Leaked specs suggest Intel's NUC 2.0 PCs could be future Steam Machines

More powerful versions of the company's small-form-factor systems could include Core i5 and i3 Broadwell processors and support for 2.5-inch drives and handle up to 16GB of RAM.

Source: FanlessTech

We last heard rumors about the second generation of Intel's Next Unit of Computing back in February , when the FanlessTech website leaked the Broadwell NUC roadmap. That leak suggested NUC 2.0 would come in the fourth quarter of 2014 and provided some basic specs. Now the site is at it again with a more substantial leak that detail specs and even specific product names.

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The leaked slides know claim that the rollout of Broadwell-based NUC PCs has been bumped to the first quarter of next year, thanks to the production delays in manufacturing the new 14nm processors . They also show five new consumer machines to be launched in the first half of 2015, including one that features a Celeron chip based on the forthcoming Braswell 14nm architecture (which will replace Intel's Bay Trail CPUs). 

In particular, Intel is positioning two of the new NUC units as "immersive gaming" systems. The NUC5i5RYH and NUC5i5RYK will feature Core i5 Broadwell chips with support for up to 16GB of DDR3 and M.2 or 2.5-inch drives. Intel's label hints at the possibility that these PCs could work as potential Steam Machines, the hardware platform for Valve's attempt to bring PC gaming into the living room in a big way. The timing would work out as well, as Valve has already delayed the platform until 2015 . Like all the new NUCs, these (presumably) higher-end units will rely on Intel's integrated graphics, though those have advanced enough to handle mainstream gaming demands.

Speaking of which, Intel cites "mainstream gaming" as one of the use cases for another pair of NUCs, the NUC5i3RYH and NUC5i3RYK. As their names suggest, these models use Core i3 Broadwell CPUs instead of Core i5s, though they still support up to 16GB of RAM and both M.2 or 2.5-inch drives. That's not the case with the Celeron-based NUC5c-PYH, which can only handle a maximum of 8GB of RAM and does not support M.2 solid-state drives (though it will include a SDXC card slot). All of the new NUCs have abandoned external USB 2.0 connections in favor of more recent and superior performing USB 3.0 ports, and they include mini or full-size HDMI outputs and 4K resolution to work as home theater PCs. 

The leaked specs also show details about the pair of "Maple Canyon" NUC 2.0 PCs that are aimed at the enterprise, one based on a Core i5 processor and the other on Core i3. They will eschew HDMI for a pair of mini DisplayPort outputs and include vPro technology that provides data security and remote management features.