Intel NUC 13 Professional Enviornment Canyon Evaluation: Raptor Lake Brings Incremental Features

Intel NUC 13 Pro Arena Canyon Review: Raptor Lake Brings Incremental Gains

Extremely-compact type issue PCs have emerged as brilliant spots within the PC market over the previous decade since Intel launched the NUC. NUCs started as a substitute for cumbersome tower desktops in purposes the place the bodily footprint and capabilities of the system considerably exceeded precise necessities.

The corporate celebrated its tenth anniversary final yr with the introduction of the primary UCFF NUC household with hybrid processors. The Wall Avenue Canyon 4″x4″ NUCs primarily based on Alder Lake got here with vital enhancements over the earlier technology in each efficiency per watt and worth proposition metrics. Only a few quarters later, Intel is updating its Professional line of UCFF NUCs with the 13u Gen. Core Processors (Raptor Lake). The brand new Enviornment Canyon NUCs carry the identical {hardware} specs because the Wall Avenue Canyon SKUs, with the primary replace being the change to the inner SoC.

The Raptor Lake-P brings incremental features in each efficiency and energy output over the Alder Lake-P. We have already seen one in every of Intel’s companions – ASRock Industrial – take the lead in delivering UCFF mini-PCs primarily based on Raptor Lake-P. Intel’s Enviornment Canyon NUCs goal the identical market section because the ASRock Industrial NUC(S) BOX-13xxP/D4 SKUs. Nonetheless, Intel intends to supply a extra complete checklist of processor choices, together with barebones and pre-built choices for every.

Intel sampled us with a pre-production model of the NUC13ANKi7 – the slim model of the NUC 13 Professional outfitted with a Core i7-1360P processor. This evaluation gives a complete have a look at the system’s efficiency profile and the way it stacks up in opposition to the earlier technology in addition to different opponents available in the market.

Product introduction and impressions

Intel’s Raptor Lake processors construct on the heterogeneous computing paradigm launched with Alder Lake hybrid processors. Whereas the desktop processors loved some small micro-architectural tweaks for higher efficiency, the -P collection owes its enhancements to the maturity of the Intel 7 manufacturing course of. The up to date voltage-frequency curves allowed Intel to extend the turbo clocks for each efficiency cores and efficiency. Some I/O enhancements, equivalent to extra Thunderbolt 4 ports and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 help, are additionally within the combine for the Raptor Lake-P, however their adoption is dependent upon different board part choices.

Intel’s Enviornment Canyon NUCs are visually similar to their Wall Avenue Canyon counterparts – proper all the way down to the position of the I/O ports and inner board structure. The truth is, one of many major causes for Enviornment Canyon to launch inside a number of quarters of Wall Avenue Canyon appears to be the similarity in indoor platforming. Intel determined to attenuate the adjustments through the use of the identical DDR4 SODIMM help and Burnside Bridge timers on the Kind-C ports. Because of this the Thunderbolt 4 ports on the Enviornment Canyon NUCs don’t help USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 just like the Wall Avenue Canyon NUCs.

Nonetheless, there are some distinctive SKUs within the Enviornment Canyon NUC line in comparison with the Wall Avenue Canyon NUCs. There are a number of fashions that use the particular Core i7-1370P and Core i7-1370PE processors (which have a 6P+ 8e configuration that isn’t obtainable within the Alder Lake-P). As well as, some SKUs use processors meant for the embedded market. These have a 5 yr availability window (in comparison with the three yr life cycle for the others). In complete, Intel plans to launch about 30 completely different Enviornment Canyon NUC SKUs (boards / skinny and tall kits / ready-to-use mini-PCs) within the coming quarters.

Intel’s line of 4″x4″ mini-PCs (marketed underneath the Professional model) has developed to focus on enterprise use circumstances. With this in thoughts, the corporate has saved some SKUs with vPro Enterprise capabilities for simpler deployment and administration by IT departments. The brand new vPro programs provide cloud-based hardware-based distant administration, Intel AMT for out-of-band connectivity with KVM help, {hardware} alarms, and distant energy management.

