The NUC, Intel’s mini PC, isn’t the first place you’d expect to see an LGA1700-based Intel Alder Lake processor, but it just might happen.
User @ 9550pro on Twitter leaked an image showcasing what appears to be the next-gen Intel NUC with a massive LGA1700 motherboard and an unknown Alder Lake processor. The question is: Can the NUC support the power requirements of such a processor?
The image, aside from the LGA1700 socket and the still unnamed 12th generation Intel processor, shows two dual-input DDR4 memory modules (SO-DIMMs) typically found in compact computers. The system also appears to support PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage.
Using DDR4 as opposed to DDR5 in the next-gen NUC isn’t a controversial choice: DDR5 memory is still hard to come by. However, it is not impossible for Intel to also produce a DDR5 version of the NUC in the near future, as the technology has already been released and the limits lie in its availability.
Rumors of an upcoming Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast emerged in August. Like reported by Tom’s Hardware, the rumor that the NUC could be equipped with an Intel Alder Lake processor alongside Intel’s own DG2 graphics card. So far, the specs of the supposed NUC line up with what we see in this model, and all of this bodes well for the new NUC: it could turn out to be a pretty powerful gaming mini PC.
The alleged NUC 12 enthusiast, alongside a discrete graphics card, can offer a selection of Intel Alder Lake processors, ranging from the Core i5 to the Core i9. Rumors suggest the new NUC could be dubbed Serpent Canyon.
If this turns out to be true, it could be an interesting development for the NUC, allowing it to reach previously unattainable levels of performance. However, the compact design of this mini PC plays a role in how much power it can save for the processor alone. The LGA1700 socket supports some of the best processors Intel has to offer, but we shouldn’t expect to see a full-fledged Intel Core i9-12900K in a NUC.
The NUC’s compact design always comes at a price, and while Intel seems to have created a competitive minicomputer, there is still a fairly low cap when it comes to power consumption. As all other components require good power as well, the new NUC may have an Intel Alder Lake processor with a maximum power consumption of 65 watts.
Assuming the leaked image is accurate, that would be a huge change for Intel. Going from a BGA socket to a scalable LGA inside a NUC is a major difference. Using the LGA1700 opens the door for potential upgrades in the future, although it is not possible to say whether Intel will allow this or not.
With CES 2022 just around the corner and Intel’s speech coming up, we’ll likely know more about the NUC rumor this Tuesday. Find out how to watch it live here.