Beelink GTi11 Review – Part 1: Tiger Lake mini PC with Windows 11

Beelink GTI11 review

Beelink’s GTi11 is the latest offering in their ‘GT’ series of slightly larger mini PCs that are notable for expandable storage configurations together with multiple ports and characterized by including a fingerprint scanner. Featuring Intel’s 11th generation Tiger Lake processors, Beelink kindly sent an i5 version for review which I will undertake in three parts. In this first part, I’ve looked at Windows performance and the second part will cover Ubuntu with the third part looking at various configuration mods.

The GTi11 physically consists of a 168 x 120 x 39mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s ‘10 nm SuperFin’ Tiger Lake processors and the review model included an i5-1135G7 which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.50 GHz Core processor boosting to 4.20 GHz with Intel’s Xe Graphics.

The front panel has an illuminated power button, a ‘CLR CMOS’ button, dual USB 3.1 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Thunderbolt 4 port. The rear panel includes the power jack, dual 2.5 Gb Ethernet ports, an HDMI (assumed to be 2.0) port, a DisplayPort, dual USB 3.0 ports, and dual USB 2.0 ports. On the top of the device is a fingerprint sensor.

The review model also included a 500GB M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 SSD drive complete with Windows 10 Pro installed and two sticks of 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz memory:

Beelink GTI11 windows memory speed

Additionally, there is a soldered WiFi 6 (or 802.11ax) Intel AX201 chip and the ability to add an additional M.2 2280 SATA SSD drive as well as a 2.5” SATA drive to the lid which is connected to the motherboard via a short ZIF cable:

Beelink GTi11 motherboard

The specifications state:

Beelink Gti 11 specifications

and lists four of the USB ports as 3.0 so I tested them using a Samsung 980 PRO PCle 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD housed in an ‘USB to M.2 NVMe adapter’ (ORICO M2PAC3-G20 M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure). Interestingly the testing revealed that the front two USB ports were actually 3.1 (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 i.e. 10 Gbit/s):

Windows front usb storage speed

and only the rear ports were 3.0 (USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 i.e. 5 Gbit/s):

windows 10 rear usb

Another point of interest is that the front ‘Type-C’ port is actually a Thunderbolt 4 port:

windows 10 thunderbolt device
windows 10 thunderbolt version

which I confirmed using the same Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD but housed in my JEYI Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe Enclosure:

windows 10 tb performance example

When ‘used’ as a USB ‘Type-C’ port it also runs at USB 3.1 speed:

windows type-c usb storage performance

or it can support video output through ‘Alternate Mode’:

Beelink GTi11 dual display-windows USB type-c alt mode

which together with the HDMI port and DisplayPort, in theory, enables support for triple displays. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any signal from the DisplayPort despite trying multiple monitors and cables leading me to suspect that the port is faulty on this particular sample.

The other points of interest are that the M.2 NVMe slot is actually Gen 4.0, not Gen 3.0:

Beelink GTi 11 nvme gen4and that both Ethernet ports are 2.5Gb:

Beelink GTI11 windows 2.5 Gbps ethernet ports

Box contents

In the box you get a power adapter with a cord, both a short and a longer HDMI cable, a VESA mounting bracket together with a couple of small packets of miscellaneous screws. Also included is a multilingual user manual:

Beelink GTI11 package content accessories

Review Methodology

When reviewing mini PCs I typically compare their performance against some of the more recently released mini PCs. I now review using Windows 11 version 21H2 and test with a selection of commonly used Windows benchmarks. I also use ‘Phoronix Test Suite’ so that I can benchmark with the same set of tests on Ubuntu for comparison purposes.

Prior to benchmarking, I perform all necessary installations and updates to run the latest versions of both OSes. I also capture some basic details of the device for each OS.

Initially, the GTi11 came installed with a licensed copy of Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.1083 which I upgraded to build 19043.1415 after applying Windows updates. I then successfully upgraded to Windows 11 version 21H2 build 22000.376 and also removed the old Windows 10 installation to save space:

Windows 11 disk cleanup

A quick look at the hardware information showed it is aligned to the specification:

windows configuration windows disk management windows info windows 11 hwinfo windows gpu-z

A brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet.

