MeLE Quieter3Q Review – Ultra-thin fanless mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 22.04

mele quieter3q review

MeLE has released a new and updated version of the Quieter mini PC called the Quieter3Q. Like before, it is a passive mini PC but now features the latest low-powered Intel Celeron Jasper Lake CPU and an upgraded PCIe 3.0 x2 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slot. MeLE has kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu and connecting an eGPU.

MeLE Quieter3Q Hardware Overview

The MeLE Quieter3Q is physically the same as before consisting of a 131 x 81 x 18.3mm (5.16 x 3.19 x 0.72 inches) rectangular plastic case with a metal base plate. The top half of the case is finely grooved to mimic the fins of a heat spreader but is made of plastic rather than metal to allow reception to the WiFi antennas as one is directly connected to it. As a passively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s 10 nm Jasper Lake N5105 processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz Celeron processor boosting to 2.90 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics.

The front panel just has an illuminated power button whilst the rear panel includes a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, a micro-SD card slot, two HDMI ports, a Type-C USB port for power only, and a gigabit Ethernet port. The left panel has a Kensington security slot and the right panel has three more USB 3.0 ports.

The review model included a soldered-on 128GB eMMC drive and soldered-on 8GB LPDDR4 3200 MHz single-channel memory that was configured to run at 2933 MHz:
windows memory

windows memory speed

ubuntu memory

ubuntu memory speed

Additionally, there is soldered-on WiFi 6 (or 802.11ax) as well as the ability to add an M.2 2280 NVMe SSD drive:

MeLE Quieter3Q motherboard

The specifications state:

MeLE Quiter3Q specifications

and list the USB ports as ‘USB 3.0 (Gen 1)’ so I tested them together 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 the first two ports on the right side were actually ‘USB 3.1’ (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 i.e. 10 Gbit/s):

windows usb 3.1 speed ubuntu usb 3.1 speed

and that only the third port together with the rear port was ‘USB 3.0’ (USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 i.e. 5 Gbit/s):

ubuntu usb 3.0 speed windows usb 3.0 speed

Box contents

In the box, you get a power adapter and cord together with a plug adapter appropriate for your country, a quick start guide and a thermal pad for applying to an M.2 drive. Also included was the optionally available VESA mounting bracket together with a small packet of miscellaneous screws:

Quieter3 power supply user guide

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. I now review using Windows 11 version 21H2 and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. 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’ version 10.8.3 and benchmark with the same set of tests on both Windows and Ubuntu for comparison purposes. On Ubuntu, I also compile the v5.15 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 version of the OS. I also capture some basic details of the device for each OS.

MeLE Quieter3Q Windows Performance

Initially, the MeLE Quieter3Q came installed with a licensed copy of Windows 11 Pro version 21H2 which after applying updates was build 22000.708. A quick look at the hardware information shows each is aligned to the specifications:
Quieter3Q HWInfo64 windows configuration

Windows 11 disk management

MeLE Quieter3Q Windows 11 System info

Similar to when I reviewed another mini PC with Intel’s Jasper Lake N5105 processor, the iGPU showed limited details in HWiNFO and was unknown to GPU-Z:

HWiNFO64 Fanless Mini PC Quieter 3

TechPowerUp windows 11 gpu-z jasper lake

A brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, HDMI, and microSD card:

windows 11 sd card crystaldiskmark

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:

MeLE Quieter3Q cinebench r23 benchmark

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

Quieter3Q windows 11 Phoronix Test Suite overview

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

windows mini pc comparison june 2022

The results show the slight impact caused by the slower eMMC storage and thermal throttling which is covered further in the ‘thermals’ section below.

