Intel NUC 13 Extreme Review – A BIG Upgrade for Intel NUC

Intel NUC 13 Extreme Review - A BIG Upgrade for Intel NUC

Power Limits – CPU Performance 

Intel’s NUC 13 Extreme system is a small form factor PC, that must be considered when comparing this system to full sized desktop PCs. Below, we have compared Intel’s i9-13900K powered NUC 13 Extreme with full sized desktop systems, which feature higher CPU power limits and can deliver higher all-core clock speeds. As such, Intel’s NUC 13 Extreme cannot deliver the same levels of multi-threaded performance as its full sized desktop counterpart when used with high performance desktop motherboards. 

Below, we can see that the NUC 13 Extreme’s i9-13900K can deliver the same levels of single-threaded performance as its full desktop counterpart, but that its multi-threaded performance is more similar to a full desktop i7-13700K in all-core workloads. The compact form factor of the NUC 13 Extreme’s Compute Element card limits the CPU’s maximum power draw and thermal dissipation capabilities, leaving a lot of performance on the table.    

Intel NUC 13 Extreme Review - A BIG Upgrade for Intel NUC

In terms of single-threaded performance, Intel’s NUC 13 Extreme impresses, and unless the CPU’s power limits are reached, the system’s i9-13900K processor will perform similarly to its full desktop counterpart. This means that Intel’s NUC 13 Extreme should excel in gaming workloads, where all-core full usage workloads are very uncommon.

In Dolphin 5.0’s emulation benchmark, the NUC 13 Extreme offers almost identical performance to our i9-13900K review sample, which was reviewed using a faster DDR5 memory kit. 

Intel NUC 13 Extreme Review - A BIG Upgrade for Intel NUC