Much has changed in PC sales through the years, yet much is the same. Things can be unpredictable. Looking back, there have been instances of manufacturers selling their own brand laptops and ultra books equipped with competitors SSDs as storage, simply to maximize sales of their own higher cost…and higher performing SSDs. In fact, if you think you are getting a top performing SSD in just about any pre-configured system…think again. Let’s go a step further. We defy you to find pre-configured PCIe 4.0 systems equipped with Gen 4 SSDs that will achieve at least 5GB/s data transfer speeds. Gen 4 systems that rely on Gen 3 SSDs for storage is the rule today, not the exception.
Intel appears to have changed just that with their newest Intel NUC 11 Pro Kit NUC11TNKV7 and you are going to want to take a close look at this. First off, they have invested in Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Gen 4 SSDs for their storage. That is good…very good. In fact, where it is impossible to find any PC capable of true Gen 4 storage speeds, this Intel NUC measuring only 117mm x 112mm x 37mm will get you PCIe 4.0 data transfer speeds of 5GB/s. That is not all though. Follow along for a list of components that just might make this Intel NUC the Superman of mini-PCs. At least we think it truly sets itself apart from the rest.
The Intel NUC 11 Pro Kit NUC11TNKV7 contains the Intel Quad Core i7-1185G7 CPU with Turbo Boost up to 4.8Ghz, running to a max of 28W. It contains 16GB of DDR4-3200 Dual Channel Memory upgradeable to 64GB, has Intel’s latest Iris Xe Graphics, and comes with Windows 10 Pro. The Sabrent Rocket 4.0 NVMe SSD is included with specs of 5GB/s read and just over 2.5GB/s write. The NUC 11 Pro also has Intel Wifi 6ax, two Thunderbolt ports, one Tblt 3 and the other Tblt 4, support for 4 displays, and BT 5.1. There is even a slot for another M.2 SSD, be it a smaller 2242 form factor (42mm) and SATA3.
On the front of the NUC11TNKV7, we have two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, each capable of up to 1000MB/s data transfer speeds (10Gbps), as well as the power switch.
On the back, moving from left to right, we have the locking arm, 12-24V power port, Thunderbolt 4 port which accommodates DPI 1.4a and USB4, 2 x HDMI 2.0b on the bottom capable of 4K @ 60Hz. In the center, we have the Intel i225LM Ethernet port capable of 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps, a USB 3,2 Gen 2 Type-A port to the right with a USB 2.0 port below that. On the far right we have the Thunderbolt 3 port along with the other HDMI port. Did we mention that Thunderbolt 3/4 is capable of up to 2.9GB/s data transfer?
The package itself includes the NUC11TNKV7, a metal VESA adapter plate to install the NUC 11 Pro on the back of a monitor, Quick Start Guide and the power brick. Perhaps just a bit unusual is that the plug itself is not included to plug into the wall/adapter. This is a typical three prong adapter that matches that found on many laptops these days. We simply used ours from one of our HP Spectre X360 laptops.
The largest component in the NUC 11 Pro is the fan and there are vents on both sides and the back of the Unit, and as well, there is a Kensington Lock port on the other side (not pictured). Surprisingly, it was very quiet through all of our testing. That was not the case later on when we were resetting the NUC; it was rather loud at that point. Check out the Intel Nuc 11 Pro spec page.
Storage consists of the Sabrent Rocket 4.0 NVMe 500GB M.2 SSD. This SSD contains the Phison E16 NVMe controller along with 4 pieces of KIOXIA 96-layer BiCS4 TLC NAND flash memory and a DDR4 cache buffer chip on the front.
Checking out the price point of the Intel NUC 11 Pro Kit NUC11TNKV7, we are not seeing them in the US just yet but could find pricing with future availability at around $1200. One can also buy a bare bones version for around $700 and add their own SSD, memory and Windows. Check Amazon for availability and pricing. Let’s get to some benchmarks…