Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit – NUC is more a way of life (computer review)

The Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro kit is but one of more than 30 Intel Core 12th and 13th generation NUCs (Next Unit of Computing) offering desktop power in a 117 x 112mm, little, almost square black box.

They are extensively used for desktop replacements, media centres, signage servers, and anywhere you need a Windows PC (or Red Hat Linux or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS).

Let’s look at some of the Intel NUC options

Processors (Intel Core)

  • i9-13900K Processor (36M Cache, up to 5.80 GHz)
  • i7-13700K Processor (30M Cache, up to 5.40 GHz)
  • i5-13600K Processor (24M Cache, up to 5.10 GHz)
  • i9-12900 Processor (30M Cache, up to 5.10 GHz)
  • i7-12700H Processor (24M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)
  • i7-1270P Processor (18M Cache, up to 4.80 GHz)
  • i7-1260P Processor (18M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)
  • i5-1250P Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)
  • i5-1240P Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)
  • i3-1220P Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)

Ram Options

  • 2 x SO-DIMM DDR4 and DDR5 to 64GB (LPDDR4/5 on 13th Gen)

Port options

  • Thunderbolt 3 or 4
  • USB-C 4.0 or 3.2 Gen 2
  • HDMI 2.0 or 2.1
  • DP 1.4


  • Wi-Fi 6E AX (M2 slot)
  • Wi-Fi 6 AX
  • Bluetooth 5.1 or 5.2


  • Standard 37mm high for SSD (M2.2280) only (can be Intel Optane)
  • High 51mm for SSD and 2.5” SATA HDD
  • Full PC with memory, SSD and Windows
  • Kit with Processor only.

So, as you can see single review can’t tell the whole story.

Australian Review: Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit (and NUCs more generally)

WebsiteNUC Page and Review Product Page
Price12th Gen barebones kits start from <$400. NUC12WSKi7-1260P kit $999 plus LPDDR4 memory and SSD
FromScorptec has most of the current range, and most computer stores can order what you want.
Warranty1-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 ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – 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, mainly using them for media centres and testing work. They run 24/7/365 and have never had a fault.

Many have copied the NUC design, but Intel is the original and the best. It offers so many form factors.

The review unit is the standard 37MM high and has two SSD slots, so I no longer need the 51mm high version for a SATA HDD.

It is easy to option up. Four screws on the base open it, and everything is easy to fit.

Depending on the model, it has HDMI, Ethernet, Thunderbolt/USB-C, and USB-A on the back and USB ports on the front.

It is often VESA mounted behind a monitor, and its small design allows for use anywhere.

Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit Base Specs (as reviewed)

  • Intel 12th gen Core i7-1260P. A 3.4/4.7GHz, 28-65W TDP with four performance cores and eight efficiency cores with 16 threads. Supports Virtualisation. GeekBench 5 single/multi-core 1696/9490)
  • Dual SO-DIM slots for dual channel; (two pieces) of DDR4/DDR5 RAM up to 64GB (Review unit has 2x8GB DDR4-3200)
  • SSD any size PCIe Gen 3 or 4 x4 (review unit Kingston SKC2500M8500G PCIe Gen 3 x4 sequential read/write 3511/2551MBps). It has a full-size NVMe M2.2280 and a half-size M2.2242 B-Key SATA
  • Xe Graphics 96 EU supporting four 4K@60Hz external displays (OpenCL 17,499, Vulkan 16,419)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • HDMI 2.1 4K@60Hz (two on the 51mm high unit)
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (backwards compatible USB-C 4.0/3.2/3.0)
  • 3 x USB-A 3.2 and 1 x USB-A 2.0
  • Wi-Fi 6E AX (1201Mbps full-duplex on 5Ghz – did not connect to 6GHz band)
  • Power 20V/6W/120W but generally uses between 12-25W under typical use and up 64-100W under load. USB-C Ports provide 5V/3A/15W each.
  • Noise: It has a small fan that varies from 30-44dB. Under full load, the CPU temperature reaches 90°, but the case is still fine to touch. It will fall back to 40W if overstressed.

Tests – Pass+

We usually test keyboards, speakers, and more, but a NUC is a NUC. It is yours to customise.

  • Case: Easy to open and VESA mountable
  • Heat: Within normal limits
  • Repair: All modular, so easily repairable
  • Connectivity: More ports that you need and 2 x Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Gaming: Not suitable
  • Office productivity: Highly suitable
  • Media Centre: Highly suitable and supports DV/DA passthrough
  • Expansion: 2 x Thunderbolt 4, so use a dock

CyberShack’s view – Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit – but any Gen 12 or 13 NUC is great

Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit (and its many variants) makes an excellent office PC, especially if VESA-mounted.

There are many competitors, but this is the original and, in many ways, the best.

Remember you are spoilt for choice, so select the model that suits you.

Rating Explanation

  • Features: 95 – Nothing missing in the 12 and 13th Generation
  • Value: 90- A tad expensive, but many buy the kit to save some costs
  • Performance: 85 – Office and media centre level
  • Ease of Use – 90 – Plug and Play
  • Design: 90 – timeless


Windows 11 OEM (media-less) is easy to buy online (all you need is the digital activation key and download the ISO from Microsoft)


Intel NUC12WSKi7 Pro Kit

From $400 - typically around $1000







Ease of Use





  • Set and forget
  • Ultra-reliable
  • Choice of models and chassis styles
  • Use the existing keyboard/mouse/monitor/RAM/SSD if you want to
  • Windows 11 OEM (media-less) is easy to buy online (all you need is the digital activation key and download the ISO from Microsoft)


  • None, really – it is precisely what it is