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Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit (Core i5-1240P) mini PC review: Snappy with great connectivity

Thunderbolt 4 in a tiny bottle. The Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit is a tiny but powerful mini PC. Its powerful 12th-Gen Alder Lake Core i5-1240P offers great computing power, although graphics performance is lacking. Like it's bigger brother, perhaps its greatest strength is its excellent port selection, which includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Intel's NUC lineup continues to be a leader in the mini-PC market, and the latest Wall Street Canyon NUCs are no exception. With powerful and efficient 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs and Intel's Iris Xe Graphics, the Wall Street Canyon NUCs should make short work of most home and office computing work. We recently reviewed the NUC 12 with an Intel Core i7-1260P and found a lot to like about the tiny desktop. Today, we'll look at it's little brother, the NUC 12 with an Intel Core i5-1240P. Specifically, we will look at a NUC 12 Pro Kit, which includes 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. 

Since our NUC 12 review unit is built in a similar case as the NUC 12 in our prior review, we will focus only on the differences in performance. The key difference in build is that our review unit today is slightly higher than the Core i7-1260P Wall Street Canyon NUC (45.6 mm vs 37 mm) to accommodate a 2.5-inch SATA drive in the base of the case. Otherwise, the port selection, build quality, and all other physical factors are the same between the devices. For details on these items, please refer to our review of the Intel Core i7-1260P Wall Street Canyon NUC

Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Processor
Intel Core i5-1240P 12 x 1.2 - 4.4 GHz, 62 W PL2 / Short Burst, 40 W PL1 / Sustained, Alder Lake-P
Graphics adapter
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Core: 1300 MHz, Memory: 1600 MHz
Memory
16 GB 
, DDR4-3200 / PC4-25600 DDR4 SDRAM SO-DIMM (2x8 GB)
Mainboard
Intel Alder Lake-P PCH
Soundcard
Intel Alder Lake-P PCH - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 USB 4.0 40 Gbps, 2 Thunderbolt, 2 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 combo audio
Networking
Intel Ethernet Controller I225-V (10/100/1000/2500MBit/s), Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6/ Wi-Fi 6E 6 GHz), Bluetooth 5.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 45.6 x 117 x 112 ( = 1.8 x 4.61 x 4.41 in)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 11 Pro
Additional features
36 Months Warranty
Weight
549 g ( = 19.37 oz / 1.21 pounds), Power Supply: 344 g ( = 12.13 oz / 0.76 pounds)
Price
849.99 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

potential competitors in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
03/2023
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
i5-1240P, Iris Xe G7 80EUs
549 g45.6 mmx
11/2022
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
i7-1195G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
565 g45.6 mmx
09/2022
Beelink U59 N5105
Celeron N5105, UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU)
320 g42 mmx
08/2022
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
i5-11400T, UHD Graphics 730
1.3 kg40 mmx
07/2022
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
i7-1260P, GeForce MX550
6.8 kg434 mm23.80"1920x1080
05/2022
Minisforum EliteMini B550
R7 5700G, Vega 8
1.1 kg67 mmx
05/2022
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
i5-8259U, Iris Plus Graphics 655
586 g45.5 mmx
78.9 %
11/2022
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
i7-1260P, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
511 g37 mmx

Size Comparison

185 mm / 7.28 inch 179 mm / 7.05 inch 40 mm / 1.575 inch 1.3 kg2.93 lbs158 mm / 6.22 inch 166 mm / 6.54 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 1.1 kg2.45 lbs124 mm / 4.88 inch 113 mm / 4.45 inch 42 mm / 1.654 inch 320 g0.705 lbs117 mm / 4.61 inch 112 mm / 4.41 inch 45.6 mm / 1.795 inch 549 g1.21 lbs117 mm / 4.61 inch 112 mm / 4.41 inch 45.6 mm / 1.795 inch 565 g1.246 lbs116 mm / 4.57 inch 116 mm / 4.57 inch 45.5 mm / 1.791 inch 586 g1.292 lbs117 mm / 4.61 inch 112 mm / 4.41 inch 37 mm / 1.457 inch 511 g1.127 lbs297 mm / 11.7 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 1 mm / 0.03937 inch 5.7 g0.01257 lbs

Performance

Our NUC 12 Pro Kit is equipped with Intel's mid-range Core i5-1240P Alder Lake CPU. Coupled with the included 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and 512 GB NVMe SSD, the mini-PC is quite zippy and well-equipped for home and office use. Thanks to the included Intel Iris Xe Graphics (80 EUs), it can even handle some light to moderate photo and video editing as well as some gaming, albeit at lower resolutions. 

