Asus has become the new steward of Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) designs after Intel’s exit from the market last year. However, Asus has confirmed that the NUC Extreme line, which allowed for the pairing of tiny hardware with full desktop-powered GPUs, has been permanently discontinued.
The NUC Extreme line featured a removable, upgradable NUC Compute Element housing the processor, I/O panel, RAM slots, and M.2 storage slots, paired with PCIe slots for a full-sized desktop GPU. This design allowed users to build compact machines with access to high-power discrete graphics cards, making it popular among gamers.
The discontinuation of the NUC Extreme line is attributed to the larger size of the 7.5-liter body, particularly in the NUC Extreme 12 and NUC Extreme 13 models, which are comparable in size to some Mini-ITX cases. The increased size made the NUC Extreme less competitive compared to traditional Mini-ITX cases that also accommodate full-sized graphics cards.
Asus has opted to focus on the ROG NUC, designed for gamers and featuring high-powered laptop components such as a Core Ultra 9 CPU and an RTX 4060 or 4070 mobile GPU. The shift towards laptop components aligns with the trend of creating ultra-small desktops without the need for CPU and GPU upgrade options provided by the NUC Extreme line.
This decision marks the end of the NUC Extreme series, leaving users seeking maximum gaming power in a small form factor to explore other options like Mini-ITX builds. The discontinuation reflects the evolving landscape of compact desktop designs and the preference for alternative solutions.