GPU Performance

Integrated GPUs have become quite capable over the last few generations, particularly for 720p and 1080p gaming. In this section, we present a comparison of the performance of the integrated GPUs in the Dragon Canyon and Beast Canyon NUCs.


The DirectX 12-based GFXBench tests from Kishonti are cross-platform, and available all the way down to smartphones, so it is not too difficult for modern integrated GPUs. We processed the offscreen versions of the 'Aztec Ruins' benchmark.

GFXBench 'Aztec Ruins' Offscreen Benchmark
(Frame Rate (fps) - Higher is Better)
  Intel NUC12DCMi9
(Dragon Canyon)
Intel NUC11BTMi9
(Beast Canyon)
Normal (1080p) 67.61 63
High (1440p) 23.77 21.92

There is no significant difference in the iGPU performance for the 'Aztec Ruins' DX12 benchmark between the Dragon Canyon NUC and the Beast Canyon NUC.

UL 3DMark

Four different workload sets were processed in 3DMark - Fire Strike, Time Spy, Night Raid, and Wild Life.

UL 3DMark Benchmarks
(Performance Scores - Higher is Better)
  Intel NUC12DCMi9
(Dragon Canyon)
Intel NUC11BTMi9
(Beast Canyon)
Fire Strike Extreme 1211 1104
Fire Strike Ultra 596 547
Time Spy Performance 809 802
Time Spy Extreme 392 370
Night Raid Performance 12441 10975
Wild Life Performance 6406 5868
Wild Life Extreme 1792 1667

There is little to choose between the two processors when it comes to gaming. In any case, most users of the Dragon Canyon NUCs would probably utilize a discrete GPU to add gaming prowess to the system.

System Performance Miscellaneous Aspects and Concluding Remarks
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  • Foeketijn - Friday, February 25, 2022 - link

    I would have upvoted if I could.
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 25, 2022 - link

    Fully agreed.
  • Dug - Friday, March 11, 2022 - link

    Not really lazy, and it's not garbage. You wouldn't be able to design something this small yourself.
    What you want is something much larger, which is fine, but doesn't make this anything less.

    Not to mention, there is no off the shelf parts that allow 3 nvme drives at full speed and 3 thunderbolt ports.
  • jdq - Thursday, February 24, 2022 - link

    The idiotic juvenile skull on the machine is sufficient reason to wait for the designers to grow up and make something less ugly.
  • thestryker - Thursday, February 24, 2022 - link

    I'm assuming you're referring to the RGB (which can be turned off) logo on the front which is replaceable and is thus user defined...
  • evilspoons - Thursday, February 24, 2022 - link

    There's a pretty big gold on black skull sticker next to the blower fan (the one Intel has used since at least the Skull Canyon NUC in 2016).

    Which, of course, is barely relevant on this model because it's inside a case. You can just barely see it through the mesh when you look at the photo that's focused on the inside. It's not like it's an acrylic panel.
  • Dug - Friday, March 11, 2022 - link

    It is idiotic. Gamerz!!!
    The people that have the money for this, don't want a skull on the front of their computer to ruin aesthetics. Doesn't matter if it is replaceable, it's wasted time and money.
  • hubick - Thursday, February 24, 2022 - link

    I've owned a variety of the smaller NUC's, 2x Phantom Canyon (work/home), 2x Hades Canyon, and now NUC11 Ghost Canyon (Pro/Xeon). This has crossed a size line for me. I could easily bring Phantom/Hades on my bike commute, and even the Ghost is fine in a backpack, carry-on bag, or shoulder brief. But this? This is a PC. It's too large now. Not portable. No.
  • usiname - Thursday, February 24, 2022 - link

    Going from 8 cores to next gen 8P + 8E and the efficiency is much worse XD
    "The Dragon Canyon NUC delivers significantly better performance at the cost of increased energy consumption - a 13% increase in scores for a 24% increase in energy consumption."
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 25, 2022 - link

    E cores are only especially area-efficient - their performance-per-watt is mediocre.

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