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Intel NUC 9 Extreme "Ghost Canyon" NUC9i9QNX Review (Page 6)

Shannon Robb | Apr 15, 2020 at 8:00 am CDT - 2 mins, 19 secs time to read this page
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: IntelModel: NUC9i9QNX

Compute Element Disassembly and Analysis Continued

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The HDMI port for the Compute element is derived from the MegaChips MCDP2800BC. This chipset converts native DisplayPort 1.2a signals into an up to HDMI 2.0b signal.

The large chip below the Optical/analog daughterboard is the Alpine Ridge dual Thunderbolt 3 controller. Model number T803A900

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Next up, we have one of the controllers for the rear Ethernet ports, the Intel I210AT chipset.

The other NIC is an I219LM, which is also a Gigabit network controller. I would have liked to see one of the ports be higher speed capability, such as 2.5Gb, or even 5Gb as higher-speed networking is starting to grow in popularity.

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Here we check out the board edge where most of the internal connectivity happens. The white header to the left is the fan port for the main shroud fan we saw before. The yellow jumpers next to these are MEBX (Intel ME) reset, used for resetting the internal password if needed. Also, the BIOS_SEC jumper allows clearing of the TPM, PTT, and HDCP keys to recover the BIOS via a rescue flash. The blue pin header ifs for the front panel connection from the chassis. There are also fan connectors for the top fan interface module here. There are some debug headers, and to the far right near the power connector, we have the SATA ribbon connector.

Intel NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon NUC9i9QNX Review 62 | TweakTown.comIntel NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon NUC9i9QNX Review 65 | TweakTown.com

The top front of the Compute Element has an 8-pin power header, along with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 header. These ensure the hungry CPU and components have enough power to keep chugging along under heavy loads. The new USB interface allows for a higher speed up to 10Gbps USB speeds.

Also pictured here is the rear Optical/analog audio port daughterboard. This allows for either speakers or an optical (SPDIF) connection through this port.

Here we have the Wi-Fi solution for the Compute Element units. They, of course, use an Intel controller, being an Intel device. The chipset used is the AX200D2WL, which is a Cyclone Peak 2 controller supporting 802.11AX 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 tech. The controller is claimed to be able to handle up to 4x the capacity of existing Wi-Fi AC solutions.

Intel NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon NUC9i9QNX Review 66 | TweakTown.comIntel NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon NUC9i9QNX Review 68 | TweakTown.com

Lastly, we will look at the unique Wi-Fi Antennae connector solutions. The leads coming from the controller go to the PCB, which then uses traces to reach the large brass lugs at the board edge. These lugs are where the chassis Wi-Fi antennae will connect and are far more robust than the on PCB connections. This should alleviate some of the frustration of braking the more fragile connectors, as we see on the PCB.

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Shannon Robb

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Shannon Robb

Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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