Can You Replace a Laptop With a Tiny Computer?!


j[Intro Music] Hey, how’s it going, guys? This is Dave 2D, and this is the Intel Skull Canyon NUC. So I picked this thing up about 4 or 5 months ago. Super cool device, but I kind of wasted its powers. I connected it to a TV and used it as a media device. It’s capable of so much more, but because it had an IR receiver up front, I thought it would be kind of cool to just use it as a media center. I totally squandered its powers. Now, a month ago, I decided, “Why don’t I just use this thing as my main device?” because I use a laptop normally, and I thought, “I have a screen, a mouse, and a keyboard at work, “and I have a screen, a mouse, and a keyboard at home. “Why don’t I just bring this thing back and forth “and use it as if it were a ‘laptop’ without it actually being a laptop?” So I tried it. These are my thoughts. Aside from emails and regular work,
I edit videos and I play games, so port selection is important to me. The important ones are the SD card reader for my video files, four USB 3 ports, display outputs (including an HDMI 2), and a Thunderbolt 3. This is super important for me
for what I want to do with this because I need an external GPU. On the inside, we have two RAM slots.
I have 32 GB of DDR4. Then there are two M.2 drive slots. Having two drives is really clutch
for editing in Premier, and then not having to use external ones is even better. The CPU and the internal GPU can’t be upgraded;
those are soldered on. It’s running an Intel 6770HQ
and an Intel Iris Pro 580 graphics chip. This thing is a powerful computer in a tiny package. So, performance wise, for regular work stuff, obviously, it just burns through it, but the big question I had was
how it handles 4K video edits, and I was pleasantly surprised. Importing the footage, working with the footage, everything in terms of the editing process was fast, as long as you had two drives installed, but renders were slow. The integrated GPU isn’t an Nvidia chip,
so it has no CUDA cores, and it ends up using OpenCL to render. The solution is the Razer Core. I have a GTX 1080 in there, and when you plug this thing up, it just flies. I’m getting similar render times to a quad core desktop with the GTX 1080, so something like a five minute video would render in 10 or 12 minutes with the Razer Core, or an hour without it. So in my particular case, I leave the Razer Core at home When I can, I edit videos at work, but then when I get home, I can render those videos a lot faster using the Razer Core if I want to. Gaming is also not bad. Obviously, with the Razer Core and a GTX 1080, this thing crushes games,
but even if you want to use the integrated chip, the Iris Pro 580 is capable of
pushing out decent frame rates. It’s not for hardcore gaming, but if you want to play stuff like
Overwatch or Starcraft, you can get some playable frame rates, even at 1080p. I wouldn’t recommend competing at
tournaments with this thing, but the occasional casual game runs reasonably well. Fan noise on idle is audible, but relatively quiet. Fan noise on load is louder, but because it’s a tiny PC,
you can position it further away from you, unlike a laptop. I didn’t experience any thermal throttling even when I was editing videos or gaming, but running certain benchmarks,
it does get hot enough to throttle. It comes with a backplate
to mount it behind monitors and stuff, and it also has a second top cover without the skull if you find it too spooky or something. So this uses a 120 watt AC adapter,
and it’s not huge or anything, but if you want to bring this thing back and forth, it’s a pain in the butt. So what I did is I actually purchased a second AC adapter, just a generic, $30 AC adapter, and it just makes the whole process a lot easier. So now, the only thing you have to bring back and forth is just the unit itself. The last thing I want to mention is pricing. This thing retails for around $600 right now
as a barebones kit, so you’ll need to pop in your own storage and memory. So it’s not the cheapest computer out there. I mean, barebones kits are
never going to be the best value, but you’re getting a really unique form factor and for the $150 price premium
that you’re paying for this, it’s not a bad value. So overall, I really like the Skull Canyon NUC. It’s not something I can recommend to everyone
who’s looking for a laptop. The usage scenario is really specific, but I’m sure there are certain people out there who can totally fit this into their workflow, and I’m glad that I could
share this experience with you guys. Hope you guys enjoyed this video! Thumbs if you liked it,
Subs if you loved it. It’s been nice, and I’ll see you guys next time! [Outro music]
[CC provided by Sam Medley]

100 thoughts on “Can You Replace a Laptop With a Tiny Computer?!

  1. I have one of these also, I think what it really needs is a dock, especially if you're going to transport it back and forth. I originally bought it as a steam box but some games won't run on it because of the intel graphics. So now I'm just using it as a mediabox mostly and some programming.

  2. now if only you can add some modular parts to this thing like a battery, keyboard and screen be an awesome little laptop!

