Chatreey AM08 Pro review – Part 3: Ubuntu 22.04 and ESXi 7.0 on an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS mini PC

In the first article, I checked out the hardware of the Chatreey AM08 Pro mini PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU and tested it with Windows 11 Pro in the second part of the review. Now it’s time for the third part where I’ll test Ubuntu 22.04.03 Desktop OS and ESXi 7.0 update 3C hypervisor on the AM8 Pro mini PC. The installation process was simple enough and both WiFi and Ethernet were detected correctly.

Contents

  1. Ubuntu 22.04
    1. System information with AM08 Pro
    2. Performance of AM08 Pro 7940HS
      1. sbc-bench.sh
      2. Geekbench 
      3. iozone3 
      4. FIO 
    3. Network performance (2.5GbE and WiFi 6) of AM08 Pro 7940HS
      1. 2.5 GbE
      2. WiFi 6E 
    4. Stress test and CPU temperature of AM08 Pro 7940HS
    5. Power consumption of AM08 Pro 7940HS
    6. Jellyfin on Ubuntu 22.04.03 (server)
  2. ESXi 7.0
    1. Installation
    2. The stability
  3. Conclusion

1. Ubuntu 22.04

1.1. Ubuntu System information with AM08 Pro

The system information in Ubuntu 22.04.03 shows the AM8 Pro features an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS system, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.

Ubuntu 22.04.03 About AM08Pro
Ubuntu 22.04.03 – About AM08 Pro

1.2.Performance of AM08 Pro 7940HS

1.2.1 sbc-bench.sh


Full log available here. The CPU was under 90°C all the time while testing

The short version:

1.2.2 Geekbench 6.1.0

CPU performance was tested with Geekbench 6.1.0 with the results being 2,723 points for the single-core score, and 12,108 points for the multi-core score. Geekbench is not the best way to compare two systems, but that’s one of the possible ways to test it.

geekbench

1.2.3 iozone3

We already know from the Windows 11 review that the thermal design allows the NVMe SSD to operate at full speed for quite a bit of time, without overheating even with just a single heatsink. So here are the results with the side closed and the same heatsink as used in the second part of the review:

1.2.4 FIO


Fio full logs

1.3. Network performance (2.5GbE and WiFi 6) of AM08 Pro 7940HS

1.3.1 2.5GbE

Send:


Receive:

1.3.2 WiFi 6E

Send (single stream results in 276 Mbits/s):


Receive:

1.4. Stress test and CPU temperature of AM08 Pro 7940HS

The stress test was done by using the stress package and s-tui for monitoring. The results are shown below

Temperature under stress
Temperature under stress

The fans at max speed were able to stabilize the temperature to under 88°C, and the sound level peaked at about 47dB, but after the power limit 1 was reached (i.e. short burst of 45W) the fan slowed down and I measured 40-42dB.

1.5 Power consumption of AM08 Pro 7940HS in Ubuntu 22.04

I measured the power consumption with a watt meter as follows:

  • Power Off – 1 Watt
  • Booting – 45-62 Watts
  • Idle performance mode – 10.5 Watts
  • Idle balanced mode – 10.2 Watts
  • Idle silent mode – 9.7 Watts
  • CPU stressed – 112 Watts (‘stress’)
  • Video playback – 128 Watts (Firefox 4k @ 60fps video)

1.6 Jellyfin on Ubuntu 22.04.03 (server)

Why Jellyfin and not Plex? The answer is simple, you can’t use hardware transcoding unless you pay for it 🙂

First of all – for this, I’m using the server version, but the desktop will do just fine.

Second – You need to install amdgpu drivers from the official website and run the amdgpu-install command:


After a reboot, if everything is good you will see this:


The scanning of my 1.73TB anime folder took around 8 minutes. In the meantime, you need to enable hardware encoding in settings (Playback –> Hardware Acceleration –> VAAI) and do a bit of additional setup. That’s it.

x264 8-bit:video encoding

Power consumption:

Power consumption of AM08pro in silence mode with hardware encoding x264
Power consumption of AM08 Pro in silence mode with x264 hardware encoding

x265 10-bit:

video encoding x265
video encoding x265 with hardware acceleration

Power consumption:

Power consumption of AM08pro in silence mode with hardware encoding
Power consumption of AM08 Pro in silence mode with x265 hardware encoding

2. ESXi 7.0u3

I then tested the Chatreey AM08 Pro mini PC with an ESXi U3 zip image downloaded a few months ago as a free version with a 60 grace period.

