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Intel Frost Canyon NUC with Comet Lake i5 SoC in Review

Tiny office PC! Intel's latest NUC series is small but powerful. It packs brand-new more powerful hardware into a well-known case. Find out in our review what the consequences of this upgrade are and what else the new Comet Lake SoC have to offer.
Sebastian Bade, Andrea Grüblinger (translated by Finn D. Boerne),

Intel’s mini PC received a minor CPU performance upgrade, and all models are now based on the Comet Lake platform. Intel sent us two different barebones to review, a NUC kit based on the Intel Core i5-10210U, which is the main actor of this particular review, and one based on the faster and more powerful Intel Core i7-10710U, which we have reviewed separately.

Among other things Intel improved upon the microphones at the front in order to improve voice command comprehensibility. The new models feature a total of four microphones. From a design standpoint the new NUCs are identical to their predecessors. Our review unit was much smaller than the other model we also received since the latter featured an additional 2.5-inch drive bay. The smaller unit lacks this secondary storage slot. It is worth noting that both, the i5 and the i7 SKU, are available in both sizes.

Our review unit was further equipped with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB large SSD. Including a Windows license this bundle sells for slightly over $800. The included 65 W power supply looks and feels ginormous next to the tiny mini PC.

Intel NUC10i5FNK
Processor
Intel Core i5-10210U 4 x 1.6 - 4.2 GHz, Comet Lake-U
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 26.20.100.7262 DCH
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2666, dual-cannel, 2 of 2 populated, max. 64 GB
Display
0.00 inch , 0 x 0 pixel
Mainboard
Intel Comet Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1, 256 GB 
, 200 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek Audio
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm headphone jack, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36 x 117 x 112 ( = 1.42 x 4.61 x 4.41 in)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Additional features
36 Months Warranty
Weight
493 g ( = 17.39 oz / 1.09 pounds), Power Supply: 315 g ( = 11.11 oz / 0.69 pounds)
Price
749 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity

The case itself really has not changed much since the last generation. It is still made of plastic and metal, albeit the compact case left a very sturdy, robust, and high-quality impression. The black glossy top is probably only going to look nice and shiny immediately after purchasing and unpacking the device. After a while it will be covered in tiny scratches and finger prints, which are highly detrimental to its classy looks. The bottom plate is held in place by four screws which are easily removed, and once removed offers access to all internal components.

Most ports are located at the front and rear of the device save for the UHS-II SD card reader that can be found on the left-hand side. There are a total of four USB 3 ports, one of which is a USB Type-C port, an HDMI 2.0b port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, the secondary HDMI port had to be sacrificed in favor of the Thunderbolt 3 port, which with the right dongle can be used as secondary monitor port for a dual display setup.

Our review unit weighed no more than 493 g plus another 315 g for the power supply.

Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA) front (source: Intel)
Front (source: Intel)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA) rear (source: Intel)
Rear (source: Intel)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA) (source: Intel)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)
Intel NUC (NUC10i5FNKPA)

Performance – Fast Enough for Office Tasks

The Intel NUC NUC10i5FNK’s performance is fast enough for a simple office computer. The Intel Core i5-10210U is not only very efficient but also well suited for the most common office applications when paired with 8 GB of RAM. The 256 GB large NVMe SSD is decently fast and offers low access latencies. An Intel UHD Graphics 620 serves as GPU for this system. This particular GPU is very common in notebooks, and we are quite familiar with it.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWiNFO
Intel Extreme Utility
Intel Extreme Utility (Benchmark)
 
 
 
 

Processor

The NUC’s processor is based on a mobile SoC that can be found primarily in laptops, and it includes Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics. Thanks to its design this particular SoC is very energy efficient, and it allows for very powerful small devices such as our review unit. The Core i5-10210U is based on Intel’s Comet Lake design and offers four cores and eight threads. It runs at a base clock speed of 1.6 GHz and can turbo boost up to 3.9 GHz in multi-core load or even up to 4.2 GHz in single-core load scenarios. Accordingly, it did very well in our benchmarks. For example, in Cinebench R15 we can see that the NUC’s Core i5-10210U performed significantly above average. The reason is that the SoC inside our mini PC was allowed to consume a full 30 W of energy at all times, which allows for a much higher turbo boost under load. For short periods of load, it can even go up to 64 W. This is possible thanks to a much more powerful cooler than can be found in compact and thin laptops.

