Intel Ghost Canyon NUC9i9QNX Review: NUC 9 Extreme Realizes the SFF Dream

Small form-factor PCs and gaming systems have emerged as bright spots in the mature PC market over the last decade or so. Intel’s NUC form-factor introduction was the turning point in the small form-factor (SFF) market. Over several generation of products, the NUC family has expanded to address different market segments. But even with those developments, DIY enthusiasts have traditionally given the NUCs a cold shoulder by pointing to the lack of flexibility and limitations such as the inability to use a discrete GPU. At CES 2020, Intel officially announced the Ghost Canyon NUC series of products (NUC 9 Extreme Kits), which are based on the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Compute Elements.

To that end, today we’re taking a detailed look at the top-end consumer-focused Ghost Canyon configuration, the NUC9i9QNX. A solid product in its own right, Ghost Canyon also gives us a hint of how the broader PC market could change with the introduction and widespread availability of the Compute Element and associated products.