With the current Alder Lake-H series of processors, Intel is building a gaming-ready mini PC as a successor to the NUC 11 Enthusiast, also known as the Phantom Canyon. For the first time, the manufacturer does not buy a graphics chip from AMD or Nvidia, but uses its own Arc GPU.
That Intel showed the model on the Chinese Baidu forum, but without naming a performance date. According to the Google translation, the 12th generation is called Serpent Canyon. It uses Alder Lake H processors up to the 14-core Core i7-12700H and Intel’s fastest Arc A770M mobile GPU with 4096 shader cores and 16GB of GDDR6 RAM.
Serpent Canyon makes a big leap, at least in terms of CPU: the predecessor, Phantom Canyon, only had a quad-core processor in the form of the Core i7-1165G7 from the Tiger Lake-U series. With the successor, the thermal design power (TDP) increases from 28 to 45 watts, but the Core i7-12700H combines six performance cores with eight efficiency cores in the fastest setting. Up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM fits in two SO-DIMM slots.
Intel Arc instead of Nvidia GeForce
There is a question mark behind Intel’s Arc GPUs as there are no standalone gaming benchmarks as of yet. Also, graphics chips are plagued with lag. In Phantom Canyon, Intel used Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060, even before Intel had bought AMD Radeon GPUs for the Kaby Lake-G series of processors in Hades Canyon.
Meanwhile, there is nothing to complain about on the connection side: there are two Thunderbolt 4 (Type C), five USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A (10 Gbit/s), DisplayPort 2.0, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet 2.5 Gbit/s (NBase-T) and Wi-Fi 6E. According to the product images, a heat sink for the CPU and GPU extends full width above the connections.
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