Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit

Last updated date: July 23, 2019

DWYM Score
8.6

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We looked at the top 1 Desktop Computers and dug through the reviews from 18 of the most popular review sites including PCVerge, Engadget, PC World, Tom's Guide, Wired, Digital Trends, Tech Spot, Hot Hardware, Anand Tech, The PC Enthusiast, Tweak Town, Windows Central, Legit Reviews, Tech Radar, BestReviews, Whizz, Hardware 4 All, PC Hose and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Desktop Computer you should buy.

Overall Take

For those who want to customize a computer, the Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit is a great start. You'll have to add a hard drive, RAM and an operating system, but this option often appeals to Linux enthusiasts. It's not powerful enough for intense gaming applications, but you will find video streaming is very impressive. In our analysis of 98 expert reviews, the Intel Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit placed 3rd when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Desktop Computer for a detailed review of all the top desktop computers.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
18 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.3
280 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Can seamless perform content-creation without hurdles. Iris Pro Graphics 580 suffice for 1080p on most recent games. Sports a bunch of high-end hardware and features
- PCVerge
January 17, 2017 | Full review
It packs in a 2.6GHz quad-core i7-6770HQ processor with integrated WiFi, Ethernet, Intel HD Audio and Iris Pro 580 graphics. But you'll have to open it up and add your own SSD in one of the two M.2 slots, along with your own RAM (it supports up to 32GB of laptop-sized DDR4 memory).
- Engadget
August 9, 2016 | Full review
Its hardware also veers from the expected course. Stuffed inside is a beefy quad-core processor with top-of-the-line integrated graphics, meaning you can run content-creation tasks in more acceptable windows of time, and you can also play fairly recent AAA games at 1080p on this little machine. And yes, that’s at reasonable framerates.
- PC World
May 26, 2016 | Full review
Intel's mini PC performed smoothly no matter what I threw at it, even as I ran a full-system scan, downloaded a game from Steam and viewed five separate Twitch streams at once.
- Tom's Guide
May 23, 2016 | Full review
it's been engineered to stay cool and fast no matter how hard you work it.
- Wired
April 5, 2018 | Full review
It’s even better around back. There’s a full-sized HDMI port, Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, two USB 3.0, Ethernet, another 3.5mm combo port, and DC power. That’s a great set of connections for any desktop, let alone a compact machine.
- Digital Trends
Can perform content-creation tasks in a reasonable amount of time. Iris Pro Graphics 580 makes it possible to play fairly recent games at 1080p.
- Tech Spot
This NUC takes the attitude of "all-out or get out." Short of keeping things reasonably quiet, Skull Canyon definitely pushes the boundaries of its physical footprint. In terms of gaming, you can consider it capable of running most current game titles at Medium to occasionally High settings, up to a max of 1080p, with 720p gaming obviously being much more fluid.
- Hot Hardware
May 25, 2016 | Full review
One of the more impressive aspects of the Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK is the reappearance of Thunderbolt in a mini-PC
- Anand Tech
May 23, 2016 | Full review
Intel Iris Pro graphics let people edit photos and videos like a professional or immerse oneself in vividly rendered, seamless 3-D gameplay, all in brilliant 4K resolution on three monitors at once. Skull Canyon also includes Thunderbolt™ 3, enabling a single compact port and single cable to easily connect to 4K displays, high-speed storage and other devices, in addition to great graphics performance by connecting to high-end, external graphics card(s).
- The PC Enthusiast
March 17, 2016 | Full review
The NUC6i7KYK is Skull Canyon. It's loaded with the Intel i7-6770HQ quad-core / 8-thread Core i7 CPU and Intel's latest Iris Pro 580 graphics.
- Tweak Town
June 8, 2016 | Full review
The Skull Canyon supports up to 32GB of DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM in dual-channel, as well as up to a pair of m.2 SSDs for storage. And if you hook up something like the Razer Core over Thunderbolt 3, you've got a teeny tiny little high-end gaming PC.
- Windows Central
December 5, 2018 | Full review
The NUC6i7KYK also sports a Thunderbolt 3 port (USB Type C), so you have a 40Gbps connection available to run external graphics or something else that needs plenty of bandwidth down the road.
- Legit Reviews
May 23, 2016 | Full review
It has the latest processor for getting your work done fast, a decent graphics solution for casual gaming in your downtime and a brilliantly designed, compact form factor with all the ports anyone would typically need in their day-to-day.
- Tech Radar
June 1, 2016 | Full review
32 GB. Iris Pro 580 high resolution, and Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor (6th generation in its class). Responsive w/ crisp images that put you in the action.
- BestReviews
April 1, 2019 | Full review
The Skull Canyon produce greater realism when watching TV and 4K movies thanks to the Intel Iris Pro Graphics enables higher resolutions. It’s also easy to connect to the widest possible range of the flat screen, 4K displays and surround sound configurations. This is one device that’s right at home in your living room.
- Whizz
January 24, 2018 | Full review
A large number of modern interfaces
- Hardware 4 All
July 20, 2016 | Full review
A Mini PC with the 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Pro Graphics, the NUC6i7KYK unleashes maximized performance for intense game play or intensive workloads. With an amazing new lid, along with a redesigned chassis that lets you take full advantage of every GHz of the quad-core processor without overheating-the NUC6i7KYK is totally cool. Literally.
- PC Hose
February 22, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The plastic design feels less sturdy than older NUCs that had aluminum
- PCVerge
January 17, 2017 | Full review
It's too expensive for most uses.
- Engadget
August 9, 2016 | Full review
Plastic-heavy design feels less sturdy than older NUCs
- PC World
May 26, 2016 | Full review
Poor gaming performance
- Tom's Guide
May 23, 2016 | Full review
It's big and heavy and absolutely required, unlike devices with integrated power like the Xbox One X.
- Wired
April 5, 2018 | Full review
If there’s one complaint to be made about the Skull Canyon’s overall design, it’s the fact that the power brick is easily half as big as the NUC itself. If the plan was to carry this around in your bag, well — make sure to save room for the charger.
- Digital Trends
Plastic-heavy design feels less sturdy than older NUCs.
- Tech Spot
It Isn't Cheap: Any device that carries Intel's top-tier Iris Pro graphics (in this case the Gen9 Iris Pro 580 GT4/e), and Thunderbolt 3 will cost you a pretty penny, and the NUC6i7KYK is no exception. What makes the unit, and other NUCs, expensive is the fact that you still need to source RAM, storage, and an OS.
- Tweak Town
June 8, 2016 | Full review
Still quite expensive. Integrated graphics only
- Windows Central
December 5, 2018 | Full review
It's not as versatile as other desktop PCs, yet it falls on the higher end of the price spectrum. Confusing setup.
- BestReviews
April 1, 2019 | Full review
Gaming can be called only conditionally
- Hardware 4 All
July 20, 2016 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Change the game with the Intel NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK. A Mini PC with the 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Pro Graphics, the NUC6i7KYK unleashes maximized performance for intense game play or intensive workloads. With an amazing new lid, along with a redesigned chassis that lets you take full advantage of every GHz of the quad-core processor without overheating-the NUC6i7KYK is totally cool. Literally. Technical Details. Processor: 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6770HQ. RAM: Supports up to 32 GB DDR4. Graphics: Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580. Wireless Type: Intel Wireless-AC 8260 soldered-down, IEEE 802.11ac 2x2 + Bluetooth v4.2, internal antennas. Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 4

