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Despite the small form factor, the NUC 13 Extreme packs in some of the most powerful full-size desktop components available on the market today. In fact, the whole appeal of the NUC series is all about trying to get as much power inside as small a form factor as they can. This latest body features a 13.9L chassis capacity, with enough space to fit in a 313mm long triple slot GPU. It gets a discrete matte black finish on the outside, with a mesh pattern side panel that features a unique look.
They are using a custom motherboard to make this design possible, which also hosts a bespoke cooling setup for both the processor and the GPU. The motherboard resides in the upper section with a massive fan and heat sink above the processor, while the GPU resides in the lower half with a triple fan array to cool it. They have spent countless hours trying to get every single component placed in the right place so that there is no wasted space or any blockage when it comes to crucial airflow. Unfortunately, this makes it a lot harder to clean and work on, but that is the compromise you make for a small form factor.
The new Intel NUC 13 Extreme comes with the latest 13th gen Intel Core processors, specifically the flagship 13900K, which is paired with either an NVIDIA RTX or Radeon RX series graphics card. Since both companies have recently released new flagship units, namely the 4090 and RX 7900 XTX, you can equip either of them to suit your gaming needs. This setup is paired with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, three M.2 SSDs that support PCIe 4.0, and either 3.5-inch or two 2.5-inch hard drives.
All of this is attached to a special edition 750W 80Plus Gold-badged SFX 12VO internal power supply, which comes with a single 12VHPWR connector or three eight-pin auxiliary power connectors for the GPU so that the system can draw up to 450W of power for a single component. Although, with the latest processors easily requiring half that number or more to function, we can expect that you would feel the need to have at least a 1000W unit to make it seem feasible.
The great thing about using full-size desktop components is that you also get to use all sorts of connectivity options. Ranging from regular WIFI 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 modules to a comprehensive back IO that features two LAN connectors with 2.5GbE and 10GbE capacity, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, eight USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A connectors, one USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, three DisplayPort, one HDMI port, and even support for a full 7.1-channel audio subsystem, along with a 3.5-mm TRRS port for wired headsets. Depending on the graphics card you pick, you will either get a regular HDMI 1.4 port or the latest HDMI 2.1 connection for ultra-high refresh rate gaming.
Price & Availability
The Intel NUC 13 Extreme kit comes in two models, with a base variant featuring the Core i5-13600K that costs around $1,179 and a flagship Core i9-13900K version that goes for up to $1,549. You can either get it as the barebones package and install everything yourself or even get third-party resellers like SimplyNUC to pre-assemble everything for you.