Windows 10 Installation
Intel does not support any other version of Windows any more, so it’s more or less Windows 10 if you are not taking the Linux-route. There was nothing unexpected in the installation and I was up and running in no time. The Ethernet adapter was fully supported out of the box when the installation finished but I had to download the display and WiFi driver from Intel’s download center.
Intel Graphics driver for Kaby Lake version 4627 was used for all of the following tests and screen resolution was set to 1920×1080. All the benchmarking below was done using Windows 10. The NUC was equipped with two Kingston HX424S13IB/4 memory modules (8GB total, dual-channel active). BIOS version 0042 was installed in the NUC.
Cinebench runs 3 separate benchmarks and gives figures that are comparable between systems. First a simple 3D car chase that measures mainly the GPU (OpenGL) performance. The result is in frames per second. After that there’s a rendering of 3D model with all cores. This stresses purely the CPU. Finally there’s another rendering of the same model, this time using just a single CPU core. I like Cinebench as it is easy to run and each test result correspond quite well with the real world performance of the GPU and the CPU in multi- and single core tasks.
The CPU test indicates that the single core of the NUC7i7BNH is 6.7% faster than the cores in the Skull Canyon NUC, but in the multicore test the Skull Canyon beats the new Kaby Lake i7 by 39% as the newer NUC only has 2 cores versus 4 cores in the Skull Canyon.
Based on the OpenGL test the Iris Plus 650 GPU packs a reasonable punch. The results sit somewhere between the Skylake i5 NUC and the Skull Canyon NUC.
3DMark is a popular benchmarking suite that benchmarks video and gaming performance of the computer. See below for the results and a comparison to the other Kaby Lake and Skylake NUCs.
In each test the Kaby Lake i7 NUC sits in between the Skylake i5 and the Skull Canyon. I expect the Kaby Lake i5 to give only a minor improvement over Skylake i5, but that’s another story for another time.
In Cloud Gate the Skull Canyon is 20% faster.
In Sky Diver the Skull Canyon manages to pull a 15% gap to the Kaby Lake i7.
Whereas in Firestrike the difference is only 10%.
Geekbench single core result 4150 is the best I’ve measured on any NUC.
The multi-core result 8847 is quite a lot behind the quad-core Skull Canyon NUC (result 14028). The Kaby Lake i7 NUC is approximately 50% faster than the i3 version of the same generation.
The complete Geekbench result is available here.
The result for the CPU in the Passmark test is 6722. I haven’t run this test for most of the other NUCs, so I don’t have much data to compare this to.
In the PCMark 8 tests the Kaby Lake i7 NUC manages to pull itself ahead of the Skull Canyon NUC in all three tests. I believe this is due to the tests being executed mainly on one core simultaneously.