FanlessTech got a hold of some of the purported details surrounding the Intel NUC 11 series, and listed specs for the tiny Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon PCs. According to FanlessTech, these are also known as the NUC 11 Performance and Extreme, respectively, and will feature Intel's Tiger Lake U CPUs.
These are the NUCs that will succeed the current-gen NUC 10 series that come with Intel's Comet Lake CPUs, otherwise known as the Frost Canyon series.
Hitting the Mainstream with Panther Canyon
The Panther Canyon NUC 11's will aim for the mainstream, packing 28-watt Tiger Lake-U CPUs with processor options available in the i3, i5, and i7 range. These will be wired to a maximum of 64GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory.
Graphics will be handled by Intel Xe graphics, and purportedly there will be support for NVMe SSDs with up to four PCI-Express 4.0 lanes, which is a more than welcome addition. The units will also support Intel Optane M10 memory, and come with 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet, WiFi6, Bluetooth 5, and best of all: HDMI 2.1.
Fanless Tech says the launch is slated for the second half of the year.
Game on a NUC With The Phantom Canyon
This Phantom Canyon unit will succeed the Skull and Hades Canyon units, but take a small step in a different direction from its predecessors. Rather than featuring a 45-watt H-series processor, the new Phantom Canyon gaming NUCs reportedly make do with the same 28W Tiger Lake-U processors as the mainstream NUC 11's (albeit minus the i3 options), though chances are that the performance improvement will at least somewhat make up for the lower thermal envelope within gaming purposes, where the GPU becomes the main limiting factor.
Intel won't be packing these units with its own graphics card, either. FanlessTech's report states that graphics options will be from third parties, with the exact chips yet to be decided. Intel might be confident about its own graphics but will seemingly still turn to AMD or Nvidia when it comes to a dedicated gaming product.
Oddly, the connectivity isn't as lavish as the mainstream product, either. NVMe SSDs will be supported with up to four lanes, but only on PCI-Express 3.0, and there won't be HDMI 2.1 support. Users will have to make do with HDMI 2.0b -- though that's probably a matter of which version of HDMI the third party graphics' card supports -- currently there aren't any HDMI 2.1 graphics cards on the market, and we reckon that Intel's information sheets don't want to promise something that the company might not be able to deliver.
Availability is also slated for later this year.
That's why the dGPU-equipped Phantom Canyon will only have a PCIe 3.0 NVMe slot, while the iGPU-only Panther Canyon will have a PCIe 4.0 NVMe slot, when both are using the same underlying CPU.
Are you saying you expect Tiger Lake Xe gpu to be connected via an internal pcie4?
I suppose that design would be clean for sharing integrated and external gpus, as they claim is possible with Tiger Lake.