Power Consumption, Pricing, and Availability
For power testing, we monitored power consumption of our test systems both at idle, as well as a gaming scenario in Far Cry 5.
Under a gaming load, the NUC8i7HVK surprisingly wasn't the lowest power device. At 140.8 Watts, it consumed 13.2 Watts more than the 1050 Ti system, but 16.4 Watts less than the RX 560-based setup.
At idle, the Hades Canyon NUC achieved an impressive 17.6W, almost 30W less than the rest of the systems and showing the mobile pedigree of this platform.
The highest end Hades Canyon NUC, the NUC8i7HVK, with Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics has an MSRP of $999. Keep in mind, this is for a barebones kit, and you'll need to provide your own DDR4 SODIMM memory, as well as an M.2 Storage device.
In the configuration Intel provided us for this review, with 16GB of Kingston HyperX DDR4-3200 memory, as well as both an Intel Optane 800p 118GB and an Intel 545s 500GB SSD, the total configuration cost comes out to a staggering $1700 or so at current prices, with a license of Windows 10 Home.
For my money, I would go for a more reasonable configuration. Ditching the Optane 800p, and going strictly with a 500GB M.2 SATA SSD such as the Western Digital Blue. Additionally, you should see little performance hit by going to slower DDR4 memory, such as DDR4-2400. Keep in mind that despite being an integrated graphics solution, Kaby Lake-G has it's own onboard HBM 2 memory, so you aren't sharing system memory with the graphics subsystem.
In my more modest configuration, the NUC8i7HVK would run you about $1400. Compared to a full desktop system built around the i5-8400 and GTX 1050 Ti combo, this is about a $300 price premium. Additional savings could be found by dropping down to the cheaper NUC8i7HNK option with the i7-8705G, however since we haven't had the chance to test that processor, we can't speak to the performance differences.
Keep in mind that the additional money is providing tremendous space savings over the tradition PC with a mid-tower case.
The Hades Canyon NUC and the Kaby Lake-G i7-8809G provide a big step forward for Intel. Their first processor with truly competitive graphics embedded, hopefully, this project isn't a one-off and is more indicative of an Intel that sees the competition in the market space and is responding appropriately.
While naturally there is a price premium over a similar performance level desktop PC, I don't think it's as severe of a compromise as most people have predicted. Unlike the Skull Canyon NUC, Hades Canyon provides a viable solution for gamers looking for a compact PC solution. Similarly, Hades Canyon would provide a great solution for gamers looking for an HTPC solution, albeit at 1080p only.
I'm very excited to get my hands on more devices equipped with Intel 8th Gen Core Processor with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics. There are still a few unknowns, such as how the 65W versions of these chips will perform in more thermally constrained notebooks, but I think the Kaby Lake-G platform has great promise and the NUC8i7HVK is a great showcase.
The Intel Hades Canyon NUCs are set to be available for pre-order tomorrow (3/30), and will be shipping later in April.