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

Intel NUC 13 Professional Area Canyon Evaluate: Raptor Lake Brings Incremental Beneficial properties

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

The corporate celebrated the tenth anniversary of its introduction final yr 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 era in each performance-per-watt and worth proposition metrics. Simply a few quarters down the highway, 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 primary replace being the modification of the inner SoC.

Raptor Lake-P brings incremental positive factors in efficiency and power effectivity over Alder Lake-P. We’ve already seen one in every of 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 section as ASRock Industrial NUC(S) BOX-13xxP/D4 SKUs. Nevertheless, Intel plans to supply a extra complete record 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 geared up with a Core i7-1360P processor. This evaluate offers a complete take a look at the system’s efficiency profile and the way it compares to the earlier era 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 assist are additionally within the combine for Raptor Lake-P, however their adoption relies on the selection of different board elements.

Intel’s Area Canyon NUCs are visually an identical to their Wall Road Canyon counterparts, proper right down to the location of the I/O ports and inside board structure. In actual fact, one of many essential causes Area Canyon releases inside a couple of quarters of Wall Road Canyon seems to be the similarity in inside platform. Intel has determined to maintain the adjustments to a minimal by inserting the identical DDR4 SODIMM assist and Burnside Bridge retimer on the Sort-C ports. Which means the Thunderbolt 4 ports within the Area Canyon NUCs don’t assist 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 obtainable 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). General, Intel plans to launch round 30 completely different Area Canyon NUC SKUs (boards/skinny and tall kits/off-the-shelf mini-PCs) over the following few quarters.

Intel’s vary of 4″x4″ mini-PCs (marketed beneath the Professional title) have developed to deal with enterprise use instances. 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 provide hardware-based distant administration with cloud-based manageability, Intel AMT for out-of-band connectivity with KVM assist, {hardware} alarms, and distant energy management.

The corporate additionally presents the NUC Professional Software program Suite (NPSS) to make sure uptime for digital signage functions. This includes 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 instrument detects a heartbeat failure, the operational NUC drives each its personal and the failed system’s shows. The instrument additionally consists of software screens 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 schooling 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) corresponding to assist 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 along with a matte textured chassis with an “intel nuc” emblem embedded throughout the highest. The air flow assist and thermal design look like retained from earlier UCFF NUCs. The upper-end Core i7-1370P-based SKU would have been extra attention-grabbing to evaluate as a result of further cores, however the Core i7-1360P mannequin we’re in the present day is actually the same alternative for the NUC12WSKi7 that has been reviewed intimately at starting of this yr. Our pre-production pattern packaging doesn’t replicate the contents of the retail bundle. The pattern was provided with a 120W (20V at 6A) energy provide, a cable administration screw, and mounting screws.

The package additionally included a 512GB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD (Samsung PM9A1) and a pair 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 newest updates. Basically, transferring to the newest model from Microsoft (22H2) is fraught with efficiency points and sudden benchmarking habits. The complete specs of our evaluate 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)
Internet 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 assist 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 Sort A (entrance)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort A (rear)
1x USB 2.0 kind A (rear)
2x Thunderbolt 4 (rear) (Sort-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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