Intel Skull Canyon NUC Unveiled, Will Pair With Razer Core External GPU Dock

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Hellcatm

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To bad there isn't such a thing (that I know of) as an external PCIe port to hook it up to. I don't think this as is would be fast enough for hard core gaming?
 

Eximo

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To bad there isn't such a thing (that I know of) as an external PCIe port to hook it up to. I don't think this as is would be fast enough for hard core gaming?
That is exactly what a thunderbolt port is. More or less direct access to the PCIe bus.
 

atheus

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I find this type of product incredibly interesting — a muscular compact system with robust integrated graphics plus a pathway to make it into a powerful high-end gaming pc. I think the $500 price tag on that external GPU dock is the Achilles heel to this and all compatible systems. It makes so much sense that someone who is moderately curious about high-end gaming might buy a system like this, or a similar laptop with the idea that they're getting darn near the best money can buy for CPU/SSD/motherboard, plus some fairly decent graphics handling, while leaving the door open to adding a GPU later on. This scenario is completely derailed by the $500 price tag to the external GPU dock, though, which makes the price/performance ratio more top heavy than Dolly Parton.

I don't know what it is that makes the external GPU dock so expensive, but my hope is that price is just full of margin and that some competing products can deflate it down to sub-$250 where I imagine it belongs.
 

Brian_R170

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Agree atheus, $650 for the NUC is expensive, but the $500 for a box, 500W PSU and much less circuitry/connectors than a low-end motherboard contains really should be closer to $200. Hopefully, volume and competition will drive down the price over time.
 
Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) is enough for a GTX980 @ 1440p, PCIe Gen1.1 is only 32Gbps, and this article shows that it is fine. http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/pci_express_scalin...
Generally, but there is a bit more to the story than that . . .

That bandwidth is both ways --- combined. TB3 is 20Gbps each way, or PCIe x4 Gen3. For the most part the impact is negligible - 4- to 5% on average depending upon resolution and bandwidth...





In some graphically intense gaming it can reach nearly 10% ...


It of course varies from game-to-game and resolution but generally speaking the bandwidth (or lack thereof) becomes less and less of an issue as you scale higher in resolution. Odd, that.

From Techpowerup

 

Brian_R170

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this is for the dummies, they pay $650 for the NUC, $500 for Razer GPU Box and $650 for a 980 Ti (anything less is stupid to put in a $500 box). That gives you a total of $1800.
You forgot to add the cost of RAM, SSD, and OS, which brings it up from 1800 to $2150 !!!

Interestingly, I think your "this is for the dummies" comment is actually the appeal of this device.

Consider if you bought a smallish Mini-ITX system with integrated graphics and you later wanted to upgrade to high-end discrete graphics. At best, the upgrade path is to buy and install the new graphics card with all of the possible power, heat, and fitment issues that come with it. At worst, you buy a new case and PSU and transfer all of your components into it. Not a big deal for you and me, but a deal-breaker for the vast majority of PC users.

If you had bought a Skull Canyon, the path to high-end discrete graphics is the cost of the Razer Core and graphics card. At best the Razer Core comes with the graphics card already installed and the installation takes only seconds to plug in cables. At worst, you have to install the graphics card into the Razer Core, then plug in all the cables. I can see the appeal of that for a lot of people, and if those are people willing to pay the price, then I welcome them to the world of PC gaming.
 

mgutt

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The main unit as an ultrabook makes more sense to me (like Razr did). But finally I miss two Thunderbolt ports . e.g. first port for external gpu (exclusive bandwith) and the second port for an "universal core" so I'm able to connect drives or extend functionallity (eSATA, USB 4, fiber, modems, etc.). A reduced bandwith like Thunderbolt 1 for this second port should be enough.
 

kinney

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Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) is enough for a GTX980 @ 1440p, PCIe Gen1.1 is only 32Gbps, and this article shows that it is fine. http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/pci_express_scaling_game_performance_analysis_review,7.html
Good find.

I'd add, while they're both 40Gb/sec interfaces, there's less overhead on Thunderbolt3 than PCIE 1.0 x16. Thunderbolt will have a 20% bandwidth or 1GB/sec edge. Which as your link shows, won't matter much.
 
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