Processor

The Intel Core i5-1240P is a solid mid-range CPU. The 12-core chip (4 performance, 8 efficiency) is built on a 10 nm FinFET process. As such, it offers a decent balance between performance and power efficiency (although there are 7 nm chips from AMD that offer similar or better performance with less power draw). The 1240P's performance cores are Hyperthreaded, enabling up to 16 threads.

In real-world performance, the Core i5-1240P slots just behind Intel's Core i7-1260P. In most benchmarks, the Alder Lake i5 comes in roughly 5-10% behind its bigger brother. The 1240P competes well against AMD's Ryzen 7 5700G, though Intel's offering falters a bit behind AMD's chip in extended workloads. 

In our Cinebench R15 loop test, the Core i5-1240P tails the Core i7-1260P, even mimicking the i7's dip in performance after the first run. Extended performance remains steady, albeit it at 85% of its first-run performance. 

Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 Multi Loop

01052103154205256307358409451050115512601365147015751680178518901995Tooltip
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5 Intel Core i5-1240P: Ø1681 (1638.81-2006.82)
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T Intel Core i7-1195G7: Ø827 (819.47-831.07)
Beelink U59 N5105 Intel Celeron N5105: Ø362 (359.79-368.43)
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM Intel Core i5-11400T: Ø664 (657.83-681.7)
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7 Intel Core i7-1260P: Ø1834 (1802.53-1932.37)
Minisforum EliteMini B550 AMD Ryzen 7 5700G: Ø1980 (1960.21-1996.81)
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T Intel Core i5-8259U: Ø594 (591.39-600.38)
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7 Intel Core i7-1260P: Ø1702 (1671.26-2063.13)
Cinebench R20: CPU (Single Core) | CPU (Multi Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Single 64Bit | CPU Multi 64Bit
Blender: v2.79 BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
698 Points +7%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
689 Points +6%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
653 Points
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
617 Points -6%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
585 Points -10%
Average of class Desktop
  (174 - 853, n=29, last 2 years)
559 Points -14%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (251 - 653, n=16)
549 Points -16%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
378 Points -42%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
369 Points -43%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
235 Points -64%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Average of class Desktop
  (285 - 14891, n=29, last 2 years)
5265 Points +18%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
4748 Points +7%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
4660 Points +5%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
4578 Points +3%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
4456 Points
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (763 - 4456, n=16)
3077 Points -31%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
2024 Points -55%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
1500 Points -66%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
1471 Points -67%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
826 Points -81%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
260 Points +7%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
252 Points +4%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
243 Points 0%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
242 Points
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
242 Points 0%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
236 Points -2%
Average of class Desktop
  (76 - 319, n=33, last 2 years)
233 Points -4%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (91.8 - 243, n=18)
205 Points -15%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
153 Points -37%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
146.3 Points -40%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
108.1 Points -55%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Desktop
  (128 - 6236, n=33, last 2 years)
2534 Points +26%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
2007 (1638.81min - 2006.82max) Points
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
2005 Points 0%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
1980 Points -1%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
1932 (1802.53min - 1932.37max) Points -4%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
1879 Points -6%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (407 - 2007, n=19)
1487 Points -26%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
831 (819.47min - 831.07max) Points -59%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