Ubuntu 22.04 Performance

After shrinking the Windows partition and creating a new 50GB partition I installed Ubuntu using an Ubuntu 22.04 ISO as dual boot. After installation and updates a brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, HDMI, and micro-SD card:

Quieter3Q ubuntu sd card

The key hardware information under Ubuntu 22.04 is as follows:

ubuntu 22.04 disk management Quieter3Q ubuntu 22.04 info


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:

Fanless mini pc quieter 3 ubuntu 22.04 geekbench 5 cpu Quieter3Q ubuntu 22.04 heaven 3d graphics benchmark

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

Quieter3Q Windows 11 heaven OpenGL benchmark

I also ran PassMark PerformanceTest Linux:

Celeron N5105 ubuntu cpu-passmark performancetest

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

Windows 11 CPU & memory passmark

For the same set of Phoronix Test Suite tests the results were:

Quieter3Q ubuntu 22.04 pts overview

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

linux mini pc comparison june 2022

Video playback in browsers & Kodi

For real-world testing, I played some videos in Edge and Chrome on Windows and in Firefox and Chrome on Ubuntu. On Edge the initial codec for a video is ‘av01’ however as it then typically struggles to play the video it switches to ‘vp09’ whereas Chrome always used ‘vp09’:

Video playback browsers kodi

I also played variously encoded videos in Kodi all of which played up to 8K @ 30 FPS without issue and used hardware for decoding:

8K Kodi windows 11 youtube norway

However whilst hardware decoding was used when trying to play 8K @ 60 FPS videos it resulted in frame skipping and juddery playback:

8K kodi ubuntu 22.04 peru

NVMe Performance

As mentioned in the introduction, the MeLE Quieter3Q also supports an M.2 2280 NVMe SSD drive so I decided to test it using a Samsung 980 PRO PCle 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD which connects as expected via PCIe 3.0 x2 with a link speed of 8.0 GT/s:

MeLE Quieter3Q windows pcie nvme Quieter3Q ubuntu pcie nvme

and the performance obtained was also as expected given this lane limitation:

Quieter3Q nvme ssd crystaldiskmark

MeLE Quieter3Q with eGPU

MeLE Quieter3Q NVIDIA egpu

It is also possible to use the M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slot to connect an eGPU. To test I used a GT 1030 installed in ADT-Link’s R43SF ‘M.2 NVMe to PCI-Express x16 Extension Cable’ powered by an SFX power supply:

egpu windows 11

After installing an Nvidia driver the eGPU shows up as connected via ‘PCI Express x2 Gen3’:

egpu nvidia geforce gt-1030

and similarly in GPU-Z:

egpu TechPowerUp gpu-z

Running CUDA-Z gave an indication of the performance to expect:

Quieter3Q egpu cuda-z

I then ran a few graphical-orientated benchmarks including:

egpu passmark egpu pcmark10 egpu fire strike egpu heaven

to demonstrate the potential improvement possible when using an eGPU. It should be noted however that whilst adding an eGPU is possible, the limitations of the low-powered CPU will have an impact on overall performance once a more powerful GPU is used.

Thermals

Running a stress test on Ubuntu saw the CPU temperature rise quickly to 60°C and then drop to 52°C before slowly climbing to a peak temperature of 73°C with a maximum average temperature of 69.5°C:

MeLe Quieter3Q ubuntu stress test

If the CPU frequency is monitored during the stress test it can be seen that the initial temperature peak is caused by the CPU running at an average of 2734 MHz for the ‘PL1’ duration after which it thermal throttles and drops to an average frequency of 2427 MHz to prevent overheating:

Ubuntu 22.04 cpu frequency

During the stress test, the maximum temperature I recorded on the top of the device was around 55.6°C at an ambient room temperature of 14.1°C with the device not being too hot to touch.

Networking (Ethernet and WiFi)

Initially, network connectivity throughput was measured on Ubuntu using ‘iperf’ however the results were unexpected with unusually low 5.0 GHz download speeds and slower than expected Ethernet upload speeds. As a result, I reran the tests using ‘iperf3’ and then repeated the tests on Windows. I performed each test three times however on Ubuntu the Ethernet runs had noticeable variations as did the 5.0 GHz download runs so these tests were performed five times with the highest and lowest values being discarded and then all results were averaged::

Quieter3Q network throughput

As can be seen the network performance on Windows is more aligned to expectations than on Ubuntu and it is not currently determined whether this is a result of the distro release used or the driver versions used by this distro.

