Intel NUC 13 Pro – 13th Gen Intel Core is a lucky number (review)

The Intel NUC 13 Pro use Intel 13th Gen Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 and the new vPro version processors. Taking up to 64GB DDR4, these mini-PCs are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

What is an Intel NUC 13 Pro?

Technically it is the ‘Next Unit of Computing’ – a small form-factor comprising the Slim (117mm by 112mm x 37mm) or Tall (117mm x 112mm x 54 mm) chassis and a power brick that is almost as large. Somehow all this fits (i5/i7 models):

  • 2 x SO-DIM DDR4 up to 3200MHz total of 64GB (inside).DDR5 is used in the NUC 13 Extreme with Intel i9/i7 Core designed for gamers and power users.
  • M.2 2230 Wi-Fi and BT card Wi-Fi 6E AXE 2 x 2 160Mhz, 2400Gbps and BT 5.3 (inside)
  • M.2 2242 Key Type B PCIe 3 x1 and SATA (inside)
  • M/2 2280 Key Type M PCIe 4 x4 NVMe (inside)
  • 2 x HDMI 2.1, CEC, TDMS, 4K@60Hz, HDR, 7.1/8 channel sound (rear) will support one 8k@60Hz
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 with DP 2.1 and USB-C 4.0 (rear)
  • 2.5gbps LAN (rear)
  • 1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 5V/3A/15W Blue (rear)
  • 1 x USB-A 2.0, 5V/1.5A/7.5W Black (rear)
  • 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (front)
  • 3.5mm 4-pole ear/mic port

The Tall chassis allows for a 2.5mm SATA 6.0 HDD (cable and power) and has an expandable faceplate – see Gorite for expansion options using the faceplate, lid and internal headers.

Power: i3 gets a 90W and i5/i7 a 20V/6W/120W power adapter.

Processor Choices – 35W TPD (i3 – 20W)

  • i7-1370P vPro*
  • i5-1350P vPro
  • i7-1360P
  • i5-1340P
  • i3-1315UE (no Thunderbolt)

The Intel Iris Xe Graphics have come a long way with i5/i7 80/96 Execution Units, full Direct X/Open CL support and support for four monitors. And as we discovered you can use an eGPU if you wish.

* vPro is for enterprise use and offers centralised IT admin and other management features.

Why buy an Intel NUC 13 Pro?

As we have said for the past 12 generations of Intel NUC, it is more a way of computing life. If you need a powerful, small-form-factor PC tailored to your needs, then the NUC is the choice. Although ASUS and others make mini-PCs and other small form factors.

They are extensively used for commercial signage, media centres, edge computing, thick clients (VESA mount to monitors), in-vehicle, warehouse, medical, and 24/7/365 operation.

Now more than ever, businesses need flexible systems that are globally scalable, environmentally conscious, and AI-ready, and that offer the peace of mind that comes with proven technology. The Intel NUC 13 Pro is our latest step forward to provide our customers with the reliable, high-quality, enterprise-grade computing they require.

Brian McCarson, Intel vice president and general manager of the Intel NUC Group

As tested:

  • Intel i7-1360P
  • 32GB (2x16GB)
  • Samsung MVZL2512HC SSD PMA91
  • Windows 11 Pro

Australian Review: Intel NUC 13 Pro ANKi7 (kit)

WebsiteNUC 13 Pro Page and Review Product Page and Full specs
PriceThere is not yet wide availability of the Intel NUC 13 Pro kits and barebones kits but expect from about $700.
FromTry Scorptec or mWAve, as they usually have most of the current range. Most computer stores can order what you want.
Warranty3-year ACL
Country of ManufactureChina
CompanyIntel (Est 1968) is a US company that developed and makes x86 CPUs and supplies most PC manufacturers. It has also diversified into a vast range of complementary areas.
MoreCyberShack Intel news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

Slim (L) Tall (R)

First Impression – Love NUC, NUC, NUC

I bought my first Intel NUC with a Celeron processor in 2013 to enable on-site computing at conferences we organised. It was so good that we ultimately replaced all bulky mini-towers with them. Since then, I have owned the 6th, 8th, and 10th generations (and soon the 12th), mainly using them for media centres and testing work. They run 24/7/365 and have never had a fault.

The slim review unit is not all that different from the Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit – NUC is more a way of life – really just a CPU/GPU update, and Wi-Fi 6E now supports 160Mhz 2400Mbps. It is about 10% faster than the i7-1260P – full benchmark comparison here (hint: that is why I am buying the 12th Gen and saving money).

Processor – Pass+ for power and energy efficiency

 I7-1360P (Alder Lake) 4 Power Cores, 8 Efficiency cores. 16 Threads, up to 5.0 GHz (P) / 3.7 GHz (E), (PL1 = 40W, PL2 = 64W).

