In a nutshell: If you are into small form factor computers, Intel will soon release the NUC 9, also known as Ghost Canyon NUC. Its modular design will allow users to upgrade pretty much everything with cartridge-like ease. However, Intel did not have many details to convey, leaving us guessing as to what the specs would be.
Intel unveiled its next attempt at a modular gaming PC at CES 2020. The Ghost Canyon NUC (NUC 9) is the successor to the Hades Canyon (NUC 8) released in 2018. Rumors of the new NUC kit leaked on KoolShare back in September, and Intel confirmed its existence with a CES “Sneak Peek” Sunday night.
Unlike the NUC 8, Intel is incorporating its “Compute Element” cartridges to allow users to easily upgrade the CPU, GPU, memory, storage, and ports by swapping modules. The company did not provide any detailed specs but said NUC 9 would support Intel Core i9 H-series processors.
The NUC 9 will also have discrete graphics support. As you may recall, the Hades Canyon kit had an integrated AMD Vega graphics chip. Intel did not disclose what GPU solutions would be available, only saying that it has several partners that will be providing GPU, memory, storage, and operating system options.
As for form factor, Ghost Canyon will be slightly larger than the NUC 8, but its 5-liter chassis still makes it comparable in size to a standard gaming console.
It appears to have a couple of networking ports, HDMI, multiple USB, and what seems to be two USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports. Of course, I/O will be reconfigurable with other Compute Element carts. It also has two PCIe slots, a headphone jack, and a Kingston security slot.
Intel had no pricing or release date to reveal, but if it follows a similar pricing as the NUC 8, it will likely be pretty expensive.