Participating anew at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020, Intel showcased a number of next-gen hardware at its Performance Workshop. Among them is the highly anticipated new entry for its compact, but powerful “Next Unit of Computing” (NUC) line — the Intel Ghost Canyon NUC.
Officially named the Intel NUC 9 Extreme, the Ghost Canyon NUC is next in line for Intel’s concept designs for high-performance micro- or mini-tower PCs. The NUC line was originally introduced in 2012 and were originally based on the 2nd-Gen Intel Core (Sandy Bridge) chipsets.
Following the previous-generation Skull and Hades Canyon NUCs, Ghost Canyon is opting to do things differently. This primarily revolves around introducing an important re-design for the innovative product line. Key to this is the more modular design it uses, offering power users plenty of opportunities to upgrade.
Unlike previous high-performance Intel NUC entries that come in a ultra-slim micro-tower, the Ghost Canyon features a larger form-factor and full-sized backplane. The unit itself looks more like an external GPU accelerator than a tower.
The Ghost Canyon NUC’s 5-liter chassis can accommodate an 8-inch, desktop-class GPU. There’s also room for high-performance RAM and advanced compact cooling systems.
With this design, Intel is introducing a truly customizable high-performance system for mini-PC enthusiasts. It’s a promising idea for gamers who don’t want to be confined to oversized desktop PCs and laptops to enjoy high-spec performance. (In contrast, the original NUC right up to the Comet Lake-U range were meant for daily computing tasks.)
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That’s not to say that the base specs aren’t already impressive. Intel managed to pack in the 9th Generation Intel Core chipset (up to i9-9980HK processor — 8C/16T) and a mainboard that comes with:
- Dual-Channel SODIMM DDR4-2666+ RAMs (up to 64GB)
- 2x M.2 NVMe slots
- 1x Intel Optane port
- 1x PCIe x16 slot
- Mixed I/O ports array: 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2x Intel Gigabit LAN jacks, 1x HDMI 2.0a input, 1x SDXC slot, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2 connectors
The Ghost Canyon NUC system is available as a complete kit, as well as only the Compute Element, which integrates the essential CPU, memory, and storage components in one removable piece.
Learn more about the Intel Ghost Canyon here.
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