KODLIX GN41 Gemini Lake Ubuntu Mini PC Sells for $215

Most Intel mini PC ships with Windows 10, so when we see models shipping with a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu we like to point those out. Recently we covered MINIX NEO-Z83-4U Ubuntu 18.04 mini PC that comes in a well designed and passively cooled enclosure, but also a relatively underpowered Intel Atom x5 processor, and geared towards business use cases such as digital signage player or thin client.

KODLIX GN41 is another Ubuntu mini PC that would make a decent entry-level desktop thanks to an Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake processor, 8GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC flash that can be complemented with your own 2.5″ hard drive or SSD.

KODLIX GN41
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KODLIX GN41 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N4100 quad core processor @  1.10/2.40 GHz with Intel UHD Graphics 600; 6W TDP; 4.8W SDP
  • System Memory – 8GB DDR4L RAM
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash flash; 2.5″ SATA slot for HDD or SSD, micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Display – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, VGA
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio via HDMI
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB type C port
  • Misc – Power button, reset pinhole
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – 174 x 134 x 35 mm
  • Weight – 581 grams

GN41 Ubuntu Mini PC HDD

The mini PC comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.10, and sells for $214.90 on Amazon, or exactly $15 cheaper than the same model with Windows 10 Home.

If the hardware feels familiar, that’s because we already featured KODLIX mini PC last year as it was showcased at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Another good news is that the RAM should be upgradeable with two SO-DIMM slots allowing for up to 16GB in total.

Via FanlessTech

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Robert Brown
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Robert Brown

I’d be interested if 16GB RAM was really going to work, but the Ark (https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/128983/intel-celeron-n4100-processor-4m-cache-up-to-2-40-ghz.html) says it tops out at 8GB like most of their low-end processors. It’s annoyed me for years now, and I’m sure it’s an artificial limit put in place to drive people to higher-priced parts.
Or is there something that I don’t know, such that 16GB would actually work?

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Check Hardkernels wiki for the Gemini Lake DRAM issues. Modules with a CAS latency lower than 15 cause troubles but with more conservative timings even 32GB work flawlessly. Hardkernel fixed this for their H2 with an updated UEFI that ignores information in the SPD and uses 15 if modules want 14 or lower. On other Gemini Lake thingies you need to take care when purchasing modules.

TheLinuxBug
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I am willing to bet 10$ that the ‘SATA’ is really a USB->SATA interface for the ‘2.5″ drive’ storage option, FYI (and probably USB2). Also, you likely don’t want to run with the bottom cover on it unless you want to toast you drive (especially if you don’t add a fan to the thing). Keep in mind there is no air flow around that hard drive compartment so it has no way to dissipate heat. In a similar unit I used, I cut the bottom cover in half, just so it still attached with a screw, so that it would be able to dissipate heat better out the bottom for the drive.

Have used an older x8350 version in similar case as this is sent with. To note, if your going to do any long running CPU work you may also want to invest in better cooling than it will default come with. In my experience the general accepted way to cool these things is a large piece of aluminum in the top of the box with a small thermal pad off it to touch the IHS to hopefully wick heat away. It works okay under ‘media’ workloads but not if you intend to actually compile kernels and do other things that are intensive. I ended up adding a real heat sink and a 5v fan to the top of the case (powered by USB) to keep things running where they should.

That said, it wasn’t this exact product, so could be wrong? However, wanted to at least mention this to set expectations for real world use of these type of units.

Cheers!

GemLake
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GemLake

Well, maybe with x-series atoms it’s true but N-series should have native SATA, even 2 ports. Check its spec on Intel’s page.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Gemini Lake has 2 native SATA ports and 6 Gen2 PCIe lanes.

sola
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sola

It would be nice if all ARM SBCs supported a case like this.