Intel’s NUC line of computers are small desktop PCs that typically have laptop-class hardware. But this year the company introduced the most powerful NUC to date. And now it’s available for purchase.

The Intel “Ghost Canyon” NUC is powered by a removable Intel Compute Element with a 9th-gen Intel Coffee Lake-H processor. And the system supports desktop graphics cards, allowing you to supply your own GPU.

First unveiled in January, reviews for the Ghost Canyon NUC started to appear in April. But the modular computer wasn’t widely available until recently.

Now it’s available as the Intel NUC 9 Extreme from for $999 and up.

The starting price will only get you a barebones model with an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, Intel UHD 630 graphics and no memory, storage, or operating system.

But the computer has plenty of upgrade options:

  • Up to 64GB of RAM (2 x DDR4-2666 SODIMM slots)
  • 3 x M.2 PCIe x4 slots for storage
  • PCIe x16 slot for graphics cards up to 8″ long

The system also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0a port, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5, and can support up to three 4K displays without a discrete graphics card. Add one and you can connect even more screens.

Higher-priced models feature up to an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, and some retailers will also configure the system with memory, storage, and an OS for you.

Here are some places where you can buy the Intel NUC 9 Extreme/Ghost Canyon NUC as of July 1, 2020:

Intel NUC9i9QNX with Core i-9980HK for $1640

Intel NUC9i7QNX with Core i7-9750H for $1349

Intel NUC9i5QNX with Core i5-9300H for $999

via FanlessTech

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  1. Yes, this is an expensive system. You’ll pay a premium of up to $600 for the i9 version when compared to a comparable i9 desktop. In fact the desktop will have a faster processor. However this NUC is small, can support an RTX 2070 discrete graphics card, and is fully configurable in terms of disks and memory. Want RAID 0 M.2 SSDs? No problem. An Intel Optane SSD? Again, no problem.

    Need two Ethernet adapters and Wi-Fi 6, or Thunderbolt 3? Those are built-in. And this system is modular and upgradable.

    If none of that matters then yes, go with a less expensive system. But it won’t be a comparable system.

    1. I built a $2k+ rig out of an M1, so it’s not necessarily a cheaper option at all. And the sky’s the limit as far as options (somewhat depending on mobo), including a full-size GPU. Really not sure how much smaller this is versus the M1 at only 12.7L, but everything else aside, the case alone shouldn’t be triple the price imo.

  2. Nice design and a neat idea, but I don’t understand the ‘extreme’ pricing. A laptop i7 with hsf if what, $300 to $400 tops? Maybe $200 for the board. So, the damn case costs $700? You can get a similar sized NCASE M1 or LOQUE Ghost S1 for $200 to $300.