Intel NUC 9 Extreme with Core i9 and RTX 2070 in Review
Intel’s NUC 9 Extreme kit is a small yet very powerful system. At its current price of $1,700 it is anything but a great deal, and you need to keep in mind that you will need to provide RAM, storage, and if desired a dedicated GPU separately. In return, you get a very well equipped and modern device. Equipped with a high-performance GPU the miniature PC turns into a full-fledged gaming PC capable of running even the latest and greatest games smoothly.
If you do not need the 8-core performance of Intel’s Core i9-9980HK you can also purchase SKUs with slower i7-9750H or i5-9300H processors. Both can frequently be found in gaming laptops and proven themselves with a very solid and adequate performance in the past. Nevertheless, the Core i9-9980HK remains the ultimate kingpin for this NUC.
Despite its great performance the tiny powerhouse will have a hard time getting into gamer’s shopping carts due to its high price.
There are a few shortcomings with Intel’s Ghost Canyon NUC as well, particularly regarding noise emissions with installed dedicated graphics card. Due to its compact build the fan is almost completely covered in this case, and the air blown onto the SoC’s heat pipe is warm due to the fan’s proximity to the graphics card. Which in turn increases noise emissions dramatically. A slightly different design with the fan on the outer side of the case would have most likely been a better alternative.
All things considered Intel’s NUC 9 Extreme is the smallest PC under 1.3 gallons that can take a GeForce RTX 2070. It features high-quality components and a great build quality. Corsair took a very similar approach with its similarly priced (comparable to a fully equipped Intel Ghost Canyon NUC 9 Extreme) One series that we have already had in review (see One i160). Zotac’s MEK Mini is yet another miniature PC that can be equipped with an RTX 2070.