The Intel Hades Canyon NUC was a short-lived computer designed to offer gaming-class hardware in a tiny desktop computer. It was powered by a similarly short-lived Intel Kaby Lake-G processor, which combined an 8th-gen Intel Core CPU with AMD Radeon Vega graphics.
When the Hades Canyon NUC was released in 2018 for $799 and up, it arrived to mostly positive reviews, but the computer’s become hard to find in recent years. Now Chinese PC maker Hystou is offering the next-best thing: a new mini PC with similar processor options and an even lower starting price.
The Hystou F9 is a 9″ x 5.8″ x 2″ computer with a case made from aluminum alloy and plastic and featuring an optional skull with headphones graphic on the top, which is reminiscent of Intel’s Skull Canyon, Hades Canyon, and Ghost Canyon NUC systems.
It supports up to four displays thanks to two HDMI ports and two Mini DisplayPorts. There are also two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, four USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and one USB 3.1 Type-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and support for WiFi and Bluetooth.
Under the hood there are two M.2 2280 slots for NVMe storage and room for a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive or SSD as well as support for up to 64GB of RAM.
But what really makes the Hystou F9 unusual are its processor options:
- Intel Core i5-8305G – 65 watt, 2.8 GHz to 3.8 GHz quad-core chip with Radeon Vega M GL graphics
- Intel Core i7-8705G – 65 watt, 3.1 GHz to 4.1 GHz quad-core chip with Radeon Vega M GL graphics
- Intel Core i7-8709G – 100 watt, 3.1 GHz to 4.1 GHz quad-core chip with Radeon Vega M GH graphics
- Intel Core i7-8809G – 100 watt, 3.1 GHz to 4.2 GHz quad-core chip with Radeon Vega M GH graphics
That’s actually two more options than Intel offered – the 8705G and 8809G chips were the only ones that shipped in Hades Canyon systems.
Hystou’s systems are also more affordable, with prices starting as low as $420 at AliExpress for a barebones model with a Core i5-8305G processor, although you’ll need to supply your own memory, storage, and operating system.
The company also sells models through its own website with higher starting prices, but that’s the only place I can find a model with a Core i7-8809G chip (a barebones model with that chip starts at $674).
While I’m not sure I’d recommend buying any computer with these discontinued, and not-that-well-supported processors, it is interesting to see that new computers with the chips are still a thing.