Intel’s 11th Generation Core ‘Tiger Lake’ processors have already landed into some compact desktop PCs. Intel’s own NUC 11 small form-factor systems featuring its latest CPUs are also going to hit the market shortly, if unofficial information is to be believed. The mainstream codenamed Panther Canyon systems with quad-core Tiger Lake-U inside are said to be available as soon as later this month, whereas more advanced codenamed Phantom Canyon machines running Tiger Lake-U and a discrete GPU are expected to hit the market in Q1 2021. FanlessTech reports that the NUC 11 Performance ‘Panther Canyon’ is on track to hit the store shelves this month, but it is unclear in which regions the part will be available and how much it will cost.  

The first details, which arguably covered the most important bits of information about Intel’s ‘Panther Canyon’ and ‘Phantom Canyon’ systems, emerged well before Intel formally introduced its 11th Generation Core ‘Tiger Lake’ CPUs. Initially it was expected that the PCs will be launched with the first wave of notebooks featuring Tiger Lake inside, sometimes this summer, but because of the ongoing pandemic and various issues in the supply chain the chip giant had to change its NUC plans. 

The Panther Canyon system will use Intel’s Tiger Lake-U processor with up to four Willow Cove cores, Intel Iris Xe graphics with up to 96 execution units, and the latest media engine supporting AV1 codec and the BT. 2020 color space, so the miniature 0.5 or 0.7-litre system will pack quite a punch when it comes to performance and media capabilities. Other notable features of the system are pretty typical by today’s standards: up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory, an M.2-2280 SSD with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface (or an Intel Optane Memory M10 drive), 2.5 GbE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, four display outputs (HDMI 2.1, mDP 1.4, TB4 connectors), and an audio jack for headsets. 

The more advanced NUC 11 Extreme ‘Phantom Canyon’ — which is said to be a successor of the gaming-oriented NUC 8 Extreme ‘Hades Canyon’ — will offer significantly higher performance in games due to a discrete GPU, but will only be available sometimes in the first quarter, according to FanlessTech.  

The Phantom Canyon will continue to use Intel’s Tiger Lake-U CPU with up to four cores, but unlike its smaller brother, the 1.35-litre machine will also pack a third-party discrete GPU. Based on some leaks, Intel was mulling to use Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 or RTX 2060 graphics processor, but plans tend to change and the company may decide to use another GPU. Other features of the Phantom Canyon are similar to those of the Panther Canyon. 

Since the information comes from an unofficial source, Intel would neither confirm nor deny plans to release its NUC 11 systems shortly.

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