The corporate additionally provides the NUC Professional Software program Suite (NPSS) to ensure uptime for digital signage purposes. This includes connecting one HDMI port to the primary show and the opposite HDMI port to the second HDMI port of one other Intel NUC HDMI port. By default, each NUCs drive their very own main shows. When the NPSS device detects a heartbeat failure, the working NUC prompts each shows – its personal in addition to the failed system’s. The device additionally consists of app screens for restarting unresponsive apps and specific HDMI-CEC testing by way of diagnostic software program.

The compact nature of those programs additionally provides use in IoT and edge computing purposes within the automotive, healthcare, industrial and schooling sectors. When it comes to reliability, Intel qualifies all NUC 13 Professional programs for 24×7 operation throughout the 3-year guarantee interval. These NUCs have state-of-the-art options (for a UCFF system) equivalent to help for Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 and 4 simultaneous 4Kp60 shows. Options like display emulation additionally make it pleasant for headless operation and digital signage growth.

On the economic design entrance, Intel determined (fortunately) to go together with a matte textured body with the ‘intel nuc’ emblem embedded on prime. The air flow help and thermal design look like retained from earlier UCFF NUCs. The flagship SKU primarily based on the Core i7-1370P could be extra attention-grabbing to evaluation because of the extra cores, however the Core i7-1360P mannequin we’re reviewing right now is basically an analogous substitute for the NUC12WSKi7 that was reviewed intimately earlier this yr. Our pre-production pattern packaging doesn’t mirror the contents of the retail field. The pattern comes with a 120W (20V @ 6A) energy provide, cable administration screw and mounting screws.

The package additionally included a 512GB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD (Samsung PM9A1) and a pair of x 16GB DDR-3200 SODIMMs (Kingston ValueRAM).

Home windows 11 Dwelling was pre-installed (OEM construct) however we selected to wipe the disk and set up Home windows 11 Enterprise 21H2 with the newest updates. Generally, shifting to Microsoft’s newest launch (22H2) is fraught with efficiency points and surprising benchmarking conduct. The complete specs of the evaluation pattern (as examined) are summarized within the desk beneath.

Intel NUC13ANKi7 (Enviornment Canyon) Specs.
(as examined)
Processor Intel Core i7-1360P
Alder Lake 4P + 8e / 16T, as much as 5.0 GHz (P) / 3.7 GHz (e)
Intel 7, 18MB L2, 35W
(PL1 = 40W, PL2 = 64W)
Reminiscence Kingston ValueRAM KVR32S22D8/16 DDR4-3200 SODIMM
22-22-22-52 @ 3200 MHz
Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics
(96EU @ 1.50GHz)
disk drives) Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
(512GB; M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe?)
(Samsung 6u Gen. V-NAND 128L (136T) 3D TLC; Samsung Elpis S4LV003 controller; OEM model of 980 PRO)
Networking 1x 2.5 GbE RJ-45 (Intel I226-V)
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX211 (2×2 802.11ax – 2.4 Gbps)
Sound Digital audio with Bitstreaming help by way of HDMI ports
3.5mm stereo headphone jack (Realtek audio codec)
video 2x HDMI 2.1 (4Kp60)
2x Show Port 2.1 with HBR3 over Thunderbolt 4
Numerous I/O ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-A (Entrance)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-A (rear)
1x USB 2.0 Kind-A (rear)
2x Thunderbolt 4 (rear) (Kind-C)
Working system Home windows 11 Enterprise (22000.1696)
Pricing (On-road pricing as of March 27u2023)
US TBD (barebones)
$(148 + TBD) (as configured, no OS)
Full specs Intel NUC13ANKi7 Specs

Within the subsequent part, we check out the varied BIOS choices and comply with it up with an in depth platform evaluation.

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