  • Geekbench 5 single/multi-core score: 2522/10564
  • OpenCL: 16257
  • Vulcan: 19909

Disk – Use a PCIe Gen 4 x4 – Exceed

Installed: Samsung MVZL2512HC SSD PMA91 PCIe 4 x4 NVMe (or your choice – this PCIe 4 x4 is fastest)

Crystal Disk Mark (Peak performance) sequential read/write: 6738.22/4701.88. Also extremely good on larger non-sequential files.

CPDT is sustained performance.

DaVinci Resolve is a mix of CPU/GPU/memory and disk for video renders. The SSD is among the fastest, but 32MB may be a limiting factor.

Tests – Pass+

Performance tests are irrelevant for a NUC, so we asked our consumer panel what they thought.

Size versus features – Exceed

The panel was amazed at the functionality (number of ports) and could only suggest a micro-SD slot to complete the device (many docks have that).

How powerful is it? – Pass+

An easy way to quantify how fast the i3, i5 and i7 are, remembering that these use ‘P’ processors with a maximum 28W TPD and that memory and SSD are the two significant variables.

Geekbench scores are a decent indicator and show the i5 and i7 can run all Microsoft productivity software, browsers (multiple tabs, but the number is more memory constrained), and even render 4K video at 60fps (or 8K@25fps).

24/7 Use – Exceed

Could it run 24/7/365 for signage and other constant-use applications?

Intel NUC Pro Software Suite (NPSS) monitors unattended applications and provides redundant screen services for digital signage applications. It can restart the NUC in the event of a fall-over, restart unresponsive Apps (especially video/audio players) and log App behaviour.

Expansion options – Pass

Can you attach a powered Thunderbolt Dock, and can it use upstream power?

The NUC does not support upstream charging from a powered Thunderbolt dock – you must use the 20V/6A/120W power brick. But it is smart enough to realise a dock is attached and simply ignores upstream power. So docks work nicely with one caveat – support for a maximum of four monitors – 2 x HDMI and 2 x Thunderbolt alt DP.

My best advice is not to worry about expensive powered docks. If you need more ports, look at lower-cost USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 unpowered dongles.  

Number of external monitors and eGPU compatibility (not tested)

A maximum four monitors are supported by the Intel Iris Xe dGPU. You can attach an eGPU via one of the Thunderbolt ports. These generally have a NVIDIA GeForce or Intel ARC GPUs.

Energy Use – Pass+

Test: Out of the box, default settings, using 120W PS

  • Sitting at idle, it varied between 5-8W, and the fan was silent.
  • General use (Office, Brower, Outlook etc.) varied between 40-60W and negligible fan noise
  • 100% load 90-95W and noticeable fan noise

Maintenance and repairability – Exceed

The NUC chassis can be opened by removing four screws underneath. The user-replaceable parts are Wi-Fi/BT Comms, SSD (2280 and 2242), dual SO-DIMM, CMOS battery, fan, and power brick. The motherboard can be ordered separately. Most are on Amazon AU.

CyberShack’s view – Intel NUC 13 Pro is an incremental update to the NUC 12

Its biggest competitor is the NUC 12 because it does the same things, only about 10% slower. But why not buy the latest if only to keep up with technology?

I am NUC fanboy. Over the years, these uber-reliable devices have replaced desktop/mini-tower PC, and laptops, especially where you may run them 24/7/365.

Plus, they run full-fat Windows, and that means ultra-compatibility with USB-C devices, networks, audio/video codecs (let’s not even worry about DRM for all you Media Centre users) and even Dolby Atmos sound meta-data output (needs Dolby Access App from Microsoft Store – free for Dolby Atmos home theatre setup).

Rating Explanation

  • Features: 95 if you forget microSD!
  • Value: 90 – a tad expensive, but you can buy the kits and build your own getting precisely what you need.
  • Performance: 85 – i5 or i7 as a productivity device and i7 for video rendering.
  • Ease of Use: 90 – Plug and Play.
  • Design: 90 The NUC 12 chassis update (used in the Intel NUC 13 Pro) meant more ports and tall and slim options.

Intel NUC 13 Pro ANKi7 (kit)

Barebones kit from about $700







Ease of Use





  • Build your own to exact specs, buy a kit and reuse SO-DIMM and SSD
  • Uber-reliable
  • So many uses – you just need to think about how it would help you
  • Small form factor goes anywhere
  • P series processors are way more powerful than the laptop U series


  • None – it is precisely what it is
  • No upstream charging (it will eventually come when processor TPDs allow it)