It was, however, outperformed by the Intel NUC NUC10i7FNH. Its Intel Core i7-10710U features six cores and thus more oomph in multi-thread tasks.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
194 Points ∼100% +15%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
168 Points ∼87%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (154 - 174, n=31)
167 Points ∼86% -1%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
165 Points ∼85% -2%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
117 Points ∼60% -30%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
108 Points ∼56% -36%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
84 Points ∼43% -50%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1067 Points ∼100% +35%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
790 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
687 Points ∼64% -13%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (478 - 790, n=31)
611 Points ∼57% -23%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
298 Points ∼28% -62%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
261 Points ∼24% -67%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
220 Points ∼21% -72%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
211 (209.9min - 211.39max) Points ∼20% -73%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
2.19 Points ∼100% +15%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1.91 Points ∼87%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1.88 Points ∼86% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (1.71 - 1.91, n=4)
1.85 Points ∼84% -3%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
1.33 Points ∼61% -30%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
1.28 Points ∼58% -33%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
10.89 Points ∼100% +26%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
8.66 Points ∼80%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
7.55 Points ∼69% -13%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (5.69 - 8.66, n=4)
7.34 Points ∼67% -15%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
3.26 Points ∼30% -62%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
2.86 Points ∼26% -67%
Blender 2.79 - BMW27 CPU
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (585 - 1339, n=20)
853 Seconds * ∼100% -46%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
676.2 Seconds * ∼79% -16%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
584.9 Seconds * ∼69%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
468.3 Seconds * ∼55% +20%
wPrime 2.10
1024m
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
731.5 s * ∼100% -236%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
620 s * ∼85% -185%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
558 s * ∼76% -156%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
 
218 s * ∼30% -0%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
217.837 s * ∼30%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
177.37 s * ∼24% +19%
32m
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
23.1 s * ∼100% -241%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
19.5 s * ∼84% -188%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
18 s * ∼78% -165%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
6.78 s * ∼29%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
 
6.78 s * ∼29% -0%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5.103 s * ∼22% +25%
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0
Pass 2
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
60.55 (60.4min - 73.5max) fps ∼100% +23%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
49.35 (49.1min - 51.6max) fps ∼82%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (33.4 - 49.4, n=3)
42.2 fps ∼70% -14%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
19.3 fps ∼32% -61%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
16.46 fps ∼27% -67%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
13.75 fps ∼23% -72%
Pass 1
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
206 (204min - 208max) fps ∼100% +12%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
184.5 (184min - 186max) fps ∼90%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (149 - 185, n=3)
168 fps ∼82% -9%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
105 fps ∼51% -43%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
88.46 fps ∼43% -52%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
74 fps ∼36% -60%
TrueCrypt
Serpent Mean 100MB
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
0.57 GB/s ∼100% +19%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (0.48 - 0.491, n=2)
0.4855 GB/s ∼85% +1%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
0.48 GB/s ∼84%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
0.166 GB/s ∼29% -65%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
0.142 GB/s ∼25% -70%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
0.133 GB/s ∼23% -72%
Twofish Mean 100MB
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1 GB/s ∼100% +27%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (0.79 - 0.802, n=2)
0.796 GB/s ∼80% +1%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
0.79 GB/s ∼79%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
0.283 GB/s ∼28% -64%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
0.245 GB/s ∼25% -69%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
0.199 GB/s ∼20% -75%
AES Mean 100MB
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4.7 GB/s ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (4.6 - 4.7, n=2)
4.65 GB/s ∼99% -1%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4.6 GB/s ∼98% -2%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
1.7 GB/s ∼36% -64%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
1.5 GB/s ∼32% -68%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
1.3 GB/s ∼28% -72%
Geekbench 4.1 - 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
22969 Points ∼100% +65%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
16172 Points ∼70% +16%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (12471 - 16818, n=10)
14619 Points ∼64% +5%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
13949 Points ∼61%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
5066 Points ∼22% -64%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5271 Points ∼100% +43%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4871 Points ∼92% +32%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (3680 - 5077, n=10)
4615 Points ∼88% +25%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
3680 Points ∼70%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
2613 Points ∼50% -29%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
480 Points ∼100% +12%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
428 Points ∼89%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
418 Points ∼87% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (322 - 428, n=26)
409 Points ∼85% -4%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
200 Points ∼42% -53%
CPU (Multi Core)
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
2303 Points ∼100% +27%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1820 Points ∼79%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1581 Points ∼69% -13%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (771 - 1820, n=26)
1280 Points ∼56% -30%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
491 Points ∼21% -73%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - 4k Preset
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
7.95 fps ∼100% +27%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
6.28 fps ∼79%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5.16 fps ∼65% -18%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (2.66 - 6.28, n=20)
4.29 fps ∼54% -32%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
0 fps ∼0% -100%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R20
Cinebench R20

