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Who is the target audience of intel extreme NUC?


I'm referring to the beefy NUC with top of the line CPU in it. It's small and nice for an HTPC but isn't that overkill? The onboard graphics aren't that great either (excluding those models that allow expansion with graphics card), so it's not meant for gamers too. Who is the real target audience? How is it better than a laptop?

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4 Replies
Super User Retired Employee

Are you truly referring to the Extreme NUCs? These are significantly beefier designs specifically because they *do* include a PCIe slot for an add-in graphics card. This applies equally to the 11th gen Beast Canyon and 9th gen Ghost Canyon. Target audiences include folks who are into Gaming, Streaming and/or Content Creation. If you want to use the embedded graphics solutions, Beast Canyon offered 11th gen UHD graphics and Ghost Canyon offered UHD 630 graphics.

Or are you referring to the Enthusiast NUCs? These are aimed at the same target audiences, but limited to the embedded graphics engine(s). This was Radeon RX Vega M GL/GH graphics in the 8th gen Hades Canyon and both Iris Xe and Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 graphics in the 11th gen Phantom Canyon.

Or are you referring to the Performance NUCs? These are aimed at HOPC, HTPC and casual gaming usage. They are limited to the "standard" 4.6x4.4 in (117x112 mm) NUC chassis. They are also limited to the processor's graphics solution, 11th gen UHD or Iris Xe graphics in the Panther Canyon models, 10th gen UHD graphics in the Frost Canyon models and 8th gen Iris Plus graphics in the Bean Canyon models.

Hope this helps (there are other categories we could cover),


Valued Contributor II

Personal preference enters into it.  Laptop is good for carrying around; NUC isn't.  If you aren't going to carry your computer around, a laptop includes things (such as an expensive battery) that you don't need or don't want (such as a small monitor).  Plus, you probably already have a keyboard, mouse, speakers and a camera.  It seems more realistic to compare a NUC with a regular desktop!  

Super User Retired Employee

True, but we could also be talking about the NUC laptops as well.

No, the OP's main point was that, in the NUC models that don't support add-in graphics cards, the embedded Intel graphics can't hack it. As I have shown, the Enthusiast NUCs also have AMD or NVIDIA graphics, so that is an option if gaming is the target (well, the NVIDIA graphics anyway). With the arrival of Iris Xe graphics in the 11th gen, this (the poor gaming performance) is supposed to be a thing of the past. Time will tell...


Valued Contributor II

It's not just the absolute performance, as you have to look at the price-to-performance ratio.  In that case, Spencer is right.  Some of the high end NUCs seem expensive for what you get.  If someone is serious about gaming, they are probably going to buy a desktop.    On the lower end though, NUCs seem like an incredible value.  You get a lot of computing power for not much in cost, especially when you can trick it out with the RAM and SSD you want!