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

We first checked out the hardware of GEEKOM Mini IT12 with an unboxing and teardown, before testing the Intel Core i7-12650H mini PC with Windows 11 Pro in the second part of the review, and we’ve now had time to test the device with Ubuntu 22.04 to see how well (or not) it works with a Linux distribution.

In the third part of the review, we will report our experience with installing Ubuntu 22.04 on the GEEKOM Mini IT12, checking all main features, and benchmarking the system to evaluate its performance. This includes some networking and storage performance tests, a stress test to check CPU temperature and cooling performance, and the measurement of the fan noise and power consumption.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 mini PC Review Ubuntu 22.04 Linux

Ubuntu 22.04 installation on GEEKOM Mini IT12

Since we wanted to install Ubuntu 22.04 alongside Windows 11 Pro, we shrunk the Windows 11 partition by about half in the Disk Management program before inserting a USB drive with the Ubuntu 22.04.3 ISO to install the Linux distribution.

Disk Management partition Dual boot Windows 11 Ubuntu 22.04

The installation went smoothly, but remember you have to go to the BIOS settings to change the “BBS Priorities” to boot Ubuntu (and get the Grub menu) like we did with the GEEKOM Mini IT13 or the system will keep booting to Windows 11 Pro.

Ubuntu 22.04 system information

We can confirm the system information by going to Settings->About in Ubuntu 22.04.3 64-bit where we see GEEKOM Mini IT12 comes with 32GB RAM, a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12650H 16-thread processor, and 2TB of storage (the included 1TB M.2 SSD and our own 1TB SATA hard drive).

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Ubuntu 22.04 system information

Let’s also get more details from the command line:


and using inxi utility:


Everything looks to be detected properly including the Intel Core i7-12650H 10-core (6-mt/4-st) processor clocked at up to 3,500, 4,600, or 4700 MHz (depending on the cluster), the 1TB Lexar NM7A1 SSD (953.87 GB), the Toshiba HDWL110 we added, the Intel WiFi CNVi module, 2.5GbE using an I225-V controller, and so on. The CPU temperature is shown to be 27.8 C, but that’s a dummy value that can be safely ignored…

Ubuntu 22.04 Benchmarks on GEEKOM Mini IT12

Let’s start benchmarking GEEKOM Mini IT12 Core i7-12650H with Ubuntu 22.04 with Thomas Kaiser’s script:


Before getting into the benchmark results, sbc-bench provides more details about the CPU frequencies with two P-cores (four threads) clocked at 4,700 MHz and four P-cores (six threads) clocked at 4,700 MHz. The 7-zip benchmarks show an average of 35,730 MIPS, but the three runs reveal a burst of performance at the beginning with the first run getting 41,360 MIPS, and before stabilizing at 32912 and 32932 MIPS for the two subsequent runs that better represent performance under loads for longer periods.

Let’s check the power limits:


PL1 is set to 35W and PL2 to 80W like in Windows, but the CPU has a 45W TDP, and you may consider increasing PL1 to 45W for better multi-core performance. We’ll keep doing the review with the default settings since that’s what most users will use.

We then tested the CPU performance with Geekbench 6.2.2.

Intel Core i7-12650H Geekbench 6.2.2 Linux

The Intel Core i7-12650H got 2575 points in the single-core test and 9,874 points in the multi-core one. Since we had disappointing results in the Cinebench R23 multi-core test in Windows, we repeated GeekBench 6.2.2 in Windows and the results are similar: 2,374 and 9,540 points at 35W (PL1), so only slightly lower. That’s within the range of the tests for the Mini IT12 by others, but some other systems based on Core i7-12650H can get a little over 12,000 points.

Let’s switch to GPU testing with Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 to evaluate 3D graphics performance.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 GPU Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0

The Mini IT12 achieved 39.8 fps on average and got a score of 1,002 points at 1920×1080 resolution.

Next up is YouTube video streaming at 4K and 8K resolution in the Firefox web browser.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 4K p30 Youtube Firefox

Zero frames dropped while playing at 4Kp30 for a little over 5 minutes.

Intel Core i7-12650H 4K p60 Ubuntu 22.04

4Kp60 video playback was equally smoothly and only 12 frames were dropped out of 34,378 during a 9+ minutes test.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 8K p30 Youtube Firefox Linux

Switching to 8K resolution and 30 fps was no problem with zero frames dropped when playing a video for a little over 6 minutes.

Intel Core i7-12650H 8K 60fps Ubuntu 22.04

Again, no issue with 8Kp60, as we played the video for close to 10 minutes, and just 6 frames were dropped out of 35,017.

