Intel to Stop Making its Excellent NUC PCs, Opting to Use Partners Instead

Intel NUC 13 Extreme

Intel will stop manufacturing its excellent NUC PCs, instead choosing to produce them with partners. It confirmed to Engadget that it will cease “direct investment” in the hardware.

The company does plan to investigate ways to continue the NUC (Next Unit of Compute) business through partnerships, but it’s not clear exactly what that means at this time.

While it confirmed to Engadget that it was making the move, the company did not specify why it was bowing out of the PC making business. The publication speculates it is in response to a “reeling” computer market that has struggled in recent months after a huge boon during the pandemic period. Intel’s revenue has dipped considerably in the last two quarters and its PC group has been the hardest hit.

It’s a shame, since the NUC was the closest thing PetaPixel tested that mimicked the mix of form factor and performance of Apple’s recent M-series desktop computers. The most recent addition, the NUC 13 Extreme, is an excellent computer that performs extremely well in photo and video editing tasks. While it certainly is possible to build a custom PC for less or as much as it would cost to pick up a NUC 13 Extreme, Intel’s option got buyers most of the way there and in a case that would be a challenge to replicate.

There are some downsides, however. The NUC 13 Extreme wasn’t ready to go off the shelf and did require that buyers pick up a license for Windows, RAM, an SSD, and a GPU. That might have been enough of a deterrent for those who didn’t want to build their own while at the same time offering too much to those who prefer to build their own machines.

The compact form factor also meant that it would thermal throttle, so it wasn’t going to give the best performance for how much it cost to put it together. On top of that, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Intel to cram high-end hardware into the small cases that the NUC is known for. The 13 Extreme, for example, was far too small to accommodate the massive 4000-series GPUs from NVIDIA.

Image credits: PetaPixel