB of RAM, and room for a 2.5 inch drive bay.

    The computer features four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, and a single Thunderbolt 3 port, which is all it takes to connect the graphics dock.

    There are also DisplayPort and HDMI ports and 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

    Hook up the graphics dock, and you can add any full-size 13 inch or smaller graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD, turning this compact machine into a gaming computer. The dock hsa a 400 watt power supply and built-in cooling fans.

    But the graphics dock is a lot bigger than the PC itself, so you may be better off just buying one of the ZBOX systems that comes with NVIDIA graphics built in.”

    • MattMe says:

      I love the idea of connecting an external dock to something compact like this, but like that article mentions, the dimensions of the external GPU make it a bit of a backward decision, especially considering these boxes all run the ‘U’ processors. The dock is pretty much the same size as a compact gaming machine as it is!
      I’d love to see some real-world benchmarks of a mini PC ‘U’ CPU using a ThunderBolt 3 external GPU and compare that to say an i5 desktop CPU with the same graphics card.

  20. kingrob says:

    Oh, and the zotac pcs have two network ports, which is perfect for a VMware or Windows server lab.

  21. Pazz says:

    No M2 drive on the NUC6CAYH thoug so Storage options are limited as there’s only 1x SATA. Fine if you’ve got a NAS though.

  22. Joe says:

    Yeah, you’re right about DP, I thought it didn’t support 4K.

    Only one USB Type-C means I should choose between DP display, Thunderbolt storage and charging a phone. In any case, I’ll have to buy a cable, an adapter or a splitter, and that’s very lame.

    • David says:

      Or hook your display up to HDMI port which leaves the USB Type-C for Thunderbolt and then just charge your phone with USB 3.0.

      I know now why manufacturers get frustrated with I/O design. You just can’t please everyone.

      • Joe says:

        I replied to the wrong comment, but still, I have 2 displays and cannot connect both to HDMI.

        • MattMe says:

          I think it’s a shame that there’s only one USB C too, but it’s better than none.
          I’d say in your scenario that connecting your displays to Thunderbolt makes most sense (assuming you’re daisy-chaining?). You can daisy-chain your storage into that too, so no need for an adaptor. Same goes for the phone, but perhaps using a USB 3 slot for that would suffice?

          It does get to a point though where you realise these little boxes are just that; they’re not intended to suit all cases, they’re compact, easily hidden, quiet, portable boxes. Not intended necessarily to be connected to multiple screens and storage devices.
          The more I/O the better, always, but considering what these are I think they are now, finally, quite well equipped.
          Also consider they run mobile, ultra-portable CPUs which are not intended for desktop-like connectivity and so are restricted through the bus architecture of that.

          At the end of the day if you are requiring so much I/O, in your case multiple screens, external storage, USB devices like smartphones etc, you’re no longer in a compact portable environment. You have a full desktop setup and so having to connect a hub or adaptor of some description is likely to make minimal difference to all the other bits and pieces you have, if you’re honest.

          Having said all that – I wish there were a type C port added alongside the rest of the ports to the front panel, even if it weren’t a thunderbolt one, just a 3.1.
          😉

  23. Bob says:

    Great news regarding the NUC7i3.
    It is listed in the first shop.

    Pricing: 378,60€

    https://www.imsuperstore.de/techbeam/VERSION_2.2.1/?file=productdetail.htm&ref=psmido&sku=1358303

  24. Kristoffer says:

    Anyone know if the NUC can be powered by a display, via the USB-c/thunderbolt port?

  25. Tigerman82 says:

    I’m having trouble deciding over the i3 and the i5 models. I’m looking for a desktop replacement for light use (email, flash-based web games, browsing, watching and streaming max. 1080p video) and something that will last for at least 5-7 years (this NUC would replace my Early 2009 Mac Mini that can no longer stream HD without the video being extremely laggy). Obviously the i5 model would be a great choice but I’m wondering if, in my use, the sacrifice of lower power consumption and possibly lower fan noise of the i3 model is justified when compared to what the i5 brings to the table — or is the i5 just an overkill for my needs.

    • SuperG says:

      I always say get the most processing power you can afford. With the CPU’s soldered into the motherboard, you can’t upgrade, nor can you predict what you may need in the future. What you may not need now, could be what you need later 🙂

  26. Dave says:

    I am looking at the i3 for a specific Plex embedded function. I would like to passthrough HD audio via HDMI to my aging yet very expensive and high quality HDMI1.4 AVR, and use the USB-C DisplayPort to a HDMI2.0 4K display for playing back 10-bit content.

    My question is simply has anyone experiences splitting audio from video as I described? Or, should I accept defeat and just got with the Celeron and work out another way to get 7.1 DTS-HD/TrueHD to my AVR?

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