Cinebench R15 Multi-Thread Loop

Our Cinebench R15 multi-thread load test shows that the NUC’s cooler works very well, and that the processor does not have to thermal throttle at all. During the first run, the CPU was allowed to consume up to 64 W for up to 28 seconds. Afterwards, the TDP was reduced to normal levels and performance decreased correspondingly.

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Intel NUC10i5FNK Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel Core i5-10210U: Ø755 (749.68-790.62)
Intel NUC10i7FNH Intel Core i7-10710U, Intel Core i7-10710U: Ø946 (834.01-1067.02)

System Performance

The hardware installed in the system plays a major role in overall system performance. Our mini PC can only be equipped with a M.2 SSD, and it performed accordingly. The RAM supported dual-channel mode, which further improved performance.

In our benchmarks, our review unit trailed the faster NUC by a small margin. Overall, we would consider the NUC10i5FNK’s performance more than adequate for simple office tasks. Even parallel computing was not a big issue. However, if you intend to have many browser tabs open simultaneously you may want to consider upgrading the RAM to 16 GB.

PCMark 10
Productivity
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
6876 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
6874 Points ∼100% +6%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (5990 - 7332, n=30)
6720 Points ∼98% +3%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
6494 Points ∼94%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (2941 - 6755, n=36)
6114 Points ∼89% -6%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
4084 Points ∼59% -37%
Score
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4418 Points ∼100% +10%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4248 Points ∼96% +6%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (3686 - 4742, n=30)
4048 Points ∼92% +1%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4019 Points ∼91%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (2247 - 4192, n=36)
3744 Points ∼85% -7%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
2391 Points ∼54% -41%
PCMark 8
Storage Score v2
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5088 Points ∼100% +20%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (4832 - 4999, n=4)
4923 Points ∼97% +16%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (4233 - 5088, n=4)
4809 Points ∼95% +14%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4729 Points ∼93% +12%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4233 Points ∼83%
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5102 Points ∼100% +19%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (4286 - 5114, n=22)
4899 Points ∼96% +14%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (3132 - 5223, n=29)
4723 Points ∼93% +10%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4631 Points ∼91% +8%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
4588 Points ∼90% +7%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4286 Points ∼84%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
4046 Points ∼79% -6%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
3732 Points ∼73% -13%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5312 Points ∼100% +6%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
5005 Points ∼94%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4853 Points ∼91% -3%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (3454 - 5440, n=9)
4466 Points ∼84% -11%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
4395 Points ∼83% -12%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (3473 - 5959, n=12)
4373 Points ∼82% -13%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
3594 Points ∼68% -28%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
4227 Points ∼100% +20%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
3938 Points ∼93% +12%
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
3667 Points ∼87% +4%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (3182 - 4284, n=22)
3605 Points ∼85% +2%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
3526 Points ∼83%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (2747 - 4244, n=30)
3505 Points ∼83% -1%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
3062 Points ∼72% -13%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
2901 Points ∼69% -18%