Speedometer 2.0 was used with the latest version of Firefox to test web browsing performance.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 speedometer

The average score was 302 runs per minute, but looking at the details, the results are a little surprising as I would have expected a higher score for the first iteration as we had seen with 7-zip. But none of that happened possibly because web browsing relies on single-core performance more than anything else.

speedometer detail Core i7-12650H

Ubuntu 22.04 benchmarks comparison – GEEKOM Mini IT12 against other mini PCs

Let’s now compare the Ubuntu 22.04 benchmark results of the GEEKOM IT12 against other mini PCs, namely GEEKOM Mini IT11 (Intel Core i7-11390H), GEEKOM Mini IT13 (Intel Core i9-13900H), GEEKOM AS 6 (AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX) and Khadas Mind Premium (Intel Core i7-1360P). All mini computers were tested at a room temperature of about 28 to 30°C.

But before looking at the benchmark results, let’s check out the main features of the five mini PCs part of the comparison.

GEEKOM Mini IT11GEEKOM Mini IT12GEEKOM Mini IT13GEEKOM AS 6Khadas Mind Premium
SoCIntel Core i7-11390HIntel Core i7-12650HIntel Core i9-13900HAMD Ryzen 9 6900HXIntel Core i7-1360P
CPU4-core/8-thread up to 5.0 GHz10-core/16-thread up to 4.70 GHz14-core/20-thread up to 5.4 GHz8-core/16-thread up to 4.9 GHz12-core/16-core up to 5.0 GHz
GPU96 EU Intel Iris Xe Graphics64 EU Intel UHD Graphics96 EU Intel Iris Xe GraphicsAMD Radeon Graphics 680M96 EU Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory32GB DDR4-320032GB DDR4-320032GB DDR4-320032GB DDR5-480032GB LPDDR5-5200
Storage1TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD2TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD
Default OSWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 Home

Benchmark results in Ubuntu 22.04.

GEEKOM Mini IT11GEEKOM Mini IT12GEEKOM Mini IT13GEEKOM AS 6Khadas Mind Premium
sbc-bench.sh
- memcpy19,734 MB/s24,180.5 MB/s24,014.4 MB/s (P-core)19,131.7 MB/s25,389.5 MB/s (P-core)
- memset45,636.7 MB/s27,539.6 MB/s26,647.9 MB/s (P-Core)16,781.4 MB/s24,731.8MB/s (P-core)
- 7-zip (average)25,16735,73056,54054,59244,430
- 7-zip (top result)25,40141,36060,98156,25150,396
- OpenSSL AES-256 16K1,707,917.31k1,630,005.93k (P-Core)1,844,401.49k (P-Core)1,249,203.54k1,771,334.31k (P-Core)
Geekbench 6 Single1,9772,5752,7451,9922,093
Geekbench 6 Multi5,7299,87411,9749,5358,891
Unigine Heaven score1,0791,0021,3331,5531,349
Speedometer (Firefox)-302273202242

Memory bandwidth and single-core performance look pretty good in Ubuntu as highlighted by Geekbench 6 and Speedometer results, although the latter may also be partially due to improvements to Firefox since web browsers are continuously optimized to deliver performance.

As in Windows, relative weakness can be found in the GPU (with its 64EU only) and multi-core performance, although GeekBench 6 multi-core benchmark actually looks OK contrary to what we had seen with Cinebench R23 in Windows. 7-zip results are quite higher than with the quad-core MINI IT11, but fairly lower than the other systems in the comparison table.

Storage performance (NVMe SSD and SATA)

Let’s check out the internal NVMe SSD performance with iozone3:


The sequential R/W performance is excellent with 4,536 MB/s and 4,117 MB/s speeds respectively, although a bit lower than in Windows, where the storage device achieved 5,096 MB/s and 4,403 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark.

We installed a 2.5-inch SATA HDD and tested it with iozone3:


That’s a read speed of 129 MB/s and a write speed of 127 MB/s, as expected for this drive.

USB ports tests

We will then be testing the speed of the USB ports with ORICO M234C3-U4 M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure together with lsusb (or boltctl) and iozone3 command line utilities. A Seagate USB HDD will be used for the USB 2.0 port since the ORICO enclosure is not backward compatible for some reason.

Here’s the front left USB port for reference (10 Gbps):


as well as the left USB-C port:


Summary of the results for the six USB ports (from left to right)

  • Front panel
    • USB-A #1 – 10 Gbps – 830 MB/s read speed, 925 MB/s write speed
    • USB-A #2 – 10 Gbps – 834 MB/s read speed, 933 MB/s write speed
  • Rear panel
    • USB-C #1 – Thunderbolt 3 – 2544 MB/s read speed, 2262 MB/s write speed
    • USB-A #1 (top) – 10 Gbps  – 825 MB/s read speed, 934 MB/s write speed
    • USB-A #2 (bottom) – 480 Mbps – 41 MB/s read speed, 29 MB/s write speed
    • USB-C #2 – Thunderbolt 3 – 2,507 MB/s read speed, 2,148 MB/s write speed

Networking test (2.5GbE and WiFi 6)

Let’s now test networking with iperf3 starting with the 2.5GbE port using UP Xtreme i11 mini PC at the other end.

