The Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast is a compact desktop computer that packs a lot of horsepower into its small body. Also known by the code name “Serpent Canyon,” the computer features a 45-watt Intel Core i7-12700H processor and Intel Arc A770M discrete graphics.
We first started hearing about the Serpent Canyon system earlier this summer, and now Intel has officially launched the NUC 12 Enthusiast. It’s also available for pre-order from Simply NUC, although other retailers will likely start to stock the NUC 12 Enthusiast soon as well.
At the heart of the computer is a 45-watt, 12th-gen Intel Core H-series processor, with sup[port for up to a 14-core, 20-thread processor, as well as Intel’s most powerful mobile GPU to date. The Intel Arc A770M is a 1.65 GHz GPU with 32 Xe cores, 512 execution units, and 16GB of GDDR6 memory and support for up to five 4K displays. It’s also rather power hungry, consuming up to 150 watts, so while it’s designed for gaming laptops and mobile workstations, it might be better suited to desktops like the NUC 12 Enthusiast, where battery life isn’t a concern.
In order to support that kind of horsepower, the computer comes with a 330W power supply.
The computer supports up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory and up to 24TB of solid state storage thanks to three M.2 2280 slots, each with support for up to an 8TB SSD. Two of those support PCIe Gen 4 NVMe storage, while the third supports PCIe Gen 3 NVMe or SATA 2 SSDs.
That kind of power doesn’t come cheap though: Intel says the NUC 12 Enthusiast will be available starting in late September with prices for barebones configurations starting at $1180 to $1350, depending on the processor. But Simply NUC is charging $1699 for a Serpent Canyon NUC with just 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Ubuntu Linux. Upgrading the memory or storage or opting for Windows will cost you even more.
Cheaper options may arrive eventually though. Simply NUC tends to charge higher prices than other retailers, as the company specializes in providing support and services for small form-factor desktop computers. And Intel may eventually offer versions of the NUC 12 Enthusiast with lower-cost (and lower performance) processor and/or graphics options in the future.
Ports for all versions of the computer include:
- 1 x HDMI 2.1
- 2 x DisplayPort 2.0
- 2 x Thunderbolt 4
- 6 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
- 1 x 3.5mm stereo headset
- 1 x 3.5mm speaker/TOSLINK
- 1 x 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
- 1 x SDXC card reader (cards up to 2TB)
The Serpent Canyon also features an Intel Killer AX1690 wireless card with support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, has an infrared port on the front for an optional remote control, quad microphones with support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, and a replaceable lid with ab RGB-backlit logo and customizable RGB lighting.
The computer measures 230 x 180 x 60mm (9.1″ x 7″ x 2.4″) and has a volume of about 2.5 liters, making it substantially smaller than Intel’s other current-gen gaming desktop, the Dragon Canyon NUC, which has an 8 liter chassis.
This article was first published September 17, 2022 and most recently updated September 19, 2022.
Why put DDR4 in something that’s supposed to be a high end machine?
No DDR5 ???
What’s the market for 5 4K displays?
Fast food restaurants.
It might seem silly, but they typically display menus on TV screens now, and it’s hard to get a TV screen at a lower resolution.
For such use case, I would get 3 cheap celeron mini PCs for $600 and spare the remaining $1k.
Using this computer for that doesn’t seem optimal to me either, I just said the first thing I could think of that actually uses five displays.