GEEKOM Mini IT12 review – Part 2: Windows 11 Pro tested on an Intel Core i7-12650H Alder Lake mini PC

We first checked out the GEEKOM Mini IT12 with an unboxing and teardown of the Intel Core i7-12650H Alder Lake mini PC in the middle of December 2023, and we’ve now had plenty of time to test the mini PC with Windows 11 Pro since the device was out of stock for a while and we were asked to postpone the review…

Now that the mini PC is for sale again, we will report our experience with the Windows 11 Pro operating system in the second part of the review of the Mini IT12. This will include an overview of the software, features testing, various benchmarks including storage and networking performance, 4K and 8K YouTube video streaming, cooling performance, fan noise, and finally, we will provide some power consumption numbers.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Mini PC Review

Software overview and features testing

The System->About menu wrongly shows we have a “Mini Air12” mini PC instead of a “Mini IT12”, but at least it shows a 1.50 GHz Intel Core i7-12650H processor with 32GB of RAM and Windows 11 Pro which we updated to 23H2. Note that the system would be initially stuck to 22H2 after multiple updates, and we could not update it further. We had to install the “windows11.0-kb5027397-x64.msu” file provided on ElevenForum website to force the update to Windows 11 Pro 23H2. It’s the first time we had to do that, so we are not sure what happened here.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Intel Core i7-12650H Windows 11 Pro 23H2
HWiNFO64 provides some more details about the Intel Core i7-12650H processor with 10 cores (6P+4E) and 16 threads (12P+4E), the motherboard, and basic information about the 64EU Intel UHD graphics.
GEEKOM Mini IT12 HWiNFO64
We can turn to GPU-Z instead for additional details about the iGPU.

Intel Core i7-12650H GPU-Z
The PL1 and PL2 power limits are set to 35W and 80W respectively while the Intel Core i7-12650H processor has a TDP of 45W.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Power Limits 1 and 2
HWiNFO64 reports two Lexar 16GB DDR4 SO-DIMMs using SK Hynix chips clocked at 1600 MHz (DDR4-3200) with a total capacity of 32 GB.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 HWiNFO64 Memory
The Windows Task Manager confirms that with 32GB of SO-DIMM RAM clocked at 3,200 MHz.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Task Manager Memory

We can check the available network adapters in Device Manager to find more details about 2.5GbE, WiFi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Device Manager Network adapters
HWInfo64 also has more information showing the GEEKOM Mini IT 12 mini PC is equipped with an Intel I225-V 2.5GbE controller.

Device Manager Intel I225-V 2.5GbE controller
WiFi 6 connectivity is enabled by an Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 module.

HWiNFO64 WiFi 6 AX211

Let’s go back to the Device Manager to check the Bluetooth version.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 BLuetooth Version LPM12
The “LMP12” firmware version looks up to Bluetooth 5.3 and we have successfully tested file transfer from an Android smartphone and audio through a Bluetooth headset.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 bluetooth File to smartphone
All USB ports on the GEEKOM Mini IT12 are properly marked for speed and features, but let’s still test them all to confirm the speed of the USB ports. We will be using an ORICO M234C3-U4 M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure for testing together with HWiNFO64 to check the USB version and speed, and CrystalDiskMark to confirm the speed in a practical manner. We’ll be switching to a Seagate USB HDD to test the USB 2.0 port since the ORICO enclosure is not backward compatible for some unknown reason.

