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March 6, 2018

Intel’s Radeon-backed ‘Hades Canyon’ mini PC runs games at 1080p, Ultra graphics

by John_A

Korean site Playwares recently published a review with benchmarks from Intel’s upcoming $999 “Hades Canyon” miniature PC. The review is no longer online, but that didn’t stop sleuths from grabbing everything they could before the article went offline, including the NUC’s hardware breakdown and gaming performance. The big deal is that the device sports a new “module” cramming together Intel’s processor with discrete AMD graphics into one chip.

For starters, here are the module’s specifications: 

Module: 

Core i7-8809G 

CPU architecture: 

Kaby Lake-G (14nm) 

Cores: 

4 

Threads: 

8 

Base speed: 

3.10GHz 

Max speed: 

4.20GHz 

L3 Cache: 

8MB 

Power use: 

100 watts (total package) 

Integrated graphics: 

Intel HD Graphics 630 

Base speed: 

350MHz 

Boost speed: 

1.10GHz 

Discrete graphics: 

AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH Graphics
(RX Vega 24) 

Compute units: 

24 

Cores: 

1,536 stream processors 

Base speed: 

1,063MHz 

Max speed: 

1,190MHz 

FP32 Performance (max): 

3.7 TFLOPS 

Discrete GPU dedicated memory: 

4GB HBM2 

Memory bandwidth: 

204.8GB/s 

Memory bus: 

1024-bit 

Memory clock: 

1.6Gb/s 

According to the benchmarks, AMD’s discrete GPU provides almost the same performance (3.7 TFLOPS) as Nvidia’s current GeForce GTX 1060 card (4.0 TFLOPS), only it’s part of a complete module with direct access to the CPU and dedicated memory. 

But how well does Hades Canyon perform as a gaming “machine” despite its small form factor size? Take a look at the numbers in frames-per-second (the higher the better): 

 Game

Default
Average 

Overclocked
Average 

Rise of the Tomb Raider
1080P / Ultra / DX12 

45.36 

50.5 

Total War: Warhammer
1080P / Ultra / DX12 

27.3 

30.1 

The Division
1080P / Ultra / DX12 

41.5 

46.8 

For Honor
Ultra 

47.44 (1080P)
33.26 (1440P) 

52.46 (1080P)
36.57 (1440P) 

Assassin’s Creed Origins
1080P / Ultra 

34 

40 

Rainbow Six Siege
1080P / Ultra 

85.1 

94.7 

Metro 2033 Redux
Very High 

53.81 (1080P)
32.78 (1440P) 

57.59 (1080P)
36.62 (1440P) 

Overwatch
1080P / Epic 

65.15 

81.41 

Battlegrounds
1080P / Custom 

65.15 

69.53 

Tekken 7
Ultra 

60.75 (1080P)
51.13 (1440P) 

60.97 (1080P)
57.31 (1440P) 

Here we weeded out the synthetic tests – benchmarking games after disabling hardware and/or software to generate higher numbers – and a few minimum frame count entries. AMD’s discrete GPU appears to run just fine at 1,920 x 1080 with Ultra graphics settings, but gamers may want to consider cranking down the visual level a notch to squeeze out better 1080p performance.  

On the processor side, Intel’s refreshed seventh-generation CPU cores (Intel says they’re 8th Gen H-Series) managed a 5268 single-core score in Geekbench, and a 17183 multi-core score. Overclocked, the module saw a single-core score of 5571 and a multi-core score of 18788.

Finally, here are the specifications for the reviewed Hades Canyon NUC: 

Model 

NUC8i7HVK 

Module: 

Core i7-8809G 

Memory: 

2x empty SODIMM slots
Up to 32GB DDR4 @ 2400MHz+ 

Storage: 

1x empty M.2 22×40 slot
1x empty M.2 22×80 slot 

Connectivity: 

Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.2 

Ports (front): 

1x SDXC card slot
1x HDMI 2.0a
1x USB-C 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps)
2x USB-A 3.1 Gen1 (5Gbps, one charges)
1x Headphone jack 

Ports (back): 

2x Thunderbolt 3
1x HDMI 2.0a
4x USB-A 3.1 Gen1
2x Mini DisplayPort
2x Gigabit Ethernet
1x SPDIF audio optical jack 

Audio: 

7.1 multi-channel digital audio 

Power supply: 

230 watts 

Dimensions: 

8.70 x 5.59 x 1.53 inches 

 Intel’s NUC8i7HVK, along with the NUC8i7HNK packing the Core i7-8705G module, is expected to arrive this spring. You’ll need to purchase the memory, storage, and operating system separately. 

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Intel’s ‘Hades Canyon’ NUC packs gaming hardware into just 1.2 liters
  • Intel ‘Hades Canyon’ NUC hands-on review
  • Intel’s chip-packing Radeon graphics slips a brief tease just before CES 2018
  • Lenovo’s updated ThinkPads include T480s with Nvidia MX150, affordable X-Series
  • Intel promises its new CPUs will match Nvidia’s potent GTX 1060, thanks to AMD


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