The NUC 11 Extreme (codenamed Beast Canyon) is the latest in Intel's Tiger Lake based NUC lineup which includes the NUC 11 Performance (Panther Canyon), NUC 11 Enthusiast (Phantom Canyon) and NUC 11 Pro (Tiger Canyon). As you can see from the picture above, the codename for the NUC 11 Extreme is quite fitting as this is currently the largest "NUC" that Intel has built to date, coming in at 8L. Yes, this is definitely "stretching" the NUC label in terms of what folks historically expect but I believe Intel is simply expanding on their well known NUC brand, especially as there are also NUC laptops.
However, this is also not the first time Intel has explored a larger NUC design. In 2020, Intel introduced the NUC 9 Pro (Quartz Canyon) and Extreme (Ghost Canyon) which took advantage of the new NUC Compute Element and enabled a new modular design and form factor adding support for discrete GPU and PCIe expandability. As a successor to the NUC 9, the NUC 11 Extreme extends this concept further by adding support for a full length discrete GPU, which is the primary driver for the larger form factor.
The NUC 11 Extreme can also enhance your homelab experience with LED lights which are located underneath the chassis and on the front with the classic Intel NUC Skull. Even cooler, the design in the front is customizable and can be user replaced with a different graphic. For an example of what this could look like, jump down to the customizable logo section of this blog post 🙂
I know there are a number of folks in the VMware community who are currently using the NUC 9 for their VMware Homelab, especially for those with GPU and/or additional network and storage requirements. Let's now take a closer look at what the NUC 11 Extreme has to offer the VMware Community.