Upcoming Ghost Canyon NUC: i9 and Discrete GPU

At CES 2020 Intel has demonstrated their upcoming modular Ghost Canyon NUC. Ghost Canyon NUC is the successor of the gaming oriented Skull Canyon and Hades Canyon NUCs. It features a modular architecture that allows you to replace the Compute Element board if you want to upgrade the CPU on your NUC. It also has a PCIe X16 slot which allows you to plug in a 8″ length GPU (max 225W).

The Ghost Canyon NUC is also significantly larger than your average NUCs so far have been as it sports a 5.0-liter case versus the 0.67-liter case on the traditional 4″ x 4″ NUCs or the 1.2 liters for Hades Canyon. Nevertheless it’s still a pretty small PC.

Photo: Engadget‘s reporting from CES 2020

Intel went on to compare their Ghost Canyon with i9-9980HK + RTX 2080 GPU to an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H + RTX 2060 and concluded that their combo was 1.55x to 2.86x faster in various benchmarks including 3DMark, Hitman 2 and Civilization 6. There was also a lesser Ghost Canyon model (i7-9750H + RTX 2060) included in the comparison and it sat somewhere between the AMD system and the i9 Ghost Canyon. Of course manufacturer-provided benchmarks should always be taken with a grain of salt as they’re very likely to cherry-pick the results that make their products look good.

Connectivity looks pretty good. On the rear side we have a traditional power plug for the PSU that’s inside the chassis, 4 USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a HDMI connector, an audio jack and two Thunderbolt/Type-C ports. In front there are two USB ports more as well as a full-size SD card reader and an audio jack.

I’m not sure whether this computer could be classified as a NUC, but it certainly is an interesting concept that offers a bit more modularity that the NUCs before have done. It probably performs pretty well and it probably is not exactly silent. I expect to see this during Q2 of this year.

7 Responses

  1. beeka says:

    The previous NUCs have external AC/DC adaptors.. the ghost canyon one is on a par with the NUC body. Obviously this one will be larger but might get some traction and be a more worthwhile compromise with brand / price of the GPU up to the user. Still hoping they cover the other extreme with a “NUC zero” at some point.

  2. JapeX says:

    Hades Canyon is the fastest NUC today? Im looking for upgrade my Skull Canyon

  3. Olli says:

    Some indications about pricing: preordering possible on Simply NUC UK page. With 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD (don’t count too much value for these) the prices are £1367 for the i9, £987 for the i7 and £911 for the i5 model EXCLUDING VAT. And that’s without the GPU…

  4. Neo says:

    What happened to the Phantom Canyon that they said was to replace the Hades Canyon?

  5. Jasmin Klipic says:

    I find this definitive to expensive and to big, beside of that I doubt that this “thing” can be upgraded in 5-8 Y…this is def bad strategy from Intel and really useless product

    • Adrian Bocaniciu says:

      What is “useless” is not the same for everyone. For example, for me any computer larger than a smartphone which does not have ECC memory is “useless”, so most computers that are useful for you will be “useless” for me and vice-versa. This new Intel computer, more precisely its NUC9VXQNX variant, which has ECC memory, is very useful for me. The reason is that sometimes I need a computer that is small and that has a low idle power. A laptop similar to this NUC costs twice as much, so this is much cheaper. Small motherboards for Xeon or Ryzen CPUs have much less peripheral connectors than I need. So there is no cheaper alternative to this NUC for those who need all its features, and there are such people. For gamers, yes I agree that it is overpriced and useless, unless one absolutely needs its small size, which is very difficult to achieve with Mini-ITX (only with external bricks, PCI extenders for GPU connection and expensive special cases, which are difficult to cool).

      • Jasmin Klipic says:

        No cheaper alternative!? Useful for you? Mate.. we are speaking here about Ghost and not Quartz Canyon which is planed to be game pc 2.0 in 5L format and by full configuration it will cost ca 3.000eur.
        and for that money you can find much better solutions in Gaming sector , beside of other reasons which I mentioned in previous post.

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