Twitter user @ 9550pro posted a picture allegedly showing the next generation Intel NUC Mini PC. The photo clearly shows the LGA 1700 socket with an unknown processor model Alder Lake (12th generation). If the image is actually an Intel NUC system, then for the first time Intel does not use an unsoldered (BGA packaging), but an exchangeable (LGA) processor in devices of this family.
This is good news for potential next-gen NUC users, because the LGA 1700 socket opens up the possibility of replacing the processor with the more powerful Alder Lake model or possibly the upcoming Raptor Lake (13th generation). However, there is a certain possibility that Intel will limit the ability to replace the processor by releasing appropriate microcode updates for motherboards.
According to the published snapshot, the mainboard has a few slots for connecting DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM modules as well as an M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe interface for a solid state drive. It is possible that in the future NUC versions will come onto the market that support the installation of DDR5 memory strips, as DDR5 SO-DIMM modules are currently not available. Due to the delivery problems with DDR5 modules, Intel has probably decided to bring out a DDR4 version of the NUC PC first.
It should also be noted that the specification of the computer is in line with Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast, the first data of which appeared back in August last year. The NUC 12 enthusiast could be a significant upgrade of the current NUC 11 Extreme (Beast Canyon). It should combine the performance of the new Alder Lake processors with the performance of the discrete Xe-HPG DG2 graphics card. The NUC’s compact design and modest 330W power supply will likely limit the number of processor models that can be used in these PCs. The new NUC PCs are expected to receive only 65 W Alder Lake processors.
It is not yet known exactly when Intel will be able to present the new NUC PCs. It is possible that this will happen in a few days at the upcoming CES 2022.