Storage Devices

CrystalDiskInfo
CrystalDiskInfo

Our NUC came preconfigured with a 256 GB M.2 Kingston SSD with support for PCIe x4. In our benchmarks, it performed decently well but failed to fully utilize the capabilities of its PCIe connection. Nevertheless, it was far from slow and most users will be more than satisfied with its performance. If you opt for the barebone system you get to install the storage device of your liking.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskMark 6
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
Sequential Read: 705.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 773.6 MB/s
512K Read: 382.5 MB/s
512K Write: 672.1 MB/s
4K Read: 30.25 MB/s
4K Write: 58.22 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 380.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 447.4 MB/s

GPU Performance

The new Comet Lake SoC are still coupled with Intel’s well-known Intel UHD Graphics 620, and the NUCs lack a dedicated GPU. The integrated GPU supports decoding hi-res H.265/HEVC Main10 (10-bit colors) and Google’s VP9 coded in hardware. However, its usability for gaming is limited to older or less demanding games. Modern 3D games cannot be played at all with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620.

Additional benchmarks for Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 can be found here.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
2322 Points ∼100% +25%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1983 Points ∼85% +7%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1914 Points ∼82% +3%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1853 Points ∼80%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=231)
1744 Points ∼75% -6%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
1458 Points ∼63% -21%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
1175 Points ∼51% -37%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Intel NUC6i5SYH, Intel Core i5-6260U
1800, Intel Iris Graphics 540
1479 Points ∼100% +23%
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1418 Points ∼96% +18%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1309 Points ∼89% +9%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
1202 Points ∼81%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1420, n=199)
1152 Points ∼78% -4%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
1033 Points ∼70% -14%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
770 Points ∼52% -36%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
48446 Points ∼100% +20%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
47803 Points ∼99% +18%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (29002 - 59483, n=67)
43372 Points ∼90% +7%
Intel NUC5i3RYK, Intel Core i3-5010U
2100, Intel HD Graphics 5500
40670 Points ∼84% 0%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
40532 Points ∼84%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics
Intel NUC10i7FNH, Intel Core i7-10710U
1100, Intel UHD Graphics 620
79747 Points ∼100% +37%
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 , Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
76488 Points ∼96% +31%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (13790 - 102010, n=62)
68608 Points ∼86% +18%
Intel NUC5i5RYH, Intel Core i5-5250U
1600, Intel HD Graphics 6000
61979 Points ∼78% +6%
Intel NUC10i5FNK, Intel Core i5-10210U
1600, Intel UHD Graphics 620
58199 Points ∼73%
3DMark 11 Performance
2064 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
56938 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8987 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1113 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
526 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
456 points
Help
low med. high ultra4K
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 78.8 48.9 20.4 18.1 6.6 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 10.7 8.95 8.77 6.03 fps
Ghost Recon Breakpoint (2019) 11 5 fps
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order (2019) 6.55 fps

Emissions and Energy

Temperature

3DMark 11 immediately following the stress test
3DMark 11 immediately following the stress test

The NUC10i5FNK’s temperatures remained far from critical at all times, and the case only warmed up slightly. While running Prime95 it peaked at around 35 °C. The active cooler manages to cool the Intel Core i5-10210U well enough to prevent thermal throttling, which is thus a non-issue on this particular SKU. The CPU itself peaked at 86 °C during our stress test running Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously. Running only FurMark resulted in a much lower thermal load. Even under sustained load the Core i5-10210U managed to achieve clock speeds significantly higher than its 1.6 GHz base frequency. We found no detrimental effects of sustained load on 3D performance either.

