Simply NUC Onyx Intel i9 Windows 11 small form factor PC review


Simply NUC Onyx Intel i9 Windows 11 small form factor PC review

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Thanks to the team at Simply NUC we have been given a chance to test out the new Onyx v9 NUC13OXv9 small form factor PC which is capable of supporting up to a massive 96GB of DDR5-5200 memory and a staggering 16TB of storage. The Onyx Intel NUC mini PC is available with a selection of different processors, including Intel Core i5, Core i7, and the one we are testing out today is equipped with a Intel Core i9-13900H. Even before we started testing the processing capabilities of the PC, it was difficult not to be impressed by its excellent build quality and array of connectivity on both the front and rear of the system.

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Easy access for upgrades

Four screws underneath make it easy to access the RAM and SSD, allowing you to upgrade the PC system easily if required at a later date or perhaps if you opt for the barebones versions where you add your own storage and memory depending on your requirements and application.

Pricing and availability

The Intel NUC Onyx comes supplied with a choice of operating systems such as Windows 11 Home, Pro and IoT as well as Ubuntu on the fully configured systems, which start from $699 for the Intel i5 and $849 for the Intel i7 and $999 for the Intel i9.

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Compact performance at its best

The Onyx v9 NUC13OXv9 mini PC provides users with an excellent blend of compact design and robust performance, thanks to including Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors, with options for Core i5, Core i7 and up to Core i9. Ensuring that this Intel NUC mini PC packs a substantial powerhouse in a small size. Even under full load the small computer did not get particularly hot thanks to the inclusion of a Dual Exhaust Cooling system that efficiently manages the PC’s temperature, maintaining consistent performance even under heavy loads, which is crucial for any powerful computer and even more so when everything is so tightly packed together.

USB-C and HDMI ports

The Onyx v9 NUC13OXv9 connectivity is also extremely impressive, providing a wealth of connectivity in such a small form factor, enhancing its ability to be used for a wide variety of different applications. Simply NUC has equipped the mini PC with two HDMI 2.1 ports, offering users a significant advantage over the older HDMI connections. Offering higher HDMI bandwidth and the ability for the Onyx to be connected to higher resolution monitors and more offer more advanced audio and video compatibility and playback.

As well as the ability to connect to multiple monitors simultaneously enabling you to have to or even four monitor displays depending on the resolution you require on each. Perfect for multitasking environments where extended screen space can help you improve your productivity and workflows.

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Besides the HDMI connections, the Intel NUC Onyx v9 mini PC is also equipped with two USB 4.0 Type-C ports, providing users with the benefits of the latest USB standard. USB 4.0 Type-C. Offering users faster data transfer rates and better power delivery makes the Onyx v9 ideal for connecting a wide range of peripherals, from high-speed external storage devices to the latest USB-C monitors if required, while also providing users with efficient power management and faster data synchronization when needed. The USB 4.0 Type-C connections are Thunderbolt compatible, although they are not currently Thunderbolt Certified.

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Wired and wireless connectivity

Another useful addition is the inclusion of a fast 2.5Gb Ethernet port for a reliable wired network connection that is sometimes indispensable for many professional and home environments where perhaps a wireless connection cannot reach. The faster 2.5Gb Ethernet port allows for higher network speeds compared to standard Gigabit Ethernet. Enabling the Intel NUC Onyx v9 to be used for applications that require high-speed, stable network connections, such as in network-attached storage (NAS) systems, edge computing, high-speed internet access, and in scenarios where wireless connectivity might be to slow or unreliable.

Onyx v9 NUC13OX mini PC unboxing

However, if you prefer to use a wireless connection, the Onyx also comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6 standards, thanks to the inclusion of a Wi-Fi 6E AX210 adapter. Allowing you to use it as a stand-alone workstation wirelessly if needed and offering you the best of both worlds, depending on your needs and applications.

Up to 96 GB of DDR5-5200 memory

One area we have already touched upon is the ability to install up to 96GB of DDR5-5200 memory in the Intel NUC Onyx v9 small form factor computer. (Due to the system being so new Simply NUC are currently still testing and in the process of confirming long-term support to ensure the stability of 96GB of memory). Enabling you to make it a powerhouse workstation, especially when considering its tiny size. As you problem already know, DDR5 is the latest advancement in RAM technology, offering faster speeds and greater efficiency compared to older generations.

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This high memory capacity is crucial for seamless multitasking, enabling the Onyx v9 mini PC to run Microsoft Windows 11 operating system with ease and any other Linux distribution you may choose to install on your barebones system. The ability to install such large amounts of DDR5 memory is perfect for those scenarios that require substantial memory usage, such as video editing, running complex simulations, or managing large databases. For users who need to operate multiple virtual machines, this level of RAM ensures smooth and efficient performance and is not available on many small form factor computers.

