Intel Officially Launches Baby Canyon NUCs with Kaby Lake: Thunderbolt Makes a Re-entryby Ganesh T S on January 17, 2017 2:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- Trade Shows
- Thunderbolt 3
- Kaby Lake
- CES 2017
The Baby Canyon NUCs were leaked in July 2016, and Intel officially launched the units at CES 2017. The first-generation NUCs based on Ivy Bridge had a SKU with Thunderbolt support. However, Thunderbolt went missing till it came back in the Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) last year. The Alpine Ridge controller for Thunderbolt 3 also integrates a USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller, making the Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port quite versatile. The Baby Canyon NUCs bring Thunderbolt back into the UCFF NUC form-factor. All the Baby Canyon NUCs have the Alpine Ridge controller. However, the i3 model is limited by firmware, allowing the Type-C port to support only USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Display Port 1.2. The i7 and i5 models have full Thunderbolt 3 support.
The leaked specifications we wrote about in July were more or less accurate, and the official specifications allow us to fill in some of the missing blanks. The updated table is presented below. SKUs ending with K are units that do not support a 2.5" drive (only M.2 SSDs are supported).
|Intel Baby Canyon NUC PCs|
28 W TDP
15 W TDP
15 W TDP
|Graphics||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|PCH||Intel Sunrise Point-LP for Kaby Lake-U|
|Memory||Two SO-DIMM slots, up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133|
|2.5" bay||1x2.5"/9.5mm bay, SATA3||None||1x2.5"/9.5 mm bay, SATA3||None|
|M.2 Slot||Up to M.2-2280 SSD with SATA3 or PCIe 3.0 x4 interface|
|Wi-Fi/BT||Soldered-down Intel Wireless-AC 8265 (802.11ac 2x2 + BT 4.2) with WiDi support|
|Ethernet||Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet controller|
|Display Outputs||DisplayPort 1.2 via USB-C connector
|Audio||3.5 mm TRRS audio jack
7.1 channel audio output via HDMI or DP
|1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C (40 Gbps) (USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Display Port functionality included)||1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (with Display Port functionality included)|
|USB||4 USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps), one with charging|
|Other I/O||MicroSDXC card reader with UHS-I support
One infrared receiver
|Size (mm)||115 × 111 × 51||115 × 111 × 31||115 × 111 × 51||115 × 111 × 31|
|PSU||External, 65 W|
|OS||Compatible with Windows 7/8.1/10|
|Product Page||NUC7i7BNH Specifications||NUC7i5BNH Specifications||NUC7i5BNK Specifications||NUC7i3BNH Specifications||NUC7i3BNK Specifications|
In terms of appearance, the chassis sides now have a shade of gray to provide a better look when seen along with the black lid. We have a micro-SDXC slot on the side (a full-sized SDXC slot couldn't apparently work with their thermal design). In terms of performance, Kaby Lake should provide the claimed 7 - 11% improvement over the corresponding Skylake products. The new NUCs are also Optane-ready - allowing Optane M.2 SSDs to work seamlessly in conjunction with 2.5" hard drives in the future (when the Optane SSDs come into the market). One important thing to note here is that the i7 model uses a 28W TDP SKU (the Core i7-7567U), compared to the 15W TDP SKUs used in the i3 and i5 models. The i7 and i5 models have Iris Plus graphics with 64MB of eDRAM. None of the Baby Canyon NUCs support vPro. HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 is supported, thanks to the inclusion of a LSPCon in the BOM. This should make the units into perfect HTPCs with Netflix 4K capability. Compared to the NUCs from the last few generations, these units are not a big upgrade in terms of unique features for other use-cases. Generally speaking, we are not convinced that the Optane-ready feature is a big enough reason to upgrade to the Baby Canyon NUCs. That said, the i7 model should prove pretty interesting to compare against the Broadwell-U Iris NUC.
The NUC7i3BNH with the neutered Alpine Ridge Controller
(Note that the Type-C port only carries the SS10 / DP logos)
Intel indicated that the kits are slated to come into the market over the next few months at price points similar to the current Skylake versions. While official MSRPs were not provided, we see the NUC7i7BNH for pre-order at $700, the NUC7i5BNH at $610, and the NUC7i3BNH at $496.
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CaedenV - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - linkNope, they added it for 'just one more' generation.
But seriously, win7 will continue to work fine on new chips. It may not be as optimized, but it will still run all the same.
Oubadah - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - linkSkylake was the "just one more" generation.
Oubadah - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - linkBy the way, the question is not "will it work", it's will Microsoft deny updates to Windows 7 running on the new hardware (as they have previously threatened to do). Also, Intel has stated that it will not provide official Kaby Lake drivers for Windows 7, so I'd like to know the implications of that. Having to rely on Windows 7 default drivers for, say, AHCI has usually meant inferior SSD performance. I don't really care about lack of software support for gimmick features like speedshift (although maybe this isn't such a gimmick for NUCs).
Michael Bay - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkWhat sort of updates? 7 only receives security now.
nowayandnohow - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkyou CAN use windows 7, but you shouldn't. It SUPPORTS windows 7, but no one sayd you should get it with windows 7. It also supports windows xp, but no one is bitching about that. Figure out the difference between recommended and supported.
awehring - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - link@Ganesh: from where is your information regarding Windows 7 / 8.1?
At the NUC support page all the drivers are only for Windows 10 / 64 bit.
Windows 7 / 8.1 support is not mentioned there.
nowayandnohow - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkit's supported - not recommended. Windows 7 is probably the easiest and most compatible OS to install today, and tons of people and businesses still buy it. It does NOT say you should buy windows 7, but rather by default it is supported.
dgingeri - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - linkStill none with dual NICs. Well, Intel is leaving the custom built home router market wide open for others.
nowayandnohow - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkto be fair though, a USB3 dongle NIC will make this in to whatever you need for it to be. Most USBC dongles comes with a NIC just for giggles and laughs these days. I think i bought a dongle for USBc with a DVI connector, a gigabit NIC, and 2 USB3 ports for like $13 from newegg (Dell branded). The whole point of USBc is that it should connect whatever you need to expand the box with.
mrdude - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - linkAny indication that Intel is taking their graphics drivers seriously? I currently see absolutely no point in investing into Iris pro graphics if it shows no performance improvement over HD520/620 in certain (even current triple A) titles.
Currently, Intel seems to be hell-bent on wasting die space