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Skull Canyon Questions - Upgrade Path

Residentx
New Contributor II
1,250 Views

I need to send a friend a computer. I'm hoping to send a NUC. 

 

The Skull Canyon has great reviews but I see no modern models for it. 

The skull canyon form factor appeals to me because it's low and so has good ventilation and lots of ports. 

 

1. What is the replacement for it with 11th or 10th Processors?

2. Also, I see some NUCs now with IPUs? How do these work? Does software need to be rewritten to use it? I would love to give them an opportunity to experience the IPU. 

3. Also, the Skull Canyon has 2 M.2 slots, does the Intel bios have a dual boot manager included?

0 Kudos
1 Solution
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,233 Views

Here's answers to your questions,

  1. The direct successor to the NUC6i7KYK (Skull Canyon) is the NUC8i7HNK/NUC8i7HVK (Hades Canyon), which included an AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL/GH graphics engine. Since that is also discontinued, I will move on to its successor, the NUC11PHi7 (Phantom Canyon), which included an NVIDIA RTX2060 graphics engine and supports. Where Skull Canyon was 211x116x28mm, Hades Canyon was larger at 221x142x38mm and Phantom Canyon slightly larger at 221x142x42mm. Skull Canyon and Hades Canyon both supported two M.2 2242/2280 NVMe/SATA SSDs. Phantom Canyon, on the other hand, supports one M.2 2280 NVMe/SATA SSD and one M.2 2280/22110 NVMe SSD.
  2. Here is an introduction to IPUs: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/newsroom/news/infrastructure-processing-unit-data-center.htm.... I will let the article talk for itself.
  3. None of the NUCs have a dual boot manager, per se. You can, however, press the F10 key at the BIOS POST splash screen and open a menu that allows you to pick from any of the installed (or present on USB media) O/Ss.

Hope this helps,

...S

[Edit] P.S. Phantom Canyon also comes with a stand for mounting vertically. Like its predecessors, it also includes support for VESA mounting to the back of a monitor, side/bottom of a desk, etc.

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7 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,234 Views

Here's answers to your questions,

  1. The direct successor to the NUC6i7KYK (Skull Canyon) is the NUC8i7HNK/NUC8i7HVK (Hades Canyon), which included an AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL/GH graphics engine. Since that is also discontinued, I will move on to its successor, the NUC11PHi7 (Phantom Canyon), which included an NVIDIA RTX2060 graphics engine and supports. Where Skull Canyon was 211x116x28mm, Hades Canyon was larger at 221x142x38mm and Phantom Canyon slightly larger at 221x142x42mm. Skull Canyon and Hades Canyon both supported two M.2 2242/2280 NVMe/SATA SSDs. Phantom Canyon, on the other hand, supports one M.2 2280 NVMe/SATA SSD and one M.2 2280/22110 NVMe SSD.
  2. Here is an introduction to IPUs: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/newsroom/news/infrastructure-processing-unit-data-center.htm.... I will let the article talk for itself.
  3. None of the NUCs have a dual boot manager, per se. You can, however, press the F10 key at the BIOS POST splash screen and open a menu that allows you to pick from any of the installed (or present on USB media) O/Ss.

Hope this helps,

...S

[Edit] P.S. Phantom Canyon also comes with a stand for mounting vertically. Like its predecessors, it also includes support for VESA mounting to the back of a monitor, side/bottom of a desk, etc.

Residentx
New Contributor II
1,193 Views

@n_scott_pearson Thanks a lot!!! You knocked out all of questions!

 

1. Phantom looks good. RTX2060.

2. IPUs are amazing can't wait to get experience with it.

3. I need to install linux and windows on a unit. Using F10 is fine for me. I just need to send it to someone for use as a portable desktop skills trainer. The student needs a small portable multicore system to certify with(Windows Server, Kube/K8 and Linux). I was looking for 64/128 GB RAM and i5/i7 6/8 core NUC but I'm looking at NUC elements next before I finalize a purchase.

 My other wish list: is same deal with Xe GPUs(6/8) for AI/OneAPI skills building offline.