Up to 16 TB of storage

Another fantastic option for certain applications is the Onyx v9’s ability to support up to 16TB of storage. This enormous storage capacity allows users to handle large amounts of data, photographs or media, making it perfect for certain applications, such as home media centers and more. If your workflow requires dealing with large files regularly, such as software libraries, large datasets or high-resolution videos, the Onyx offers a powerful compact workstation that can be used either directly allowing users to keep all their essential files and applications on the single device. Or use the Onyx as a secondary storage device such as a NAS providing you with excellent accessibility and improving your workflows thanks to the inclusion of the wired 2.5Gb Ethernet connection.

When running a resource-intensive operating system like Windows 11, these CPU, memory and storage become valuable. The combination of these components allows the Onyx v9 to handle the operating system’s demands effortlessly. Users can run multiple applications in Windows 11, including data-intensive and memory-hungry software, with the Onyx v9 showing remarkable responsiveness and no signs of slowing down. Making it an ideal choice for users who require a powerful yet compact computing solution for under $1,000.

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Intel Iris Xe Graphics

An Intel Iris Xe Graphics powers the graphics processing on the Onyx v9 NUC13OXv9. A fantastic addition that enhances the mini PCs appeal across various user applications from the simple workstation to a gaming station. This integrated graphics solution plays a critical role in the mini PC’s ability to deliver high-quality visual output. Intel Iris Xe Graphics, as a part of Intel’s latest integrated graphics offerings, brings a significant improvement over previous generations in terms of graphics performance.

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The ability for the Onyx v9 many PC to support high-resolution displays and output clear, vibrant, and detailed images is crucial for a range of tasks, from professional applications requiring precise visual detail, such as graphic design and photo editing, to everyday use like web browsing and video streaming. The clarity and color fidelity provided by the Iris Xe Graphics is excellent, ensuring that applications documents, photographs, video and games rendered with high accuracy and vibrancy, enhancing the overall user experience, whatever you may be engaging in.

1440p gaming

If you are thinking of using the Onyx v9 for gaming, you will deftly not be disappointed considering its compact form factor and integrated graphics solution. While high-end gaming PCs are equipped with separate, dedicated graphics cards providing plenty of power. The Onyx v9 features integrated graphics powered by Intel Iris Xe, but still provides a fantastic gaming experience even with its tiny form factor.

We tested the Intel NUC mini PC running games like Baldur’s Gate 3 at 1440p and at slightly higher resolutions without significant issues. This performance level is impressive, especially when considering that 1440p resolution is a sweet spot for many gamers, offering a balance between high visual quality and manageable hardware requirements. The Onyx v9’s ability to handle such games at these resolutions shows that it’s more than capable of catering to the needs of casual gamers or those who perhaps don’t require the highest settings and resolutions.

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However, it’s important to note that when it comes to 4K gaming, the Onyx v9 obviously faces limitations. Although it could load Baldur’s Gate 3 at 4K , gaming at 4K is a highly demanding task that typically requires a powerful dedicated graphics card.

No Thunderbolt Connections

Unfortunately due to the inclusion of a USB-C with only 20 Gbps of bandwidth you cannot connect external graphics cards. External graphics cards (eGPUs) require a high bandwidth connection to effectively communicate with a computer, and this is typically provided by Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 ports, not standard USB-C ports. If you are considering enhancing a computer’s graphics capabilities with an eGPU, you should ensure that it has a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port, which is specifically designed for such high-bandwidth and high-performance tasks. Simply NUC advertise 20Gbps because it aligns with what the company can thoroughly test and certify and as explained before the USB-C is Thunderbolt compatible, although it’s not Thunderbolt Certified.

Although out-of-the-box, the compact size and integrated graphics of the Onyx v9 mean that it isn’t built to handle such intense graphics requirements. While this might be a constraint for hardcore gamers seeking ultra-high-resolution gaming experiences, it’s an understandable trade-off given the Onyx v9’s focus on balancing performance with compactness.

Simply NUC Onyx small form factor PC


Overall, the Onyx v9 NUC13OXv9 small form factor PC stands out for its excellent power-to-size ratio. Its ability to run Windows 11 easily and handle any applications you can throw at it, as well as gaming at respectable resolutions and performing multiple tasks without lag, makes it an ideal choice for a desktop workstation, edge computer, Homelab, home entertainment center, and more. Its impressive specifications, combined with its solid construction and small footprint, make it a highly recommended choice for those seeking powerful performance in a compact form.

The NUC Onyx v9’s visual performance, backed by Intel Iris Xe Graphics, is also highly commendable for such a compact PC. It efficiently handles high-resolution displays and provides a very satisfactory gaming experience at resolutions up to 1440p, showcasing its capability in both professional and entertainment contexts.

While it might not be a substitute for a high-end gaming rig, especially for 4K gaming, it certainly offers substantial graphics performance for its size, making it a fantastic and versatile choice for users who value both visual quality and compactness. If you are searching for a compact small form factor PC, I can highly recommend investigating the Onyx a further, which is available to configure to your exact requirements over on the official Simply NUC website.

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