Introduction and Specifications

It’s been a while since we had a lower end Intel NUC model under review. The Braswell NUC came in two variants and was released during summer 2015. Apollo Lake is Intel’s latest system on a chip architecture with 14 nm manufacturing process. It is positioned under the Core architecture chips that are called Kaby Lake. The Apollo Lake NUC (NUC6CAYH) is a mini PC kit with a rather agressive price point of around $150. Let’s see in this Apollo Lake NUC review how does the new NUC look like and how does it perform.

Hardware Specifications

Quite interestingly Intel has decided to power the Apollo Lake NUC with a higher TDP processor than the previous-generation Braswell NUCs were powered. Instead of using a 6-watt CPU Intel has decided to use the 10-watt J3455. I see this as a positive thing as it improves the performance of the NUC and anyway the 6-watt Braswell NUCs were not fanless despite the lower TDP.

The Apollo Lake NUC comes in two variations. NUC6CAYS is a plug and play device that comes with hardware components and Windows 10 Home preinstalled. NUC6CAYH is the kit version that I’m looking at. You’ll need to add your own RAM modules and a 2.5″ SSD/HDD drive.

  • CPU: Intel Celeron J3455 CPU, quad-core, 1.5 GHz (2.3 GHz burst), 10W TDP
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 500, 12 EUs, 250 MHz base frequency, up to 750 MHz
  • Memory: 2 slots, up to 8 gigabytes of DDR3L-1600/1866, 1.35 V, dual-channel
  • USB: 2 front USB 3.0 ports (one with fast charging), 2 rear USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 headers on mainboard
  • 2.5″ SATA slot: Single slot for a 2.5″ SATA SSD or HDD drive, max. height 9.5 mm
  • Display connectivity: Full-size HDMI 2.0 port, VGA port
  • Audio connectivity: 7.1 channel digital audio over HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack in front panel, 3.5 mm speaker/TOSLink connector in the rear panel
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek), 802.11ac m.2 2230-size WiFi card preinstalled, Bluetooth 4.2
  • HDMI CEC: CEC header on the mainboard, TV on/off functionality supported without a separate CEC adapter
  • Infrared: Infrared receiver in the front panel