In this article, I give you my Intel NUC 9 Pro (Quartz Canyon) review with specs included.
Say hello to my little but not so little friends. This is the Intel nook 9 project. Duck stands for next unit of computing and we reviewed these before but typically they have about the brains and power of an ultrabook and they’re about this size. This one is you might guess is a lot more powerful.
We’re gonna look at it now. So there are two versions of this there’s the quartz Canyon which we have and the ghost Canyon. The quartz Canyon is the one with an Intel Xeon processor yes indeed. The e22 86m. You can also get it with a core i7 – 98 50 H. So Intel ninth generation versions they haven’t come out with a 10th generation yet.
Some those who follow these things know these are 45-watt CPUs usually found in mobile workstations and high-performance big laptops. Not ultra books and that sort of thing. So that’s where this comes in as a compact and modular alternative that’s bigger than the teeny-weeny little nuts but it’s still so small. I mean you can fit that anywhere.
And the thermals on this the design is really very good so you’re not going to run into the heating problems. But a CPU is nothing without a GPU. And indeed it has two PCI-E slots one’s and x16 slot it can even take a double wide card. Intel sent it to us with an NVIDIA Quadro P 2200 card. And that’s made by PNY the particular one we have it.
So if you’re gonna go with the i7 version you’re more interested in gaming and not in mobile workstation CAD a kind of working all that sort of thing there is a GeForce carded. GT and r-tx excuse me 2070 actually. Now this can only take a card up to 8 inches long.
So you would think how does that happen well a seuss happens to make what they call the dual mini. So it’s like $420 and it has the performance of a full desktop RTX 2070. So that’s the alternative for you. The thing about the Nook 9 Pro I mean not that Intel Knox were cheap boy this thing is on the expensive side though.
So you’re buying it for the modularity the ease of upgrading it and the fact that fits anywhere and has good thermals compared to a laptop of the same 45 watt Age series or Z&M CPU inside. It’s about $1500 starting price for the seven version and can get up to near $2,000 for the Z on that we have.
So out. Now that doesn’t get you a ram or SSD necessarily. Though if you got is simply knock there are a reseller of these or Amazon you can find them and pro around that price with some RAM and SSD in there. There are two Ram slots on the TV we need little motherboard.
And we’re gonna take it apart because it’s all kind of fun and cool it’s tinkering time you know. I’m – RAM slots ddr4 2666 megahertz Ram. Just I can see in a laptop. So you can go up to 64 gigs of RAM. Ours happens to have 32.
If you want to keep that in mind when you look at the benchmark results that we got. You have to m2 nvme SSD slots also supporting SATA 3 on that little motherboard it connected to the PCH. And hidden down below by the power supply there is another MDOT to drive connected to the CPU.
Board and aha so here’s thing you can do raid 0 and raid 1 with that pair of m2 ssds if you wish to do so. This is a baby desktop PC so obviously you don’t use this thing unplugged. Now there’s no separate power brick on this one it’s the power supply is built into the unit right near the bottom section and has its own little dedicated fan just like a miniature desktop PC so that’s nice.
You don’t have any extra big power breaks going on here. You can support graphics cards by the way going back to that up to 225 watts and power requirements. And you have 6 plus 2 pin connector and a 6-pin connector available. As lose your funding card and it fits 18 inches are shorter like I said -. In terms of performance on this it’s very good and we saw no thermal throttling.
Even in benchmarks saying fire strike and the CPU intensive part of that we usually see CPU temperatures in the mid-90s in a laptop with these kinds of cpus that we’re seeing instead in the 70s sometimes even the 60 centigrade. So the cooling is good.
Now both sides are mesh grilles and they slide out very easily. If you wanted to take the top off which has two large fans and it’s just two Phillips head screws you slide that off and then you can lift up both sides. So it’s easy access but also easy cooling.
That’s a lot of ventilation given the kind of CPU that we have in here and even GPU. Even with the RT of 2017 that’s good ventilation. So I don’t see that problem. It’s not very loud either. By the way the case is nice and it’s beefy.
Now here’s the modular thing that gets a little bit different and a little bit interesting. Is it more cost-effective I don’t know we won’t know until we see next-generation cartridges. But you can get the little next unit of computing out with just one screw. Slides and just like something that goes into a pcie slot in a desktop computer.
And you can slide out the whole gosh-darn compute unit. So if you wanted to upgrade to the next generation you could swap a new one in. Again that would depend on how much of those costs and if and when they would become available for a tenth generation.
When it comes to getting inside of it like I said easy to do. When it comes to getting to the GPU slides very easy. Once you take the top off and one side cover world’s your oyster forgetting to the GPU. If you want to get to the motherboard you take have to take out the graphics card if you have put one in.
You could just use it using the Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics. But probably given the horsepower here enthusiastic achieve you in but anyway and. Once you take out the GPU there’s a little pop-open door so you can quickly access the RAM and top m2 SSD sauce which is very nice.
If you want to get some of the stuff at the bottom you take out the whole nook next unit module that’s inside. Terms of ports there’s plenty of ports here to Thunderbolt 3 we have a mess of USB ports on here you have HDMI and whatever graphics connectors at the GPU of your choice is going to have on the back as well. Front and rear audio jacks supporting s/pdif out of the rear you get the idea.
So connectivity is good. And two Gigabit Ethernet connectors as well. And you’ve also got a full size SD card slot on the front. So that’s the Intel nook 9 Pro. It’s really the coolest thing. The only thing that hurts is the price on this.
I suppose though that people do work at home a lot for those who are looking for a very compact to you powerful kind of PC that isn’t a giant noisy hot Tower. Well, this would be it and the modularity and then the tinkerability of it is just kind of you know it tickles my inner geek a lot. But hey it’s a lot of money so you decide.
Intel NUC 9 Pro (Quartz Canyon)