  3. can´t wait til tablets morph into full fledged work stations and you can carry your main computer around with you like a paperback.

  4. I feel like while these are great for what they are, I'd opt for a laptop or tablet for a functional portable device on its own. For something of this utility, I'd rather an Itel Compute stick or the like. Great video!

  5. I bet if you had some way to integrate a screen onto that NUC, along with a keyboard and some sort of compact mouse-emulating pointing device, it would make a great portable computer.

  6. What do you have for DDR4 memory? Its clear you are using 32 GB, but I want to know the brand 🙂
    What would you recommend? I want to get this bad boy for home (video editing mostly), and I am clear what type of SSD M.2 I will get 😉

    Thanks!

  7. Hey David, great video! Do you know if it is possible to use the Intel NUC6i7KYK Mini PC NUC as an external CPU multi thread through thunderbolt on a Razor Blade Stealth laptop? Im trying to build a computer that I could use for my studies at ArtCenter Pasadena for their entertainment design program and I would like to have the ability to use Cuda, live render preview, voxels and handle render times at home while retaining a lightweight high performance machine for anything but rendering and texturing while out.

  8. how much performance are you losing with the core?? I remember Jayztwocents made a couple of videos comparing a thunderbolt3 enclosure and there was a respectable loss in perfomance

  9. i have a such one. it's pretty good. ein bad thing, if u play hight perfor. 3D Game, it could die,too much heat

  10. completely stupid buy for me, you need s screen so goes the portability and also not upgradeable etc useless

  11. Razor Core is waste and nobody should get one, 30-40% perf.hit And why buy a small skull candy and then buy a huge egpu box and buy a huge gpu only to have it bottlenecked 30-40% essentially killng its performance? make a mini atx gaming pc and be happy.

  12. this would be exactly what I need. if it had a mobile gtx 1070 inside and exceptional cooling. it would be a bit larger and a lot more expensive. and perfect. I wonder if such things exist at all..
    I mean a small monitor is kind of useless, I need a normal monitor. and a keyboard, cuz laptop keyboards get too hot. so.. really.. the ideal computer for me would be a tiny brick, so I can connect peripherals.
    I tried a mini pc, it was far from mini, and had the weight of a normal pc. I sent it back.

  13. after the warranty period PCs can be fix by replacing the parts. can anyone tell me where can I find this systems replacement parts?

  14. i busted out laughing when you pulled out the razer core. Thing is the same size as a fully built mini itx gaming rig. What a joke piece of trash. Just get a Zotac Magnus with a good mobile GPU already and skip the middle man. It makes the trashy intel nuc completely irrelevant.

  15. I would LOVE to see if you can actually make this into a laptop. Throw it into a case and add a battery but you can take it out and use it as a desktop still.
    Thumbs up if you want to see Dave do this??

  16. $600 without OS,Ram,and HDD, with HD graphic card, why don't I just add a little money go get full gaming laptop and cost me less $1000. Lol

  17. theyre complaining about 4k render times being over an hour i remember back then rendering uncompressed 720 which took 4 hours plus!!

  18. I have a question for you bro. Would you take this device over a Helios 300 for gaming. I'm considering this device because of the thunderbolt 3 connection. This is not available on the Helios 300. I'm not sure if I can upgrade the GPU or not. Please respond.

  19. Include a battery and use USB C PD for charging, and I'd be sold. Trading built-in peripherals for power? Fine. But lacking a battery and requiring a specialized power supply kills portability.

  20. just reading through the comments and thinking about HOW THE HELL ARE PEOPLE SO DUMB? you totally get 50fps on low setting on OW with a 1080 10/10

  21. Such a nice presentation Dave. Could you please help me ? I wish to buy a machine unit only to edit videos. Can you please suggest me one ? I will need to edit 1080p, 4K videos . Please help me in choosing the machine which helps me to render/edit faster.

  22. Hi David, I'm doing some major traveling soon with just a backpack and need small mobile computer setup that allows for a lot of screen space. My normal setup is 3 monitors. Any less and I suffer a heavy productivity loss having to constantly switch through tabs.

    I've been looking into using a VR headset with a small laptop or maybe even a battery assisted small desktop. This would keep things minimal but also enable having all of the necessary visual space to work, with the VR headset.

    It seems that this use case hasn't been heavily documented yet, but do you know of any potentially good setups/hardware combos for what I need?

  23. I tried actually replacing a laptop with one using an HP Lap Dock originally intended for Windows 10 phones. It worked, but not well enough. You end up spending more than just getting a laptop that is just as powerful and far more elegant. And frankly, now that you can get a Surface Book with a quad core CPU that will run just as fast as the one in the SC NUC (if you get the 15" model) and a GTX 1060, external graphics are dead to me. At this point, so are desktops and premium notebooks except for super high performance.

