After teasing a new version of its miniature PC back at Computex 2021, Intel’s new NUC 11 Extreme is now available to preorder from SimplyNUC, with prices starting at $1,399. The machine, which is codenamed “Beast Canyon,” is listed with two 11th gen Intel CPU options, and enough space for a 12-inch graphics card.
These two CPU options are an eight-core Core i7-11700B, and an eight-core Core i9-11900KB. Intel has confirmed to The Verge that the new CPU options will also be available as an upgrade for owners of last year’s NUC 9 Extreme. However, it cautioned that “necessary design decisions” mean that front panel audio won’t be supported if you’re using a new CPU in the old chassis, and that PCIe Gen 4.0 is unlikely to be fully supported. Originally, there was a $1,299 configuration listed too with a six-core Core i5-11400H, but Intel tells The Verge it's decided not to produce a Core i5 module, citing higher demand for the i9 and i7.
GPUs up to 12-inches in size are supported
With a volume of around 8 liters, the NUC 11 Extreme is a little bigger than the 5-liter NUC 9 Extreme from last year. But Intel has put that extra capacity to good use with enough space for graphics cards up to 12-inches in length. That’s up from a maximum of eight inches in the last model.
A more powerful power supply (650W this year, up from 500W with the NUC 9 Extreme) also means the new model should be able to handle more power-intensive graphics cards. SimplyNUC specifically mentions that the computer can handle cards “with performance levels up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080” via its PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slot, and the a spec sheet says graphics cards up to 350W are supported. For reference, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 draws 320W, while the 3080 Ti draws 350W.
Beyond CPUs, SimplyNUC is selling the machines equipped with 8GB of RAM as standard, but they can be configured with up to 64GB. 256GB of NVMe M.2 storage is included in SimplyNUC’s pricing, and there are four M.2 slots in total, according to Tom’s Hardware.
In terms of connectivity, the NUC 11 Extreme has six USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports on its rear, alongside Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. There’s an additional two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the front as well as an SDXC card slot. Naturally you’ll gain access to more display-out ports on its rear once you plug in a discrete graphics card.
The Core i7-11700B model starts at $1,399, while the Core i9-11900KB is $1,599. The entry-level model is listed as shipping in December, but the i7 and i9 models ship earlier in September. Pricing or availability for the standalone CPUs as an upgrade for last year’s machine is yet to be announced.
Correction: Intel has decided to only sell two variants of the NUC with Core i7 and Core i9 chips, not a Core i5 model, the company told The Verge after we published this post.