I then set the power mode to ‘High performance’ and ran my standard set of benchmarking tools to look at performance under Windows:

I also tested Cinebench R23 which is becoming the de facto benchmarking version:

Beelink GTi11 windows 11 cinebench r23

For my specific set of Phoronix Test Suite tests the results were:

Beelink GTi11 windows phoronix overview

All these results can then be compared with other recent mini PCs:

windows mini pc comparison december 2021

The results show a noticeable improvement in the integrated GPU performance and the capability of which will be explored further below.

Video playback in browsers & Kodi

Video playback was very impressive with little issues in playing 4K videos in Edge and Chrome:

Windows 11 4k 60fps microsoft edge windows 11 4k 60fps chrome

I also attempted playing an 8K 60 FPS video in YouTube in both Edge and Chrome with only Chrome dropping the occasional frame:

Windows 11 8k 60fps microsoft edge windows 11 8k 60fps chrome

Finally, I played some videos in Kodi of various formats up to 8K 60 FPS all of which played without issue:

Beelink GTi11 windows 11 8k 60fps kodi

Given the impressive Unigine Heaven score, I decided to test three games under Steam (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Grand Theft Auto V, and Shadow Of The Tomb Raider) at both 1080p and 720p using default settings in both CS:GO and GTA V and with the graphical preset of ‘lowest’ in the built-in benchmark of SOTTR. The very respectable average FPS results were as follows:

37-windows-sottr-1080p-lowest 38-windows-sottr-720p-lowest 39-windows-gaming

It is worth noting that the i7 model of the GTi11 should perform even better given the iGPU’s 96 Execution Units versus the 80 in the i5 coupled with the CPU’s higher frequencies and larger cache.

Initial Observations

The Beelink GTi11 is impressive not only due to the combined CPU and GPU performance but also given the selection of ports available and the various storage configurations offered. In the second part, I’ll look at Linux performance using Ubuntu and also review the thermals, networking, and power consumption.

I’d like to thank Beelink for providing the GTi11 for review. It retails on Banggood at around $610 for the current i5/16GB/500GB configuration and $820 for the i7/32GB/500GB configuration.

Continue reading

  1. Beelink GTi11 review – Part 2: Ubuntu 20.04 on an Intel Core i5-1135G7 mini PC“.
  2. Beelink GTi 11 modding – PCIe Gen 4.0 M.2 slot, tweaking power limits, and eGPU” (Part 3)
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3 Replies to “Beelink GTi11 Review – Part 1: Tiger Lake mini PC with Windows 11”

  1. > Cinebench R23 which is becoming the de facto benchmarking version

    Why exactly? Asides that the screenshot above shows R23 scores of 5254/1342 (made with Win10) while the picture with the results lists R20 scores of 2049/519 made with Win11. So you tested both and used one result here and the other there?

    1. Interesting. I hadn’t picked up that a lot of the bechmark rresults including the games are showing Windows 10 even though they were all installed and then run on Windows 11.

      Most of the reviews I see recently now use Cinebech R23 however as my comparison data is all based on Cinebench R20, I continue to use R20 so readers can compare with other mini PCs and I’ve included R23 for anyone who wants to know that particular benchmark result.

      Normally in the quiet period of New Year / Chinese New Year I revisit all my benchmarks and upgrade some and retire others and then retest on recent mini PCs ready for the first review of the year. But it is a very tedious and thankless task and I’m wondering whether it is worth it.

      1. > Most of the reviews I see recently now use Cinebech R23

        If R24 would be available you would see this version starting to be used everywhere… by people who run benchmarks only in ‘fire and forget’ mode. Majority of reviews on the net is entertainment for consumers garnished with numbers and graphs (yours are fortunately a great exception from this rule).

        R23 is the 1st Cinebench version that uses AVX on x86 if available. Many of those Mini PC you review lack these vector extensions. Let’s compare a recent Jasper Lake thingy with a recent i7:

        Staring at R23 benchmarks (that are flawed for most of what users are really doing since which general purpose software makes use of AVX?) the N5100 achieves 24% single-threaded performance of the i7 (multi-threaded it’s just 7%).

        When staring at Geekbench 5 numbers (also somewhat stupid but anyway) the N5100 is at 32%/13,5% of the i7’s performance.

        Just by selecting the ‘right’ benchmark the energy efficient Atom almost doubles its relative multi-threaded performance compared to the i7. While in reality Cinebench R23 is only of interest for Cinema 4D users who do a lot of rendering. Since this specific benchmark only correctly represents this one niche use case.

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