GEEKOM Mini IT11 (Core i7-11390H) review with Ubuntu 22.04 Linux (Part 3)

We’ve already reviewed GEEKOM Mini IT11 (Core i7-11390H) mini PC with Windows 11 Pro, so in the final part of the review, we’ve switched to Ubuntu 22.04 Linux operating system installed alongside Windows 11 on the Intel Core i7-11390H Tiger Lake mini PC. We’ll go through the software overview and test hardware features, run some benchmarks to evaluate the performance of the system, and report our findings with regard to power consumption and thermal performance.

GEEKOM Mini IT11 (Core i7-11390H) Ubuntu 22.04 review

We’ve resized the partition in Windows 11 in the Disk Management program in order to install Ubuntu 22.04 from a USB flash drive on the Mini IT11 computer, and the installation went smoothly, and surprisingly fast according to the reviewer.

Ubuntu 22.04 system information

Core-i7 11390H mini PC Ubuntu 22.04 system information

The About section in Ubuntu 22.04 Settings shows the Mini IT11 mini PC comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11390H CPU with eight threads clocked at 3.4 GHz and Intel Iris Xe Graphics (TGL GT2), as well as 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage (1TB from the included SSD and 1TB from the SATA drive we added for this review).



We can get more information from the command line, we can see the system comes with a 5GHz Intel Core i7-11390H processor, an Intel AX201 wireless module, and a 1TB Lexar NM6A1 SSD as we’ve shown in the teardown in the first part of the Mini IT11 review.

GEEKOM Mini IT11 benchmarks and features testing in Ubuntu 22.04

Let’s now run some benchmarks starting with the sbc-bench.sh script:


CPU throttling did occur in all benchmarks, but especially in the multi-thread benchmarks with the CPU frequency dropping from 3800 MHz to as low as 2900MHz in cpuminer with the CPU temperature reaching 100°C. Powercaps were already detected, and here’s the output from the command for additional details:


PL1 (long duration) is set to 35W and PL2 (short duration) to 64W.

Let’s now run Geekbench 6 for CPU-specific single-thread and multi-thread benchmarks.

GEEKOM Mini IT11 Geekbench 6

For reference, the single-core score is about the same (1,977 vs 1,992) as the GEEKOM AS 6 mini PC with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX octa-core/16-thread processor, but the multi-core score is much lower (5,729 vs 9,535) as one would expect since we’re compared a quad-core processor with an octa-core processor here.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 Core i7-11390H

The GPU performance with the Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 program with an average of 42.8 fps at a resolution of 1920×1080.

We also tested YouTube videos at 4K (2160p) and 8K (4320p) resolutions in Firefox.

Mini PC Core i7-11390H Youtube 4K

The 4K video was perfectly smooth with no frames dropped out of 10,123.

Intel Core-i7 11390H mini PC Youtube 8K

But the system struggled with the 8K video having dropped 4,271 frames out of 10,079, or over 40% of frames dropped during the 7 minutes we played the video.

We then tested the internal NVMe SSD performance with iozone3:


That’s means read speeds up to 3,170 MB/s and write speeds up to 3,078 MB/s so it’s very similar to the results we got with CrystalDiskMark in Windows 11 Pro with read speeds of 3,349 MB/s and write speeds of 3,157. Excellent performance in both Windows and Linux.

We also tested all three USB 3.2 ports to confirm they could reach 10Gbps using an ORICO “USB4” M.2 NVMe SSD formatted with the EXT-4 file system. Here’s the result for the first port:


The other two ports have very similar results It’s clearly above 5 Gbps, so they are all 10 Gbps ports, but the drive is quite slower than in Windows (1,044 MB/s reads, 946MB/s writes) when tested with CrystalDiskMark.

Let’s now try the two USB Type-C ports.

GEEKOM Mini IT11 USB C Thunderbolt

The Orico SSD enclosure does not show as a USB drive, but as an NVMe drive since it’s connected though Thunderbolt 3 at up to 40Gbps.


The 936MB/s write speed looks OK considering the drive is rated 1,100 MB/s, but the read speed is disappointing with only 877MB/s read speed. For reference, the drive can achieve 2207.59MB/s and 814.74 MB/s R/W speeds with the same exact drive, and it reached a read speed of 1,567 MB/s in Ubuntu 22.04 Linux when using GEEKOM AS 6 with a similar Thunderbolt 3 port at 40 Gbps. The second USB Type-C port on the Mini IT11 mini PC offers the same 40 Gbps Thunderbolt connection with only slightly better performance:


That would be 1,105 MB/s write speed, and 972 MB/s read speed. That’s probably within the range and both ports have the same limitations unless it’s a PCIe configuration issue in Linux, where the read speed is impacted.

