Intel Phantom Canyon NUC 11 Gets Nvidia RTX Graphics Upgrade

Intel just added even more gaming power to its cute miniature desktop that is part of its Next Unit of Computing, or NUC, range. Unlike the traditional tower that dominates most gaming desktops on the market, Intel’s new NUC 11, unveiled at this year’s CES, looks more like an elongated Mac mini desktop when lying on its side.

The NUC 11 Enthusiast is the successor to the company’s popular 2018 Hades Canyon desktop. Like its predecessor, the NUC 11 Enthusiast retains the compact stature that defines Intel’s design, despite the fact that there are numerous new technologies. This year, the NUC 11 enthusiast is equipped with the company’s latest 11th generation processor and features Nvidia RTX 2060 discrete graphics.

A quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU is located under the hood. While confidence in Nvidia’s RTX 2000 series may be disappointing for serious gamers expecting a more modern RTX 3000 series graphics card, it is nonetheless impressive that Intel was able to pack so much power and power into a desktop of this size. The NUC 11 enthusiast is also codenamed Phantom Canyon, following earlier models such as Hades Canyon, Frost Canyon, and Ghost Canyon.

In addition to the new processor, NUC 11 enthusiast gamers also benefit from Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt 4 ports and a variety of connectivity ports – including six USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0 ports and a Mini DisplayPort 1.4 port. according to Intel’s product page. Unfortunately, the new HDMI 2.1 standard didn’t make the cut, so you won’t be able to use any of the new HDMI 2.1-capable monitors that were presented at CES.

When you’re not playing games or working on large creative projects, the NUC 11 enthusiast can also fall back on the integrated Xe graphics from Intel.

If you’re a gamer looking for a more compact rig than what’s traditionally on the market, the NUC 11 enthusiast could be a great option. Pricing and availability weren’t immediately available, but according to The Verge, SimplyNUC.com listed the Phantom Canyon on their website for $ 1,349 in an 8GB RAM and 128GB solid-state drive configuration.

Given that the Hades Canyon, a NUC 8 model, is still available for $ 1,234 on the site, the updated NUC 11 enthusiast could be a great value for space-conscious gamers. SimplyNUC’s retail configuration doesn’t come with a license for Windows 10, so you’ll have to pay a little extra cash to get started, which isn’t uncommon given Intel’s strategy with NUCs. SimplyNUC.com also allows buyers to expand storage space and storage space with a custom build for an additional charge.

Photo credit: Simply NUC

In the past, Intel sold its NUCs either as complete kits that are ready to use out of the box or as part of a hobbyist solution that requires you to add your own RAM, storage and operating system. The latter option provides flexibility for enthusiasts in the segment who may be more willing to tweak the parts on their desktop for the best performance possible.

In addition to the game-centric Phantom Canyon model, Intel has also updated its more traditional NUC models, which look more like a direct resemblance to Apple’s square Mac Mini. These models received an upgrade to 11th generation silicon from last year’s 10th generation, plus Wi-Fi 6 support and integrated Intel Xe graphics in the high-end Core i5 or Core i7 configurations. Companies that want to use Intel’s NUC can choose configurations with Intel’s vPro silicon.

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