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Leak of next-gen Intel NUC combines a 12th-gen CPU with Intel’s discrete Arc GPU

"Serpent Canyon" could be Intel's next "enthusiast"-class NUC box, and the first with a dedicated Intel GPU.
Enlarge / “Serpent Canyon” could possibly be Intel’s subsequent “fanatic”-class NUC field, and the primary with a devoted Intel GPU.

Intel’s “Phantom Canyon” NUC sits in between the corporate’s normal sq. NUC mini PCs and the expandable NUC Extreme boxes in measurement, efficiency, and expandability. It is a lot smaller than the NUC Excessive bins and nonetheless suits a devoted GPU and extra highly effective CPU, however just like the smallest NUCs, these parts are laptop-class parts that may’t be upgraded.

The following-generation follow-up to Phantom Canyon is allegedly across the nook, in accordance with very plausible-looking leaked pictures and specs from a Chinese forum post (via Tom’s Hardware). The brand new NUC, allegedly codenamed “Serpent Canyon,” combines a Core i7-12700H CPU (6 P-cores and eight E-cores) with one in every of Intel’s personal Arc A770M GPUs, making it the primary of those high-performance NUC bins with out an AMD or Nvidia GPU in it. The Phantom Canyon NUC makes use of a 4-core Core i7-1165G7 and an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU, so Serpent Canyon needs to be fairly a bit extra highly effective general.

Serpent Canyon will be a bit chunkier than the Phantom Canyon box it replaces, but it should be considerably more powerful.
Enlarge / Serpent Canyon shall be a bit chunkier than the Phantom Canyon field it replaces, nevertheless it needs to be significantly extra highly effective.

The Serpent Canyon images make it look chunkier than the Phantom Canyon field, which as Tom’s {Hardware} factors out is a probable facet impact of the higher-performance CPU and GPU—extra energy means extra cooling and thus a bigger case. However the PC ought to nonetheless provide spectacular efficiency for its measurement, and its array of USB, Ethernet, Thunderbolt, HDMI, and DisplayPort outputs ought to accommodate most peoples’ equipment and multi-monitor setups. Like Intel’s different high-performance NUCs, it additionally has a lit-up cranium on the facet. This may increasingly or might not make it go quicker.

Serpent Canyon has four USB-A ports, a 2.5Gbps LAN port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and a pair of DisplayPort outputs on the back.
Enlarge / Serpent Canyon has 4 USB-A ports, a 2.5Gbps LAN port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and a pair of DisplayPort outputs on the again.

Whether or not an Intel GPU is something to get enthusiastic about stays to be seen; early impartial benchmarks of the Arc A380, a midrange providing that is at present solely accessible in China, show it falling short of an Nvidia GTX 1650 and a Radeon RX 6400 in real-world gaming benchmarks. The GTX 1650 is greater than three years previous, and the RX 6400 is a cut-down model of the scathingly reviewed RX 6500 XT, so none of that’s nice information for Intel.

That mentioned, the A770M might nonetheless be a good performer. Intel’s drivers nonetheless have fairly a little bit of room for enchancment, and in comparison with the A380, the A770M contains a wider 256-bit reminiscence interface, 4 occasions as a lot rendering {hardware}, and 16GB of VRAM as a substitute of 6GB. That ought to give the A770M the firepower it must at the very least beat the RTX 2060 that shipped within the last-generation Phantom Canyon NUC, however we cannot know for positive till we’ve {hardware} in hand.

If these NUC bins have a significant weak spot, it is that they are significantly pricier than bigger however extra highly effective mini ITX PC builds. We do not know what the Serpent Canyon NUC will value as soon as it is right here, however the Phantom Canyon NUC begins at round $1,400 on Amazon and SimplyNUC.

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