  24. I’m wondering how many watts it uses? I’m looking for a super efficient mini pc that can run YouTube and Netflix and general email/surfing but not games which is done by my beast pc 😋 Aim being to minimise my electricity usage using my computer for everything I do other than gaming for the short few hours per day that I game and need or want my power hungry gaming setup.

  25. You are female you 15 times you've never emailed not once back what is a freaking affordable device what you have on this video in front of you it which is what 200 bucks from what I looked up on one of these what can I get that is compare to this damn device that is cheap are

  26. Wouldn't it make more sense to replace consoles with smaller gaming PC's similar to this? Consoles are larger than they need to be and game developers could just make games in PC format instead of all the exclusivity BS we currently have. Information could be displayed with the minimum spec needed to play any particular game and you wouldn't need the clutter of loads of consoles to play all your favourite games. You could use the same computer to play PES, COD, Mario etc! I don't know why we don't already live in a time where this is happening! The current system where we wait for the "next big console" seems way too dated for 2018!

  27. Seems the new NUC will be coming with AMD's mobile Vega on board. And this small package will be VR capable (although I'm sure it'll be YMMV but we'll see). Interesting~ https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-launches-powerful-intel-nuc-smallest-vr-capable-system-ever/

  28. Can you conect those mini Pc to a laptop? And use the laptop screem??
    Can you also conect a external GPU ( with the proper adapter) to this mini PC??

  29. Do you or any of you guys have any suggestions for a similar machine(Mini PC) for video and photo editing (Photoshop premiere illustrator and Lightroom) for under 500$CAD?

  30. Really nice video. I like that pc. I have a dying laptop in a tiny desk plugged to an external monitor, a tkl keyboard, a wacom tablet and a mouse. This would be the perfect option for me in case mi laptop dies. I could take it anywhere and it is much more powerfull than my current laptop. In case that get bored of it, send it to me, I can take care of that lovell}y puppy.
    🙂

  31. hey Dave, can you get the new thinkpad x1 tablet (3 gen) ? it looks awesome and might be the most complete 2-1 , with 2 thunderbolt 3 (also for charging) and pen + keyboard included in the box !

  32. $600 for the box, plus RAM, AC adaptor, OS, external GPU, cables, etc. If you are only using the box are work for non-rendering, you are likely within the price range of just buying two boxes (with a less powerful unit at work). A fairly inexpensive portable hard drive would allow you to take files to/from work as would a good Internet file sharing solution — which could likely sync 10GB+ in an hour commute time if needed. Seems a better solution even in your case — your files are backed-up vs. loss, failure, or stolen, you have two machines (so if one fails you aren't out for days/weeks), someone else can use the machine at home/work when you aren't there (or you can leave it running to render footage while away), it is cheaper to fix/replace, neither is likely to be stolen, you can use RAID (either) or add a graphics card at work if needed later, etc.

  33. No keyboard, no CPU, no OS, no memory, no mouse , and no monitor. The only it capable of is the Intel for $600 dollar. Wow. I'm not gonna get one.

  34. I use my 2012 i7 MacMini the same way for over 6 months now. It works great, as I don’t need to carry any external drives or cables – just “the box”.
    Added benefit – I do one backup at home and another in the office.
    For trips to the clients or meetings outside my 11 inch MacBook Air is good enough.

  35. What is the point of carrying this thing when you can get a laptop witch is going to perform way Better!! It has a battery so you can use it everywhere and you don’t have to connect all the wires each time you arrive to your work/home!! Even though it’s pretty nice design and it looks cool but nah bro I think you should not even review it 🙃

  36. Hi Dave. I like very much this Nuc. I'll buy it to run War Thunder. How many FPS do you think i can archieve?

  37. I am planning on not only getting one NUC, but several. Not having clunky PC boxes everywhere is attractive and the NUC has power enough to do the job since I use Linux as my one-and-only O/S. I also plan on carrying a NUC box instead of a laptop.

  38. Should that be a beast gaming computer if you would add 2 corsair ddr4 in that or should i get some of those normal nucs and put those ddr4 in there?

  39. Dave, what do you think about using this or a like NUC device for a projection unit PC? By projection unit PC, I mean a device used for lecture hall (or small church) where we would like to project sides and videos to a projector, two (front-back) projectors, and one or two monitors at the media booth (table)? In short, "How many displays can it support, and can two of the displays (projectors) be mirrored?

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