This is the data for the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port front the front (left), and all other USB 3.2 Type-A ports have similar results.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 USB 3.2 Gen 2 port
That means 10 Gbps speed for the USB 3.2 ports as expected… The USB4/Thunderbolt ports are much faster and while we don’t have the hardware to test anything close to 40 Gbps, our SSD could be read at 2191 MB/s, around its maximum potential, and well above 10 Gbps. The screenshot below is the for USB4 ports on the left side of the rear panel.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 USB4 Thunderbolt Speed
The USB 2.0 port also worked fine as shown in the screenshot below.

speed USB 2.0 Port
The results of all 5 USB ports are summarized below (from left to right)

  • Front panel
    • USB-A #1 – USB 3.2 – USB 3.1 SuperSpeedPlus (10 Gbps) – 1,049 MB/s read speed
    • USB-A #2 – USB 3.2 – USB 3.1 SuperSpeedPlus (10 Gbps) – 1,049 MB/s read speed
  • Rear panel
    • USB-C #1 – Thunderbolt – 2,191 MB/s read speed
    • USB-A #1 (top) – USB 3.2 – USB 3.1 SuperSpeedPlus (10 Gbps) – 1,049 MB/s read speed
    • USB-A #2 (bottom) – USB 2.0 – USB 2.0 Hight-Speed (480 Mbps) – 43 MB/s read speed
    • USB-C #2 – Thunderbolt – 2,175 MB/s read speed

We also installed a 2.5-inch SATA drive (Hard drive) and tested it with CrystalDiskMark.

GEEKOM MINI IT12 2.5-inch SATA Drive Test
The performance is roughly as expected although we’re not quite sure why the read speed is faster than the write speed.

The GEEKOM Mini IT12 mini PC can support up to four independent displays thanks to its two HDMI 2.0 ports and two USB4 ports.

GEEKOM Mini IT12: HDMI x2, USB4 x2
So we connected four displays to the mini PC for testing: a VGA monitor connected via an HDMI to VGA adapter, an HDMI TV, a CrowView 14-inch laptop monitor connected via a USB-C port, and a 10.1-inch “RPI All-in-One” touchscreen display connected through a USB-C dock.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 four Displays

No problem here and the four displays were immediately recognized.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 benchmarks with Windows 11 Pro

We set the Power mode to “Best Performance” before running any benchmarks, and the tests were done in a room with an ambient temperature between 26 and 30°C.

Windows 11 Pro Best Performance mode
We started with PCMark 10.
GEEKOM Mini IT12 PCmark 10 benchmark
The GEEKOM Mini IT12 achieved 5,627 points in PCMark 10.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 3DMark benchmark
Next up was 3DMark Fire Strike, where the system got 3,997 points.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 PassMark Rating benchmark
GEEKOM Mini IT12 got 3,521 points in PassMark PerformanceTest 11.  The Disk Mark performance is OK, but not amazing when compared to other mini PCs like the Khadas Mind that got over 42,000 points in the Disk Mark test.

We’ve run CrystalDiskMark to check the SSD performance, and we were pleasantly surprised with the 1TB NVMe SSD delivering a 5,096 MB/s sequential read speed and a 4,403 MB/s sequential write speed. Random I/Os were OK too.

CrystalDIskMark 1TB NVMe SSD
Cinebench R23 was used to evaluate single-core and multi-core performance.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Cinebench R23
GEEKOM Mini IT12 got 5,273 points in the multi-core benchmark and 1,781 points in the single-core benchmark with an MP ratio of 2.96x only on a 10-core/16-thread system. We repeated the test another day since it looked quite low, but the results were about the same. We’ll see how it compares to other mini PCs below. There’s an option in the BIOS to set the fan to Performance Mode.

BIOS Fan Mode Performance

But it did not help much and the score only increased to 5,296 points, or in other words it did not change anything. Since PL1 is set to 35W by default, we changed it to the TDP value (45W) using Intel Extreme Tuning Utility as I did in the GEEKOM Mini IT13 review.

Mini IT12 45W PL1 Cinebench R23

The multi-core CPU score increased to 6,657 points or a 26 percent boost. But that does not seem quite as impressive when we compare it to the GEEKOM AS 6 score (10,847 points) with the mini PC featuring an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor also equipped with 16 threads… Note the rest of the tests below were done with PL1 set to 35W and the fan set to “Normal Mode”.

