Video Games Tutorials and News - Intel, You. Re Doing It Wrong. Intel Nuc 12 Review
Intel's new Dragon Canyon This Nook extreme is like nothing we've ever seen before, but you wouldn't know it from the outside packed in this shoebox sized enclosure. Wait, this one is A shockingly zero compromises PC gaming at 4K easy content creation No biggie, there is nothing it can't do, but it's also clear that Intel's engineers had to find some creative solutions to make the whole package come together this tightly, just like I found creative solutions to tell you about our sponsor paddle host Pebble Host offers dedicated servers starting at $39.99 a month with a range of systems for all use cases.
Use code LINE for $30 off your first month, valid for the first hundred people who use it, spurred on by the rise of the Mac Mini and other single-board computers.
Intel's Nook concept didn't start out like this, but rather like This is the kind of thing that you might find at your local library or gracing the desk of your friendly neighborhood spreadsheet.
Is that even a good thing? Well, Intel's ninth generation Ghost Canyon saw these six to 25 watt power sipping cuboids like this one replaced by a larger 45 watt Powerhouse. There is still no full-size GPU slot, but given the form factor, that makes sense, and you can always add an external one. Then the 11th gen came around, and boom, four different Nook models.
You got the performance and pro, which were still in the micro-PC format. Then you've got the enthusiast rocking an RTX 2060 that made for a heck of a package given the size and finally the extreme.
This guy right here The main innovation for the extreme edition was the inclusion of a modular compute element that contained the storage slots, memory slots. CPU, and cooler, all of which were designed to simply slot into a back plane that was pre-installed in a larger chassis because there was more room to play with.
The extreme was equipped with a modular SFX power supply and space for a two-slot GPU up to 10 inches long. And naturally, with extreme in the name, Intel decided to give it RGB underglow for that Too Fast Too Furious style and a modifiable backlit skull front plate, but that was last year's model.
What's new for 12th Gen 2?
Okay, we've got the core I9 12900 equipped model, and up front there's only one major change. The dual USB A ports are now a type A and a type C that run Thunderbolt 4. Then around back, this is where things get really interesting because, above the two and a half gig Intel Network Port that we had already, there's a new analogue 10 gig port.
Having this on board makes the Dragon Canyon pretty much the only player in town for a machine this size that can fit a full-size GPU and effortlessly handle high-bitrate article editing off of a shared network drive. Then, we've got the usual assortment of USB 310 gig ports and an HDMI output over here on the compute element, just in case you don't want a discrete GPU, and two more Thunderbolt 4 ports, each supporting up to six daisy-chain devices.
So when it comes to IO, this thing is absolutely packed and the most unbelievable part is that even with top-tier hardware inside, it managed to manage comfortable temperatures on both the CPU and GPU, even in realistic, synthetic workloads and all without sounding like a hair dryer. I guess that's what full mesh side and top panels will do for you right now.
Under the hood
Let's have Just a look under the hood. Clear some space here. With four captive screws on the back, this pops off, both side panels slide back a little something like that, you pull this bad boy up, and we're in. My fabulous assistant over here has done the same thanks to Colin with the 11th generation version, and side by side, it becomes easier to start noticing a few differences here.
Starting from the top, the 90-millimeter Cooler Master fans have been replaced by 92-millimeter fans. Fun fact: in computer terms, 90 and 92 millimeter fans are the same thing. They are often used interchangeably. Who knew the other changes are shrouded in secrecy deep within? The let's go deeper.
So the first step to doing that is to remove our Intel Arc Alchemist GPU. Unfortunately, it's pre-release, so it's got full active camouflage, so the camera won't be able to see it. Let me just get this put away over there just to kind of keep it clear. Be careful handling those stressful situations, Lttstore, Com.
Next, we're going to pull out this little airflow duct maneuver here. Now you might think, looking at the back of these devices, that they've got, you know, one slot for the compute element, two slots for the GPU, and then a final slot where you could put a network card, or a Wi-Fi card, or a Raid card, who knows what you want to put in there, but actually it's completely bare because it needs that extra space to pull in fresh air for the compute unit.
Otherwise, I mean, it would be pulling in hot air off the back of the GPU. This thing would absolutely freaking cook two more captive screws. Man, do I ever love captive screws. The last thing you want is to drop a screw here and have it fall onto this board down here. When you short something out, it sucks all right.
Let's pull this up.
Inside the compute unit
There we That gives us a really great look. Oh, I got a couple of thermal pads for a couple of M2. 2 slots, and ah, this is another difference in it. Okay, just a second here. Let's pull out this guy. Yes, gone is one of our m.2 slots here, so you can see here's our sodium slot. Here's one m.2, two m.2, and three m.2, all supporting full size 2280 or not full size but standard size 2280 NVME drives, but over here we have just two of these along with our two sodium slots.
These are DDR4, by the way, and the third one has been relocated to the back. That's right, I'm going to pop off this right. There it goes. Something that is a downgrade though is that the original Nook extreme had another 110 millimeter m.2 on the bottom here, and that little trap door on the 12th gen one opens up to reveal There was a tooling cost savings where they reused the trapdoor, but they don't actually have anything there anymore.
The good news is that while we go from four m.2s to three, all three of them run at Gen 4 speed now, so at least they're all fast. If you want to take the whole compute element out, you'll want to be extremely careful with these antenna connectors. We accidentally broke the other one during testing, okay.
The reason that I wanted to take this out, there we go, was to show you the Wi-Fi m.2 in the back here, but the back plate appears to come off with screws from the other side, which means we need to go deeper, ah well, there we go. That was relatively straightforward, just those four around the edges, and that gets us a perfect look at both the Wi-Fi chip, which is Wi-Fi 6E, so that's an upgrade over last gen if it's just Wi-Fi 6, as well as our PCH.