Intel adds more power to its 8th-generation NUC mini-PCs

"Bean Canyon" NUCs come with a quad Core- i7 CPU for $499.

So far, Intel's biggest NUC news of the year is its Hades Canyon mini-gaming PC with AMD RX Vega graphics. If you don't need something quite so powerful and costly, however, Intel just rolled out some other 8th-generation NUCs. Rather than using 15 watt chips like before, they pack 28 watt 8th-gen Intel CPUs with Iris Plus 655 graphics. That'll let you hook up to three 4K monitors and a TV for entertainment, while doing some light gaming.

The NUCs come in two form factors, with the smaller one supporting M.2 SSDs and the larger one both an M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA SSD. There are Core i3-8109U and Core i5-8259U models at $299 and $399 respectively, but the one you really want is the $499 quad Core-i7 8559U model. All pack four USB 3.0, one USB Type-C (with DisplayPort 1.2) port,HDMI 2.0a and a pair of SATA 6.0 Gbps ports.

Keep in mind that the prices shown don't include RAM, storage or an operating system. If you get a decent 512GB M.2 SSD, 16GB of RAM and Windows 10 Home, you'll be pushing $1,000 on the high-end Core i7 model. Still, that's not too bad for a relatively powerful PC that fits in the palm of your hand.

The new Intel NUC mini PCs (NUC8i3CYSM, NUC8i3CYSN, formerly code-named Crimson Canyon) are an affordable mainstream gaming option for playing some of today�s most popular games at 1080p, including �League of Legends,� �TF2� and �CS:GO.� (Credit: Intel Corporation)