642 Points -68%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
600 (591.39min - 600.38max) Points -70%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
368 (359.79min - 368.43max) Points -82%
Blender / v2.79 BMW27 CPU
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
1573 Seconds * -452%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
704 Seconds * -147%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
704 Seconds * -147%
Average of class Desktop
  (82 - 3767, n=31, last 2 years)
585 Seconds * -105%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
564 Seconds * -98%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (285 - 1926, n=16)
503 Seconds * -76%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
285 Seconds *
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
280 Seconds * +2%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
264 Seconds * +7%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
252.1 Seconds * +12%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
5890 MIPS +12%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
5809 MIPS +10%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
5738 MIPS +9%
Average of class Desktop
  (2563 - 8211, n=27, last 2 years)
5675 MIPS +8%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
5645 MIPS +7%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
5262 MIPS
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (2197 - 5320, n=16)
4528 MIPS -14%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
4157 MIPS -21%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
3970 MIPS -25%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
3108 MIPS -41%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
Average of class Desktop
  (3974 - 158242, n=27, last 2 years)
59260 MIPS +29%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
55046 MIPS +20%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
47064 MIPS +2%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
45947 MIPS
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
41554 MIPS -10%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (7254 - 47002, n=16)
33739 MIPS -27%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
28824 MIPS -37%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
24351 MIPS -47%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
19699 MIPS -57%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
11153 MIPS -76%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Average of class Desktop
  (0.88 - 44, n=27, last 2 years)
16.4 fps +27%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
14.8 fps +15%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
13.5 fps +5%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
13.2 fps +2%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
12.9 fps
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (1.99 - 12.9, n=16)
9.26 fps -28%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
6.92 fps -46%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
5.35 fps -59%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
5.24 fps -59%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
2.01 fps -84%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
101 s * -106%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
83.9 s * -71%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
72.3 s * -47%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
62.4 s * -27%
Average of class Desktop
  (33.6 - 144.7, n=27, last 2 years)
61.4 s * -25%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (46.4 - 120.5, n=16)
58.7 s * -20%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
50.7 s * -3%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
49.1 s *
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
45 s * +8%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
43.5 s * +11%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105
1.162 sec * -133%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Core i5-8259U
0.806 sec * -62%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel Core i5-11400T
0.792 sec * -59%
Average of class Desktop
  (0.356 - 1.371, n=27, last 2 years)
0.631 sec * -27%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P
  (0.4987 - 1.236, n=16)
0.6 sec * -20%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Core i7-1195G7
0.53 sec * -6%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P
0.4987 sec *
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
0.4975 sec * -0%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P
0.4787 sec * +4%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P
0.4559 sec * +9%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
2005 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
100.6 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
242 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 10
PCMark 10

