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Intel Introduces Raptor Canyon; Desktop Raptor Lake Ignites NUC13 Extreme

Today, Intel unveils the first member of its NUC13 family powered by the Raptor Lake microarchitecture. The NUC13 Extreme, like its three predecessors, is designed for gamers and content creators who require cutting-edge performance and discrete GPU support. In contrast to the mainstream NUCs, which have consistently maintained an ultra-compact form factor, the Extreme family has gradually expanded to accommodate flagship CPUs and discrete GPUs. These systems combine a motherboard with a PCIe add-in card form factor (the Compute Element) and a baseboard with PCIe slots and other I/O features to provide additional functionality. Intel established the NUC Extreme category in 2019 with the introduction of the Ghost Canyon NUC family. This was followed by the Beast Canyon NUC from Tiger Lake in 2021 and the Dragon Canyon NUC from Alder Lake earlier this year. The latest addition to this family is the Raptor Canyon NUC, which is based on the Shrike Bay Compute Element.

The physical footprint of the NUC Extreme family has increased with each generation, and the NUC13 Extreme is Intel’s largest model to date. With dimensions of 317mm x 129mm x 337mm (13.7L), this is more of a traditional tower desktop than the market-standard NUCs. Despite this, Intel has been able to integrate flagship components with this size. The Shrike Bay Compute Element is compatible with socketed LGA 1700 processors with 150W PL1 and 250W PL2 power ratings (tau of 28s). The vertical centering of the motherboard within the case provides ample isolation between the discrete GPU on the bottom and the compute element on top. Triple-slot dGPUs with a maximum length of 12.5″ are supported.

The NUC13 Extreme Kit is available in three variants, while the Shrike Bay Compute Element has six. These enable system integrators and original equipment manufacturers to offer a vast array of systems aimed at different market segments. The following table summarizes the primary distinctions between the three NUC13 Extreme kits.

Intel NUC13 Extreme Kits (Raptor Canyon)
Model NUC13RNGi9 NUC13RNGi7 NUC13RNGi5
CPU Intel Core i9-13900K
Raptor Lake, 8P + 16E / 32T
5.8 GHz (Turbo) / 5.4 GHz (P) / 4.3 GHz (E)
125W TDP (Up to 253W)
Intel Core i7-13700K
Raptor Lake, 8P + 8E / 24T
5.4 GHz (Turbo) / 5.3 GHz (P) / 4.2 GHz (E)
125W TDP (Up to 253W)
Intel Core i5-13600K
Raptor Lake, 6P + 8E / 20T
5.1 GHz (Turbo) / 5.1 GHz (P) / 3.9 GHz (E)
125W TDP (Up to 181W)
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.65 GHz) Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.60 GHz) Intel UHD Graphics 770 (300 MHz – 1.50 GHz)
Memory 2x DDR5-5600 SODIMMs
(up to 64GB)
Motherboard (Compute Element) 295.3mm x 136.5mm x 46.1mm (Custom)
Storage 1x CPU-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 2280
1x PCH-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 2242 / 2280
1x PCH-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA M.2 2242 / 2280
2x SATA 6 Gbps (on baseboard)
I/O Ports 2x USB4 / Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C) (Rear)
6x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (Rear)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (Front)
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (Front)
Networking Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1690i
(2×2 802.11ax Wi-Fi inc. 6 GHz + Bluetooth 5.2 module)
1× 2.5 GbE port (Intel I226-V)
1x 10 GbE port (Marvell AQtion AQC113C)
Display Outputs 2x DP 2.0 (1.4 certified) (via Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, iGPU)
1x HDMI 2.1 (up to 4Kp60) (rear, iGPU)
Audio / Codec 7.1 digital (over HDMI and Thunderbolt 4)
Realtek ALC1220 Analog Audio / Microphone / Speaker / Line-In 3.5mm (Rear)
USB Audio 3.5mm combo audio jack (Front)
Enclosure Metal
Kensington lock with base security
Power Supply FSP750-27SCB 750W Internal PSU
Dimensions 337mm x 317mm x 129mm / 13.7L
Chassis Expansion One PCIe 5.0 x16 with triple-slot GPU support up to 317.5mm in length
Customizable RGB LED illumination on the chassis underside
CEC support for HDMI port
Power LED ring in the front panel
3-year warranty

Each kit SKU corresponds to a Shrike Bay Compute Element NUC13SBB. In addition, Intel is preparing the NUC13SBBi(9/7/5)F models with KF processors; however, these Compute Elements lack Thunderbolt 4 ports. Neither the HDMI port nor the graphics outputs are present. The three KF SKUs lack a 10GbE port as well.

The following block diagram illustrates the system’s design about its I/O capabilities. Notably, the system continues to utilize the same Z690 chipset as the Dragon Canyon NUC.

For Gen 5 lanes, PCIe x16 bifurcation (x8 + x8) is possible. However, it is not supported by the baseboard design of the Raptor Canyon NUC kits. This is yet another way in which OEMs can distinguish their Shrike Bay-based systems from the NUC13 Extreme.

Intel has provided a pre-production engineering sample of the flagship Raptor Canyon NUC (equipped with an ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080Ti GPU) for evaluation, and it is currently undergoing testing. The 150W PL1 and microarchitecture advancements in Raptor Lake have resulted in benchmark scores that are off the charts compared to previous NUC Extreme models, albeit at the expense of significantly higher power consumption. Regarding industrial design, I am extremely impressed. By opting for a simple cube-shaped chassis, Intel has ensured that all I/O ports are easily accessible, component installation is relatively simple, and cable management is greatly simplified. In comparison to previous NUC Extreme models, the increased dimensions of the chassis are well worth these benefits. A comprehensive review will be forthcoming later this week.

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