updated 07:07 am EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Next generation of Intel NUC show potential for use as gaming systems
The second generation of Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) may offer a considerable speed boost compared to the original, according to leaked slides. NUC 2.0 is said to include at least two variants with high-enough specifications that the compact computers could end up being used for gaming, and potentially as a Steam Machine system.
Slides leaked by FanlessTech suggest the next version of NUC will use Broadwell and Braswell-based Core i3 and Core i5 processors, notes ExtremeTech, with models supporting up to 8GB or 16GB of DDR3 RAM depending on the model. The systems will also have four USB 3.0 ports, two internal headers for USB 2.0, mini HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs capable of 4K video, headphone and microphone jacks, and optional optical audio.
It is also believed the systems will opt to primarily use an M.2 drive for storage instead of a 2.5-inch internal drive, though both will apparently be usable. M.2 drives are similar to mSATA drives in concept, but are typically much smaller, with the drive consisting of SSD storage mounted onto a compact card which slots directly into the motherboard of a computer.
Pricing for some of the systems could be quite low, depending on specification, with $150 for a base unit being touted. The slides show Intel are aiming for a 2015 launch of NUC 2.0, with at least one gaming model expected in the first quarter.