Overall system performance is snappy and responsive. The 1240P-based NUC 12 keeps up with competitors in most PCMark 10 benchmarks. However, it falls a fair bit behind AMD-powered machines in digital content creation, likely due to AMD's more powerful Vega iGPUs. Still, the NUC 12 should have no trouble handling home and office work, as well as some light video and photo editing. 

PCMark 10 / Score
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
GeForce MX550, i7-1260P, Lenovo UMIS AM630 RPETJ1T24MGE2QDQ
6235 Points +17%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
Vega 8, R7 5700G, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
6214 Points +17%
Average of class Desktop
  (2317 - 10153, n=23, last 2 years)
6176 Points +16%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Transcend M.2 SSD 2200S TS512GMTE220S
5915 Points +11%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
5331 Points
Average Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (4881 - 5345, n=11)
5098 Points -4%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1195G7, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5067 Points -5%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8259U, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
4099 Points -23%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
UHD Graphics 730, i5-11400T, Lexar NM610 500GB
3975 Points -25%
Beelink U59 N5105
UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Celeron N5105, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
2670 Points -50%
PCMark 10 / Essentials
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Transcend M.2 SSD 2200S TS512GMTE220S
10661 Points 0%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
10652 Points
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1195G7, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
10303 Points -3%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
Vega 8, R7 5700G, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
10148 Points -5%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
GeForce MX550, i7-1260P, Lenovo UMIS AM630 RPETJ1T24MGE2QDQ
10132 Points -5%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (8890 - 10652, n=11)
9745 Points -9%
Average of class Desktop
  (5425 - 12421, n=22, last 2 years)
9620 Points -10%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
UHD Graphics 730, i5-11400T, Lexar NM610 500GB
8679 Points -19%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8259U, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
8064 Points -24%
Beelink U59 N5105
UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Celeron N5105, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
6340 Points -40%
PCMark 10 / Productivity
Minisforum EliteMini B550
Vega 8, R7 5700G, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
9941 Points +41%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
GeForce MX550, i7-1260P, Lenovo UMIS AM630 RPETJ1T24MGE2QDQ
9245 Points +31%
Average of class Desktop
  (3454 - 12564, n=22, last 2 years)
8224 Points +17%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Transcend M.2 SSD 2200S TS512GMTE220S
7626 Points +8%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1195G7, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
7070 Points 0%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
7058 Points
Average Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (6118 - 7058, n=11)
6511 Points -8%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8259U, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
5970 Points -15%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
UHD Graphics 730, i5-11400T, Lexar NM610 500GB
5656 Points -20%
Beelink U59 N5105
UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Celeron N5105, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
3758 Points -47%
PCMark 10 / Digital Content Creation
Average of class Desktop
  (1633 - 20009, n=22, last 2 years)
8729 Points +60%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
GeForce MX550, i7-1260P, Lenovo UMIS AM630 RPETJ1T24MGE2QDQ
7021 Points +28%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Transcend M.2 SSD 2200S TS512GMTE220S
6908 Points +26%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
Vega 8, R7 5700G, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
6457 Points +18%
Average Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (5169 - 6213, n=11)
5678 Points +4%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
5469 Points
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1195G7, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
4848 Points -11%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8259U, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
3884 Points -29%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
UHD Graphics 730, i5-11400T, Lexar NM610 500GB
3475 Points -36%
Beelink U59 N5105
UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Celeron N5105, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
2170 Points -60%
PCMark 10 Score
5331 points
Help

DPC Latency

The NUC 12 is adequate for real-time audio processing, as per LatencyMon. Video streaming is also smooth; the NUC dropped only 1-2 frames when streaming 4K YouTube videos. 

LatencyMon main
LatencyMon main
LatencyMon drivers
LatencyMon drivers
DPC Latencies / LatencyMon - interrupt to process latency (max), Web, Youtube, Prime95
Minisforum EliteMini B550
Vega 8, R7 5700G, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
1867 μs * -111%
Beelink U59 N5105
UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Celeron N5105, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
1753.5 μs * -98%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
UHD Graphics 730, i5-11400T, Lexar NM610 500GB
1232.3 μs * -39%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
883.4 μs *
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Transcend M.2 SSD 2200S TS512GMTE220S
779 μs * +12%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8259U, Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
698 μs * +21%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1195G7, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
541.1 μs * +39%

* ... smaller is better

Storage Devices

The included Lexar NVMe SSD is lightning-fast and outpaces most of the competition. The NUC 12 supports PCIe x4 Gen 4 SSDs via an M.2 2280 slot. This performance shouldn't be overstated, however, as the NUC 12 is typically sold as a barebones kit and users will need to install their own drive. That said, the drive in this particular configuration is impressively fast. 

There is a second M.2 drive bay, but it only accepts 42 mm drives and operates at SATA 3 speeds. There is also a 2.5-inch drive bay in the base of the unit for SATA drives.

AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD Copy Benchmark
AS SSD Copy Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskMark 8
CrystalDiskMark 8
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Beelink U59 N5105
Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Lexar NM610 500GB
Minisforum EliteMini B550
Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Kingston OM8PDP3512B-AI1
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Transcend M.2 SSD 2200S TS512GMTE220S
Average Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
 
