INTEL NUC 11 Enthusiast Mini PC Review

this is the intel nok 11 enthusiast and indeed it is a large and enthusiastic looking knock which is a next unit of computing otherwise known as a mini pc or a small form factor pc now this one on is bigger than the average nuck which is absolutely tiny about well that much there but there’s a lot more horsepower inside we’re going to look at it now and not to mention you get a cool light up skull on the lid too and though they also give you a piece of clear plastic for the insert if you want to go a little more low-key than that but this one’s obviously aimed at people who need some performance or gamers so this one has an intel 11th gen tiger lake u-series cpu inside the 28 watt core i7 that you would find in a high-end ultrabook so not bad quad-core 8 threads this is not an h-series gaming laptop cpu but wait then sometimes that’s okay because we have some pretty good graphics power here integrated into the unit surprisingly almost as an nvidia rtx 2060 and that’s the max p version not max q so full wattage so you’re looking sort of at you know your mid-tier to entry-level gaming laptop granted it’s not a 3000 series gpu but given gpu shortages probably there was no hope of doing that and in fact even this unit is getting kind of hard to find but with nvidia dlss these days and with more graphics intensive games not ones that the cpu hard you’re looking at certainly a product that can play 1080p games current ones pretty decently and even sometimes with dls has on 4k so this does have a visa mount for example if you wanted to attach it to the back of your tv or your monitor or whatever um it’s entry level for vr you know it should be good enough that you don’t start to feel queasy frame rates you know that sort of thing so that’s where it’s positioned so if you’re looking for something not to play cyberpunk 2077 on ultra but you’re okay with medium settings then this is your candidate here at 1440p resolution even and less demanding games battlefield certainly fortnite all that stuff sure not a problem the nice thing about this versus a laptop with similar specs on board is the fact that you’ve got more room for cooling design it doesn’t have to be flat like a laptop you know so inside when you open it up you can see it’s got some pretty beefy copper cooling pipes and a nice heat fin along the back edge of this so thermals on this and testing in a variety of benchmarks and running concurrent benchmarks and all that sort of thing we’re quite good around 80 degrees centigrade for the cpu cores and goodness knows if this was a laptop instead we’d be seeing about 95 under the same test so good that performance is where we would expect it to be which is to say competitive with a high-end core i7 ultrabook now this isn’t cheap intel nox pretty much never are there are budget ones on the market that are not from intel but theirs are sort of reference design kind of things and there’s two ways you can get this there’s a turnkey kit which is about thirteen hundred and eighty five dollars with 16 gigs of ram and a 512 gig ssd and of course you get that core i7 and the rtx 2016 no matter what the bare bones leaves out the operating system the ssd and the ram so you put your own in this does have two ram slots it takes the usual laptop ddr4 3200 megahertz ram that 1.2 volt two slots so 64 gigs would be max and you have two m.2 ssd slots one’s nvme only which you would use for the boot ssd and the second one accepts nvme and sata now since we got the bare bones kit that didn’t have the ram the ssd or the operating system and i put my own ram and my own ssds inside we’re not going to benchmark either of those because they don’t come with the product obviously but i would expect perfectly normal performance if you go with the not bare bones kit that has some ram and an ssd inside versus a laptop ports are another plus here and it’s pretty impressive given the small size of this by the way it comes with the stand so if you want to set it up upright so it takes up even less space you can do that but we’ve got six usb a ports on board four in the back two in the front and those are 3.2 and then we have two thunderbolts four ports yay that one front and one back you have an sp diff optical connection for 7.1 digital audio you have a regular headphone jack on the front you have hdmi 2.0 b and displayport 1.4 so yeah you could in theory connect up to four monitors on this thing which gets to be kind of crazy and there’s a full-size sd card slot and that’s sd xc s2 so fast so connectivity absolutely not a problem whatever you want to plug into this thing it’s certainly not dongle life the opposite here now inside the two m.2 slots are pci e3 not four that’s because there’s not enough pcie lanes to dedicate to that they went with giving that to the gpu instead which i think is obviously the wise choice here you want the rtx 2060 to be running at maximum performance it comes with a 230 watt power supply like your typical gaming laptop size power supply kind of and typically it consumes about 150 watts of power for connectivity you have 2.5 gigabit ethernet wired connection only a single one i know some nooks in the past have had two probably with servers and data centers in mind more than everyday folks i don’t know an intel wi-fi six with bluetooth five and that’s the ax-201 card it’s uh there’s a lot of screws involved in getting inside of this to unscrew the top there are visible torque screws and well unscrew those and then take that off and there is our cute skull so like i said there’s also a clear plastic insert if you want to change it out if you don’t want to see the skull which i think is kind of cool and then there are phillips head screws inside and little arrows pointing to them and that’s what you unscrew to lift this up you don’t have to unscrew this skull mask thingy that’s a separate thing so lift that up serious piece of metal there and there is mine be mindful of the wire and that’s where it provides the led lighting for our skull and here are our two ram slots and this is the m.2 ssd again i provided that and there’s a second ssd slot right here as you can see compatible with nvme and sata both for this one and our intel wi-fi card is soldered in the corner right there a little bit hard to see so that’s the intel knock 11 enthusiast quite a powerful little machine and it’s neat to see the nvidia rtx graphics it would have been neat if there was an h-series cpu inside but honestly cooling size-wise just not a possibility and given the fact that so many games these days are more gpu focus that’s okay and it has enough horsepower to do things like photoshop just fine with a little help from the gpu if you want to do premiere it’s great so who’s this for folks who need to save space they want something that’s going to fit anywhere in theory i suppose you could take this with you and plug in a keyboard mouse and monitor wherever you go but something you can mount behind the tv or your monitor keep it out of the way and also you know you don’t have to just put windows on this is also linux compatible is an affiliate. 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Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast