Desktop Raptor Lake Sizzles in NUC13 Extreme


Intel is officially taking the wraps off the primary member of their Raptor Lake-based NUC13 family today. The NUC13 Extreme (just like the three previous Extreme NUCs) caters to the gamers and content creators requiring forefront performance and high-end discrete GPU support. Unlike the mainstream NUCs which have been consistently maintaining an ultra-compact form-factor profile, the Extreme family has slowly grown in size to accommodate flagship CPUs and discrete GPUs. These systems integrate a motherboard in a PCIe add-in card form factor (the Compute Element) and a baseboard that gives additional functionality with PCIe slots and other I/O features. As a refresher, Intel created the NUC Extreme category with the introduction of the Ghost Canyon NUC family in 2019. This was followed by the Tiger Lake-based Beast Canyon NUC in 2021 and the Alder Lake-based Dragon Canyon NUC earlier this 12 months. The most recent member of this family is today’s introduction – the Raptor Canyon NUC based on the Shrike Bay Compute Element.

The NUC Extreme family has grown in physical footprint with each generation, and the NUC13 Extreme is Intel’s biggest one yet. Coming in at 317mm x 129mm x 337mm (13.7L), that is more of a standard tower desktop than the NUCs that the market has grown accustomed to. Nevertheless, this size has allowed Intel to integrate flagship components. The Shrike Bay Compute Element supports socketed LGA 1700 processors with a PL1 of 150W and PL2 of 250W (tau of 28s). The vertical centering of the baseboard throughout the case enables loads of isolation between the Compute Element on the highest and the discrete GPU on the underside. Triple-slot dGPUs as much as 12.5″ in length are supported.

The NUC13 Extreme Kit is available in three flavors, while the Shrike Bay Compute Element itself has six variations. These allow system integrators and OEMs to supply a wide range of systems targeting different market segments. The table below summarizes the important thing differences between the three NUC13 Extreme kits.

Intel NUC13 Extreme Kits (Raptor Canyon)


Intel Core i9-13900K
Raptor Lake, 8P + 16E / 32T
5.8 GHz (Turbo) / 5.4 GHz (P) / 4.3 GHz (E)
125W TDP (As much as 253W)
Intel Core i7-13700K
Raptor Lake, 8P + 8E / 24T
5.4 GHz (Turbo) / 5.3 GHz (P) / 4.2 GHz (E)
125W TDP (As much as 253W)
Intel Core i5-13600K
Raptor Lake, 6P + 8E / 20T
5.1 GHz (Turbo) / 5.1 GHz (P) / 3.9 GHz (E)
125W TDP (As much as 181W)

Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.65 GHz)
Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.60 GHz)
Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.50 GHz)

2x DDR5-5600 SODIMMs
(as much as 64GB)

Motherboard (Compute Element)
295.3mm x 136.5mm x 46.1mm (Custom)

1x CPU-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 2280
1x PCH-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 2242 / 2280
1x PCH-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA M.2 2242 / 2280
2x SATA 6 Gbps (on baseboard)

I/O Ports
2x USB4 / Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C) (Rear)
6x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (Rear)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (Front)
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (Front)

Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1690i
(2×2 802.11ax Wi-Fi inc. 6 GHz + Bluetooth 5.2 module)
1× 2.5 GbE port (Intel I226-V)
1x 10 GbE port (Marvell AQtion AQC113C)

Display Outputs
2x DP 2.0 (1.4 certified) (via Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, iGPU)
1x HDMI 2.1 (as much as 4Kp60) (rear, iGPU)

Audio / Codec
7.1 digital (over HDMI and Thunderbolt 4)
Realtek ALC1220 Analog Audio / Microphone / Speaker / Line-In 3.5mm (Rear)
USB Audio 3.5mm combo audio jack (Front)

Kensington lock with base security

Power Supply
FSP750-27SCB 750W Internal PSU

337mm x 317mm x 129mm / 13.7L

Chassis Expansion
One PCIe 5.0 x16 with triple-slot GPU support as much as 317.5mm in length

Customizable RGB LED illumination on chassis underside
CEC support for HDMI port
Power LED ring in front panel
3-year warranty

Each kit SKU corresponds to a NUC13SBB Shrike Bay Compute Element. As well as, Intel can be readying the NUC13SBBi(9/7/5)F variants that include the KF processors – those Compute Elements should not have any Thunderbolt 4 ports. The HDMI port / graphics outputs are also not present. The three KF SKUs also forsake the 10GbE port.

The block diagram below gives some insights into the design of the system in relation to the I/O capabilities. Note that the system continues to make use of the Z690 chipset that was seen within the Dragon Canyon NUC.

PCIe x16 bifurcation (x8 + x8) is feasible for the Gen 5 lanes. Nevertheless, the baseboard design within the Raptor Canyon NUC kits doesn’t support it. That is one more aspect that OEMs could use to distinguish their Shrike Bay-based systems from the NUC13 Extreme.

Intel has provided us with a pre-production engineering sample of the flagship Raptor Canyon NUC (augmented with an ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080Ti GPU) for review, and it’s currently being put through the paces. The 150W PL1 and microarchitectural advances in Raptor Lake have ensured that the benchmark scores are off the charts in comparison with the previous NUC Extreme models, albeit at the associated fee of significantly higher power consumption. On the commercial design side, I even have been very impressed. By eschewing a flowery chassis and choosing a straightforward cuboid, Intel has ensured that each one the I/O ports are easily accessible, installation of components is fairly straightforward, and cable management is hugely simplified. The increased dimensions of the chassis are well price these benefits over the previous NUC Extreme models. Stay tuned for a comprehensive review later this week.

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