Average of class Desktop
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-8%
-70%
-8%
5%
-40%
-13%
0%
11%
Write 4K
177.8
216.5
22%
86.45
-51%
124.7
-30%
161.5
-9%
114.2
-36%
193.2
9%
177.8 ?()
0%
Read 4K
67.6
65.73
-3%
25.9
-62%
45.41
-33%
51.29
-24%
46.92
-31%
63.23
-6%
67.6 ?()
0%
Write 4K Q32T1
426.2
573.6
35%
165.1
-61%
383
-10%
437
3%
220.3
-48%
405.9
-5%
426 ?()
0%
Read 4K Q32T1
500.9
338.9
-32%
146.6
-71%
451.4
-10%
602.1
20%
316.2
-37%
560.6
12%
501 ?()
0%
Write Seq Q32T1
2705.3
958.2
-65%
359.5
-87%
2382.1
-12%
1210
-55%
1227.2
-55%
1145.6
-58%
2705 ?()
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
3566.7
1653.5
-54%
528.3
-85%
995.1
-72%
2554.3
-28%
2510.5
-30%
2608.6
-27%
3567 ?()
0%
Write 4K Q8T8
428.5
832.5
94%
1084.4
153%
1045.2
144%
408.6
-5%
429 ?()
0%
Read 4K Q8T8
937.5
340.2
-64%
481.7
-49%
857.4
-9%
741.3
-21%
938 ?()
0%
AS SSD
-40%
-74%
-2%
-22%
-42%
-38%
0%
-21%
Seq Read
2902.75
1356.17
-53%
503.32
-83%
2203.6
-24%
2303.9
-21%
1907.57
-34%
2723
-6%
2903 ?()
0%
Seq Write
1486.78
854.29
-43%
443.45
-70%
2189.3
47%
1145
-23%
1039.43
-30%
1405
-6%
1487 ?()
0%
4K Read
59.71
61.08
2%
18.93
-68%
56.28
-6%
57.87
-3%
43.19
-28%
34.41
-42%
59.7 ?()
0%
4K Write
216.44
191.79
-11%
72.63
-66%
119.31
-45%
152.35
-30%
57.24
-74%
100.35
-54%
216 ?()
0%
4K-64 Read
883.18
325.14
-63%
146.3
-83%
791.75
-10%
711.88
-19%
772.77
-13%
348.68
-61%
883 ?()
0%
4K-64 Write
1418.48
532.6
-62%
181.26
-87%
1378.5
-3%
984.11
-31%
385.27
-73%
164.61
-88%
1418 ?()
0%
Access Time Read *
0.045
0.091
-102%
0.085
-89%
0.035
22%
0.105
-133%
0.131
-191%
0.084
-87%
0.045 ?()
-0%
Access Time Write *
0.129
0.045
65%
0.188
-46%
0.1
22%
0.029
78%
0.03
77%
0.035
73%
0.129 ?()
-0%
Score Read
1233
522
-58%
216
-82%
1068
-13%
1000
-19%
1007
-18%
655
-47%
1233 ?()
0%
Score Write
1784
810
-55%
298
-83%
1717
-4%
1251
-30%
546
-69%
406
-77%
1784 ?()
0%
Score Total
3592
1598
-56%
628
-83%
3347
-7%
2722
-24%
2035
-43%
1340
-63%
3592 ?()
0%
Copy ISO MB/s
1499.91
652.4
-57%
1744.99
16%
1635.71
9%
1018.16
-32%
612.15
-59%
1500 ?()
0%
Copy Program MB/s
360.32
77.24
-79%
314.25
-13%
361.36
0%
378.31
5%
334.59
-7%
360 ?()
0%
Copy Game MB/s
1008.89
445.98
-56%
895.29
-11%
414.46
-59%
322.02
-68%
882.35
-13%
1009 ?()
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-24% / -26%
-72% / -72%
-5% / -4%
-9% / -12%
-41% / -41%
-26% / -29%
0% / 0%
-5% / -9%

* ... smaller is better

Lexar 512GB NM6A1 LNM6A1X512G-HNNG
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3566.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2705.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 500.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 426.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 67.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 177.8 MB/s
CDM 6 Write 4K Q8T8: 428.5 MB/s
CDM 6 Read 4K Q8T8: 937.5 MB/s

GPU Performance

Graphics performance is the Achilles' Heel of the NUC 12 as it only has integrated graphics. The 80 EU version of Intel's Iris Xe Graphics iGPU is adequate for streaming UHD media, some light video and photo work, and some lighter gaming, but it struggles with demanding 3D tasks. That said, this iGPU offers a substantial boost over the older Intel Iris Plus Graphics used prior to the 11th-Gen Tiger Lake chips; the NUC 12's 3DMark performance is double that of the Geekom Mini IT8, which uses the older Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655.