2.1. Installation

As could be expected the 2.5GbE ethernet is not really in the ESXi HCL list, but there is a Fling that allows the use USB based network with ESXi 7.0+

The installation got stuck for like 3 minutes on


but after 3 minutes, the installation process started as expected until 81%, at which point an error occured:

Untitled 1


That’s actually logical since the installer searches for a vmnic adapter, but I have a vmusb one. After a quick Google search, the solution is to reboot and set it up manually (basically “Restore Network Settings” will do everything on its own), which is not that hard (remember the password is not applied). The parameter


also allows us to avoid editing the “local.sh” file.

ESXi 7.0 installed

ESXi 7.0 network switch

We now have a working ESXi 7.0 instance on an AMD-based mini PC. The main ‘problem’ with AMD-based mini PCs is that they are using Realtek chips and it’s a no-no for VMware, while Intel machines are just using I225 controllers, which is actually E1000 included in ESXi since version 7.0U3f.

2.2. The stability

Now for stability testing. Over the past week, I used the AM08 Pro as a host for a few VMs and there weren’t any PSOD or stability issues with it.

am08 pro

I have used Postgresql in a Ubuntu 22.04.03 VM with PostgreSQL and MySQL configured as HA slave for Zabbix (also there were cronjobs for pgbench every 2 hours) and a Windows 10 VM playing Youtube videos.

AM08 power consumption
ESXi power consumption

The pgbench command used:

3. Conclusion

In terms of CPU performance, the Chatreey AM08 Pro mini PC works great in Ubuntu 22.04. For gaming, even without an external GPU, that will do too unless you expect something like UHD @ 60fps with the last-gen games. The power consumption is not that bad, at least for virtualization and Linux, but Windows can draw quite a lot of power.

The main caveat for me is the NOISE up to 50dB (not dBA) is terrible, for reference 50 dB corresponds to the noise generator by a refrigerator or moderate rain. It’s quite annoying if you usually live in a 20-25 dB room, but that’s only when performance mode is enabled, and it’s not like you need it 24/7, right?

Powering the mini PC with a power bank that supports 100W output (like 25,000 mAh ZMI Powerpack No. 20) is possible but there are a few caveats. You will need a high-quality USB PD plug adapter that will not die from 100W output, since even in silence mode it may draw more power. Some random USB PD plug adapter from Aliexpress may only manage around ~65W so the system would shut down during the Windows boot.

My personal opinion, considering that I usually stay in one place and already have a full-fledged PC, is that I’m unsure how to put this mini PC to good use. It’s too powerful for work, so-so for games, and for virtualization, it’s loud and relatively costly (~500$) for something so simple. But if you need something more powerful than a notebook, yet lightweight and portable the AM8 Pro might be a good choice. It also works fine for games that were released over four years ago. Finally, it might also be a good choice for media servers – for instance running Jellyfin – since the Radeon iGPU of the Ryzen 9 7940HS is supported.

The Chatreey AM08 Pro mini PC sells for  around $600 on Aliexpress for the barebone model with free shipping.

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6 Comments
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m][sko
5 months ago

Plz fix x264 8-bit to H264 8-bit
x264 is name of video encoder (software)
H264 or AVC is name of video codec format

same
replace x265 with h265
H265 or HEVC is name of video codec format
x265 is name of video encoder (software)

fix it in Jellyfis testing section

Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Admin

When we look at the screenshots, it looks like H.264/H.265 encoding was done with x264 and x265 software, so I don’t see it as a mistake.

m][sko
5 months ago

I read “In the meantime, you need to enable hardware encoding in settings (Playback –> Hardware Acceleration –> VAAI)
So I hoped that hw encoding actually works 🙂

maurer
maurer
5 months ago

“media servers – for instance running Jellyfish” – that is jellyfin not fish 🙂

Khadas VIM4 SBC