Intel Plans Ghost Canyon X NUC With Discrete Graphics Support In 2020

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | December 13, 2018 - 01:02 AM |
Tagged: Intel

Slated for an early 2020 release, Intel is planning a new larger (but still) small form factor NUC system dubbed Ghost Canyon X according to a report by FanlessTech. Ghost Canyon X will feature a larger 5 liter form factor that will be able to accomodate a discrete graphics card along with both M.2 and SATA 3 storage.

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The Ghost Canyon X NUC will be powered by 9th Generation Coffee Lake HR processors that will come in i5 and i7 flavors. The chips have a 45W TDP and will come in quad core i5-9XXXH, six core i7, or eight core i7-9XXXH configurations (with HyperThreading) and will be paired with two DDR4 DIMMs (up to 64GB DDR4 2400 MHz or 32GB DDR4 2666 MHz). Ghost Canyon X NUCs will have three HDMI 2.0 video outputs, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a SD card slot for external I/O (likely along with USB 3.1 and audio outputs though those are not pictured). Internal storage includes up to 3 M.2 drives (two M.2 2242 80/110 and one 80mm) using PCI-E 3.0 x4 links and SATA 3 for standard hard drives and SATA SSDs. The biggest change with the NUC platform is the inclusion of a single PCI-E x16 slot which can be used to add a discrete graphics card to the system. While 5 liters is quite a jump up from the 0.7L standard NUCs and the 1.2L of the Kaby Lake-G powered Hades Canyon gaming NUC, it is still a fairly small system so not all graphics cards are going to fit but enthusiasts should be able to use GPUs that have shorter Mini ITX designs easily enough.

FanlessTech notes that the reference Ghost Canyon X NUC will most likely be actively cooled, but third party fanless cases from makers like Akassa, Streacom, Tranquil PC and others should be achievable with a 45W TDP CPU (and even GPU if you go with a lower end model).

Further details are still unknown and the pictured case design is still subject to change as the system gets further along in the design process and closer to launch. Curiously, that expected early 2020 Ghost Canyon X launch would coincide with Intel’s plans for launching its own discrete graphics solution so an Intel NUC with an Intel graphics card would be an interesting system to see!

Stay tuned for updated NUC information as we get closer to Computex 2019 and CES 2020!

Source: FanlessTech

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December 13, 2018 | 02:03 AM - Posted by Isaac Johnson

I'd like to at least wait until CES 2019 is over before I start looking forward to CES 2020.

December 13, 2018 | 06:25 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

So true! Hehe

December 13, 2018 | 02:52 AM - Posted by ReelTrouble

I don't get it. Wasn't the whole point of the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) machines to promote a "New," small, quiet, and power efficient design? I currently have two NUC's but is the "new NUC" going to offer anything over a micro or mini build? Although the current NUC designs are limited they fit into the power and size envelope that I want (ie - I can mount them to the back of my TV). If I want a more capable machine and am willing to concede some ground on the space issue, then why wouldn't I go with an industry standard board?

December 13, 2018 | 06:25 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, it is kind of odd for sure. Looking at the roadmap slides from fanlesstech it appears that Ghost Canyon X will occupy the high end but will not be the only NUCs released in the future. They will still have the smaller traditional NUC form factors I think just under a dofferent series. I think it was Baby Canyon and Hades Canyon in 2018? So something similar will probably happen in 2019/20 with multiple NUC lines with the newer processors.

December 13, 2018 | 03:35 AM - Posted by Star (not verified)

"Stay tuned for updated NUC information as we get closer to Computex 2019 and CES 2020!"

This article is just journalism and acts as an advertisement for a product that it does not exist (Intel GPU).

December 13, 2018 | 03:36 AM - Posted by Star (not verified)

This article is just bad journalism.

December 13, 2018 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

This comment is just lazy.

December 14, 2018 | 06:16 PM - Posted by NotTimeForBreaksTheCompetitionIsHeatingUpFast (not verified)

Intel's doing this to have a place to slot in their upcoming Discrete GPU products. This is in case Nvidia's and AMD's market is too difficult for Intel to make much headway into at first and Intel will have to compete with Nvidia and AMD get Intel's Discrete GPU offerings into a larger share of the OEM PC Market for prebuilt gaming PC systems that make the most use of discrete GPUs.

Intel will have to offer up a MB design with some special features also in order to entice potential customers to go all Intel CPUs and Discrete GPUs inside. Intel could even offer a MB design that Leverages Optane DIMMS and other features that Others in the market could not match. If Micron can get one competing XPoint product to market first it should be some QuantX/XPoint NVM/DIMM Competition ASAP so others in that market can compete against Intel's Optane NVM/DIMM offerings. After 2020 Intel will begin to have a complete line of PC based products from CPUs to Discrete GPUs and Optane NVM/DIMMS, as well as Optane and NAND SSDs.

Both AMD and Nvidia better be looking at maybe licensing Micron's 2nd generation XPoint products or Intel will turn the tables once again if Intel's GPU Technology is actually competative. Intel is all in with Vesa Display Port Adaptive Sync so Nvidia's G-Sync will be the Odd Man Out as far as adopted Adaptive Sync Standards go. Both AMD and Nvidia and Micron really need to get together and look at adopting some 2nd generation XPoint competition and probably Samsung also least Intel still have the only XPoint solutions well into 2020-2021.

Both AMD and Nvidia will have to form a strategic Partnership with Micron and not just for GDDR6 memory as there will be second generation XPoint in Intel's product offerings first while Micron is actually sitting out the first generation XPoint and not getting in the market with any XPoint competition until the second generation XPoint IP is RTM. If Samsung/SK Hinix are still the only 2 HBM suppliers in the market then HBM2 is not going to see much wider adoption either as HBM2 costs are still prohibitive. So the only place HBM2 will make sense is in smaller capacities of 2-4GB on Mobile GPUs and only 8GB for top end consumer offerings.

AMD's Discrete mobile Vega and that HBCC/HBC IP can at least make use of HBM2 as a last level GPU cache but that's only available on Apple's Latest Macbooks currently. AMD better get that Vega, or Navi, Discrete Mobile offerings released in the wider non Apple Laptop market that at least can offer up 2-4GB on HBM2/Newer Memory that can be utilized as last level Discrete GPU cache. That HBCC/HBC IP is the one IP that Nvidia currently does not match and that will really help on laptops that make us of AMD's Vega/Newer Discrete Mobile GPUs.

AMD only has a short time frame to take advantage of 7nm and that HBCC/HBC IP in the discrete mobile GPU market. And AMD is already behind with Tensor Cores and Ray Tracing but Tensor Cores should be what AMD gets first because Nvidia's DLSS on Laptops is really going to become popular for allowing Nvidia to extend it's lead on Discrete Mobile GPUs and higher FPS mobile gaming.

It's too soon to speculate on what Intel will be offering on its GPUs but for sure there will be Tensor Core IP at the very least from Intel also as that has applications in the Professional AI market also.

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