Intel has launched the NUC 13 Extreme – codenamed ‘Raptor Canyon’ – which is their most powerful mini PC yet. The new Raptor Canyon PC offers 13th-generation Core CPUs and space for up to 12-inch triple-slot graphics cards. The mini kit is aimed at avid gamers and content creators who want to clean up their desks.
The chassis for the Raptor Canyon has been redesigned to reduce noise and optimize airflow, while maintaining the NUC series’ signature compact size. We are sad to see the iconic RGB skull faceplate leave this new tower PC even though a smaller skull design can now be found inside.
The new gaming NUC features unlocked 13th-generation i9, i7 or i5 processors that use a new hybrid core architecture to try to deliver streaming and gaming at the highest level possible. The highest specification model includes the incredibly fast Intel Core i9-13900K.
The Intel NUC 13 Extreme will launch first in China and be available to a wider audience in early 2023. Prices for the kit start at $760 (about £667 or AU$1,180) for the entry-level i5 model and go up to $1,179 (about £1,030 or AU$1,830) depending on the configuration you’re looking for.
Analysis: NUCs are a great gateway to PC building for beginners
The Intel NUCs are all about giving a smaller and less complex canvas to people who may not be confident in building their own gaming PC. This is why they are so cool. They’re a great option for people like us who don’t have a lot of desk space and don’t need anything fancy.
Since the Intel NUC 13 Extreme supports 12-inch graphics cards with three slots, you can buy a new GPU or slot in an older card and upgrade it if you have the money. However, don’t expect meaty RTX 3090 Ti or 4090 models in it. You’ll also need an SSD and some RAM, but luckily they aren’t that expensive.
The hybrid core architecture we mentioned above is a nifty piece of technology new to 13th-generation processors that split cores into two halves: performance cores and efficient cores. The P-cores are there to handle the heavy workload, the most important thing you run on your PC – like a game or a program that consumes a lot of resources. Meanwhile, the E-cores have been optimized to handle background processes.
So let’s say you have a game on one monitor but a music player or Discord chat on another, your processor isn’t trying to focus on its own and monitor both workloads. This is especially a boon for streamers, as the E-cores can keep your streaming software running smoothly in the background, while the P-cores give you optimal gaming performance.