Intel NUC 13 Excessive Lightning Evaluate: Masterclass In Compact Computing

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The Intel NUC 13 Excessive was first introduced again in November and is the comply with as much as the chipmaker’s NUC 12 technology of compact desktop PC options. Accessible in three SKUs, the chipmaker was gracious sufficient to provide a probability to check out the most recent iteration of its compact desktop computing answer, and even take it for a spin.

What Is It?

Intel’s NUC collection is actually the chipmaker’s concept of what a compact desktop answer is, after which some. What I imply by that final half is that it nonetheless requires parts to be assembled, however not in the normal sense. Whereas each NUC is completely different in its construct and design, the entire thing normally includes of 4 components: the chassis, the NUC Compute Ingredient, the GPU enclosure, and the PSU. And the NUC 13 Excessive isn’t any exception.

The center of the NUC 13 Excessive, or core in case you desire, is the Compute Ingredient. This element is largely an all-in-one unit, that holds all of the necessities of a PC, together with the CPU and its specifically designed cooler, RAM, and a wholesome variety of M.2 slots, two of that are NVMe Gen4 slots, with a 3rd slot reserved for SATA3 SSD.

There are three choices out there for the NUC 13 Excessive: the bottom equipment and its Compute Ingredient comes with a 13600K, adopted by a 13700K for the center floor. At the highest of the checklist is the 13900K, which is the SKU Intel offered us, together with the large ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080 Ti graphics card that the chipmaker has surprisingly managed to suit into the underside half of the chassis.

GPU however, different options of the NUC 13 Excessive and its Compute Ingredient embody an HDMI 2.1 port, two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, Intel 2..5GbE and 10GbE LAN ports, built-in Wi-Fi 6E AX1690i antennas that additionally serves as unit’s Bluetooth 5.2 receiver. And 6 USB-A 3.2 Gen2 ports.

Is It Any Good?

Certainly one of the most important appeals of the NUC 13 Excessive and extra particularly, a Compute Ingredient, is the relative simplicity of eradicating its from the chassis, within the occasion you would like to take away and substitute the CPU, or in case you want to the set up a fresh NVMe Gen4 or SATA3 SSD. For the report, Intel offered us with a completely furnished NUC, which incorporates 64GB of DDR5 SO-DIMM RAM and a 2TB NVMe Gen4 SSD, each of that are from Kingston’s Fury lineup.

On one other be aware, the mesh panels that double because the NUC 13 Excessive’s covers is a brilliant transfer and clearly designed out of necessity; given the small kind issue of the machine, it is important that there may be ample airflow biking by way of all of the parts. Talking of, I must also indicate that the chassis additionally comes with just a few followers put in on the perimeters, in order to raised direct the airflow to each the CPU and GPU.

As for the NUC 13 Excessive’s efficiency, there actually isn’t a lot I can say in regards to the parts, that I haven’t already talked about. I’ve already reviewed the Core i9-13900K in-depth when Intel formally launched Raptor Lake, so you may try my findings in that article. For one more matter, the identical goes for the RTX 3080 Ti that’s included with this equipment and though this can be a mannequin I by no means reviewed, its common efficiency in each 1440p and Full HD resolutions are what I initially anticipated with the CPU and GPU combo. That’s, no less than to some extent.

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The Unhealthy Stuff. Inform Me.

As a result of of the NUC 13 Excessive’s diminutive dimension, and the undeniable fact that it runs on a 750W SFX PSU, there is simply a lot energy you may drive in the direction of its Compute Ingredient. On that be aware, the cooling answer getting used right here isn’t probably the most ideally suited, and it’s much more evident once you keep in mind that the CPU on this unit is a beastly 13900K. That is turns into evident at any time when I put the processor by way of a few the ordinary benchmarks and witnessed it ramping up the warmth and hitting the 100°C mark in a short time, and staying there in the course of my stress take a look at.

Not solely that, however in comparison with the advantages of an open testbench, the 13900K within the NUC 13 Excessive carried out barely worse, scoring just a few hundred factors lower than my water-cooled 13900K in PCMark 10, and practically 10000 factors much less in Cinebench R23. The RTX 3080 Ti, nevertheless, didn’t appear to affected and nonetheless managed to take care of a mean 72 fps in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p, whereas in the most recent Warhammer 40000: Darktide, each it and the CPU managed to take care of a mean of 65 fps,

One other drawback that I foresee with the NUC 13 Excessive and its Compute Ingredient is that if and when it will definitely breaks down or seizes up. Once more, if the difficulty is remoted to a defective CPU, the element can simply get replaced. Nonetheless, if the module itself is broken in any manner, changing it could be much more tedious than fixing a traditional desktop PC, since you may’t merely exit to the closest PC retailer and discover a substitute unit.

Ought to I Purchase It?

Pardon the wiring.

At a beginning worth of US$760 (~RM3359), the Intel NUC 13 Excessive is definitely a really interesting alternative to the different of going the total monty of constructing a desktop PC from scratch. Like all NUC generations earlier than it, it someway manages to hold to its smaller-than-average stylish, whereas additionally offering the possibility of growth in and round its chassis, particularly for a full-sized graphics card.

And whereas that final level will be an non-compulsory further, I hardly consider that becoming in an RTX 3080 Ti contained in the NUC 13 Excessive simply as a result of you may is lower than ideally suited, and albeit, you may in all probability just do as a lot with an RTX 3070 Ti or another GPU that sometimes doesn’t require a PSU higher than 750W.

And sure, I can hear all you small kind issue (SFF) PC builders on the market scoffing and saying that you may in all probability construct one thing even smaller, however hey, that is Intel’s tackle the medium and, once more, in contrast to your typical DIY PC, there are components which can be distinctive to the NUC kind issue alone. Having stated that, the NUC 13 Excessive’s Compute Ingredient continues to be a double-edged sword, that means that if some drawback or difficulty had been to befall it, ordering a fresh one will not be as simple as selecting a brand new half out, as one normally would with a customized desktop PC. So, weigh out your professionals and cons on this one fastidiously.

 

Pictures by John Legislation.

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