back to article Intel teases NUC-leheads with new desktop-class graphics systems and a fast i9 CPU

At this year's overstuffed Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Intel teased its upcoming NUC (Next Unit of Computing) desktop — the NUC 9 Extreme, codenamed Ghost Canyon. This is the first of Intel's diminutive PC boxes to support standard desktop GPUs, making them an option for gamers looking for a smaller machine. …

  1. Brian Miller


    ... with the PS4 Pro displacing 5.3 litres, and the Xbox One measuring 4.3 litres.

    This is the first time I have seen figures on how much a computer displaces, as if they need to be powered by steam or gasoline. Used to be that displacement and performance were not linked when it came to computers. How things change.

    1. joeW

      Re: Displacement??

      I don't think anyone is linking displacement to performance, just giving relative sizes.

    2. Halfmad

      Re: Displacement??

      It's a good tactic when you don't want to compare actual performance though..

    3. Gonzo wizard

      Re: Displacement??

      And the figure isn't even useful unless you know if it includes the space taken around the back by the cables that stick out, and the space needed alongside the vents to ensure the box stays within temperature limits. Or how much extra space you'd need to allow.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Displacement??

        You can presume that they all need that extra space.

    4. drand

      Re: Displacement??

      As the old saying goes, there's no replacement for displacement volumetric efficiency.

    5. Rainer

      Re: Displacement??

      This is important for people who want to do a full-submersion oil-cooled NUC.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Displacement??

        I was going to mention that gaming towers are often large in order to be able to move around a lot of air for cooling (even if you run WC loops, you need space for the tubes and space around the tower to vent into).

    6. DontFeedTheTrolls

      Re: Displacement??

      Given existing NUCs are ~ 0.5 litres this is probably a good way to express the difference in size for the new boxes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, but how much?

    How deep of pockets?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK, but how much?

      How many litres are your pockets?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How many litres are your pockets?

        as the saying goes, not deep enough, if you have to ask.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: OK, but how much?

      The current generation ones are a little on the pricey side for the hardware you get (you're paying for the smallness of the unit and the perceived level of quality of buying Intel), so estimate how much an i9 powered machine would be, and add 10-20%.

      Or to look at it another way, find a laptop with equivalent specs, and assume the NUC will be about a half of the price of that (plus you'll have to provide RAM and an SSD, and a screen and keyboard etc).

  3. Sgt_Oddball

    Stop me if you've heard this one before..

    Cartridge based Cpus? Now where have I seen that before? Oh yeah... About 20 years ago with the Pentium II chipage...

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Stop me if you've heard this one before..

      And the wheel keeps on turning...

      *breaks out into a really bad rendition of "Circle of Life" from the original animated movie "The Lion King", not any of the sucessors or remakes*

  4. dnicholas

    I would be interested if it didn't have an Intel CPU

    Speccing up a Velcase Velka 3 build for my mancave at the moment, that too can take a full size GPU at <4l displacment. The need for FlexATX or slightly more exotic DC-DC power supply is a bit of a pain though...

    R.E. commentators above, SFF cases are usually described by displacement in small form factor aficionado circles

    1. Dave K

      It depends what you want it for I guess. This new NUC is a strange one, because it's a bit like a small PC (ie, a Shuttle system) rather than a tiny little box like the earlier NUCs.

      Personally, I have a NUC from a couple of years ago. I don't care that it has an Intel CPU as all it does is run Linux and act as a mini server/torrent machine. For my main gaming PC I replaced at a similar time, I went with a more conventional form factor and a Ryzen CPU.

      1. NATTtrash

        ...act as a mini server/torrent machine.

        Indeed. Has anybody heard what the TDP is of this new rendition?

  5. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Build it into a keyboard.

    If they want to penetrate the education market even more, they should simply build the NUC technology directly into a keyboard. Schools *loved* the Apple IIgs form factor; they bought millions of them.

    1. Dr_N

      Re: Build it into a keyboard.

      Thumb-up, but BBC Micro, Shirley?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build it into a keyboard.

      >If they want to penetrate the education market even more

      Steady on there, you can go to prison for a long time doing that sort of thing.

    3. theOtherJT Silver badge

      Re: Build it into a keyboard.

      Sure, they did back then, but if I were running a classroom now that's the last thing I'd want. This isn't the 80s where each class gets one computer and access to it is a closely observed privilege with a teacher standing over your shoulder. Every kid is going to need one and at least 4 out of 5 of those kids are going to spill something in it / pull the keycaps off / drop it on the floor / hit one of their classmates with it... 5 quid disposable logitech keyboards are definitely the way to go.

    4. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Build it into a keyboard.

      ... I think you are referring to the IIe and IIc actually- I don't recall the IIgs ever being made in a form factor that had a built in keyboard.

      TBH, I'd think that the best form factor would be a small box that hangs off the back of the monitor- less boxes to deal with, along with less cords and whatnot as well.

      1. ICL1900-G3

        Re: Build it into a keyboard.

        Fewer!!! If you can count them, it's 'fewer'!!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build it into a keyboard.

      Speaking from experience of the education market, in inner London, we don't want integrated anything. The animals we babysit during the day find more enjoyment in plucking they keys off keyboards than learning. It's not the 80s and kids now are complete ****, mum and maybe dad are more upset little Jonny, or Mohammad, have been caught than what they have done

  6. Starace

    Too expensive

    They're nice little gadgets when you have a use for them, but the prices are always steep for what you actually get.

    When you need that specific niche filled great but otherwise it's difficult to justify the cost.

    1. storner
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Too expensive

      They do have one significant advantage: The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). It's the only kind of pc-style box permitted in the living room to power my media center (MythTV on Linux) - anything else was vetoed as too big/klunky/noisy/ugly.

      For bonus points I replaced the minitower PC in the office at home with a second NUC. A bit pricey - sure, but much cheaper than an iMac.

    2. Rockets

      Re: Too expensive

      I've deployed 6 NUC's over the last few months for family (3) and my Dad's business (3). The i3 Gen8 model is pretty cheap once you put in 8GB of RAM and a 240GB M.2 SSD. For the family build's I get the taller model, only $4 more expensive, which can also take a 2.5" drive which I set up as a backup target. For the web browsing, email, office tasks they are more than enough. The family don't want laptops and their small size everybody likes compared to the ATX towers they had. Only problem is 4 USB ports isn't enough sometimes but a cheap USB 3 4 port hub gets around that easily enough. I've got an old one that I use with LibreELEC as a HT PC and the integrated IR makes it a great fit for that task.

  7. J. Cook Silver badge

    ... in looking at it, I'm reminded vaguely of the PICMG 1.x standard that had a backplane installed on the chassis, with the mainboard being essentially a plug-in card. (or the newer PC/104 standard, except that the form factor for the NUC is totally different than that.)

    Edit: The only real reason I'm even looking at them is to determine expense, and size: I have a stack of old Dell Optiplex GX620s that occasionally get dragged out to be used for Artemis as bridge stations, and they pull a lot of power and dump a lot of heat for what they actually do. (they are all P4 class machines). I'm thinking of swapping them with either NUCs or compute sticks, although the latter would probably work out better as I could build them (and their VGA adapters) into the base of the touch screens I have.

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