 

Thanks for your comments.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,151 Views

It sounds to me like the PH NUC may be complete overkill for this usage model - and it is significantly larger than many of the more-standard NUCs (which are roughly 4"x4"). You might want to consider the NUC11PAHi7, NUC11TNHi7 or NUC11TNHv7. While the second drive would be SATA-based (2.5" HDD), this should be reasonable performing with Linux.

...S

Residentx
New Contributor II
1,139 Views

My reply is just my opinion...I just want to say that first.

 

I don't believe this is overkill because you can never have enough compute. I think Intel is concerned that these units will hurt their larger business products and 3rd parties but they won't. This area can be a different kind of compute. On my desk now, I have a mobile workstation, Zbook Fury, with 16GB video card, 128GB RAM and Dreamcolor but I ALWAYS need more additional compute. Example, I have Firefox, Edge and Chrome with 50-75 windows on each browser and I do work with Creative Cloud. I'm waiting more and more everyday.  I need companion compute like a jump drive for storage.

 

I've spent this weekend looking at these models and I'm probably going to buy a HP Z2 mini for the following reasons:

 

1. Upgradeable memory and graphics cards. I can replace and put a better one in the unit.

2. I don't know if Intel NUCs can take the refresh Skus?  I need to be able to upgrade within the processor generation. This by itself will give product 5-10 years of life. You make the money on the blades(processors).  Old processors are still valuable. Example, if I buy a celeron (which I despise and hate the name, LMFAO) but later I need more cores I need to be able to switch out to i3/i5/i7/i9 or Xeon (edit: not Xeon because uses ECC memory).  This request sounds simple but I know it's hard but this model will let you focus on your CORE business (chips). Less boards..less stuff to inventory, less supply chain energy. Money spent in fewer areas. Spend just what you need to win!

 

3. I don't need all these ports. It's 2 USB/USB-C, and either Serial, Thunderbolt, HDMI or add ethernet, usb hubs by partners.

I know building boards with embedded stuff is cheaper to mfg but Intel needs to look closer at this model.

 

I need more powerful portable compute for AI or Kube apps & development. 4 Processors today is not enough.  6 or 8 is better but the sweet spot is 8/12/16 cores. Celeron would be acceptable in this format. Access to this with Thunderbolt or WIFI is all I need.

 

The USE cases:

Workforce retraining (Multi-OS Boot)

Student learning with predictable costs that can be shared with teams of students

Compute challenges (varies)

32-64GB of memory and  4 processors is not enough for vms, k8, and ML workloads. This model works for web browsing, file downloading and movie watching for a individual.

 

Residentx
New Contributor II
1,139 Views

I do like the opportunity with the nuc components, I wish I could snap processor modules side by side for more compute.

The ruggized fanless should be a winner. I was going to buy that one until I saw it only had 8GB of RAM but I think this will be  applied for IOT projects.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,130 Views

Intel is not concerned at all; I don't know where you would get an idea like that. NUC sales are a tiny, tiny blip compared to the boxed processor and (chipset, etc.) silicon products. 

The traditional NUCs fit into a specific (UCFF) formfactor With these NUCs, there is no opportunity to upgrade the processor and no method (well, other than TBT) to add (connect) discrete cards. If this doesn't meet your needs, then this isn't the product line for you. [Aside: based upon your described usage model, I still say you are talking overkill. Regardless, that's your choice to make. Most people have fixed (obviously smaller that yours) budgets and can't afford (pun intended?) to think like that.]

Now, with Ghost/Queens Canyon, Beast Canyon and future derivative designs, you do have an opportunity for add-in cards, but you are looking at replacing the whole Compute Element if you want to upgrade. If this also methodology isn't for you, fine, go to the larger (ITX, uATX, etc.) formfactor designs that give you those opportunities.

Off my soapbox now...

...S

Residentx
New Contributor II
774 Views

@n_scott_pearson Trying to close these tickets out and reward the kudos and solutions. Intel Innovation was last week and I got a lot of answers.

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