Comet Lake i7 NUC Review (NUC10i7FNH/K)

Performance

The Comet Lake CPUs are still manufactured with 14 nm process but at least there are six cores available. BIOS version 0037 was used for these benchmarks.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench runs 3 separate benchmarks and provides us 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. Second there’s a rendering of 3D model with all cores. This stresses purely the CPU. This test is repeated with single core/thread and using multiple cores and threads.

The CPU test starts with promising results. The single core of the NUC10i7FNK is just a tiny bit faster than the core of NUC8i7BEH. However, there are two more of those cores this time! This gives the Comet Lake i7 NUC a 15.7% advantage over the previous i7 NUC. It’s also clearly faster than the Hades Canyon NUC (NUC8i7HVK) in this test.

The OpenGL test that puts more emphasis on the GPU processing power is another story. The NUC10i7FNK with its UHD Graphics 620 GPU is significantly slower than any of the Coffee Lake NUCs or the Kaby Lake i7 NUC that’s already two years old. Of course all of these are sporting the much more powerful Iris Plus GPU. In any case the Comet Lake i7 NUC is almost 33% slower than the Coffee Lake i7 NUC in this test.

3DMark

My expectations were not high before running the 3DMark as the benchmarking suite tests mainly the video and gaming performance of the computer.

And as expected, the NUC10i7FNK cannot hold a candle to the 2019 NUC models. Of course, this was expected as the NUC10i7FNK CPU has a lower TDP and a worse GPU.

Geekbench 3

Things look again better in Geekbench 3 test where the NUC10i7FNK achieves the highest score I’ve ever measured in the multi-core test. Single core result is on par with the NUC8i7BEH but multicore result is significantly better (+37.4%).

Passmark

Also in the Passmark CPU tests the NUC10i7FNK beats the competition.

Dirt 3

As always, I did run the benchmark of Dirt 3. It’s an older game, but gives you an idea of real world performance.

There’s a strong correlation between the 3DMark results and these scores. Bean Canyon beats Frost Canyon NUC hands down.

Power Consumption

I do use a consumer-grade simple EM240 power meter made by Brennenstuhl to measure the power consumption. There’s no guarantee that any of the readings are 100% accurate, but at least the figures should be comparable between units I’ve reviewed since the same device was used.

TaskPower
Stand-by2.5 W
Idle, Windows 10 desktop8.4 W
Watching a 4K video in Kodi, Windows 1020.4 W
CPU-Z stress test93 W initially,
scales down to
57 W after a while.

The fan noise of the NUC is about the same as previous model. Meaning it’s pretty quiet when not heavily loaded and then again under heavier loads it’s audible. I’d compare the fan noise to a gaming laptop.

Contents

16 Responses

  1. johnt78 says:

    It’s a pass from me. UHD graphics Intel, really?

  2. Damian says:

    All I want is a nuc that can play Ultra HD 4k discs via an external player. That’s all. :(

  3. Juan Carlos says:

    Many thanks for your review. Your blog is, to me, *the* information place about NUC.

  4. Ref nuc says:

    I have last years nuc8i3 and the logitech k380 keyboard, when I dual boot windows 10 both x64bit I lose bluetooth connection to the keyboard

    I not sure why but you can use the nuc bios with bluetooth?

    When I get to the windows dual boot screen I can not select which OS I want to boot it’s really annoying

    I also have logitech m720 triathlon mouse and get same issue

    Any ideas?

  5. Jaap says:

    Thanks for the review! I read the SD card slot has not only become full size, it has become much faster as well supporting UHS-II.

  6. INTC says:

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/29530/Intel-Graphics-Windows-10-DCH-Drivers

    “Unlocked drivers: We heard how much our users want the freedom to upgrade their systems to our regularly released generic graphics drivers and enable our latest game enhancements, feature updates, and fixes. As of this release, Intel Graphics DCH drivers are now unlocked to upgrade freely between Computer Manufacturer (OEM) drivers and the Intel generic graphics drivers on Download Center. Simply use the exe and enjoy the update on your 6th Generation Intel Processor platform or higher, and don’t worry about your OEM customizations–they remain intact with each upgrade and the OEMs can maintain customizations separately via Microsoft* Windows Update. Intel Drivers and Support Assistant drivers will also be unlocked starting April 28th, 2020. See the Release Notes section *4 for important information about this update.”

    Intel 26.20.100.8141 graphics driver.

  7. roop says:

    Ok, this NUC is a mess. I mean with a weaker GPU it would be great as an Server, because they, mostly, dont need high graphics. BUT, it looks like the CPU has thermal issues. I mean, 2 more cores, HT and a smaller GPU. This Thing should yield much better Results.

    Next Gen Nuc (11) seems to be the real deal. 2.5 gbit/s networking, new Gen Graphics and maybe much better Performance. Let’s see what Intel has to offer then.

  8. INTC says:

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/29557/Intel-Graphics-Windows-10-DCH-Drivers

    “This driver is WDDM 2.7 compliant and ready for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. It introduces support for Dolby Vision and the new DirectX 12 Shader Model 6.5 compiler on 7th Generation Intel Core processors or higher (Intel HD Graphics 610 or higher).”

    Intel 27.20.100.8190 WDDM 2.7 driver.

  9. Starlinq says:

    @Ref nuc From what I have seen from Intel NUC support web site, an operation of bluetooth keyboards in BIOS is not supported! You can use only any USB keyboard (including those wireless ones with separated USB receiver).

  10. edcentric says:

    I miss the Iris. Had a 6i5 die on me (intermittent power related issues). I wanted to go to an 8I7 but the there was a premium over the 10i7 and this was to be a lower budget build re-using the memory (2×16) NVME M.2 drive and a Samsung SSD. I’ll survive for now, but better graphics would really be helpful.
    Another nice machine and well built.
    And as they have said I have a wired KB and wireless mouse with USB receiver.
    My wife is happy again.

  11. Smot says:

    The NUC10i7FNH won’t work with Ubuntu 20.04 – the fan never starts (regardless of the BIOS setting) and the system just gets hotter & hotter until it shuts down. Typically I get 15-20 minutes use before it dies,
    Not impressed!

    • Starlinq says:

      I quite understand your disappointment. However trying Ubuntu on new hardware and doing it without known reports of successful running is risky. Also, a Linux is well known of some delays in support of just released hardware. I currently run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on two computers, NUC7 and NUC8 models. Both models are perfectly supported by version 18.04. For quick test, I tried to run Ubuntu 20.04 on the NUC8i3BEH, and I found no problems!

    • NUC10User says:

      I’m typing this on NUC10 and Ubuntu 20.04 and the fan does run (I can hear it). Maybe there’s something else wrong? I have the latest 0039 BIOS though.

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