Morefine S500+ Review – An AMD Ryzen 7 5700U mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04

MOREFINE S500+ review

Morefine has recently released their S500+ series of mini PC series which features models with either a Zen 2 or Zen 3 AMD mobile processor. Morefine kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu.

Morefine S500+ Hardware Overview

The S500+ physically consists of a 149 x 145 x 40mm (5.87 x 5.71 x 1.57 inches) square metal case with a plastic top. As an actively cooled mini PC, it is available with either an AMD Zen 2 or Zen 3 mobile processor. The review model came with AMD’s 7 nm Zen 2 Ryzen 7 5700U Lucienne processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 1.8 GHz mobile processor boosting to 4.3 GHz with Radeon Graphics.

The front panel has a power button, a light to indicate power, two USB 3.1 ports, and a Type-C USB 3.1 port with Alternate Mode.

The rear panel includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port, a gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort, four USB 2.0 ports, and the power jack.

Internally there is an M.2 2230 WiFi 6E (or 802.11ax) Mediatek MT7921K card which supports the new 6 GHz band, an M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 SSD drive (the review model included a 512 GB ADATA XPG Gammix S11 Lite drive complete with Windows 10 Pro installed) and the ability to add a 2.5” SATA drive to the lid which is connected to the motherboard by the included cables:

MOREFINE S500+ motherboard

It is also possible to add another M.2 2280 NVMe or SATA SSD drive on the underside of the motherboard:

MOREFINE S500+ cooling fan

Morefine has a video showing the installation process for memory and drives.

The two SODIMM memory slots support up to 64 GB of memory and the review model included two sticks of Crucial 8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz memory for a total of 16 GB noting that this particular memory is single-rank:

HWInfo64 memory

The specifications state:

Morefine S500+ specifications

and lists two of the USB ports as ‘3.2 Gen 2’ so I tested them together with the Type-C USB port using a Samsung 980 PRO PCle 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD housed in a ‘USB to M.2 NVMe adapter’ (ORICO M2PAC3-G20 M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure) which showed that they were all USB 3.1 (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 i.e. 10 Gbit/s):

MOREFINE S500+ windows 11 usb speed MOREFINE S500+ ubuntu usb speed

Box contents

In the box, you get a power adapter and cord, an HDMI cable, a VESA mounting bracket together with a small packet of miscellaneous screws, a SATA drive connector, and a 2.5” drive insulation sticker. Also included is a multilingual user manual:

MOREFINE S500+ package content

Review Methodology

When reviewing mini PCs, I typically look at their performance under both Windows and Linux (Ubuntu) and compare them against some of the more recently released mini PCs. Where possible I review using Windows 11 version 21H2 and Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS although, in the future, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS will be used now that it has been released. I test with a selection of commonly used Windows benchmarks and/or equivalents for Linux together with Thomas Kaiser’s ‘sbc-bench’ which is a small set of different CPU performance tests focusing on server performance when run on Ubuntu. I also use ‘Phoronix Test Suite’ and benchmark with the same set of tests on both Windows and Ubuntu for comparison purposes. On Ubuntu, I also compile the v5.4 Linux kernel using the default config as a test of performance using a real-world scenario.

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.

Installation Issues on Morefine S500+

Initially, the S500+ came installed with Windows 10 Pro and had a preconfigured user account ‘PC’ already set up and which Windows boots into:

windows 10 pro account

On Ubuntu, it was initially not possible to connect to the 5.0 GHz WiFi network as the ‘Activation of network connection failed’:

ubuntu wifi failure "activation of network connection failed"
“Activation of network connection failed”

In order to successfully connect I found that it was necessary to ‘unbind’ the driver first and then ‘bind’ the driver again:

wifi fix: unbind & bind mt7921e driver

Additionally, the ‘dmesg’ showed some ACPI errors and the significance of which was unknown at the time of testing:

ACPI errors Morefine S500+

Otherwise, running the benchmarks went smoothly with the exception of the ‘Selenium’ test from the ‘Phoronix Test Suite’. When running the test with ‘Chrome’ selected it errored with the message ‘The test quit with a non-zero exit status’. This is typically caused by the benchmark driver used by the test not supporting the newest Chrome release and has been encountered before. As a result, the Octane tests were run manually and edited into the final results.