We’ll start testing the GPU performance with Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 where the Intel Core i7-1650H mini PC achieved 41.7 fps and got a 1,051 score at 1920×1080 resolution.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0

We also tested YouTube 4K and 8K video playback.

YouTube 4Kp30 Chrome Windows11
No issue for 4Kp30 videos with the one we tested not dropping any frame for over 5 minutes.

YouTube 4Kp60 Chrome Windows11
Switching to 4K 60 fps was fine too with the same results.

YouTube 8Kp30 Chrome Windows11
Again video playback was smooth at 8K 30 fps with not a single frame dropped.

YouTube 8Kp60 Chrome Windows11
Finally, 8Kp60 YouTube video streaming was fine too with only 28 frames dropped out of 22,553 for the duration of the test.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 vs other AMD and Intel mini PCs

Ley’s now compare the Windows 11 benchmarks results of the GEEKOM Mini IT12 against other mini PCs with Intel and AMD processors, namely the GEEKOM Mini IT13 (Intel Core i9-13900H Raptor Lake), GEEKOM Mini IT11 (11th Gen Core i7-11390H Tiger Lake), GEEKOM AS 6 (AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX) and Maxtang MTN-FP750 (AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS). All mini PCs were tested at a 26 to 30°C ambient temperature. Let’s have a look at the key specifications of the five devices first.

GEEKOM Mini IT11GEEKOM Mini IT12GEEKOM Mini IT13GEEKOM AS 6Maxtang MTN-FP750
SoCIntel Core i7-11390HIntel Core i7-12650HIntel Core i9-13900HAMD Ryzen 9 6900HXAMD Ryzen 7 7735HS
CPU4-core/8-thread up to 5.0 GHz10-cores/16-thread processor up to 4.70 GHz14-core/20-thread processor up to 5.4 GHz8-core/16-thread up to 4.9 GHz8-core/16-thread @ up to 4.75 GHz (Turbo)
GPU96 EU Intel Iris Xe Graphics up to 1.4 GHz64 EU Intel UHD Graphics up to 1.4 GHz96 EU Intel Iris Xe Graphics up to 1.5 GHzAMD Radeon Graphics 680MAMD Radeon 680M Graphics
Memory32GB DDR4-320032GB DDR4-320032GB DDR4-320032GB DDR5-480032GB DDR5-4800
Storage1TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD2TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD512GB NVMe SSD
Default OSWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 Pro

Benchmark results in Windows 11.

GEEKOM Mini IT11GEEKOM Mini IT12GEEKOM Mini IT13GEEKOM AS 6Maxtang MTN-FP750
PCMark 10486756276681
64086075
- Essentials99831071411938103009261
- Productivity65377052834189338793
- Digital content creation47956401812677627476
3DMark (Fire Strike)37183997538759866506
PerformanceTest 11.03686.335215580.43976.66187
- CPU Mark11209.91853225363.12391521879
- 2D Graphics Mark242.9569547.6372.5760
- 3D Graphics Mark2833.921613728.2
4701.86074
- Memory Mark2956.329393925.92857.92762
- Disk Mark22189.12272138135.524979.121545
Cinebench R23
- Single Core138817811943
15061416
- Multi Core5530527311855
1084710129

The Mini IT12 scores better than the Mini IT11 in all PCMark 10 benchmarks but not overly so. We can see some weakness in the GPU with 3D graphics in Passmark, but somehow not in 3DMark, so the lower number of execution units (64EU vs 96EU) in the Core i7-12650H processor does not always show up in results.  Cinebench R23 shows a significantly better single-core performance, but to be honest, the multi-core score is embarrassing as the 12th gen 10-core/16-thread CPU fails to outperform the 11th gen 4-core/8-thre Core i7-11390H likely due to CPU throttling.

Networking tests (2.5GbE and WiFi 6)

We tested the 2.5GbE port on the Mini IT12 with iperf3 and UP Xtreme i11 mini PC at the other end.

  • Upload

  • Download


All good!

Let’s now test WiFi 6 using the Xiaomi Mi AX6000 router.

