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Analysis and opinion of the Intel NUC 13 Extreme Kit, a beast with RTX 3080 Ti and the latest from Intel

After a few weeks using the computer for work and play, this is my review of the Intel NUC 13 Extreme Kit, a compact beast with an RTX 3080 Ti and the latest generation of Intel processors.

If you follow the news of video games and hardware, you will remember that Steam launched, a few years ago, the concept of Steam Machines. That has led to the current Steam Deck, which we’ve reviewed and love on a day-to-day basis, and it was basically going to be PC in a “console” format.

The Steam Machines hit a major blow, but Intel took the baton with their NUCs. They are basically miniPC They are used for work, since they have what is necessary for office work, but there is a gaming variant that is most interesting.

Gaming NUCs consist of a chassis, a processing unit (with board, dissipation and the Intel on duty) and the possibility of mounting a GPU, an SSD and storage at your convenienceall this in a very compact tower format.

Last year We review the NUC 9 Extremebut now we level up with the review of the Intel NUC 13 Extreme with an Intel Core 13th and a very powerful RTX 3080 Ti.

The analysis of the Intel NUC 13 Extreme Kit: opinion, test and review of HobbyConsolas:

Intel NUC 13 Extreme Kit Specifications:

before anything, Let’s see the features of the Intel NUC 13. And it is that, there is something important that you should know about these devices: they do not bring graphics, system, storage or RAM memory.

When you buy a NUC, comes the processor module that consists of its dissipation, the chosen processor, the motherboard, the power supply and… that’s it.

Intel NUC 13 Extreme Kit
Processor Intel Core i9-13900K
Graphic card Integrated UHD 770
Discrete RTX 3080 Ti
RAM 32 GB DDR5 at 4,800 MHz
Storage 1TB PCIe4 SSD
Operating system Windows 11
wireless connectivity Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
physical connections HDMI 2.1
2 USB-A 3.0 + 2 USB-A 2.0 rear
2x 12V PWM
2xUSB-A 3.2 + USB-C Gen2 + front 3.5mm jack
Feeding Integrated 750 W source
Dimensions 12.5″ x 13.5″ x 5″
Additional features wifi antennas
Price From $760

It is the user who must “pocket” the rest, but there are also pre-assembled kits with certain components. In our case, the review unit comes with an RTX 3080 Ti with 12 GB of GDDR6X memory32 GB of 4,800 MHz DDR memory and a 1 TB Kingston PCIe4 SSD.

The board supports PCIe x16 Gen 5 for the GPUbut keep in mind that the length of it that these new kits admit is 304 millimeters, so you will not be able to mount an RTX 4090, for example.

Less aggressive, but more modular design

Before we see the results of our tests, let’s talk about the design. We have a chassis that is quite compact with a height of 31.8 cm, a width of 12.9 cm and a length of 33.7 cm.

It is a very compact tower, somewhat larger than previous NUC Extremes, but it is still tiny. What I like the most is that by removing a single screw, we access all the internal components.


Intel NUC 13 Extreme Kit Design

The top, bottom and sides are made of microperforated aluminum so that the airflow is optimal and fresh air is constantly entering the equipment.

This is essential on a device where components like the font (750 W in this case, which also marks the type of GPU that we can mount), storage, RAM, GPU and processor are so glued together.

Removing the top cover, we can open the sides (magnetized) and also remove the front. This way you can view components, change memory, storage and GPU, or simply perform a maintenance task.

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Most of the ports are in the rear area, but on the front we have some that are most useful: two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one USB-C Gen 2 and a 3.5 mm jack, as well as the button ignition.

I really like the design, but I admit that it looks like a library PC. And it is that, they have removed the characteristic skull of the NUC from the chassis and, now, we only find it in the processor module if we open the equipment.

But hey, it’s a minor detail. oh! And we don’t have any LED or RGB anywhere. I already say, it seems a very sober PC.

Performance of the Intel Core 13

But well, let’s go to what matters, since in this case all the weight falls on the interior. As it is the first PC with the new from Intel, we wanted to pass some separate tests to see how the processor behaves.

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The one they sent us is the top of the range for the NUCs, the Intel Core i9-13900K. It has 24 cores, 32 threads, the Intel UHD 770 GPU, and a frequency that varies between power cores and efficiency cores.

Of the 24 cores, 8 are performance at a frequency of 3 GHz with a 5.7 GHz boost, while the other 16 cores go to 2.2 GHz with a 4.3 GHz boost.

Intel Core i9-13900K i9-12900KF
Geekbench 5 monkey 2,105 1,890
Geekbench 5 multi 22,234 17,458
PC Mark 9,199 8,657
Cinebench R15 CPU 5,363 3,791
Cinebench R20 13,218 9,932

In this first test we have compared it with the Intel Core i9-12900KF that accompanied me in the analysis of the RTX 4080 and, as you can see from the numbers, the multicore improvement between the two is a real nonsense.

Speaking of other components, like the board supports PCIe Gen 4 for the SSD, we have unit-review speeds of 7,082.61 MB/s reading and 6,147.42 MB/s writing.

gaming performance

But hey, let’s go to the most interesting point of the analysis of the Intel NUC 13 Extreme: the performance in games. And it is that, when I did the unboxing, what aroused me the most curiosity was to see how far such a compact team would go.

