Intel Confirms NUC 12 Extreme uses Socketed Alder Lake-S Processors

Intel NUC 12 Extreme
(Image credit: Intel)

The new Intel NUC 12 Extreme, codenamed "Dragon Canyon", has been outlined in a sneak peek from the Intel booth at CES 2022. It will be built around Intel's latest 12th Gen Core Processor family, which isn't such a surprise, but the big news is that Intel has confirmed that it will be using a standard LGA1700 socketed CPU. Last week, Tom's Hardware reported on leaked images suggesting that the newest NUCs would move to using socketed CPUs.

In a seconds-long segment, at the end of the above video showing off the newest Intel-powered laptops, Intel Marketing Specialist Cassandra Bodzak talks briefly about Dragon Canyon. The details in the script were light, but thankfully we can make out some more substantial details from her presentation board prop.

Firstly, as mentioned in the intro, this system will make use of the standard socketed ADL-S processors popular with PC DIY enthusiasts. These are seated in a familiar levered clamping mechanism. Intel hasn't got rid of the Compute Element idea with this move though, the central guts of the NUC are still referred to as such, but its modularity is enhanced by a socketed CPU. The marketing board suggests you can opt to buy the NUC 12 Extreme with 12th-Gen Core i7 or i9 pre-installed. Keeping the powerful new processor cool is a custom-designed compact vapor chamber and blower fan assembly.

Intel NUC 12 Extreme

(Image credit: Intel)

Elsewhere in this exposé you can see details of the front panel I/O, the three slots for PCIe M.2 SSDs, two slots for DDR4 SO-DIMMs, a customizable LED mask front panel, and the all important Baseboard, which helps you fit a graphics card within the small NUC chassis. Other key specs you might like to know are that this system comes with Wi-Fi 6E, Thunderbolt 4, 10Gbe LAN, USB 3.2 Gen2, and HDMI connectors.

All in all, this is a compact system with fewer compromises than ever. Intel said it will become available this quarter, so hopefully we will be able to test and evaluate the latest 12th-Gen NUC Extreme within the next three months.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • salgado18
    If Intel historically doesn't support the same socket for more than two generations, then why? So we can upgrade to a 13rd gen i9 and that's it? And especially since you can get it with either an i7 or i9, it's not like you buy a budget CPU then upgrade to something stronger. Unless they support the socket for longer (yes, like AM4 is), then this may just add unneeded costs.