I've always been interested in mini PC form factors, especially now that it is possible to pack desktop-class performance into a comparatively small enclosure about the size of a router. In keeping with that theme, Intel's NUC 9 Extreme
proved to be a pint-sized powerhouse. What's next? Well, various leaks point to Intel prepping a NUC lineup built around its 11th generation Tiger Lake-U
Tiger Lake is next coming of Intel's 10-nanometer node. The enhanced process (10nm++) should deliver faster clockspeeds and better power efficiency, though we'll have to wait and see. Tiger Lake will supplant Intel's 10th generation Ice Lake
stack when it arrives in the second half of this year (barring a delay to Intel's roadmap).
Back in January, the folks at FanlessTech detailed upcoming NUC boxes based on Tiger Lake. They included Panther Canyon (NUC 11 Performance) and Phantom Canyon (NUC 11 Extreme).
Panther Canyon was said to feature 28W Tiger Lake-U processor options (Core i7, i5, and i3), Intel Xe graphics, up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, a single M.2 slot, Intel Optane memory, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and a range of ports.
Phantom Canyon, meanwhile, was said to arrive as the successor to Skull Canyon (NUC 9 Extreme) with Core i7 and Core i5 Tiger Lake-U processors and discrete graphics.
Fast forward to today and the folks at HardwareLeaks offered up some potential details about the discrete graphics in the Phantom Canyon model. The information is spun from a 3DMark Time Spy benchmark run, as spotted by Twitter user @_rogame. Have a look...
Source: 3DMark via HardwareLeaks/@_rogame
This is purportedly a Phantom Canyon NUC we are looking at, with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GPU inside. It is paired a Tiger Lake-U engineering sample CPU sporting a 2.3GHz base clock and 4.4GHz boost clock. There is also 8GB of RAM.
The leak shows the supposed NUC posting a 4,590 CPU score, which is pretty close to another leak claiming to be from a Core i7-1165G7
, which is also a Tiger Lake-U part.
Having discrete graphics muscle based on NVIDIA's Turing architecture paired with Tiger Lake-U is an enticing proposition. As to when we might see a NUC like this, it's not clear. The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted roadmaps, though we hope this still finds its way to market before the end of the year.