Morefine S500+ Windows Performance

Initially, the S500+ came installed with a licensed copy of Windows 10 Pro version 20H2 build 19042.631:

Windows 10 Pro Ryzen 7 5700U

which I upgraded to Windows 11 Pro version 21H2 and after applying updates the build was 22000.593. A quick look at the hardware information shows it is aligned to the specification:

windows-configuration-hwinfo64 windows-11-disk-management-512GB-SSD windows 11 AMD Ryzen 7 5700U windows hwinfo64 win element MoreFine S500+ windows 11 gpu-z Radeon Lucienne

A brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and video output from the Type-C USB port:

Morefine S500+ windows 11 usb type-c displayport video

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:

windows 11 cinebench r23 AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

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

windows 11 phoronix overview S500Plus

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

windows mini pcs comparison april 2022

Ubuntu 20.04 on an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U mini PC

After shrinking the Windows partition in half and creating a new partition, I installed Ubuntu using an Ubuntu 20.04.4 ISO as dual boot. After installation and updates a brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi (after applying the above fix), Bluetooth, Ethernet, and video output from the Type-C USB port:

Morefine S500+ ubuntu 20-04 usb type-c displayport video

The key hardware information under Ubuntu 20.04.4 is as follows:

ubuntu 20.04 disk management 512GB SSD ubuntu 20.04 info S500Plus


I then set the CPU Scaling Governor to ‘performance’ and ran my Linux benchmarks for which the majority of the results are text-based but the graphical ones included:

win element MoreFine-S500+-ubuntu geekbench 5 cpu

ubuntu unigine heaven benchmark-AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

and the latter can be directly compared to when run in Windows using the OpenGL render:

windows unigine heaven opengl-benchmark-AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

I also ran PassMark PerformanceTest Linux:

ubuntu cpu passmark-performancetest-linux AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

which can be directly compared to the results from when it was run on Windows:

passmark cpu memory Morefine S500+
For the same set of Phoronix Test Suite tests the results were:

ubuntu phoronix overview S500Plus

The complete results together with a comparison against other recent mini PCs are:

linux mini pc comparison april 2022

 

Video playback in browsers & Kodi

For real-world testing, I played some videos in Edge, Chrome and Kodi on Windows and in Firefox, Chrome and Kodi on Ubuntu. No video playback issues were encountered playing up to 4K 60 FPS videos:

windows 11 4kp60 edge youtube ubuntu 4k60 chrome youtube

However, the fan was noticeably audible during 4K playback on Ubuntu in both Firefox where it reached 50 dBA at times, and also Chrome where it was slightly better reaching only 45 dBA sometimes.

Gaming

The AMD integrated Radeon Graphics are relatively powerful for a mini PC as indicated by the Unigine Heaven scores. Testing Shadow Of The Tomb Raider using the built-in benchmark under Steam on both Windows and Ubuntu at 1080p and 720p resolution with the graphical preset of ‘high’ and ‘low’ resulted in the average FPS as follows:

MOREFINE S500+ gaming windows sottr 1080p high Ryzen 7 5700U ubuntu sottr 720p low Ryzen 7 5700U

with Windows being marginally better than Ubuntu.

Thermals

The S500+ uses active cooling and running a stress test on Ubuntu saw the CPU temperature climb to a peak of 80°C before dropping down to 68°C where it remained for the duration of the test:

morefine s500 plus ubuntu stress test

If the CPU frequency is monitored during the stress test it can be seen that it initially averages around 2975 MHz before dropping to an average of around 2745 MHz as a result of thermal throttling when the temperature peaked:

AMD Ryzen 7 5700U ubuntu cpu frequency stress test

During the stress test, the maximum temperature I recorded on the top of the device was around 31.0°C at an ambient room temperature of 21.0°C. The fan however is audible reaching 50 dBA on my sound meter next to the device during the stress test. This was also the case for a Cinebench test on Windows whereas at idle the fan was around 34 dBA.