  • Upload:

  • Download:


803 Mbps and 830 Mbps are pretty decent upload and download speeds, although some of the other systems we tested reached up to 1.4 Gbps in the same testbed.

Cooling efficiency

We tested cooling on the GEEKOM Mini IT12 with HWiNFO64 and 3Dmark Fire Strike benchmark, and the system reached a fairly high temperature of 102°C, and CPU throttling did occur.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 3DMark CPU Temperature Test
After a reboot, we checked again with the Cinebench R12 multi-core benchmark, and the maximum temperature was a bit lower at 97°C, but CPU throttling still occurred according to HWiNFO64 and this should explain the relatively low score.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Cinebench R23 CPU Temperature Test

Fan noise

The mini PC is pretty quiet when idle and light workloads, but it gets a little noisier under load although the fan is barely audible. We measure the noise level with a sound level meter placed at around 5 cm from the top of the enclosure.

  • Idle and light load –   40 – 45 dBA,
  • 3DMark  (Fire Strike) – 45 – 54 dBA

In a quiet room, the sound level meter reports 38-39 dBA.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 power consumption

We measured power consumption with a wall power meter:

  • Power off – 0.8 Watt
  • Booting –  8 to 24 Watts
  • Idle – 8 – 10 Watts
  • Web browsing – 8 to 21 Watts
  • 3DMark –  13 – 24 Watts (Fire Strike)
  • Video playback – 12 – 24 Watts (Youtube 8K 60 fps in Chrome)

Note: the mini PC was connected to WiFi 6, two USB RF dongles for the USB keyboard and mouse combo, and a VGA monitor through an HDMI to VGA adapter during the measurements.

Conclusion

The GEEKOM Mini IT12 Mini PC with its 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12650H 10-core processor, 32GB RAM, and a fast 1TB M.2 SSD is suitable for a wide range of applications in Windows 11 Pro including YouTube video playback up to 8Kp60, office work, and online learning, although like other mini PCs using an iGPU it won’t be able to run the latest games at high resolution.

Connectivity is also pretty good with 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 both working well, several expansion ports including two USB4 ports, and support for up to four independent 4K displays. Like all other mini PCs from GEEKOM, the Mini IT12 comes with a fan, but it’s very quiet most of the time and only becomes audible under heavy loads, and even then, it’s not overly noisy.

The main downside is that cooling may not be adequate for multi-core workloads and the CPU will quickly throttle under those conditions as shown by the relatively low score in the Cinebench R23 multi-core test. That means users may not get the full performance of the Core i7-12650H processor in the GEEKOM Mini IT12. Power limits are also involved here, and we’ve test changing PL1 to 45W from the default 35W does help increase multi-core performance. We’ll now install Ubuntu 22.04 on the GEEKOM Mini IT12 to find out how Linux performs on the mini PC.

We’d like to thank GEEKOM for sending the Intel Core i7-12650H powered Mini IT12 mini PC for review. The company sells the device for $519 on its online store when using the coupon code cnxsoftware30 to get a $30 discount, as well as on Amazon with the 5% discount coupon code CNXIT125OFF bringing the total to $518.05 before taxes. UK users can also purchase the mini PC on GEEKOM UK with the cnxsoftware30 coupon code to get a 30 GBP rebate.

Continue reading “GEEKOM Mini IT12 Review – Part 3: Ubuntu 22.04 Linux on an Intel Core i7-12650H mini computer“.

CNXSoft: This article is a translation of the original post on CNX Software Thailand by Suthinee Kerdkaew.

Share this:

Support CNX Software! Donate via cryptocurrencies, become a Patron on Patreon, or purchase goods on Amazon or Aliexpress

ROCK 5 ITX RK3588 mini-ITX motherboard
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
The comment form collects your name, email and content to allow us keep track of the comments placed on the website. Please read and accept our website Terms and Privacy Policy to post a comment.
0 Comments
Khadas VIM4 SBC