Skull Canyon: What Would You Do?

I have a dilemma: I have access to a NUC6i7KYK, aka “Skull Canyon”.  Skull Canyon is Intel’s attempt at a “gaming” NUC. It’s got tons of power (i7 processor, Iris Pro graphics, HD audio), plenty of expansion (dual m.2 slots, up to 32GB of RAM), and a seriously sexy look.


It’s been making the rounds lately and generating lots of good buzz.  A quick Google search will reveal countless reviews of its gaming capabilities.  And there’s my dilemma. You see, I’m not a gamer. I haven’t played video games for years, and I know I’m the wrong person to review a gaming rig. What could I possibly add to that conversation?

Yep,  I can confirm it totally plays games!

Knowing your limitations is important, and when it comes to gaming I am well aware of mine. So then the question becomes: what do I do with it? I want to review it, but I want to make the review something meaningful, interesting, and, above all, different.

So I’m asking you; what would you do with a Skull Canyon?  I’ve got a few ideas:

  • See how far I can go with all free software (Linux, etc.)
  • HD Photo/Video editing
  • VM server
  • Play around with particle acceleration
  • The world’s best retro-gaming platform
  • A “slightly” over-powered web browsing workstation

What do you think? What would be a compelling use for a tiny, powerful mini PC like this?

Leave me a comment, send me a note.

Help a guy out, would ya?

7 thoughts on “Skull Canyon: What Would You Do?

  1. give it to me, I’m a gamer, a htpc geek, and a wintel/vmware engineer in my day job and I’d love to put it through it’s paces. :o)


  2. I just picked up a NUC6i7KYK myself.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a Linux based retro gaming emulation

    I am inserting 2 Intel 256GB SSD’s, & 32GB RAM. Just ordered GoRite’s internal cables for future USB 2.0 & 3.0 expandability & the external CEC dongle. Going to load Ubuntu 16.04LTS & will try out Kodi.

    I would love to put the NFC header to use.


  3. I’d love to hear your thoughts after getting everything set up! I’m still waiting to hear about a new add-on for it that I’ll get to try. For now, I’ve got Windows 10 running on it and have been testing Steam. I’m not much of a gamer, but it seems to play surprisingly well. In the meantime I may load up Retroarch and see how it does as a retro gaming setup. Thanks!


  4. Skull Canyon NUC is perfect for an AutoCAD station that does second duty as a gaming rig. I upgraded mine to the max with 2 500GB M.2 SSD’s, one BPX and one BP5e (MyDigitalSSD brand). 32GB Corsair Ram, and also bought a 1070 video card to put in an external enclosure for my gaming sessions.


    1. Hey phxchristian! That’s sounds like a nice setup. I’ve actually spent time trying Skull Canyon as multiple different platforms and so far haven’t found something it’s not good at. Currently I have it running a Hyperspin setup, which I’m considering blogging about. Hyperspin is awesome once it’s set up, but it sure can be a pain!


      1. I ran into the Skull Canyon thing after looking for a portable desktop rig to take on a trip to Brazil since I need to work abroad. It plus 2 USB 3.0 monitors pretty much lets me do a lot more than a gaming laptop would. I just can’t work on a plane with it.


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