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Skull Canyon Review + TIM Swap

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NUC6i7KYK - Home

 

I really like the Skull Canyon, a nice form factor design with excellent performance. The only real down side is the heat sink being inferior, it cannot keep the Skull Canyon from hitting 100c in almost all benchmarks and games.

 

​If you want to improve the performance of your Skull Canyon and have confidence in your ability to open the case, I recommend swapping the thermal paste to a higher performance product.

 

​I did not have a chance to fully test the Thunderbolt 3 yet, I expect a NVMe TB3 drive in soon as well as an TB3 box to give me an external PCIE slot to add a discrete video card. I did connect my Apple 27" TB display and it worked as intended.

 

I connected both HDMI and Display Port to the 4K monitors without any issues @ 60hz

 

​I was able to install Windows 7 and run the Windows 10 upgrade without any problems, but... You must use the USB tool to update your Windows 7 install to support USB3.

 

​Windows 7* USB 3.0 Creator Utility

 

I was also able to setup the dual M.2 in RAID 0 with a pair of Samsung 950 Pro NVMe drives in Windows 7 and complete the Windows 10 upgrade.​

 

​The only overclocking available on the Skull Canyon is memory overclocking, you can dig through benchmarks to see I ran all sorts of settings and noted that custom settings did not stick after a second power cycle on BIOS 035.

 

As a Home Theater PC the Skull Canyon is an overkill, it would be the ultimate HTPC but the extra speed on SATA and CPU is just not needed to for this application. By adding KODI.tv application you easily have the full blown high quality HTPC experience in a non dedicated box.

 

As a desktop workstation these are great, they take up very little space and very powerful, having the ability to run 4K displays along with RAID makes these a really good choice for office professionals.

 

I also feel these would make a great computer for students in dorms where space is so important yet the need for a decent machine, these are very respectable and could be trendy in this environment. The Skull Canyon would make an appropriate and excellent High School graduation gift.

 

​I hope you found this information useful and I will have my Gaming tab posted soon, I am putting extra work into this as I am finding out what game titles work great at 4K so you will have a good idea on what to expect from your Skull Canyon.

 

As this form factor is small, having it as a travel PC makes this a great solution. Finding a HDMI display to plug into today is not a problem and with the ultra compact keyboard and mouse combos gives you a performance PC anywhere you go.

 

​I am working on gaming still but I wanted to get my results posted as soon as possible. Since this is being sold as a "Gaming" machine, I took a step back from the latest titles and focused on titles that it can run at 4K, more to how well it can run those games at 4K.

 

​I can assure you now that the hardcore gamer would be disappointed without a discrete video card solution but for the casual gamer may find titles that are acceptable to play without any FPS issues.

 

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