Intel Launches 11th-Generation NUC PCs

Posted on January 15, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 16 Comments

This week at CES 2021, Intel launched its 11th-generation NUC mini-PCs and kits. The launch comes about a month later than usual, but each includes 11th-generation Core chipsets with UHD or Iris X/Xe graphics and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

New versions include:

NUC 11 Pro. This smallest and most affordable NUC is powered by the full range of 11th-generation Intel Core chipset with Intel Iris X graphics, with select models offering vPro capabilities for businesses. It supports one 8K display or two 4K displays and has two Thunderbolt/USB4 ports, two HDMI 2.0b ports, one gigabit Ethernet port, three USB-A 3.2 ports, and one USB-A 2.0 port. The base Core i3 model supports up to 16 GB of RAM, but other models can be expanded to 64 GB. Larger case models support two Ethernet ports and a 2.5-inch drive bay for an SSD or HDD drive.

NUC 11 Performance. Similar to the NUC 11 Pro but available in three case sizes, the NUC 11 Performance offers Intel Iris Xe graphics and a Fast Charging non-slip lid on some models.

NUC 11 Enthusiast. The most powerful NUC models are powered by the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor with discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics and come in a bigger and more aggressive case that can be used upright or laying flat. They support up to 64 GB of RAM and are Intel Optane H10 and H20 ready. Ports include one HDMI 2.0b port, one miniDisplay 1.4 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one 2.5 GB Ethernet port, six USB-A 3.2 ports, one SDXC slot.

I’m still trying to get a handle on pricing and availability, but given that my previous-generation NUC was destroyed by lightning, I’ll be looking to pick one up soon if possible.


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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Intel Launches 11th-Generation NUC PCs”

  1. waharris007

    Love these little things! Though I've been a bit frustrated with the fan noise in my year-old NUC8i5, which wasn't an issue with my NUC5i5.

  2. madthinus

    Previous generation nVidia GPU's are disappointing. This might have to do with supply and volume. Cannot imagine this is high volume. Still interesting.

  3. simont

    It's time to update my PC, going from a 3rd Gen i5 to one of these would be a nice bump in performance.

  4. stevek

    "given that my previous-generation NUC was destroyed by lightning" why did you leave it outside in a thunderstorm? :)

  5. crunchyfrog

    I am a fan of the NUC line but personally always end up with something else. I was going to update my Asus i5 Plex server with a newer NUC but ended up buying an Nvidia Shield Pro and it rocks 4k better than I could have hoped for.

  6. beckoningeagle

    I have an 8th gen and this device is so awesome. I don't know if I can say it here, but feel free to moderate, there is a company called Scale computing which even has a small cluster that runs on 3 of these machines. You can configure it with 2TB per node and 64GB giving you a pretty powerful virtualization cluster with a very small footprint. So this is not only for "Enthusiasts".

    Whenever a customer asks me what to get for office work, NUC is right there, mountable on a vesa monitor and they are always amazed at the small footprint and excellent performance.

  7. cseafous

    I have been debating about getting a new Surface Pro to replace my Surface Pro 5 but this is making me think about going in a different direction. Do you think it would be more or less expensive to go with a maxed out NUC 11 Performance and a Surface Go 2 or just get a Surface Pro 8 (whenever it comes out)?

  8. zself

    Wondering about a special use case these would serve now with Covid-19 to use these as a family Zoom or Teams device. I already have camera, wireless kb/mouse, and tv/monitor. Might also be a nice way to create a home-based conference room for same applications-- get me away from my desk and/or in a different room. The fan noise would be big detraction...

  9. bluvg

    TechRadar reports the Enthusiast selling for $1,349 with the 2060/8 GB/128 GB SSD. Seems rather high to me, but either way, not interested in a case that has a gaudy skull emblazoned on it.

  10. winbookxl2

    Nice, glad to see them updated. Paul I think the best choice for me would be the NUC 11 Performance since the graphics are way improved compared to the previous generations.

    • evox81

      In reply to winbookxl2:

      If you need that kind of graphics horsepower, any reason you'd choose this over a more traditional desktop form factor? I love the size of these, but the non-standard parts (not repairable) and price premium, are just too much to stomach for me.

  11. ekim

    I really like the NUC. It is the perfect form factor for our small office. It mounts conveniently to the back of the monitor using the VESA mount point. The fan can sometimes be a little noisy depending on how many Visual Studio sessions I have going but no worse that my Surface Pro 6. Most of the time it's dead silent. I even picked on up for the living room entertainment system.

  12. geoff

    I wonder if the USB-C port can be used to power the NUC.

    I really like the idea of having a USB-C dock with screen-keyboard-mouse and using a NUC most of the time but using a laptop (with USB-c) as a guest device whenever that's needed. I think most office desks will eventually be USB-C hubs set up like that one day. Even the last few Surface devices can connect and power via USB-C (not just the proprietary port).

    My last purchase at home was a 27 inch Dell monitor that has USB-C input and acts as a USB-C hub. It's the way of the future.

  13. brettscoast

    Good post Paul sorry i missed this earlier, these new gen intel nuc's look great, really love the form factor, great feature sets on these model with all the usual excellent connectivity options.

  14. John Dunagan

    Glad to hear 11th Gen NUC Finally hit the market. I just pulled the trigger on a sweet deal for NUC 10 with 10th Gen i7, 64GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB NVMe SSD, and Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit Ethernet, and all the ports I could imagine. It'll be By Far the most powerful PC I've ever owned, and I can't wait for it to get here!

  15. tobyburnett41

    I am drooling over the NUC11 i5, amazing review from Austrailia, where it is available. The New King? i5 Intel NUC 11 Panther Canyon Review - NUC11PAKi5 - Bing video. Sadly, no indication about when we in the US might get one, given Covid-related supply issues.