Wednesday, March 7th 2018

Intel "Hades Canyon" NUC Armed with Vega M Plays Anything at 1080p

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Intel's upcoming "Hades Canyon" NUC, the spiritual successor to the company's "Skull Canyon" NUC; will be one of the first commercial implementations of the "Kaby Lake-G" multi-chip module, which puts an AMD Radeon Vega M graphics part and a quad-core "Kaby Lake" die together on a package, along with 4 GB of HBM2 memory for the GPU, when they start shipping in Spring 2018, priced between $799-$999. Korean tech publication Playwares got its hands on one of these, and its testing suggests that it achieves the key design goal of Kaby Lake-G: to be able to play any of today's games at 1080p (with acceptable levels of eye-candy.)

Playwares put "Hades Canyon" through three of today's AAA game titles that take advantage of DirectX 12: "Rise of the Tomb Raider," "Tom Clancy's The Division," and "Total War: Warhammer 2." At default clocks, and 1080p resolution, "Rise of the Tomb Raider" puts out around 53 fps, with 45.36 fps (minimum, 99th percentile). When overclocked, the chip averages 59.11 fps, with 50.5 fps (minimum, 99th percentile). "The Division" averages 41.5 fps at default clocks, and 46.8 fps when overclocked. "Warhammer 2" is a lot more taxing on the chip - 27.3 fps average and 23 fps minimum at default clocks, and 30.1 average with 26 fps minimum, when overclocked. One has to take into account that the "Vega M" chip on the Core i7-8709G is significantly more powerful than the iGPU of AMD's Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs - 1536 stream processors, 96 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and 1024-bit HBM2 memory; versus 704 stream processors, 44 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and system memory share.
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