Gaming PC

Desktop Raptor Lake Sizzles in NUC13 Extreme

Intel officially announces the first member of its Raptor Lake-based NUC13 family today. The NUC13 Extreme (like the previous three Extreme NUCs) caters to gamers and content creators who need cutting-edge performance and high-end discrete GPU support. Unlike his mainstream NUCs, which have consistently maintained 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 PCIe add-in card form factor (Compute Element) and a baseboard that provides additional functionality with PCIe slots and other I/O capabilities. As a refresher, Intel introduced his Ghost Canyon NUC family in 2019 to create his NUC Extreme category. This was followed by a Tiger Lake-based Beast Canyon NUC in 2021 and an Alder Lake-based Dragon Canyon NUC earlier this year. The newest 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 largest offering. At 317mm x 129mm x 337mm (13.7L), it’s closer to a traditional tower desktop than the NUC the market has grown accustomed to. However, the size allowed Intel to consolidate its flagship components. The Shrike Bay Compute Element supports socketed LGA 1700 processors with 150W PL1 and 250W PL2 (tau 28s). The vertical centering of the baseboard within the case allows sufficient separation between the compute elements on top and the discrete GPUs on the bottom. Triple-slot dGPUs up to 12.5 inches in length are supported.

The NUC13 Extreme Kit comes in three flavors, and the Shrike Bay Compute Element itself comes in six variations. These allow the system integrator or his OEM to offer a variety of systems aimed at different market segments. The table below summarizes the main differences between the three NUC13 Extreme kits.

Intel NUC13 Extreme Kit (Raptor Canyon)
model NUC13RNGi9 NUC13RNGi7 NUC13RNGi5
CPU Intel Core i9-13900K
Raptor Lake, 8P+16E/32T
5.8GHz (Turbo) / 5.4GHz (P) / 4.3GHz (E)
125W TDP (max 253W)
Intel Core i7-13700K
Raptor Lake, 8P+8E/24T
5.4GHz (Turbo) / 5.3GHz (P) / 4.2GHz (E)
125W TDP (max 253W)
Intel Core i5-13600K
Raptor Lake, 6P+8E/20T
5.1GHz (Turbo) / 5.1GHz (P) / 3.9GHz (E)
125W TDP (Max 181W)
GPUs Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.65 GHz) Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.60 GHz) Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz to 1.50 GHz)
memory 2x DDR5-5600 SODIMMs
(up to 64GB)
motherboard (compute element) 295.3mm×136.5mm×46.1mm (Custom)
depository 1x CPU connection PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 2280
1x PCH connection PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 2242 / 2280
1x PCH connection PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA M.2 2242 / 2280
2x SATA 6 Gbps (on baseboard)
I/O port 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)
networking Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1690i
(2×2 802.11ax Wi-Fi inc. 6 GHz + Bluetooth 5.2 module)
1x 2.5GbE port (Intel I226-V)
1x 10GbE port (Marvell AQtion AQC113C)
display output 2x DP 2.0 (1.4 certified) (Thunderbolt 4 Type-C via iGPU)
1x HDMI 2.1 (up to 4Kp60) (rear, iGPU)
audio/codec 7.1 Digital (via HDMI and Thunderbolt 4)
Realtek ALC1220 Analog Audio / Mic / Speaker / Line In 3.5mm (Rear)
USB audio 3.5mm combo audio jack (front)
enclosure metal
Kensington lock with base security
power supply FSP750-27SCB 750W internal PSU
size 337mm×317mm×129mm/13.7L
Chassis extension One PCIe 5.0 x16 supporting triple-slot GPUs up to 317.5mm in length
Customizable RGB LED illumination on underside of chassis
CEC support for HDMI port
Front panel power LED ring
3 year warranty

Each kit SKU corresponds to the NUC13SBB Shrike Bay Compute Element. Additionally, Intel is also preparing the NUC13SBBi(9/7/5)F variant that will come with the KF processor. These Compute Elements do not have Thunderbolt 4 ports. There is also no HDMI port/graphics output. Three KF SKUs are also giving up their 10GbE ports.

The block diagram below provides an insight into the design of the system as it relates to the I/O functions. Note that the system still uses the Z690 chipset seen in the Dragon Canyon NUC.

Gen 5 lanes allow PCIe x16 bifurcation (x8 + x8). However, it is not supported by the baseboard design of the Raptor Canyon NUC Kit. This is another aspect an OEM can use to differentiate a Shrike Bay-based system from his NUC13 Extreme.

Intel provided us with a pre-production engineering sample of its flagship Raptor Canyon NUC (enhanced with an ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080Ti GPU) for review. Raptor Lake’s 150W PL1 and microarchitectural advancements ensure benchmark scores are off the charts compared to his previous NUC Extreme models, but with significantly higher power consumption. In terms of industrial design, I was very impressed.By avoiding a flashy chassis and opting for a simple cuboid, Intel has made all I/O ports easily accessible and easy to install components. was fairly straightforward and greatly simplified cable management. The larger chassis dimensions are a nice advantage over his previous NUC Extreme model. Stay tuned for a comprehensive review later this week.

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