Intel’s upcoming “Ghost Canyon” NUC is expected to be one of the most powerful mini computers from the company to date. Expected to be powered by a 45 watt, 9th-gen Intel Core H-series processor, the small form-factor computer will be aimed at gamers, and it includes a PCIe x16 slot for a discrete graphics card.

But it turns out the GPU isn’t the only thing that’s removable.

A teardown of a pre-production sample by a member of the Koolshare forum reveals that the heart of the computer is a removable module Intel currently refers to as “The Element,” which means you may be able to upgrade the CPU, memory, storage, and other components while keeping your existing case, power supply, and graphics card.

Intel hasn’t shared many details about the upcoming Ghost Canyon system yet, so the KoolShare post also reveals some interesting details including that:

  • The system measures 9.4″ x 8.5″ x 3.8″ making it small for a desktop, but large for an NUC.
  • It will be available with Core i5-9300H, Core i7-9750H and Core i9-9980HK processor options
  • In addition to a cooling fan on The Element module, there are dual cooling fans on top of the system.
  • The computer has a 500 watt internal power supply.
  • There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, six USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet jacks, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, an SD card reader, an HDMI 2.0a port, a headset jack on the front, and a 3.5mm audio line out on the back.

According to an Intel spec sheet, the system supports up to three 4K displays if you’re using Intel UHD graphics alone. You may be able to connect additional displays if you add a discrete GPU.

Speaking of GPUs, the computer supports up to an 8″ long, double-width graphics card that uses up to 225 watts of power.

Other features include support for up to 32GB of DDR4-2666 memory, three M.2 slots with support for NVMe and/or Intel Optane memory, and a plastic case with a metal frame.

Intel will offer a 3-year warranty.

Last I’d heard, Intel was planning to bring the Ghost Canyon NUC to market early next year.

You can find even more teardown photos at the Koolshare forum.

via Tom’s Hardware

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2 replies on “Intel Ghost Canyon NUC teardown reveals removable “The Element” module inside”

  1. The portability looks excellent, but I don’t mind carrying a mini-itx case with a full size ATX PSU for my gaming rig. I just can’t trust a custom PSU fitted for a custom case again… been there, burnt by that.

    1. It looks like this is just using a standard Flex ATX psu, not proprietary. Interestingly, most parts on this look standard aside from the board that the CPU is on and the carrier board.

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