Let’s see, I know how the RTX 3080 Ti performs, but I wanted to see both the dissipation and the fps. The first thing I did was pass a series of synthetic tests, or benchmarks, in games and applications that put the GPU to the test:

RTX 3080Ti RTX 4080 4K RTX 3080 4K
bright memory 40fps 54fps 34fps
Boundaries 39.8fps 56.1fps 33.1fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 90fps 128fps 37fps
farcry 6 74 101fps 85fps
red dead redemption 2 68.2fps 89.7fps 58.5fps
cyberpunk 2077 38.78fps
Horizon Zero Dawn 130fps

Scroll to the side of the table to see all the results

For these tests, I set the games to the maximum level with DLSS in case they had it available and with ray tracing in the most aggressive mode. In the case of Cyberpunk 2077, that level is “insane”.

In the benchmark comparison you can see that the 3080 Ti is indeed between the RTX 3080 and the 4080. It was not necessary to have a master’s degree for this, but hey. What surprised me was the score of Far Cry 6.


Gameplay Intel NUC 13 Extreme

I passed the test several times and it always gave me a lower score than the RTX 3080, but in the rest of the cases you can see that it is above it, slightly in some cases and, more than clearly, in others, such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Red Dead Redemption 2.

Oh well, The tests are there, but something that I like to do in each analysis is to test the performance in both 1,440p and 4K. As in the synthetic tests, the marked quality is the highest in all sections.

NUC RTX 3080Ti 4K NUC RTX 3080Ti 1440p RTX 4080 4K RTX 3080 4K RTX 4080 1440p RTX 3080 1440p
spider-man 79fps without DLSS3 103fps without DLSS3 127fps DLSS3 62fps without DLSS3 176fps DLSS3 103fps without DLSS3
cyberpunk 2077 35fps without DLSS3 67fps without DLSS3 75fps DLSS3 25fps without DLSS3 83fps DLSS3 48fps without DLLS3
Control 60fps 107fps 84fps 55fps 147fps 102fps
Death Stranding 147fps 197fps 190fps 130fps 194fps 174fps
Quake II RTX 46fps 89fps 55fps 35fps 121fps 75fps

Scroll to the side of the table to see all the results

The RTX 3080 Ti is a beast And, although in 1,440p the bottleneck jump of the games themselves is not so noticeable, in 4K it is more marked compared to its little sister.

That in Control, Cyberpunk itself or in Spider-Man we have these results is absolute barbarity.

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And, finally, so that you can see the performance of the PC, I leave you a table in which you will be able to keep an eye on the temperature. In this case we put the maximum of both the CPU and the GPU:

Maximum temperature GPUs CPU
spider-man 64 81
cyberpunk 2077 66 89
Control 65 82
Death Stranding 64 85
Quake II RTX 66 43

Scroll to the side of the table to see all the results

In the case of the GPU, the truth is that quite well. We have very controlled temperatures thanks to the huge aluminum heatsink and the three fans. The processor is warm, but in the end we have a turbine cooler with a compact size and not a somewhat more efficient system.

Yes, we have a steam chamber, but in the end the miniaturization, how close the components are and that the turbine does not do much eitherresult in those temperatures which, having said that, are not alarming at all.

What happens is that… when the PC goes into high performance mode, the fans “blow” which is nice. It’s not like a laptop or PS4 with God of War Ragnarok, but it’s a lot to listen to.

Intel NUC 13 Extreme Price

Before moving on to the conclusions, let’s go with the price. And it is that, it is a somewhat complex issue because, as I told you, the NUC, really, is the processor kit and everything else must be purchased separately.

The basic kit that does not take GPU, RAM, storage, system or chassisonly what we detailed at the beginning with the board for RAM memory, the processor, the ports and the processor heatsink, goes from 760 dollars with the i5-13600K to 1,100 with the i9 that we have analyzed.

intel nuc 13 extreme reviewintel nuc 13 extreme review

Then we have the kit with the chassis at a price between 1,179 and 1,549 dollars to which the rest of the elements would have to be added for the PC to work.

It is… quite expensive, yes, and at the moment you will not be able to buy it, since it will go on sale sometime in 2023 in Spain and other countries.

Is it worth buying the Intel NUC 13 Extreme? The opinion of HobbyConsolas

Having seen the performance, the characteristics and everything about this NUC 13, let’s go with the conclusions of the analysis.

I think the biggest drawback I can put is the pricesince it is quite expensive equipment, and we also have the issue of noise or that the box is not as compact as in previous generations, but for the rest… it is a beast.

intel nuc 13 extreme reviewintel nuc 13 extreme review

It’s amazing that such a “small” team is so powerful. You’ll be able to play 4K60 with no problem with ray tracing even in demanding games, Intel’s latest generation is a beast to play and work with, and with the right components, you’ll have gear for years.

The best

  • Power
  • design and materials
  • The new generation of Intel
  • Physical and wireless connectivity


  • The price
  • fan noise
  • Limited to 304mm graphics
  • The box is no longer so compact





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