Intel NUC 13 Professional Area Canyon Evaluate: Raptor Lake Brings Incremental Positive aspects

Intel NUC 13 Pro Arena Canyon Review: Raptor Lake Brings Incremental Gains

Extremely-compact kind issue PCs have emerged as vibrant spots within the PC market over the previous decade after Intel launched the NUC. NUCs arose as a substitute for cumbersome desktop towers in functions the place the bodily footprint and system capabilities have been considerably better than the precise necessities.

The corporate celebrated the tenth anniversary of its introduction final 12 months with the introduction of the primary UCFF NUC household with hybrid processors. The Alder Lake-based 4″x4″ Wall Road Canyon NUCs have made important enhancements over the earlier technology in each performance-per-watt and worth proposition metrics. Simply a few quarters down the street, Intel is updating its Professional line of UCFF NUCs with the 13th Gen. Core Processors (Raptor Lake). The brand new Area Canyon NUCs stick with it the identical {hardware} options because the Wall Road Canyon SKUs, with the principle replace being the modification of the inner SoC.

Raptor Lake-P brings incremental beneficial properties in efficiency and vitality effectivity over Alder Lake-P. Now we have already seen one in all Intel’s companions, ASRock Industrial, take the lead in supplying Raptor Lake-P primarily based UCFF mini-PCs. Intel Area Canyon NUCs goal the identical market phase as ASRock Industrial NUC(S) BOX-13xxP/D4 SKUs. Nevertheless, Intel plans to supply a extra complete checklist of processor selections, together with barebones and default choices for every.

Intel tried it with a pre-production model of the NUC13ANKi7, the slim model of the NUC 13 Professional outfitted with a Core i7-1360P processor. This assessment gives a complete take a look at the system’s efficiency profile and the way it compares to the earlier technology and different rivals available in the market.

Product introduction and impressions

Intel’s Raptor Lake processors are primarily based on the heterogeneous computing paradigm launched with hybrid processors in Alder Lake. Whereas desktop processors have loved some minor microarchitecture tweaks for higher efficiency, the -P collection owes its enhancements to the maturity of the Intel 7 manufacturing course of. Up to date voltage-frequency curves have allowed Intel to spice up turbo clocks each for efficiency than for effectivity cores. Some I/O enhancements like further Thunderbolt 4 ports and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 help are additionally within the combine for Raptor Lake-P, however their adoption depends upon the selection of different board elements.

Intel’s Area Canyon NUCs are visually similar to their Wall Road Canyon counterparts, proper right down to the location of the I/O ports and inner board structure. In actual fact, one of many fundamental causes Area Canyon releases inside just a few quarters of Wall Road Canyon seems to be the similarity in inner platform. Intel has determined to maintain the modifications to a minimal by putting the identical DDR4 SODIMM help and Burnside Bridge retimer on the Kind-C ports. Which means the Thunderbolt 4 ports within the Area Canyon NUCs don’t help USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 similar to the Wall Road Canyon NUCs.

Nevertheless, there are some distinctive SKUs within the Area Canyon NUC lineup in comparison with the Wall Road Canyon NUCs. There are a few fashions that use the particular Core i7-1370P and Core i7-1370PE processors (which have a 6P+ 8e configuration not accessible in Alder Lake-P). Moreover, some SKUs use processors aimed on the embedded market. These have a 5-year availability window (in comparison with the 3-year lifecycle for the others). Total, Intel plans to launch round 30 totally different Area Canyon NUC SKUs (boards/skinny and tall kits/off-the-shelf mini-PCs) over the subsequent few quarters.

Intel’s vary of 4″x4″ mini-PCs (marketed below the Professional identify) have developed to handle enterprise use circumstances. With this in thoughts, the corporate has maintained some SKUs with vPro Enterprise capabilities to make it simpler for IT departments to deploy and handle. The brand new vPro methods supply hardware-based distant administration with cloud-based manageability, Intel AMT for out-of-band connectivity with KVM help, {hardware} alarms, and distant energy management.

The corporate additionally affords the NUC Professional Software program Suite (NPSS) to make sure uptime for digital signage functions. This entails connecting one HDMI port to the first show and the opposite HDMI port to the second HDMI port of one other Intel NUC. By default, each NUCs handle their very own main shows. When the NPSS software detects a heartbeat failure, the operational NUC drives each its personal and the failed system’s shows. The software additionally consists of utility displays to restart unresponsive functions and specific HDMI-CEC management through diagnostic software program.

The compact nature of those methods additionally lends itself to make use of in IoT and edge computing functions within the automotive, healthcare, industrial and training sectors. From a reliability standpoint, Intel qualifies all NUC 13 Professional methods for 24×7 operation in the course of the 3-year guarantee interval. These NUCs are full of cutting-edge options (for a UCFF system) comparable to help for Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and 4 simultaneous 4Kp60 shows. Options like show emulation additionally make it appropriate for headless operation and digital signage deployments.

On the economic design entrance, Intel determined (fortunately) to go together with a matte textured chassis with an “intel nuc” emblem embedded throughout the highest. The air flow help and thermal design seem like retained from earlier UCFF NUCs. The upper-end Core i7-1370P-based SKU would have been extra fascinating to assessment because of the further cores, however the Core i7-1360P mannequin we’re taking a look at at this time is actually an identical substitute for the NUC12WSKi7 that has been reviewed intimately at starting of this 12 months. Our pre-production pattern packaging doesn’t mirror the contents of the retail package deal. The pattern was provided with a 120W (20V at 6A) energy provide, a cable administration screw, and mounting screws.

The equipment additionally included a 512GB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD (Samsung PM9A1) and a couple of x 16GB DDR-3200 SODIMMs (Kingston ValueRAM).

Home windows 11 Residence was pre-installed (OEM distribution), however we determined to erase the disk and set up Home windows 11 Enterprise 21H2 with the most recent updates. Typically, shifting to the most recent model from Microsoft (22H2) is fraught with efficiency points and sudden benchmarking conduct. The complete specs of our assessment mannequin (as examined) are summarized within the desk beneath.

Intel NUC13ANKi7 Specs (Area Canyon).
(as examined)
Processor Intel Core i7-1360P processor
Alder Lake 4P+8e/16T, as much as 5.0GHz(P)/3.7GHz(e)
Intel 7, 18MB L2, 35W
(PL1 = 40W,PL2 = 64W)
Reminiscence Kingston ValueRAM KVR32S22D8/16 DDR4-3200 SODIMM
22-22-22-52 at 3200 MHz
Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics
(96EU at 1.50GHz)
Disk drive Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
(512GB; M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe;)
(Samsung 6th Gen V-NAND 128L (136T) TLC 3D; Samsung Elpis Controller S4LV003; OEM model of 980 PRO)
Web 1 x 2.5GbE RJ-45 (Intel I226-V)
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX211 (2×2 802.11ax – 2.4Gbps)
Audio Digital audio with bitstreaming help on HDMI ports
3.5 mm stereo headset jack (Realtek audio codec)
video 2x HDMI 2.1 (4Kp60)
2x Show Port 2.1 with HBR3 over Thunderbolt 4
Varied I/O Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind A (entrance)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind A (rear)
1x USB 2.0 kind A (rear)
2x Thunderbolt 4 (rear) (Kind-C)
Working system Home windows 11 Enterprise (22000.1696)
Costs (Road Pricing on March 27th2023)
United States TBA (barebones)
$(148 + TBD) (as configured, no OS)
Full specs Intel NUC13ANKi7 specification

Within the subsequent part, we check out the assorted BIOS choices and undergo an in depth platform breakdown.

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