SimplyNUC has unveiled one of the first compact desktop computers with a 4″ x 4″ motherboard to support up to an Intel Core i9 processor. The company says the SimplyNUC Onyx will be available for pre-order starting August 29, with prices starting at $699 for an entry-level model with an Intel Core i5-13500H processor.

The little computer looks nearly identical to an Intel NUC Pro mini computer, but under the hood it packs some features Intel never offered in this form factor before getting out of the NUC hardware business. In addition to support for up to a 45-watt Intel Core i9-13900H processor, the little computer supports up to 96GB of DDR5-5200 memory.

Other features include support for up to 16TB of total storage thanks to a 2.5 inch drive bay and support for M.2 SSDs. The company says shorter models without support for 2.5 inch drives are also on the way, but won’t be available at launch.

In the future there will also be a board-only option for folks that want to provide their own chassis, build their own PC, or use the board as part of an embedded system.

The SimplyNUC Onyx has a 2.5 GbE Ethernet port, two HDMI 2.1 ports, and dual 20Gbps USB4 ports, which should allow you to connect up to four displays. There are also four USB Type-A ports, a 3.5m combo audio jack, and a DC power input for a 19V power supply.

The company typically sells its products directly through its own website, but I’m told that now that Intel is no longer making its own NUC systems, SimplyNUC plans to sell barebones versions of the Onyx mini PC through third-party distributors for the first time.

As we reported recently, SimplyNUC isn’t the only company planning to launch a 4×4 mini PC with a 13th-gen Intel Core i9 processor. The SimplyNUC Onyx will go head-to-head with the Geekom Mini IT13 soon.

press release

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  1. Looks cool for sure but I can’t help but wonder how you could possibly make use of the i9 in that tiny package. The spec increases over the i5-1340P and the i7 variants don’t seem to be that large in relation to the nearly doubled power draw of 45-100W. That’s gonna be a huge amount of heat to try to evacuate from that tiny case. The Intel NUC 13 Pro models are using DDR4 which only goes up to 64GB; seems like this must be using DDR5 to get 96GB.
    I’m glad to see the third party companies continue the NUC line and push it forward but this one does seem like it could be too much power in a 4×4″ case. Gonna need some reviewers to try it and report back. My i5 NUC 13 Pro already makes plenty of fan noise under full load.

    1. Simply NUC has not revealed much about it yet, but Moonstone (AMD version) has a new “Patent Pending” Dual-Exhaust Cooler that cools up to 65w. This same cooling solution is on Onyx.

      Running either at 45w, the cooling is silent. At 65w, it probably quieter than your i5 NUC 13. I can barely hear it in the lab.

      BTW, Simply NUC did a 45w cooler for Cypress 3+ years ago, that was quieter than the Intel NUCs at 28w, but decided launch Cypress at 35w (commercial product didn’t need to support Turbo Boost). Intel adopted the same changes Simply NUC did to the Cypress chassis, so they could get Wall Street and Arena Canyon to 35w.

      Simply NUC took the changes they did to get Cypress to 45w 3+ years ago and included the Dual-Exhaust blower to launch Moonstone at 54w with 65w Turbo Boost. But the cooling is so good, that the Moonstone can boost to 65w, and just runs at 65w all the time.

      For the “4×4” NUCs, Intel NUC’s started at 15w, went to 28w with Bean Canyon, and 35w starting with Wall Street. If you look at the Wall Street chassis, you will see the changes Simply NUC put into the Cypress chassis a couple of years previously.

      Moonstone has been tested for DDR5-5600 up to 96GB. The same 5600 DIMMs run on Onyx at 5200 and Onyx has also been tested up to 96GB.

      Once the 64GB DDR5 SO-DIMMs are available, both Moonstone and Onyx will be tested for 128GB. If a BIOS update is needed for Onyx, then Simply NUC will offer that

      Although the datasheets on the Intel 13th Gen H Processors claim to support up to 64GB of memory, that is for DDR4 (DDR5 showing the same is a Copy/Paste error). The Intel 13th Gen H Processor “should” support up to 128GB of memory though I could not find the document from Intel that showed that it supports 128GB.

      The datasheets on the AMD processors on Moonstone show 256GB max memory. If 128GB DDR5 SO-DIMMs ever exist, we will test Moonstone (and Onyx) for 256GB as well. I suspect Intel won’t run over 128GB

      Brad will be reviewing it and always gives us unbiased feedback

  2. It’s truly amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time to be able to have these mini computers with such capabilities! Wasn’t that long ago when you’d get a huge desktop computer tower and it’d have just 640k for memory!

  3. Is that port at the bottom for a GPU? I would love a small pc like this that I can throw a GPU in.

    1. Additional IO which includes HDMI and SDI capture, more USB ports, additional 2.5GbE NIC, or Dual HDMI display controller for 2 more screens