Intel pours Raptor Lake chips into latest NUC Mini PC line
Big is not always beautiful
Just days after lifting the covers off the 13th-gen Core vPro CPUs, Intel has revealed the latest NUC line of miniature PCs, giving a decent chunk of compute power in a space-saving 4x4in form factor.
Intel’s NUC, or Next Unit of Computing, has been going for over a decade now. It was originally a compact barebones computer kit, but has subsequently evolved to include a number of form factors such as the NUC 12 Enthusiast, the first to include one of the company's Arc GPUs.
The NUC 13 Pro (code-named Arena Canyon) is based on 13th Gen Core processors, with select models also integrating Intel’s vPro Enterprise technology with its embedded security and hardware-based remote management.
Like previous incarnations, NUC 13 Pro is available in kit or board form, or as a ready-made Mini PC built to use up minimal desk space, with the smallest Slim Chassis option measuring 117mm by 112mm x 37mm.
The kit versions allow users to customize memory, storage and operating system to suit their needs, and the Mini PC versions have specific memory and storage fitted and come with Windows pre-installed. Board versions let OEM partners build NUC 13 Pro hardware into their own custom builds, Intel said.
Despite the small size, buyers can choose from Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 chips up to the Core i7-1370P, which Intel said offers six performance-cores (P-cores) and eight efficient-cores (E-cores) at a clock speed up to 5.20GHz.
The NUC 13 Pro mainboard has two DIMM slots supporting DDR4-3200 SODIMMs for up to 64GB of memory, while storage is catered for via M.2 slots for a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD and a PCIe 3.0 second SSD. The ready-made NUC 13 Pro systems ship with a 500GB SSD.
Connectivity options include a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port and Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, while there are Two HDMI ports and two Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus three USB 3.2 ports and one USB 2.0 port.
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Some hardware sites given early access to NUC 13 Pro systems were rather lukewarm on the performance of the latest Mini PC, saying it offers only a slight improvement over the NUC 12 Pro hardware. However it is said to be on a par with comparable systems from ASRock Industrial, which also sells NUC form factor devices.
In addition to those looking for a desktop PC that doesn’t take up all their desk, the NUC 13 Pro is targeting biz applications such as digital signage, edge computing and IoT. For the latter, the hardware is compatible with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, as well as various Linux distributions.
Intel claims the hardware is qualified for 24x7 operation and backed by a three-year warranty, with a five-year product availability on select configurations.
The NUC 13 Pro Kits and Mini PCs will be available from late March, according to Intel, with US prices ranging from $340 to $1,080, depending on configuration. Some configurations will also be available through retailers and system integrators from late March, with most available by June. ®