Twitter user HXL has discovered the first photograph of Intel's upcoming NUC 11 Extreme (codename Beast Canyon) system. More interestingly, although the pictures don't show the processor, the leaker claims that the NUC features one of the chipmaker's latest Tiger Lake B-series processors. Take this claim with a pinch of salt as it is unconfirmed, but it would make sense given Intel's shifting target audience.
Intel briefly teased Beast Canyon at its Computex 2021 keynote. Beast Canyon is the successor to the chipmaker's Ghost Canyon NUC. However, Beast Canyon marks a fundamental turn for NUCs as it'll be the first device to offer support for a full-length discrete graphics card, making it more akin to a small form factor (SFF) system than a traditional NUC.
The Beast Canyon NUC will even come equipped with its own power supply, but Intel didn't mention the capacity. Unless it's a really generous capacity, it'll probably limit the type of graphics card you can install in the chassis.
Like its predecessor, Beast Canyon will also leverage Intel's "The Element" compute module. Everything from the processor and memory to display outputs will reside on the module itself, which then slots into a PCIe slot.
It's reasonable to assume that Intel will offer Beast Canyon with different processor options. The one from the photograph is reportedly based on the Core i9-11900KB, which is the flagship chip from the Tiger Lake B-series lineup.
The Core i9-11900KB is a 10nm desktop chip that features BGA packaging. The Tiger Lake processor delivers eight cores, 16 threads and 24MB of L3 cache. The Willow Cove cores run with a 3.3 GHz base clock and flaunt a 5.3 GHz TVB (Thermal Velocity Boost) clock. Intel rates the Core i9-11900KB as a 65W part but allows OEMs to drop the TDP all the way down to 55W.
At Computex 2021, Intel confirmed that Beast Canyon would launch later this year. From the rumors that we've heard, we could be looking at a potential fourth-quarter release.