Intel has officially launched its next-generation miniature PC designed for enthusiasts that demand performance sufficient for gaming. The NUC 11 systems code-named Panther Canyon pack Intel's quad-core 11th Generation Core 'Tiger Lake' processor as well as Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 graphics chip featuring the 'Turing' architecture.
Intel is certainly not a stranger to NUCs with a discrete GPU, but so far, the company has not really offered a system that would actually feature a decent gaming-capable standalone graphics processor (of course if we take the modular NUC 9 Pro/Extreme out of the equation). The NUC 11 Enthusiast 'Phantom Canyon' is the company's first attempt to wed compact dimensions (221 × 142 × 42mm) with gaming-grade graphics and even upgradeability.
Intel's NUC 11 Enthusiast (NUC11PHKi7C/NUC11PHKi7CAA) is based on the quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 (up to 4.70GHz, 12 MB cache, 28W TDP) processor that is paired with up to 16 GB of DDR4-3200 memory (up to 64 GB ), Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 discrete GPU with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory, and Intel's Optane Memory H10 (32 GB + 512 GB) or H20 SSD. Unlike memory and storage, the graphics processor cannot be removed, but those who want to upgrade this GPU will be able to do it using one of the system's two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
The small form-factor PC has a rather advanced connectivity department. On the wireless side of things, Intel's NUC 11 Enthusiast includes an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5 module, a quad far-field microphone array with Alexa support and an IR sensor on the front. As for wired section, it includes a 2.5GbE connector, six USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, four display outputs (a DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0b, two TB4 ports), an SDXC slot with UHS-II support, and a 3.5-mm audio jack for headsets, according to a product brief published by FanlessTech.
Considering performance, connectivity, and even upgradeability of the NUC 11 Enthusiast 'Phantom Canyon', these PCs will be able to address a rather broad set of customers, including gamers, multimedia enthusiasts, and even content creators who want a compact desktop.
Intel yet has to announce MSRPs of its NUC 11 Enthusiast barebones as well as pre-built kits, but since the systems are expected to hit the market shortly, their real pricing will transpire soon enough.