Intel’s archetype 4×iv NUC, which measures about four inches wide and deep, is the almost iconic NUC design – merely information technology’s far from the simply automobile the group sells.
The NUC group’s efforts now bridge across 600 total variations that cover nearly every employ y’all could mayhap fathom. You lot’ll observe NUCs in gaming PCs and train cars, behind kiosks and in programmer workstations.
Many of these NUCs are not the design you recognize but specialty machines congenital for a specific purpose. Some aren’t even sold through retail channels—though you lot may wish they were. We ran into 8 particularly interesting models during our recent visit to Intel’s NUC labs, where nosotros discovered the secrets behind the project that revolutionized tiny calculating. Feast your eyes on these!
ShinZhen Kihitech keyboard PC
Built around an Intel Compute Element, this keyboard is a fully functional Windows PC with all the features, ports, and connectivity you’d expect—as well as some you might not, like a VGA port for legacy monitors. The Compute Chemical element can be swapped out, besides, unlocking future processor upgrades.
Simply await—there’due south more than! The keyboard on this NUC-powered motorcar is actually a wireless keyboard with a congenital-in bombardment, meaning information technology can be removed from the baseboard and used independently. A touchpad is likewise included, equally y’all tin can see, so a wireless mouse isn’t required.
This model even lists 4G cellular information connectivity. While this PC lacks a bombardment for truly portable use, the cellular data option would be useful in locations where wired Cyberspace service is less mutual than wireless.
Information technology’s an alluring selection for enthusiasts who want a new PC with that old-school, early-80s computing feel, or for those who want an all-in-one habitation theater calculator. Unfortunately, the keyboard PC is out of reach for most readers, as information technology’s only sold in the Chinese market place.
Bleujour Wood Kubb
Go out information technology to the French to plow the NUC’south stocky, functional design into a friendly, approachable cube.
The Woods Kubb is part of Bleujour’southward Kubb line, which includes not only the Wood Kubb just also a more than colorful (and affordable) mainstream line, plus a fanless Kubb for those who absolutely despise dissonance.
An entry-level Kubb has a Core i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of solid land storage. You lot tin can upgrade the Kubb to a Core i7, 64GB of RAM, and up to 2 2TB solid state drives.
Starting at 645 Euros, or 755 for the wood enclosure, Kubb’s blueprint argument doesn’t come cheap (though it’s worth noting that PC prices more often than not skew higher in Europe). That’southward expensive, but hey—it’s not like you accept a dozen other wood PCs to choose from.
Dawson Canyon with custom LTE lid
Dawson Canyon NUCs arrived in 2022 with Intel’s seventh-gen and, later, eighth-gen Core processors. The top model, which had an Core i7-8650U processor, was the most performant version of the classic four×iv yet. Simply that’s non what makes this NUC notable.
That honor goes to the antennas.
Massive antennas aren’t a standard feature and, in this case, they serve a unique and useful purpose: 4G LTE connectivity. This item NUC has been modified to receive a strong mobile data signal, allowing Internet access from anywhere mobile data is available.
This showcases an underappreciated characteristic of the original 4×4 design: the lid. What looks similar a simple plastic cap is actually a portal to possibility. Removing the lid provides access to a 1000.two PCIe storage slot and internal USB headers. Plus, it uses a simple clip-on mechanism that makes custom lids easy to swap out.
The Atlas Canyon NUC might not look like a new, cut-edge model, merely in many means information technology is. A new addition to the NUC line sold as an essential NUC, Atlas Canyon uses entry-level Intel processors like the Pentium Argent N6005 and Celeron N5105. This model is slightly wider than the classic 4×4 design but significantly thinner, at simply 1.5 inches thick.
These processors won’t set criterion records, of form, simply they provide a very low price point. The Atlas Canyon NUCs are fully configured starting at $299 (though this doesn’t include a Windows license). They’re meant primarily for kiosks and digital signage, which might sound boring, but it represents a big role of NUC’s success.
Tinkerers should keep an eye on the NUC 11 Essential board. Slated to sell for only $199 when information technology arrives subsequently this twelvemonth, information technology will accept quad-cadre Celeron N5105 processor with back up for up to 32GB of RAM and NVMe storage, plus six USB ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort. It might be a great option for depression-cost project PCs.
Bleujour is at it again, though this time in a widely different blueprint and more than capable design. What you’re looking at is the RIDG, an upcoming workstation PC teased at CES 2022.
Yeah, that’s correct—this is a workstation PC. Despite its rather meaty design and wild shape, the RIDG is built around an Intel NUC Extreme Compute Element and provides room for a unmarried-slot PCIe x16 graphics card.
To be specific, this model offers up to Intel Xeon vPro processors and Nvidia Quadro RTX A4000 graphics. The RTX A4000 is a very capable piece of hardware despite its unmarried-slot design, with functioning close to that of an RTX 3070.
Not still available for purchase on Bleujour’s website, the RIDG is expected to arrive sometime this year. A press release published through Techtimes shows a steep entry-level price of $3,995 Euros – expensive just unsurprising given its size, performance, and all-metal chassis.
The Fort Beach NUC may seem a puzzle from the outside. Much wider and broader than the classic 4×4 NUC, Fort Beach seems to gain little from its added bulk. It has a similar number of ports and provides access to a similar range of Intel Pentium, Celeron, and Core processors.
Information technology’s what within the counts. Wait closely at the photograph to a higher place and you’ll discover Fort Embankment’southward secret: This NUC doesn’t take a processor soldered to the board. It instead uses the Intel Compute Element, which connects over a custom PCIe slot.
This blueprint offers the potential of future upgradability with improve, faster Compute Elements. This could be handy, as the NUC’due south board otherwise provides a selection of connectivity that shouldn’t need replacement anytime soon. There’southward also a model with optional video and audio capture card that slots into the machine’s rear.
Alright, the Ice Coulee NUC isn’t weird—merely it is important. Launched in 2013, the Ice Canyon NUC was the successor to Intel’due south debut NUC and the commencement to have an Intel Core processor. This gave a big heave to the NUC’south functioning and made it a genuinely useful device for mundane, twenty-four hours-to-solar day Windows computing.
Yous’ll notice the Ice Canyon NUC looks a scrap different from other, more recent models. This original 4×iv blueprint, which has both a compact footprint and sparse contour, remains the smallest complete NUC system available. Most NUCs are now larger, though this form cistron is however bachelor today with the Tiger Canyon and Provo Coulee models.
Despite its historic period, the Water ice Canyon NUC did support mSATA PCIe SSDs, making it ane of the get-go desktop PCs to support PCIe solid state storage. Ice Coulee also added an Ethernet LAN port, a feature missing from the prior Box Canyon NUC.
NUC Compute Element Extreme enclosures
Though not a specific model, as such, the arrival of custom enclosures built around Intel’south NUC Compute Chemical element Farthermost are an choice for enthusiasts who desire a high-end PC in a slim grade cistron.
Intel’due south own NUC Extreme Kit is the nigh widely available, but a variety of alternatives have appeared. These include complete systems like Razer’south Tomahawk, Bleujour’southward Move Ultimate, and AVA Direct’south Compute Element. Enclosures, plus enclosures such as the MasterCaseNC100, Silverstone Vital iv, and Akasa Venom QX.
All of these share a common component: the baseboard, which includes a pair of PCIe slots supporting one Compute Element Farthermost and one PCIe x16 video card. Intel has plans to improve this baseboard in the near hereafter with amend integration of component power supplies. This should remove some of the fuss from electric current systems based on the Compute Element Extreme which, though compact, can trouble owners with tight spaces that brand power connectors difficult to attach.