It’s finally happened—Intel finally lost its mind. The company known for CPUs just opened pre-orders for its Intel NUC 11 Extreme, a shoebox-sized PC that supports full-sized graphics cards and comes with an 11th gen Intel Core processor.
Nicknamed the “Beast Canyon,” the new NUC 11 Extreme is a bit larger than than the NUC 9 Extreme that Intel launched in 2020. But of course, the slightly-beefier nature of the Beast Canyon facilitates full-sized GPU support, a highly requested feature among mini PC enthusiasts.
Full-sized GPU support, along with 11th gen Intel Core processors (up to the Core i9-11900KB) make the NUC 11 Extreme a compelling gaming machine or video editing workstation, especially when you factor in up to 64GB of RAM and 32TB of storage (using the PC’s four M.2 SSD slots).
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The NUC 11 Extreme also features two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, an HDMI port, eight USB 3.2 ports, an SDXC card slot, a headphone jack, an Ethernet port, and a PCIe Gen 3 4-pin connector for accessory cards. RGB lighting can turn on or off at the push of a button, and the front faceplate (the thing with a skull) is user-replaceable for customization.
There’s just one issue that may turn off the hardest of hardcore gamers—the NUC 11 Extreme only has a 650-watt power supply. That isn’t enough juice for some of the highest-end GPUs, though it’s perfect for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (Intel says that GPUs up to 350 watts are supported). Again, this isn’t a major issue, and it’s a big improvement over the NUC 9 Extreme’s 500-watt power supply.
You can pre-order the new NUC 11 Extreme now, starting at the eye-popping price of $1,400. SimplyNUC says that supplies will start shipping this September. For those who already own a NUC 9 Extreme, Intel says its new NUC Element (the thing that holds the CPU and other components) is compatible with your system, though the upgrade will disable your NUC’s headphone jack.