Intel’s NUC Extreme line of desktop computers are compact, high-performance PCs with support for discrete graphics cards. And the next model in lineup will be the most powerful to date, with support for up to a 13th-gen Intel Core i9 “Raptor Lake” processor.
But according to a leaked product roadmap, the upcoming Intel “Raptor Canyon” NUC Extreme will also be the largest NUC-branded computer to date.
The chassis for the new model is expected to have a volume of 13.9 liters, up from 8 liters for the Dragon Canyon and Beast Canyon NUC systems, which were designed for 12th-gen and 11th-gen processors, respectively. The means the new model could be closer in size to a mini-ITX or micro-ITX computer, which should provide additional room for internal components and for cooling… at the cost of making it a little less clear why anyone would actually opt for a Raptor Canyon NUC rather than a similarly-sized computer with a more traditional form-factor.
While complete details for the upcoming Raptor Lake model aren’t available yet, it looks like it will be available with Intel Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 K-series processor options (with support for overclocking), feature a PCIe x16 slot for discrete graphics, and continue to use Intel’s Compute Element design, which puts the guts of the computer (including the processor, memory, and storage) onto module that fits into a slot in the chassis.
Theoretically that allows you to upgrade an older NUC Extreme using a newer Compute Element, but it’s unclear if the new “Shrike Bay” elements with Raptor Lake processors will be compatible with previous-gen models.
According to the leaked roadmap, Intel’s Raptor Canyon NUC and Shrike Bay compute elements are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, presumably around the time that Intel officially launches the 13th-gen Intel Core processor family.