MeLE Quieter3Q Power Consumption

Power consumption was measured as follows:

  • Initially plugged in – 1.2 Watts
  • Powered off (shutdown) – 0.4 Watts (Windows) and 0.0 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • BIOS – 8.6 Watts
  • GRUB boot menu – 8.3 Watts
  • Idle – 4.0 Watts (Windows) and 2.4 Watts (Ubuntu)
  • CPU stressed – 12.0 Watts (Windows ‘cinebench’) and 10.9 Watts (Ubuntu ‘stress’)
  • Video playback – 8.2 Watts (Windows Edge 4K30fps) and 12.1 Watts (Ubuntu Chrome 4K30fps)

BIOS

Powering up the mini PC and hitting the F7 key results in a boot menu that includes access to the BIOS which is unrestricted.

Final Observations

The Quieter3Q offers a notable improvement over its predecessor. Whilst the physical appearance and external port configuration are similar, both the CPU and iGPU are more powerful and the M.2 NVMe slot is now PCIe Gen 3 rather than Gen 2 resulting in a doubling of bandwidth which is significant when you only get two lanes.

HighlightsLimitations
Internal PCIe 3.0 x2 M.2 NVMe slotSlow eMMC internal storage
Passively cooledSingle-channel memory
MicroSD cardUnusual network performance on Ubuntu

I’d like to thank MeLE for providing the Quieter3Q for review. It retails through MeLE on Amazon for around $259 for the current 8GB/128GB configuration.

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13 Comments
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Willy
Willy
21 days ago

Very interesting review, I think that matches exactly what we’ve been looking for for our meeting room, finally!

Horst
Horst
20 days ago

Thank you for the review. Those complete device power and performance numbers are very interesting. Could you publish the source for linux-mini-pc-comparison-june-2022-720×208.webp as .ods or .csv for us readers to download? Then we could easier compare some devices of interest using LibreOffice Calc with e.g. freezing the first row and column and filtering etc.

linuxium
19 days ago

The mini PC comparison charts are published only as images in order to offer me at least some form of ensuring copyright protection.

Horst
Horst
20 days ago

The number for the Gimp benchmark for this device in linux-mini-pc-comparison-june-2022-720×208.webp seems incorrect. It is very different from the others.

linuxium
19 days ago

This is because I am now using GIMP version 1.1.3 as a result of having to upgrade to ‘Phoronix Test Suite’ version 10.8.3 (see ‘Review Methodology’) because after moving to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS some benchmarks needed updating to run. For example PTS Linux OpenSSL version 1.9.2 failed and required version 3.0.1 as did, incidentally, compiling the Linux kernel v5.4 which is why I now use v5.15. I too noticed the GIMP result variation so I repeated the tests and tested version 1.1.2 and then again on a reference device which showed identical behaviour in that the results for the newer… Read more »

CF542
CF542
20 days ago

This seems like it could make a good Plex server that would be able to play 4k files and provide decent transcoding performance.

Stamo Hristov
18 days ago

For such price you can get fanless PC with 4 x 2.5 gbe Intel nics. And it’s overpriced too 🙂

zoobab
17 days ago
linuxium
17 days ago

Arguably the origin for the popularity of the mini PC as oposed to SBCs or the Shivaplug as the Rikomagic MK802 came a few months later which spawned mini PC ‘sticks’ and Intel’s NUC the following year.

Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Admin

That was the post that propelled CNX Software to a greater audience:
https://www.cnx-software.com/2012/05/17/74-usd-allwinner-a10-android-4-0-mini-pc-usbhdmi-stick/

Stefan
Stefan
1 day ago

Hello! Great review! I stumbled on one feedback about this mini PC indicating the user was not able to boot OS from the NVMe disk. They were trying to clone the factory OS from the eMMC using Macrium. Cloning went fine but they were not able to boot. Can you please confirm this?

linuxium
1 day ago

I haven’t tried booting from an NVMe drive on the Quieter 3Q but it worked without issue on the Quieter 2Q. However I didn’t use (and don’t recommend) image cloning as Windows can be finikerty and require the bootloader to be reinstalled after cloning. Performing a clean install together with applying the drivers from the MeLE website is the approach I’d use.

Stefan
Stefan
1 day ago

Agreed. The users was most probably experiencing bootloader issues after cloning. I personally would also opt for fresh reinstall, if I end up getting this PC and upgrading its storage. Thanks!

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