Overall Product Rankings

1. Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 9
2. HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 4
3. Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 18
4. ASUS ZenAiO Desktop, 27″
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Lenovo Legion Gaming Tower Desktop Computer
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 1
6. HP Envy Desktop Computer
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Apple Mac Mini
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 10
8. HP ENVY All-in-One – 27-b245se
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 3
9. ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U Computer
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 10
10. Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop 23.8″
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 5
11. ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On Desktop Computers

Desktops have come a long way over the years. You no longer need a large tower connected to a monitor. Instead, you can get peak performance from a small box tucked away in the corner of your desk. You also have the option of an all-in-one desktop, with the processing power packed into the display itself. These options free up your workspace, leaving plenty of room on your desk for stacks of forgotten reports and junk mail.

Don’t be fooled by the space savings, though. Technology companies have simply found a way to do far more in a smaller space. There’s a reason for that. Today’s applications require peak performance. You’ll need to search for a computer with the processing power to handle what you’ll be doing. This is even more the case if you’ll be using the computer for gaming.

Video streaming quality is also a consideration. If you plan to stream video from your computer to a TV or large monitor, you’ll want to make sure you choose a computer with the power to handle it. Some desktops have the graphics power to support high-definition displays. It’s important to look for this functionality upfront in case you’ll want it down the road.

No matter what your level of tech proficiency, setup can be a big consideration. Many all-in-one computers are designed to be put together quickly, so that may be a bonus. A kit is for those who want to put serious time into building a computer to be exactly how they want it. But a device like the Chromebox is also very simple to set up, as long as you have the monitor and peripherals ready to go once you get it home.

Peripherals are also worth considering. Your all-in-one computers will probably come with a keyboard and mouse in the box, giving you everything you need to get started. However, these accessories aren’t typically of the highest quality, so if you’re picky about peripherals, you may end up replacing them anyway. With a device like the Chromebox, you’ll have to purchase a keyboard and mouse to go with it.

Lastly, there’s price. All-in-one pricing runs the gamut, but if you’re a gamer, you may find yourself paying more. For a bargain, you can’t go wrong with the Chromebox. Just make sure you factor in the cost of a monitor, mouse and keyboard. A kit setup requires so many add-ons, you’ll want to price everything before you make the decision to go that route.

