Intel has announced the latest iteration of its NUC (next unit of computing) mini PC for enthusiasts, codenamed Serpent Canyon. Formally called the Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast Mini PC, this is the first NUC to feature the company’s Arc A-series graphics cards, along with 12th-generation processors. There’s also the Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast Kit, which is the same thing, but without RAM, storage, or an operating system, so you can configure the PC with the specs you want.
The core features of the Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast Mini PC include an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, which is a mobile processor with 14 cores and 20 threads, plus boost speeds up to 4.7GHz. It has a 45W TDP, so it’s not too far from typical desktop performance. You also get a mobile GPU, the Intel Arc A770M with 16GB of GDDR6 memory. This is Intel’s highest-end laptop GPU, and it supports all the features you’d expect including real-time ray tracing, as well as some unique features like support for AV1 encoding. Perhaps more notably, having an Intel CPU and GPU means this is the first time we see support for Intel Deep Link technology on the desktop. This allows the CPU and GPU to work together in some workloads to boost performance.
The Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast Mini PC and Kit also come with support for up to 64GB (the Mini PC version already includes 16GB) and you get three M.2 NVMe slots for SSDs. Two of these slots support PCIe 4.0 speeds, with the third one supporting PCIe 3.0. If you get the fully-configured Mini PC, it comes with a 1TB PCIe 4 SSD by default, though you can still expand.
As for ports, the machine comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, six USB Type-A ports (two on the front, four on the back), HDMI 2.1, two DisplayPort 2.0 ports, 2.5Gb Ethernet, and a full-size SD card reader. It also includes Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support. All of this comes in a 2.5-liter chassis, which can be used horizontally or vertically with the included vertical stand, so you have a bit more flexibility with how your setup looks.
The Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast Mini PC and Kit will be available in late September from $1,180 to $1,350 depending on the configuration. Intel says you can also expect fully-equipped systems based on this NUC to be available at retail and from system integrators in the future.