Running The Intel NUC6i7KYK On Linux With Skylake Iris Pro Graphics

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 29 December 2016 at 09:09 AM EST. Page 1 of 2. 20 Comments.

I've managed to get my hands on an Intel NUC6i7KYK "Skull Canyon" NUC featuring the Core i7 6770HQ Skylake CPU with Iris Pro Graphics 580. When paired with 32GB of RAM and a Samsung 950 PRO 500GB NVMe SSD, it makes for a very speedy, small form factor Linux-friendly PC.

This week I've started out testing the NUC6i7KYK under Linux. Many more benchmarks will come in the days ahead, just wanted to share some initial thoughts for those that may be looking at a post-holiday PC upgrade. This latest Intel NUC comes in a 211 x 116 x 28 mm sized enclosure, making it very slim while offering a lot of potential with the i7-6770HQ CPU, dual M.2 SATA3/NVMe SSD slots, dual channel DDR4-2133+ SO-DIMMs, Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 Gen 2, Wireless-AC 8260 WiFi onboard, and HDMI 2.0 / mini DP 1.2 / DisplayPort 1.2 Type-C.

This Core i7 Skylake NUC currently retails for $525 USD on Amazon without any storage or RAM. The Core i7-6770HQ is a quad-core CPU with Hyper Threading (eight logical cores), 2.6GHz base frequency, and 3.5GHz turbo frequency with a 45 Watt TDP. The onboard Iris Pro Graphics 580 have a base frequency of 350MHz and a maximum dynamic frequency of 950MHz. The Iris Pro Graphics 850 can support 4K displays -- 24Hz when using HDMI or 60Hz with DisplayPort.

So far in my testing of this NUC6i7KYK, it's been working well with Linux. Ubuntu 16.10 has been my primary target thus far but will be running other distribution benchmarks in the days ahead -- in fact, will be using it for my year-end desktop/gaming distribution comparison on the Intel side. The wireless, Ethernet, UEFI, DP / HDMI, Iris Pro SKL 3D graphics, and all other key functionality has been working in my tests thus far with the only feature I haven't tested as of writing yet is the Thunderbolt 3.

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