The inclusion of two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the back of the unit opens the possibility of external GPUs. As Sebastian Bade pointed out in his review of the Intel Core i7-1260P variant, even a mid-range GPU can result in an astounding improvement in graphics performance. 

Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Average of class Desktop
  (650 - 104464, n=36, last 2 years)
44961 Points +698%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
NVIDIA GeForce MX550, Intel Core i7-1260P
10331 Points +83%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
6840 Points +21%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
5777 Points +3%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-1240P
5631 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (2246 - 6477, n=105)
5167 Points -8%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
2900 Points -48%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel UHD Graphics 730 (Rocket Lake), Intel Core i5-11400T
2551 Points -55%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Intel Celeron N5105
1458 Points -74%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (523 - 70246, n=34, last 2 years)
28403 Points +572%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
NVIDIA GeForce MX550, Intel Core i7-1260P
6257 Points +48%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
4883 Points +16%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1195G7
4551 Points +8%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-1240P
4227 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (1560 - 5305, n=107)
3782 Points -11%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
3379 Points -20%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
1983 Points -53%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel UHD Graphics 730 (Rocket Lake), Intel Core i5-11400T
1768 Points -58%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Intel Celeron N5105
1106 Points -74%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (3762 - 246319, n=30, last 2 years)
99185 Points +310%
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
NVIDIA GeForce MX550, Intel Core i7-1260P
40364 Points +67%
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1195G7
27609 Points +14%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
26183 Points +8%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-1240P
24221 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (6361 - 30894, n=92)
21769 Points -10%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
21114 Points -13%
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
15259 Points -37%
Newsmay Neosmay S2-B560TPM
Intel UHD Graphics 730 (Rocket Lake), Intel Core i5-11400T
11485 Points -53%
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Intel Celeron N5105
8388 Points -65%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (173 - 37589, n=33, last 2 years)
15652 Points
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
NVIDIA GeForce MX550, Intel Core i7-1260P
2526 Points
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
1630 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (561 - 1511, n=104)
1170 Points
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
1150 Points
Geekom Mini IT11-GM11i7T
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1195G7
1091 Points
Geekom Mini IT8-GM08i5T
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
608 Points
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU), Intel Celeron N5105
312 Points
3DMark 11 Performance
6191 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
85587 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
21793 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3941 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1882 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Because of its lackluster graphics performance, gaming options are limited on the NUC 12. The mini PC can play most recent games at 1280x720 and low settings only. Older titles or lighter games like DOTA can be played at 1920x1080/medium, but that still stretches the iGPU and manages only about 30 FPS. Mini PCs with AMD's Vega iGPU perform noticeably better in games, likely because of better driver support. 

Long-term performance is quite unstable. While attempting to run our hour-long performance test in the Witcher 3, the game would routinely crash 5-10 minutes into the test. As such, long-term gaming performance may be erratic, depending on the game.

