Published in PC Hardware

Simply NUC launches new Ruby and Topaz mini PCs

by on08 December 2020

Ruby powered by AMD Renoir and Topaz powered by Intel Tiger Lake

Simply NUC has announced two new mini PCs, the AMD 4000-series Renoir powered Ruby, and the Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake powered Topaz, both packed in NUC 4x4 Universal Chassis created by Simply NUC, and coming in different SKUs with up to Ryzen R7-4800U or Intel Core i7-1165G7.

In case you missed it earlier, Simply NUC is a mini PC/NUC oriented company from Round Rock, Texas, USA, that has been operating in the UK for the last 3 years and has recently opened up its newest European office in the Republic of Ireland.

Today, the company has announced two new high-end mini PCs, Ruby and Topaz, that will be available in December and early January, and use the same Simply NUC’s Universal Chassis. The chassis has a replaceable lid expandable functionality and comes with support for DIN or VESA plate mounts, with either the 65W or 90W power supply adapter, and support for Serial Port with a header on the board (RS 232).

Both the Ruby and the Topaz share a lot of similarities, and in addition to the same Universal Chassis that is similar to the Intel NUC "tall" chassis, both come with support for 4x video output with 4K support, six USB ports, and dual Ethernet ports with 2.5GbE and 1GbE port, as well as Intel WiFi 6 AX200 and Bluetooth 5.0 support.

Topaz gets Tiger Lake and ships in January

As noted, the Simply NUC Topaz mini PC is based on Intel's 11th gen mobile processors with Intel Xe graphics, also known as Tiger Lake, and Simply NUC is offering it in three SKU versions, with Core i7-1165G7 4.7GHz (4c/8t), Core i5-1135G7 4.2GHz (4c/8t), or the Core i3-1115G4 4.1GHz (2c/4t). Bear in mind that only the Core i7 and the Core i5 come with Intel Xe graphics, while the Core i3 option has Intel UHD graphics.

All three are likely to offer a significant improvement in both CPU and graphics performance compared to Intel's 10th gen Frost Canyon NUCs.

The Topaz supports up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory in two SODIMM slots, supports M.2 22x80 storage for NVMe or SATA SSDs, have a single DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0a port, as well as support for two DP 1.2A DP++ via USB 3.2 gen2 type-C ports, come with dual Ethernet ports with 2.5GbE and 1.0GbE port, Intel WiFi 6 AX200 and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as two rear USB 3.2 type-A and two front USB 3.2 gen2 type-C ports.

All three Topaz mini PCs come fully configured with 4GB of DDR4 memory, 128GB of SSD storage and "free" OS installation (Ubuntu for free or Microsoft Windows for a fee). Of course, you can configure each one by adding more memory, more storage in primary and secondary M.2 ports, different OS options, and various accessories.

Ruby is all about AMD and Renoir, ships in December

The Simply NUC has chosen the red Ruby as the code name for its AMD Renoir-based mini PC, which is not a big surprise, but it will pack quite a punch considering its size.

The Simply NUC Ruby also comes in three versions, the Ruby R7 with AMD Ryzen R7-4800U 4.2GHz (8c/16t) with Radeon Vega 8 graphics, the Ruby R5 with Ryzen R5-4500U CPU 4.0GHz (6c/12t) with Radeon Vega 6 graphics, or the Ruby R3, with Ryzen R3-4300U 3.7GHz (4c/4t) with Radeon Vega 5 graphics.

As noted earlier, it has pretty much the same I/O configuration as the Topaz, featuring support for up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory in two SODIMM slots, M.2 NVMe or SATA SSD storage support, single DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0a port, support for two DP 1.2A DP+' via USB 3.2 gen2 type-C ports, 2.5GbE and 1.0GbE Ethernet ports, Intel WiFi 6 AX200 + Bluetooth 5.0, two USB 3.2 gen2 Type-A ports and two USB 3.2 Type-C ports at the front and two USB 2.0 ports at the rear.

All three Ruby mini PCs also come pre-configured and can be further upgraded with more RAM, more storage, OS, and various accessories.

Topaz starts at $559 and Ruby starts at $519

The price of Ruby and Topaz is quite similar, at least for pre-configured parts, as Ruby goes for $519 for the Ruby 3, $599 for the Ruby 5, and $768 for the Ruby 7, while Topaz starts at $559 for the Topaz i3, $659 for the Topaz i5, and $789 for the Topaz i7, as you can see over at Simply NUC's website.

simplynuc ruby 1

simplynuc topaz 1


Of course, you can push all options to the sky with additional storage, including up to 64GB of RAM, 8TB of PCIe M.2 primary SSD storage, and up to 2TB of SATA SSD secondary storage, OS, extended warranty, and more.

Mini PCs with high-end configurations are quite rare these days, and there is a handful of such on the market, especially with the latest CPUs like Tiger Lake or Renoir, and only recently ASRock has brought a 4x4 one with the same Ryzen 4000-series CPUs, but that one is still hard to find in retail.

Simply NUC has a lot of other options on the table, including a recently introduced Aspen, a mini PC based on Asus' PN50 mini PC design, which is also coming with AMD Ryzen 4000 Renoir CPUs, as well as plenty of other options like SNUC Book laptops, which could be updated soon, or plenty of other NUCs based on Intel's earlier designs.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how well Intel and AMD compete when placed in the same chassis, especially considering a similar price point.


Last modified on 09 December 2020
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