  • Download:

  • Upload:

  • Full-duplex (bidirectional):


Close to perfect and no issue at all with performance, but there are some retransmissions.

Next up let’s test WiFi 6 (5 GHz) through the Xiaomi Mi AX6000 router and still connected to the 2.5GbE port of the UP Xtreme i11 Edge mini PC.

  • Download

  • Upload


GEEKOM Mini IT12 is the best mini PC we’ve reviewed so far when it comes with WIFi 6 performance with 1.40 Gbps download and 1.65 Gbps upload speed. The performance in Windows 11 (803 Mbps and 830Mbps) was already pretty good, but as usual, Linux is faster.  For reference, the Khadas Mind Premium is now the second fastest mini PC (for WiFi 6) with 991 Mbps DL and 1.41 Gbps UL in our testbed.

But we had a weird issue the first time we connected the ORICO enclosure to one of the front USB-A ports. Internet was very slow over WiFi, and removing the SSD enclosure fixed the issue. We checked CPU usage and it was very low at the time. But later, when we tried to reproduce the issue again to investigate further, there was no problem with using WiFi and the ORICO enclosure at the same time. So what happened here remains a mystery…

Stress test and CPU temperature

We then ran a stress test on all 16 threads of the Intel Core i7-12650H while measuring the package temperature with Psensor and the CPU frequency with sbc-bench.sh script.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 Ubuntu Stress Test CPU Temperature

The temperature chart is similar to the one for the GEEKOM Mini IT13 with a sharp increase to a high temperature (while PL2 is enabled) and a drop to a more sustainable CPU/package temperature, in this case, about 81-82°C. Over the long run, the P-cores are clocked at 2,600 MHz and the E-cores at 2,400/2,500 MHz. That’s with PL1 set to 35W (default).

Fan noise

The mini PC has a very quiet fan in normal use and it becomes audible under load, but nothing annoying. We measured the fan noise with a sound level meter placed approximately 5 cm from the top case:

  • Idle and web surfing – 39.0 – 41.6 dBA
  • Stress test (on 16 threads) –  47 – 56.7 dBA

The sound level meter measures 37 – 38 dBA in a quiet room.

GEEKOM Mini IT12 power consumption

We measured power consumption with a wall power meter:

  • Turn off – 1.5 Watts
  • Idle – 7.8 – 9.4 Watts
  • Video playback – 18.5 – 26.3 Watts (Youtube 8K 60 fps in Firefox)
  • CPU stress test (stress -c 16)
    • First 30 seconds – 60.0 to 62.3 Watts
    • After 30 seconds – 50.1 to 53.0 Watts

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 works well in Ubuntu 22.04 Linux and we were especially impressed by 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 performance it’s the best mini PC we’ve tested so far in that regard. The 1TB NVMe delivers very good performance, 8K and 4K YouTube videos played flawlessly, the system is great for web browsing (it got the highest score in Speedometer), and it comes with six USB ports, including two USB4 ports, that could prove useful for people wanting to connect many peripherals.

The downsides are that the Core i7-12650H processor comes with 64EU graphics delivering lower GPU performance than competition products in the same price range and multi-core performance could be improved upon. We also had an odd bug where WiFi 6 was very slow after connecting storage to the USB-A ports from the front panel, but it happened to us only once and was not reproducible the next day. There’s some fan noise as well, but it’s not too bad even under heavy workloads.

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.

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

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3 Comments
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itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
3 months ago

I heard usb3 makes noise on 2.4GHz maybe that could be the reason?

I’m right now looking for a mini pc but here locally nothing much seems available besides nuc barebones and some brix.

Mostly lower end j and n intel stuff and one Ryzen 4300u

Still wondering how can one understand what one gets when reading some intel CPU type designation.

Any hints what would be good as a better rpi replacement? I have no real use case, just running tests as mini server and media pc before deciding what to deploy.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
3 months ago

Ok if its 5ghz then hmmmmm… Strange…

Lets book it as a glitch if it won’t happen again.

Thanks. I went now for a brixH with 4300u. Its pricewise ok, as i found ram and ssd in my parts box 🙂
Lets see what it will be like once it arrives.

Khadas VIM4 SBC