Intel is showing off their upcoming NUC 9 Extreme Kit “Ghost Canyon” at CES 2020 and it is the largest NUC yet. Intel’s larger size allows you to swap out the CPU via a “compute element” as well as enough room for more power desktop discrete graphics card to be supported. The Intel NUC started out as a tiny 4×4-inch system that only allowed the memory, storage, and wireless card to be changed out, so this ultra-compact desktop series keeps getting larger more powerful options. The NUC 9 Extreme Kit seems to be a nice improvement over the last NUC kit that we reviewed, codenamed Hades Canyon. That machine came out in 2018 and was interesting as Intel went with AMD Radeon graphics to go along with their processor.
Intel did not reveal everything about Ghost Canyon at our sneak peak, but did say that it will be running Intel’s H-series “Comet Lake” laptop processors. Intel did not disclose the full processor lineup that will be available in compute modules, but did say the Intel Core i9-9980HK processor with 8-cores and 16-threads will be one of the options at launch. This is the very first time an unlocked Core i9 processor will be available on the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit. We wouldn’t be surprised to to see more Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 options down the road.
At 5.0 liters in size, the NUC 9 Extreme kit is fairly large compared to previous models! This larger enclosure allows for dual-slot discrete graphics cards that are no longer than 8-inches in length to fit and there is even a 500W power supply tucked inside.
On the front panel of the NUC 9 Extreme Kit there is what appears to be the power button, a full sized SDXC card readers, two USB 3.1 ports and 3.5mm audio port.
On the back of the unit there is connectivity for four USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports, and another 3.5mm audio port. To the right of that there is a PCIe Gen 3.0 x16 PCIe slot and a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 PCIe slot at your disposal. Intel said that up to a 225-Watt mini graphics card that is 8-inches or smaller will work in the NUC 9 Extreme. Being the first NUC to support desktop graphics, this could be a really compact and capable gaming system.
We couldn’t open up the Ghost Canyon sneak peek system, but it looks like two 80mm cooling fans installed on the top of the case acting as exhaust fans.
Intel will be releasing more information on the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit later this week during CES 2020 If you have any open questions be sure to ask them below and we will pass them along to Intel while we are here at the trade show. We’ve already asked about pricing details as we are curious what the starting price will be knowing that the end user will need to supply memory, storage drives and the operating system.