MeLE Quieter3C fanless mini PC review with Ubuntu 22.04, Windows 11

Mele Quieter3c review

MeLE’s newly launched Quieter3C is an update to their earlier Quieter3Q product which replaces one of the Type-A USB ports with a Type-C USB port and includes both power delivery and video display output, together with changing one of the HDMI ports to a mini DisplayPort. MeLE kindly sent one for review and given these are the only differences I’m only going to take a cursory look at performance benchmarks together with looking at these new features.

MeLE Quieter3C hardware overview

The MeLE Quieter3C is physically the same size as the Quieter3Q and consists 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 has the characteristic fine grooves that mimic the fins of a heat spreader and 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 now includes a Type-C USB port, a headphone jack, a microSD card slot, a mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port, 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 like before has three Type-A USB 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:

Additionally, there is a soldered-on WiFi 6 (or 802.11ax) Intel AX201 card as well as the ability to add an M.2 2280 NVMe SSD drive:

The specifications state:

and lists all of the USB ports as 3.0 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 the first two USB ports on the right side were actually ‘USB 3.1’ (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 i.e. 10 Gbit/s):

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

This model’s new Type-C USB port also supports video output through ‘Alternate Mode’:

so along with the mini DisplayPort:

and the remaining HDMI port there is now support for triple 4K displays.

I also confirmed that the new Type-C USB port supported power delivery by connecting the MeLE Quieter3C directly to a Dell monitor without separately connecting power:

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:

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 22.04.1 LTS. I test with a selection of commonly used Windows benchmarks and/or equivalents for Linux

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.

Installation Issues

When booting Ubuntu 22.04.1, there was the usual UEFI (BIOS) error being reported in the ‘dmesg’ that appears common with Jasper Lake mini PCs and whose significance of which has not been determined:

Windows 11 performance on MeLE Quieter3C

The MeLE Quieter3C came installed with a licensed copy of Windows 11 Pro version 21H2 which after applying updates was build 22000.856. A quick look at the hardware information shows it is aligned to the specification:

Similar to other Jasper Lake mini PCs the iGPU showed limited details in HWiNFO and was unknown to GPU-Z:

A brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, mini DP, HDMI and micro-SD card:

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:

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

with the Quieter3C performing very similarly to the Quieter3Q.

Ubuntu 22.04 Performance

After shrinking the Windows partition in half and creating a new partition I installed Ubuntu as dual boot using an Ubuntu 22.04.1 ISO. After installation and updates a brief check showed working audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, mini DP, HDMI, and microSD card:

The key hardware information under Ubuntu 22.04.1 is as follows:



I then set the CPU Scaling Governor to ‘performance’ and ran just a couple of Linux benchmarks:

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

I also ran PassMark PerformanceTest Linux:

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

The Ubuntu results are marginally better than the Windows ones and looking at the power profile shows that under Linux the values of ‘PL1’ and ‘PL2’ are 10 and 20 Watts respectively whilst under Windows, they are only 8 and 10 Watts:

Video playback in web browsers

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’:

and again the Quieter3C performed very similarly to the Quieter3Q.

Thermals

Running a stress test on Ubuntu saw the CPU temperature rise quickly to 58°C and then drop to 50°C before slowly climbing to a peak temperature of 66°C with a maximum average temperature of 63.9°C:

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 2600 MHz for the ‘PL1’ duration after which it thermal throttles and drops to an average frequency of 2340 MHz to prevent overheating:

During the stress test, the maximum temperature I recorded on the top of the device was around 54.6°C in an ambient room temperature of 12.7°C with the device not being too hot to touch.

MeLE has also stated that they have ‘improved the heat dissipation structure by adding alumina thermal conductive plate and silicon pad on the housing case’:

However, during testing, this only decreased the temperature of the top of the device by a single degree from 55.6°C on the Quieter3Q to 54.6°C on the MeLE Quieter3C. Under prolonged usage, this modification may be more noticeable.

Final Observations

The key Quieter3C improvements include replacing a Type-A USB port with a Type-C USB port and enabling both video output and power delivery through it. Swapping one of the HDMI ports for a mini DisplayPort might ease connectivity for some users whilst equally hindering others who now need an HDMI adapter. Certainly, as a passively cooled mini PC, the additional internal metal plate to improve thermal dissipation is a welcome incremental improvement.

HighlightsLimitations
Additional Type-C USB functionalityOnly functions at 5 Gbps
Additional mini DisplayPort
Removal of one HDMI port
Additional internal thermal plate
Minor thermal improvement

I’d like to thank MeLE for providing the MeLE Quieter3C for review. It retails at around $270 for the tested configuration of 8GB/128GB on Amazon.

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9 Replies to “MeLE Quieter3C fanless mini PC review with Ubuntu 22.04, Windows 11”

  1. it would be relevant to redo a stress test with a thermal pad of quality >9W/m.k.

    the silicone pads are 1.5W/m.k insulator, it slow down the heat transfer.

    it is a shame to lose the burst up to 2.9Ghz and capped at 60°.

    1. Can you link such a pad? Would it be easy to replace?
      I have no clue what to look for…

      Is there any power/status indicator in between once the device enters standby?

      1. Gelid GP Ultimate
        I recommend those because I use them, and I’m very satisfied with CPUs < 10W.
        but you can use them on mosfet, Nand, Ram…

  2. Just seen “Only functions at 5 Gbps” so it’s just as fast as a USB 3.0 they must just be converting the USB 3.0 to USB-C then.

  3. why are all these mini pcs in single channel memory?

    iv read that this really makes it lose a lot of performance, having a cpu thats
    capable but only soldiered memory means you have a pc that can never be
    fully used to its full performance

    this really has made me put of buying one, also fanlesstech shows theres a new
    “HD” version which takes a 2.5 HDD, yet to see that online though theres no reviews
    or youtube videos for it maybe soon

    anyway, single channel memory why is that anyone know?

  4. “ambient room temperature of 12.7°C” I thought Iceland had geothermal heating….

    I love mechanics-less micro computers as long as they are cheap enough for my dozens of school students. This one is too feature rich and (therefore?) too expensive. 4K? 8GB RAM? Wifi? M.2 yes.

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