Stress test: Prime95 solo
Stress test: Prime95 solo
Stress test: FurMark solo
Stress test: FurMark solo
Stress test: FurMark+Prime95
Stress test: FurMark+Prime95
Heatmap top (load)
Heatmap top (load)
Heatmap rear (load)
Heatmap rear (load)
Heatmap power supply (load)
Heatmap power supply (load)

System Noise

The NUC10i5FNK was neither particularly quiet nor particularly loud. The fan ramped up during our stress test and we found its high-pitched whine somewhat annoying in the long run. It was clearly audible. Unfortunately, the fan is never completely off even under idle load, which means the mini PC is never completely silent. Under normal office load the device remained audible albeit the fan noise was not as dominant anymore.

Power Consumption

Power consumption is one of the mini PC’s biggest selling points. Mainly thanks to its internal hardware from the realm of notebook computing the NUC10i5FNK is very energy efficient when compared to a full-fledged desktop PC. When idle our power meter read just 16 W, which peaked at 59 W under load. We also found short-term peaks of up to 74 W at the beginning of high-load tests while the SoC was still allowed to utilize its full turbo boost potential. The power supply is rated at 65 W, which is sufficient given that these significantly higher peaks never last very long.

Power consumption powered off
Power consumption powered off
Power consumption when idle
Power consumption when idle
Power consumption during stress test (Prime95)
Power consumption during stress test (Prime95)
Power consumption during stress test (FurMark)
Power consumption during stress test (FurMark)
Power consumption during stress test (FurMark and Prime95)
Power consumption during stress test (FurMark and Prime95)
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.69 / Watt
Idledarkmidlight / 15.7 / Watt
Load midlight / 58.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Pros

+ robust case
+ space-saving design
+ low power consumption
+ decent system performance
+ Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5
+ USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
+ 36 month warranty
+ SD card reader

Cons

- annoying fan noise
- comparatively expensive as configured for this review
- only one mass storage slot available

Verdict

Intel NUC NUC10i5FNK. Review unit courtesy of Intel Germany
Intel NUC NUC10i5FNK. Review unit courtesy of Intel Germany

Intels Comet Lake-based NUC is a very small and more importantly very energy efficient mini PC with plenty of oomph. Our NUC10i5FNK review unit currently sells for slightly over $800 and features an Intel Core i5-10210U, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB large SSD, and a full Windows 10 license. With this you are basically ready to go, and the tiny office PC will be up and running in no time. If, however, you prefer to install your own internals you can order the NUC without SSD, RAM, and Windows license. As such, the NUC will set you back around $500.

If you are in the market for a small mini PC you cannot go wrong with Intel’s NUC NUC10i5FNK. Up-to-date internals and plenty of oomph make for a very attractive device, even in the long run.

Regarding performance the compact PC is equipped with up-to-date internals such as the latest Wi-Fi technology and Intel’s Comet Lake SoC (Intel Core i5-10210U). A total of four microphones and an infrared receiver make this unit particularly interesting as a streaming box. External ports are aplenty despite the lack of a secondary HDMI port that had to be sacrificed to make room for the Thunderbolt 3 port. The latter is more modern and much more versatile. An SD card reader is still available, and it even supports UHS-II.

Look and feel as well as build quality are top notch. That said we would have preferred a matte surface at the top. No doubt, the glossy black cover looks great but it will most likely not stay that way for very long. Another gripe we had was with the cooling system. On the one hand it worked very well under load and kept the SoC cool at all times. On the other noise emissions are not its best selling point given that the fan is active even in low load situations. Fortunately, it only gets annoying under full load.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Intel Frost Canyon NUC with Comet Lake i5 SoC in Review
Sebastian Bade, 2020-02-12 (Update: 2020-02-13)
Sebastian Bade
Editor of the original article: Sebastian Bade - Editor
From an early age I was interested in technology and was then able to learn the desired profession of "IT systems electronics engineer". Subsequently, my 12-year military service began, during which I learned a lot and kept my knowledge constantly up to date with the latest technology. Since I would like to share this with you, Notebookcheck offers a very good possibility to offer this to the masses. Furthermore, I am very much involved with water cooling and network security.