The BIOS (see below) does include fan control options which are set to manual by default:

Aptio Setup bios fan options

Networking

Network connectivity throughput was measured on Ubuntu using ‘iperf’:

morefine s500+ network throughput

Morefine S500+ Power consumption

Power consumption was measured as follows:

  • Initially plugged in – 1.3 Watts
  • Powered off (shutdown) – 0.6 Watts (Windows) and 0.6 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • BIOS* – 23.0 Watts
  • GRUB boot menu – 21.0 Watts
  • Idle – 6.2 Watts (Windows) and 4.8 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • CPU stressed – 39.6 Watts (Windows ‘Cinebench’) and 36.0 Watts (Ubuntu ‘stress’)
  • Video playback** – 17.2 Watts (Windows Edge 4K60fps) and 36.1 Watts (Ubuntu Chrome 4K60fps)

*BIOS (see below)
**The power figures fluctuate notably due to the fan so the value is the average of the median high and median low power readings.

Aptio Setup BIOS

Powering up the mini PC and hitting the F7 key results in a boot menu that includes access to the BIOS. The BIOS is unrestricted and the following video includes the ‘Fan Control’, ‘POR’ and ‘AC Loss Control’ settings:

Final Observations

One of the key highlights of the Morefine S500+ series is the additional storage configurations with the ability to add an additional NVMe drive. This could also be used to add an eGPU via a ‘PCIe x16 to M.2 NVMe adapter’. Unfortunately during intensive CPU or iCPU processing the fan does become audible however the overall performance is very good.

HighlightsLimitations
Additional storage expandability including NVMeNo SD card slot
Dual Ethernet ports including 2.5 Gbps
Audible fan

I’d like to thank Morefine for providing the S500+ for review. It retails at around $769 for the tested configuration from Morefine.

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9 Comments
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bluepuma
bluepuma
1 month ago

So this could be used as NAS with 2 NVMe SSDs in software RAID?

linuxium
1 month ago

Yes, especially as it has a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port as well.

Dan C
Dan C
1 month ago

Surprised the fan is so noisy for a 15W part. The fan in my laptop is quite sombre cooling its 35-54W 5800H

Frans
Frans
1 month ago

$ 769 without mem or ssd, with 32 G RAM and 1T ssd it goes above $ 1000.
No thanks.

linuxium
1 month ago

The USD 769 price includes 16GB RAM and 512GB NVMe (and Windows license). Note the Morefine page link above initially shows the USD price and then updates to your ‘auto-detected’ regional price which can be changed by clicking the flag that appears at the bottom-left of the page.

ronn
ronn
1 month ago

Hi linuxium
did u install any driver on win11?
iam little curios, i also bought this system s500+ with 5800u
well in the package was not any drive
thx for ur time and testing

linuxium
1 month ago

It came with Windows 10 Pro installed so first I used Windows Update to get up to date during which it did update the Display driver to version 30.0.13023.4001. I then used Windows 11 Installation Assistant to upgrade to Windows 11 and again used Windows Update to get up to date which involved mainly cumulative updates. Finally I performed a systen recovery to remove everything giving me a clean Windows 11 to start from. Apart from whatever was updated using Windows Updates I didn’t specifically have to download any drivers outside of the update process.

Dex
Dex
2 days ago

Hi, I got this machine with an intel 7265 wifi card, and I can’t get wifi working on linux either, do you know how to unbind and bind the driver? I tried your code but not working, thank you

linuxium
1 day ago

First check that the WiFi MEDIATEK mt7921e driver module is loaded and then get the bus-id for the driver using the ‘ls’ command as shown. Next unbind it from the driver by echoing it to the unbind file and then ‘rebind’ it by echoing it the bind file. If WiFi fails to then connect, repeating the unbind/bind should fix it.

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