DYWM Fun Fact

The first computer was the ENIAC, which stood for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, which was introduced in 1942 by physicist John Mauchly. The U.S. Army, looking for a way to compute wartime ballistics tables, saw ENIAC as the perfect solution. Unlike the computers of today, this computer was enormous, taking up the entire 50 X 30-foot basement of the school where it was housed. It was by far the most complex set of electronics ever built at the time. The government shelled out $400,000 to purchase ENIAC in 1946, and it ran calculations until 1955, when a lightning strike interrupted its winning streak. Today, you can see parts of ENIAC at the Smithsonian.

The Desktop Computer Buying Guide

  • Before you start shopping, consider the type of desktop you want. Both the Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ and HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop are all-in-one units. This means everything you need is in the monitor. Simply connect the keyboard and mouse to the monitor and you’re ready to go.
  • The ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer connects to a monitor in the traditional sense, but it’s only 4.9 x 1.6 x 4.9 inches. You’ll have to attach it to a monitor or TV, so keep that in mind. You’ll also have to buy a keyboard and mouse that’s compatible with Chromebox.
  • The Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit is designed to be part of a do-it-yourself desktop setup. You’ll need to purchase RAM, a hard drive and an operating system, but it works with Linux if you want to avoid the hefty price for Windows 10.
  • If you’re a gamer, the Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ and HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop are the best options. They both offer solid gaming performance. The Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ has an 8-core, 3 GHz processor that will easily handle the upcoming increase in virtual reality games. The HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop has AMD Radeon R5 graphics designed to tackle even the most intense games.
  • Although the ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer isn’t the best for intense applications like gaming, it holds its own, especially considering its price. For your everyday tasks, you’ll find it more than capably handles the job. However, if you plan to push it to its limits, you may consider upgrading to the Core i3 version.
  • The performance of the Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit is best for non-gaming applications. It has a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, as well as an Intel Iris Pro Graphics. If you’re a casual gamer or just use it for work, though, you’ll find it suffices.
  • One of the best uses of the Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit is streaming TV shows and movies. Intel Iris Pro Graphics powers higher resolutions, making it perfect for watching video on 4K displays. This feature is also great for video and photo editors.
  • Your computer naturally becomes part of the aesthetics of the area where you set it up, so design can be an important consideration. The Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ is the first Inspiron all-in-one to feature the InfinityEdge display, which minimizes the bezel around the edge of the screen. The HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop has a thicker, more standard bezel, but it’s still very attractive.
  • The display on the Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ is impressive as well, offering a vibrant 4K matte display that makes images pop. You’ll get more color contrast, thanks to the HDR 10 screen.
  • You’ll also get impressive video with the Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit, which provides Iris Pro 580 high resolution, giving you crisp images and offering 4K resolution even when spread across multiple monitors.
  • Another big decision you’ll need to make is whether you want a touchscreen monitor. The HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop has a touchscreen, while the Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ doesn’t.
  • Neither the Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit nor the ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer comes with a display, mouse or keyboard, so you’ll need to have to be prepared to purchase those separately. With the Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ and HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop, a mouse and keyboard are included. However, these aren’t top-of-the-line peripherals, so you may end up replacing them anyway.
  • The Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit looks portable, but its power brick is surprisingly heavy. If you’re looking for portability, you may be disappointed.
  • When purchasing any computer today, ports are a big part of the decision. The Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ has an HDMI in, HDMI out, seven USB ports and a universal headset jack. The HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop has only three USB ports. The Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit has a full-sized HDMI port, Thunderbolt 3, a Mini DisplayPort and two USB ports. The ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer has an HDMI and DisplayPort, as well as two USB ports.
  • As far as setup’s concerned, the easiest is likely the Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″, which only requires you to screw on the base to get started. A single screw does the job. You don’t even need a screwdriver. The Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit is not geared toward the novice or even intermediate computer user. You’ll need to purchase peripherals and parts and ensure they’re compatible, then hook everything up and track down an operating system to install.
  • As complex as the Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit can be to set up, it does offer more compatibility than other desktop options. With the HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop, though, you can upgrade the processor, graphics, RAM and storage.
  • The Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ uses Windows Hello login, which utilizes the computer’s infrared camera to log you in using facial recognition.
  • It may not be a top priority, but if you plan to sometimes use the webcam, you’ll want to check to make sure your desktop has that feature. The Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ tends to provide odd angles. With the HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop, Intel NUC 6 Mini MC Kit or ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer, you’ll have to purchase a camera separately.
  • If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, you can’t go wrong with the ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer, although you’ll also need to budget for a monitor and peripherals if you don’t already have them. The HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop is the more budget-friendly all-in-one option. The Dell Inspiron All-in-One Desktop, 27″ comes with a hefty price tag.
  • One benefit of the HP Pavilion All-In-One Desktop is that it runs quietly.
  • ASUS CHROMEBOX 2 Mini Computer and other Chromebox devices come with Chrome OS installed. This means you won’t have Windows preinstalled. Still, you can fully operate using the Chrome operating system once you get used to it.