NUC 13 Extreme with Core i9-13900K and RTX 4090
Chinese “Computer Evaluation Room” is the first media outlet to test Intel’s newest Small Form Factor PC equipped with a flagship Raptor Lake processor.
Out of the box, the system is equipped with 24-core Core i9-13900K and ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 Ti TUF Gaming. That is for sure, a missed opportunity to promote Intel’s own Arc A770 Limited GPUs. However, the point was to show that this system fits a high-end 3-slot desktop GPU.
The system supports up to 64GB of DDR5 memory, but it ships with 32GB of Kingston DDR5-4800 kit. This is worth noting because the predecessor only supported the DDR4 standard. Furthermore, NUC 13 Extreme has three M.2 SSD PCIe Gen4 slots and can be equipped with up to 2.5-inch SATA discs. The PC supports PCIe Gen5 graphics cards, but there are none available right now except the Chinese MTT S80.
The Core i9-13900K has PL1 and PL2 set to 150W and 250W, which means no bottlenecks. It is further said that the NUC Control Center can be used to enable 120W energy-saving mode and 160W OC mode, should the noise become an issue.
In terms of power, it ships with FSP 750W, which is not powerful enough for RTX 4090, however it appears that Intel has left some room for even more powerful supply, should anyone need to replace it.
The NUC 13 fits RTX 4090 Founders Edition, which is already quite an achievement. This is not an easy process though and the whole system has to be taken apart. Furthermore, custom 16-pin power cables are required because this system only comes with standard PCIe cabling. Users must also ensure the card does not consume more than 450W, at least not when the default 750W supply is used.
NUC 13 Extreme performance is good. The PC scores 2193/35478 points in Cinebench R23 single/multi core tests or 917/15700 in CPU-Z. Thermals are not an issue here either, the CPU goes up to 85°C while the GPU heats up to 67°C with Furmark.
With the latest iteration of NUC Extreme, Intel has departed from the idea of ultra-small factor PCs. This is basically a small desktop with CPU/memory/SSDs placed on a separate board called NUC 13 Compute Element which is equipped with its own dual-fan cooling system. At this size, there is not really much of a competition.
Similar systems such as Dell Precision 3460 has the same size, powerful Core i9-12900 processors, but the power supply is limited to 300W and there is no discrete GPU. And that’s what makes NUC 13 Extreme so special.