A slide shows a family of Intel NUCs ready to be made available till the end of 2021. The one that will catch your eye is the Phantom Canyon NUCs (NUC 11 Extreme). These NUCs will be using the Tiger Lake-U processors. The main function of this NUC is the support for discrete graphics. With power enough CPUs in a NUC, it probably made sense to give a much better gaming capability.
Since it supports discrete graphics card, the casing will be larger than a typical NUC, but still maintaining smaller than mini ITX form factor. The Hades Canyon’s casings are typically 1.2L, while the Tiger Lake U counterparts will be 1.35L. The chipmaking giant is going to release these NUC (Next Unit of Computing) before by Q4 2020 or Q1 2021. We’ve already seen leaks with GTX 1660 Ti GPU in it.
This Intel NUC 11 Extreme support indicates enough PCIe 3.0 bandwidth and power supply. The above benchmarks are allegedly from one of these units with a GTX 1660Ti. The last generation NUC flagship (Hades Canyon) has a 1.2L capacity. The NUC 11 Extreme with Tiger Lake-U CPUs and graphics are 1.35L. It likely these have the graphics chips soldered on the PCB with a good enough CPU and GPU coolers.
Other NUC versions
The leaked slides show the NUC 9 Extreme ‘Ghost Canyon’ to be out in 2021. Keeping with the ‘Extreme’ nomenclature, it should be supporting discrete graphics. The NUC 11 Performance (Panther Canyon) are similar without discrete graphics support, but there’s no mention of it in the slides.
Intel will have a couple of ‘pro’ NUCs-the NUC 9 Pro called Quartz Canyon and the NUC 8 Pro Provo Canyon. The NUC 8 rugged is listed to use its 8th gen i5 vPro graphics with i5 and i3 SKUs. These units have with 15W TDP with modular chassis and mainboard. The NUC 8 Rugged is listed with an 8W Celeron based NUC. These are fanless NUCs, so it is going to be used for POS and for digital signage. The NUC 8 Essential and NUC 7 Essential are listed to use Pentium Silver and Celeron processors.
Well, Intel did say they want the industry to look beyond benchmarks. Intel is doing what AMD did before it was cool. The modular NUCs sounds impressive. NUCs with discrete graphics would appeal to a certain userbase (I guess?). Time will tell.