News Intel Quartz Canyon NUC - Intel's take on SFF PC?

From Tom's maybe an interesting case, like the cooling slots and UMX style

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-quartz-canyon-nuc-xeon-e,40124.html

 
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oldmonk

Caliper Novice
Dec 26, 2018
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Wasn't sure if I should create a new thread, even though it's Ghost Canyon:

Tonight, Intel gave a sneak peek at the “Ghost Canyon” at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, confirming a leak that we’ve been wondering about for months: the existence of an entire gaming PC built around Intel’s NUC Compute Element initiative to turn its CPUs into swappable cartridges for easily upgradable computers. The leaks said this computer would be just 5 liters in volume, practically as small as a game console, and that’s just what Intel confirmed this evening, as well as the ability to swap out those “Compute Element” CPU cartridges.

Link to leaked specs from the article: https://koolshare.cn/thread-168913-1-1.html
 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
922
456
Wasn't sure if I should create a new thread, even though it's Ghost Canyon:



Link to leaked specs from the article: https://koolshare.cn/thread-168913-1-1.html

Is this the 'end game' of the mini-sandwich form factor? The fact they are stating 95w CPU support is interesting. I feel that most in the community felt limited to 65w CPU with the small heatsinks allowed in the current breed of mini-sandwich cases. The claimed 5L size from the Verge article *is* larger than the mini-sandwiches on the market though.

Also interesting that the Engadget article says CPU is upgradeable but the Verge article says it is an H series laptop CPU.
 

oldmonk

Caliper Novice
Dec 26, 2018
29
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Is this the 'end game' of the mini-sandwich form factor? The fact they are stating 95w CPU support is interesting. I feel that most in the community felt limited to 65w CPU with the small heatsinks allowed in the current breed of mini-sandwich cases. The claimed 5L size from the Verge article *is* larger than the mini-sandwiches on the market though.

Also interesting that the Engadget article says CPU is upgradeable but the Verge article says it is an H series laptop CPU.
Couldn't find anything on the 95W part, but the listed CPUs in the leak show just 45W CPUs. Both articles mention the possibility of changing the CPU so I'm guessing Intel will stick with 45W CPUs in their own offerings but anyone can replace it with a 65W+ CPU at their own risk. With delidding, more effective thermal paste and maybe some undervolting, I assume it'll work (note that I know nothing about delidding).
 

Kilrah

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 20, 2017
128
112
The Verge mentions an i9 capable of 5GHz, so that means a 10900 (or one of the 9900s, but it would make little sense...)

Most people limit themselves to lower powers in such cases because they're somehow afraid to run their CPUs at specced temps, nothing else. If you go to spec it's no problem to throw 95W parts and Intel will likely do that.

That's a pretty cool system. Now to see prices...
 
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ermac318

King of Cable Management
Mar 10, 2019
655
510
According to the official Intel slideware that leaked some time ago on Kool Share, it's using 45W Mobile parts. That said, you could easily TDP-up these parts to something more substantial. The fact that they're mobile CPUs has more to do with the surrounding bits than the chip itself - the chipset, the IO, and other motherboard pieces being more tightly integrated. NUCs have always been laptop CPUs so I doubt that's going to change. Even the high end Hades and Skull Canyon NUCs were laptop parts at heart.

Also, they were teasing that the next 10th gen mobile H CPUs (Comet Lake) will be 8- and 10-core 45W parts (still 14nm) so not unreasonable to expect to see those in this NUC by the time it ships. They may claim 5Ghz boost on one or both of those parts, but Intel's been using BS boost numbers lately where a single core in certain configurations might be able to boost to that number for a few seconds and calling it "progress." ?

Note that the CPU/Motherboard module uses a blower style design to cool the entire board, which means it'll probably be loud but effective.
 

oldmonk

Caliper Novice
Dec 26, 2018
29
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  • There's a NUC module which contains the CPU, memory and storage (3x NVME) which connects via PCIE
  • The NUC module also includes the I/O bracket
  • Supports GPUs under 8 inches (~20cm)
  • Between $1,300 (i3) - $1,700 (i7) for the barebones unit
  • Other manufacturers (like Razer) will be building their own chassis around this NUC module
 
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KepKe

Trash Compacter
Mar 20, 2017
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So Razer will be doing a chassis for it too. One thing i find shocking is the price. Stave (Gamers nexus) mentioned 1500USD for the Element, without RAM or Storage, which is nuts. For that price you can build your own, smaller and much more powerful ITX PC with GPU. Also the cooling seems rather insufficient, considering that laptops with way bigger heatsinks fail to keep the i9 9980HK in check and those aren't placed against a hot GPU.
 