Network performance (Ethernet and WiFi 6)

We’ve tested both WiFi and Ethernet performance with  ‘iperf3’, starting with the Gigabit Ethernet port using a UP Xtreme i11 Edge mini PC at the other end.

Download:


Upload:


Full duplex:


The Gigabit Ethernet port works great in Linux, as it did in Windows 11.

Let’s now switch to WiFi 6 when the GEEKOM Mini IT11 mini PC is connected to a Xiaomi AX6000 router.

Upload:


Download:


The performance of WiFi 6 in Linux is amazing, and it’s the first time we get speed over 1 Gbps in our tests. But what’s really strange is that we only reached 679 Mbps (Upload) and 532 Mbps (Download) with the same setup in Windows 11. The first time the reviewer showed me the results, I could not believe it and thought something was wrong, but everything seems fine with the testing procedure. So we went to check the link speed:

WiFi 6 Link Speed 2401 MbpsIf we have a 2401 Mbps link speed, the iperf3 results are more believable…

Stress test and CPU temperature

We also conducted a stress test on the Intel Core i7-11390H 4-core/8-thread processor.

GEEKOM Mini IT11 stress test temperature cpu

The CPU temperature often reaches the 100°C limit and as a result, the CPU will throttle due to overheating. We are testing in a room with an ambient temperature of 28°C, and the problem may not happen at a lower temperature. So the CPU typically slows down to about 3,400-3,500 MHz instead of the stable 3,800 MHz when there’s no throttling, although we can see a temporary drop to 400 MHz in the screenshot above while the stress test is still running. Most users will not notice this issue, but if you plan to use the mini PC for some more demanding tasks, that’s something to keep in mind.

Mini IT11’s power consumption with Ubuntu

The power consumption was measured with a wall meter as follows:

  • Power off – 0.5 Watt
  • Boot up – 23 – 30 Watts
  • Idle – 12 – 13 Watts
  • Video playback – 16 – 19 Watts (Youtube in Firefox @ 8K60fps)
  • Stress test on 8 threads – 37 – 50 Watts
  • CPU Miner (part of sbc-bench.sh) – 25 – 43 Watts

Conclusion

Overall, we can be satisfied with the GEEKOM Mini IT11 (Core i7-11390H) mini PC with Ubuntu 22.04 Linux since the system performs well with plenty of RAM (32GB), fast NVMe storage, and room for expansion with three USB 3.2 ports and two USB4/Thunderbolt ports. We were especially happy with the networking performance with the Gigabit Ethernet port working well (too bad it’s not 2.5GbE) and WiFi 6 reaching well over 1 Gbps in our test environment for the first time ever.

There are some caveats, however. We’ve noticed the read speed of our NVMe SSD enclosure was slower than expected when connected to the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, although not quite catastrophic at around 900MB/s, instead of a ~1,500MB/s expected for this drive. The MINI IT11 mini PC also throttles under continuous heavy loads with performance reduced by around 10% at least in a room at 28°C, but I don’t expect most users to notice. YouTube 4K videos are playing fine with no dropped frames during our review, but the system is struggling with 8K resolution videos with plenty of dropped frames. The mini PC is actively cooled, and while it’s barely audible during normal operation, the fan is somewhat noisy under load, but nothing too bad, and I can’t hear anything at around 3-4 meters away.

We’d like the thank GEEKOM for sending us the Mini IT11 (Core i7-11390H) mini PC for review with 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. The model reviewed here sells for $599.00, but you may consider getting the 32GB/2TB model instead since GEEKOM has a promotion for $599 on their own site when using coupon summer50IT11 valid until September 10, and on Amazon with the discount code 37PDS4WZ valid until August 10.

This review is a translation – with some further insights – of the original review initially published on CNX Software Thailand by Suthinee Kerdkaew

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2 Comments
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Anonymous
Anonymous
4 months ago

But the system struggled with the 8K video having dropped 4,271 frames out of 10,079, or over 40% of frames dropped during the 7 minutes we played the video.

I think Tiger Lake should support 10-bit 8K60 AV1 playback. I wonder how stuff like this happens. Not that it’s a big deal for most people.

Khadas VIM4 SBC