Where do we start.
The Intel Hades NUC8I7HVK is an interesting machine, had to pick one myself to be able to try on different stress test benchmark and give my opinion on every day use from Gaming to editing.
In this article, I’m mostly going to focus on Superposition Benchmark from Unigine (thanks for the benchmark guys) as it is for me one of the best benchmark to evaluate every type of usage.
To be clear, Intel didn’t accept to provide me an review sample, you know me, I’m not fan of sending flowers to brand.
The Intel Hades is equipped of a CPU Intel Core i7 8809G + GPU AMD Radeon Vega M GH, well the one I had for testing had this one, the other one is equipped of a Core i7 8705G (all this numbers are crazy) + AMD Radeon Vega M GL.
For me is more like a SoC, CPU+GPU+HBM, I’m not going to teach you anything about it but it start to be more and more common, don’t compare this one to an AMD APU. APU doesn’t have a HBM and is way more smaller but you can actually compare it to the XBOX ONE X SoC, the XBOX ONE X share a similar type of SoC is way more faster than this one, which make you rethink the Intel Hades purpose.
Here’s a few capture of how the Intel Hades look like.
Intel Hades existence is a common work with AMD, AMD giving a certain GPU exclusivity to Intel SoC, Intel Hades is more like a try out on a niche market to see if people will be interested.For me is a good surprise but also a disappointment not because of the form factor that is really good not because of the performance of this one but mostly because of the target price for a mini barebone. For example you can buy 2 XBOX ONE X that will give you more room (From 4K player to strong gaming, to accessible interface, to 2.5 HDD, to HDMI input everybody forget this from the XBOX ONE and better support, of course is a closed platform but it become pretty usable for every type of usage now that Microsoft choose to open a little more the platform, don’t forget that W10 close the door also)
Anyway we are not here to argue on the need of the Intel Hades, as I said, I see this as a try out market.
Here’s the results on Superposition Benchmark
Radeon Vega M GH Results (1080P medium, 1080P Extreme, 4K Optimized)
GTX 1080 eGPU results
Asus Transformer T303 eGPU 1080 results (results is lower by 15/20% than the Intel Hades results simply because I use the internal screen of the Transformer while on the Intel Hades I use an external screen)
Acer GTX 1070 Mobile results
Check carefully, the Radeon Vega GH is clearly for me a little slow than the GTX 1050 Ti and far from being similar to a GTX 1060, check results of a eGPU 1050 Ti on my other article, you will see similar results while being 15/20% less faster than native GTX 1050 Ti due to internal screen usage
For me is not a disappointment for an dGPU way faster than what Intel had to offer with Intel iGPU but is not a surprise, we are in 2018, if you look at Smartphone SoC you will understand what I mean.
The CPU itself is basic, performance is more like a Ryzen 5 2400G (remember cost it is 150euro), not bad but not good, it is mostly the GPU Radeon Vega M GH + HBM that change everything but clearly overpriced point.
General performance is good but again, somebody is going to say we can build better PC with this, I get it but the purpose of this is mostly the form factor and target market, the idea was not necessarily to reach gamer but also office industry and co, why the need of 2 ethernet port for gaming, for me is a like a new generation of Xeon server in a small package that offer decent performance but yes the price is crazy, 400 to 500euro will have been more realistic, even 300euro.
There is no that much interesting thing to say about it other than the idea behind the mutual work Intel and AMD + Small factor, I do like the design, all the connectivity, the form factor but other than that, is more like a Brik, it doesn’t come with any ram, any hdd nor any OS, it come with a plate to scratch yourself.
Don’t forget that it will never support 4K UHD Playback also no compatible VP9 P2 Hardware acceleration from the Vega M GH while the included 630 GPU support but without output it remain basically useless, you can forget Youtube HDR video or similar, is a shame for an expensive product like, they probably had a good smoke share at Intel and AMD.
My conclusion : Clearly to be honest don’t bother to buy it if you want to play game on it, despite offering excellent performance in 1080p (well depend the situation and game) it is too expensive for what it offer, I will more recommend an Xbox One X + Good 4K Monitor + Games + Films for this price, in this case that also offer Freesync now, most of PC game are well rendered and executed on Xbox One X clearly an underrated console for what it afford.
Remember (Xbox One X have a 4K player, a controller, a hdmi cable, a better soc, a hdmi input, a better gaming support all that for 30% of the Hades Price, while hades have just a alimentation cable and a VESA plate that it)
I will recommend this product mostly for I have no idea, maybe for fun to have it or put in a luxury living room for Netflix 4K (seriously) or luxury office to replace Apple TV, of course it offer a lot of connectivity never seen before but still it doesn’t excuse the targe price and all biased reviews I saw across the web. If it was not for the price as a barebone too, I will have rethink my judgement but for what it afford, please zap it.