The Witcher 3
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P, NVIDIA GeForce MX550
159 fps +279%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
88.1 (3.39min, 21.4P0.1, 52.9P1 - 223max) fps +110%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000)
69 (13.2min, 36.3P0.1, 41.6P1 - 257max) fps +64%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (30.2 - 97.4, n=98)
65.3 fps +55%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
42 fps
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105, Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU)
21.6 fps -49%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P, NVIDIA GeForce MX550
94 fps +203%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (21.8 - 56.9, n=100)
41.8 fps +35%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000)
40.8 (1.9min, 2.75P0.1, 29.8P1 - 66.7max) fps +32%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
31 fps
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105, Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU)
14.4 (11min - 18max) fps -54%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P, NVIDIA GeForce MX550
51 fps +240%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (9.3 - 33.5, n=98)
21.5 fps +43%
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000)
19.3 (2.25min, 2.26P0.1, 2.92P1 - 33.1max) fps +29%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSKi7
Intel Core i7-1260P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
15.2 (8.49min, 8.73P0.1, 9.27P1 - 32.5max) fps +1%
Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit NUC12WSBi5
Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
15 fps
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105, Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU)
7.8 (5min - 12max) fps -48%
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 24IAP7
Intel Core i7-1260P, NVIDIA GeForce MX550
29 fps
Minisforum EliteMini B550
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000)
13.8 (2.51min, 2.63P0.1, 2.93P1 - 21.2max) fps
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
  (6.26 - 15.7, n=89)
11 fps
Beelink U59 N5105
Intel Celeron N5105, Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 24 EU)
3.9 (2min - 6max) fps
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 42 31 15
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 35.9 35.7 34.6 34
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 38.3 19.6
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 45 16 15
F1 2021 (2021) 73 34 28
Farming Simulator 22 (2021) 50 32 23 22

Stress test and power consumption

The Intel Core i5-1240P generates quite a bit of heat under stress. The chip averages 83º C during our hour-long Prime95 stress test while hovering around 2.5 GHz. This is a bit hotter than the Core i7-1260P fared in the same test. The 1240P does not seem to suffer from thermal throttling; it jumps to its PL2 TDP limit at the beginning of the test before leveling out at its PL1 limit of 40 Watts. Adding FurMark to the mix results in slightly lower clock rates (1.8 GHz) but lower temperatures (79º C) as well.

Prime 95
Prime 95
FurMark
FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark

Pros

 +  good performance
 +  lightning fast SSD included in kit
 +  compact size
 +  excellent port selection, including 2x Thunderbolt 4

Cons

 –  CPU runs hot under stress
 –  poor graphics/gaming performance
 –  pricey compared to competitors

Verdict

In review: Intel NUC 12. Review unit courtesy of Geekplus Store. Use coupon code 329K4CID to save $33 through March 22, 2023.
In review: Intel NUC 12. Review unit courtesy of Geekplus Store. Use coupon code 329K4CID to save $33 through March 22, 2023.

The Core i5-1240P NUC 12  Pro Kit is a solid mini PC for home and business use. Its compact case belies its excellent performance. It can handle most any kind of home or office work without breaking a sweat, although gaming performance will leave users wanting. This weakness can be alleviated by an external GPU, which can be connected via one of the machine's two Thunderbolt 4 ports. However, this is an expensive solution.

Speaking of expense, herein lies a major sticking point for Intel's NUC desktops. They are fairly expensive for what they offer. This particular unit can be purchased as a barebones unit for roughly US$500-550, but it won't have RAM, a storage drive, or a Windows license. These are all added expenses that can easily push the total price of the NUC to $800. For that price, consumers can buy a budget gaming laptop that offers similar CPU performance, significantly better gaming performance, and comes with a built-in keyboard and screen.

If Thunderbolt 4 is a must-have and you have some RAM and an NVMe drive lying around, the NUC 12 may be just what you're looking for.

If you're hunting for a mini PC, there is no shortage of devices from competitors. Geekom, Beelink, and Minisforum each offer mini PCs with similar CPUs for what may be a lower overall cost, as these machines include RAM, storage, and a copy of Windows. However, these competitors lack the dual Thunderbolt 4 setup of the NUC 12, which makes Intel's mini PC quite versatile.

Price and availability

The NUC 12 Pro kit we looked at in this review is available via Geekom's Geekplus Store on Amazon. As configured, the NUC 12 Pro kit is listed at US$849.99. You can use coupon code 329K4CID now through March 22 to save $33 on top of any other discounts currently offered.

Transparency

The present review sample was made available to the author as a loan by the manufacturer or a shop for the purposes of review. The lender had no influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit (Core i5-1240P) mini PC review: Snappy with great connectivity
Sam Medley, 2023-03-14 (Update: 2023-03-14)