Jace

Chassis Packer
Jan 28, 2017
18
22
This is almost cool. The idea is there but the execution leaves much to be desired, at least in my opinion. The first major off-putting thing is the price, way way too high. The second is that this design they have right now doesn't save any space compared to many other SFF ITX cases and those can fit regular hardware in them. And the third is that you are stuck with underpowered CPUs, well at least compared to normal desktop CPUs. And if you want to upgrade in the future... Better sell that last kidney too.
I'm also a little bit upset that the CPU module is facing the same way as the GPU. Wouldn't it have made more sense to put it facing the opposite side of the case? So like, you know, it could get cool air from outside of the case... I had high hopes for this thing when I first read about it but now not so much.
 

oldmonk

Caliper Novice
Dec 26, 2018
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I think there's a lot of potential. Right now it's limited to the sandwich form-factor due to the base board (the board with 2 PCIe x16 and 1 PCIe x4), but if that could be sold separately, then it'll allow custom case creators on here to create cases on their own.

What I'm really hoping for is the base board to be manufactured so it's thinner and a riser cable can be used so it can be in the console form factor, maybe even getting rid of the PCIe X4 slot. It seems like a very basic board, if more SFF oriented companies like Zotac or ASrock don't create that, then maybe the Chinese will do it on their own and we'll see some on Taobao.

On top of that, would love Noctua or other CPU cooling companies to offer cooling solutions for the NUC module, which may allow for more flexibility with desktop CPUs.

Even if it doesn't tick all of the boxes to begin with, I think it's a big step forward.
 

ermac318

King of Cable Management
Mar 10, 2019
655
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I hope this is the start of a new proper, open form factor and not some proprietary garbage like Intel did with Thunderbolt. @Necere said in another thread a while back this is almost the exact design he suggested to Intel years ago, and it's only coming into shape now.

Imagine an AMD Ryzen 4800H version of this board, or a board with a reverse orientation and no active cooling apparatus (so DIY with chassis airflow), or a different midplane/riser solution that includes an HDPLEX400 mounting bracket on the underside. There are tons of possibilities, and the fact that Intel is allowing other people to make systems with the NUC 9 Element board is great. I just hope it's more of an open standard than we've seen from Intel before.
 
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jujudk

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 1, 2017
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To be fair the velka 3 and k39 are very much the same size ..... but can take bigger cpus with full itx boards
 

ermac318

King of Cable Management
Mar 10, 2019
655
510
To be fair the velka 3 and k39 are very much the same size ..... but can take bigger cpus with full itx boards
Yes but cable management is very difficult, you have risers going the length of the case, etc. It's not ideal. Imagine this form factor in the hands of the brilliant case wizards on this forum! I'll repeat - if this is the only board to ever come in this form factor, or Intel is the only one that makes boards for it and they are expensive and proprietary, then this is a dead end and a waste of time. But if this can become a new "standard" for a motherboard interface, imagine how many problems it solves:
  • No need for flexible risers making two 180 degree bends
  • No more 24-pin ATX power cables to route
  • No more ATX IO-shield to build around - the CPU board just has a PCIe slot IO bracket.
If you build a card like Intel's but reversed the connector, so that the fan side was facing the outside of the chassis (and not inside like the Element board does, which is frankly stupid), you could build a sandwich case that supported a full size GPU (which the V3 and K39 don't) in under 4 liters. And it would be much easier to build since you aren't fiddling with risers and power cables in such a small space.

But it comes down to the spec being open and other companies deciding to build chassis/system boards around it. It has to be an ecosystem push, not just from Intel.
 
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Kilrah

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 20, 2017
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Yes but cable management is very difficult, you have risers going the length of the case, etc. It's not ideal.
  • No need for flexible risers making two 180 degree bends
  • No more 24-pin ATX power cables to route
  • No more ATX IO-shield to build around - the CPU board just has a PCIe slot IO bracket

I'll take the one time couple of hour hassle to have a system that's better in every way and cheaper too...
This sounds potentially good for someone who wouldn't build a PC otherwise, but that's about it IMO.
 
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judokamak

Caliper Novice
Sep 25, 2019
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So Razer will be doing a chassis for it too. One thing i find shocking is the price. Stave (Gamers nexus) mentioned 1500USD for the Element, without RAM or Storage, which is nuts. For that price you can build your own, smaller and much more powerful ITX PC with GPU. Also the cooling seems rather insufficient, considering that laptops with way bigger heatsinks fail to keep the i9 9980HK in check and those aren't placed against a hot GPU.

+1

It s a cool concept, but it ends here with the price. Why would anyone buy the cpu module for 1500 usd?
Don t even have to talk about acoustics and cooling.
 

owliwar

Master of Cramming
Lazer3D
Apr 7, 2017
586
1,082
oh wow, I didnt knew this was shown before but I surely missed it.
this looks really cool and I can see this working really well in replacing corporate PCS. a lot of companies here are migrating to notebooks but imagine if they make some weaker and basic systems with this. lenovo can provide some weaker cpus that can make assembly and support really easy and fast. that could really improve some figures for them. I hate that its not that modular, but I appreciate the power delivery efficiency simplicity.
 

all-in

Average Stuffer
Feb 20, 2017
57
23
This is sandwich style SFF for the masses, plus you get laptop CPUs/motherboards that normally aren’t readily available.

It’s “normal” that it’s not super appealing to people that already know how to plan and assemble something like that.