Intel 11th gen NUCs usher in a new era of graphics performance

Intel Panther Canyon with Tiger Lake

Posted by Geoff Undrell on: in: News, Products

The outbreak of COVID-19 has sadly meant that a lot of big projects have recently needed to go on hold, or in some cases, not come to light at all. The latter may well be the case for Intel’s Provo Canyon, as while we’re still seeing new innovations emerging from them all of the time, the release of their anticipated 8th gen NUC has somewhat fallen to the wayside.

The good news is Intel’s NUC 11 series was already hot on Provo Canyon’s heels, so it only makes sense that they might decide to forego the Provo NUC entirely to make way for the launch of the 11th generation. And what a generation it is. Boasting Intel’s new 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs, the Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon NUCs are slated for release in the second half of 2020.

Panther Canyon

Dubbed the Intel NUC 11 ‘Performance’, Panther Canyon will be a series of ultra-compact desktops that promise exceptional graphics performance and impressive computing power. As well as being the first NUC to support the new Tiger Lake processors, Panther Canyon also has some truly exciting features. The NUC will be powered by Intel’s new Xe graphics architecture in iGPU form and comes with HDMI 2.1, which is really something to look forward to. Its M.2 2280 slot offers a fantastic x4 PCIe 4.0 lanes too, allowing awesome potential for expansion.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory
  • 2 22×80 key M slot, PCIe x4 Gen4
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Front and rear Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Intel Xe graphics
  • Intel Optane M10 memory option

Phantom Canyon

Where Panther Canyon is the successor to Frost Canyon, the NUC 11 ‘Extreme’ Phantom Canyon is the next step on from Intel’s popular Hades and Skull Canyon NUCs. Also built to support Intel’s Tiger Lake-U CPUs, the Phantom will still maintain the iconic backlit skull logo in its design, but seems a more modest version of its cousin, the Performance NUC. Unlike Panther, Phantom won’t offer Intel’s Xe graphics, but instead discrete graphics from an as yet unconfirmed third party.

What to get ready for from the Phantom Canyon NUC:

  • 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory
  • 2 22×80/110 and key M slots, PCIe x4 Gen3
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • Front and rear Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Intel Optane M10 and H10 memory options

Things are looking up

We can’t wait to see what Intel’s Panther and Phantom Canyon NUCs can do when they launch later this year. While we wait, we’re working on designing a modified case for the Intel NUC 11 series to allow for better cooling capabilities. It also won’t be too long before their Tiger Lake CPUs get introduced into our own products, so watch this space.

If you would like to know more about Intel’s Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon NUCs, or the adjustments we’re making to our product range of rack mount PCs, please get in touch.