Intel NUC 12

The Intel NUC 12 Is Coming: Should You Wait for It?


Originally previewed at the CES event this year, the all-new NUC 12 by Intel is gearing up for a spectacular launch this year.

The cameo appearance made headlines throughout the globe, but in terms of hardware specifications, spectators were left disappointed by the lack of any major reveals.

Luckily, social media users have managed to leak a lot of the information. So let’s look at everything we know about this highly anticipated mini PC kit.

What We Know About the Intel NUC 12 So Far?

Dubbed the “Dragon Canyon”, the NUC 12 will continue the computer hardware manufacturer’s trend of cramming impressive amounts of horsepower into a mini PC. For instance, this new kit will support a full-sized LGA 1700 CPU socket. What that means is that it may be possible for a desktop-sized 12th Generation 65W processor to fit into this system and actually run at a commendable capacity. The all-new 12th-generation chips are not just a modest evolution but a complete revolution over the 11th-generation chips.

Furthermore, the NUC 12 will support as much as 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM with a dual-channel setup, which is more than enough for even the most power-hungry users out there. It will also support up to three PCIe M.2 SSDs at one time without any hiccups. Most users don’t need more than two slots, but having an extra slot never hurts.

In terms of graphical process power, this mini PC kit is expected to have room for a PCIe x16 graphics card. Again, this level of graphical performance is typically reserved for desktops.

Other notable features include 10Gbps Ethernet, two Thunderbolt 4, six USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, and an HDMI 2.0b port too. Wireless connectivity is another area where this kit will shine bright as it’s expected to support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

However, it’s worth noting that many of these details were not revealed by Intel officially but were found through leaks by third parties. While such leaks have been reliable in the past, there’s no guarantee that the final details may turn out to be slightly different.

That being said, there’s little doubt about the NUC 12 supporting desktop-sized processors through the LGA 1700 CPU socket. The visuals shared by Intel during the CES 2022 cameo looked like they were made to support larger processors. As far as the room for desktop-sized processors is concerned, the NUC 12 kits definitely have it.

The Expected Launch Date and Price

Unfortunately, Intel hasn’t shared official details regarding the pricing or the launch date. However, many experts are predicting that the NUC 12 will launch in the next few months at most.

As for pricing, a Twitter user recently leaked the pricing details at $1,514 for the Core i7 model and $1,714 for the Core i9 version of NUC 12. It’s worth noting that these prices reflect the barebones models, which means that you’ll have to install crucial parts like RAM, hard drives, and the operating system by yourself.

With all that said, there’s still one question that remains worth exploring.

Should You Wait for the Launch of NUC 12?

There’s no denying the fact that the NUC 12 is a powerhouse when it comes to computing performance. From photo editing and video gaming to rendering videos, this mini PC kit is capable of everything.

At the same time, the NUC 11 is still a respectable machine with support for the 11th generation Core i9 processors and even full-sized graphics cards. So while it can’t support desktop-sized Alder Lake processors, it still packs a mean punch and can deliver respectable raw performance.

For the vast majority of users, the NUC 11 is going to be the more affordable and practical option, especially if they don’t want to wait an uncertain period of time until Intel officially unveils the NUC 12 kits.

Let’s not forget about the recent shortage of computer chips. It’s very likely that despite the launch, many users will fail to get their hands on a NUC 12 and power it with an Alder Lake CPU due to the computer chip shortage crisis.

After considering the uncertainty of the NUC 12 launch waiting period and the respectable amount of power that the NUC 11 can deliver, most users will be better off buying a NUC 11 mini PC today.
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