GEEKOM XT12 Pro review – Part 3: Ubuntu 24.04 on an Intel Core i9-12900H mini PC

We’ve already looked at GEEKOM XT12 Pro specifications and hardware design in the first part of the review and followed up by reviewing the Intel Core i9-12900 mini PC with Windows 11 Pro in the second part. We’ve now had time to review the GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC with the just-released Ubuntu 24.04 operating system to evaluate the compatibility and performance in Linux.

In this third and final part of the review, we’ll test features in detail, evaluate performance with benchmarks, test storage and network capabilities, check YouTube video playback at 4K and 8K resolution, perform a stress test to check the cooling solution and provide numbers for fan noise and power consumption of the GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu 24.04 review

Ubuntu 24.04 installation and system information

We’ve resized the Windows 11 by half in order to install Ubuntu 24.04 in dual boot configuration. After that, we inserted a USB drive with the latest version of Ubuntu, and the installation of the Linux distribution went smoothly with no particular issues. The installation procedure has changed slightly, for instance, we have to select between “interactive installation” or “automated installation”, and it’s still mostly straightforward.

Ubuntu 24.04 about GEEKOM XT12 Pro

We can get a few more details by running a few command in the Linux terminal:


Ubuntu 24.04 uses Linux 6.8 as expected and our system comes with 32GB RAM.

We can get additional details with the inxi program:


The utility shows the GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC features a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor with 14-core (6-mt/8-st) up to 5,000/3,800 MHz and 20 threads, an Intel Alder Lake-P GT2 graphics [Iris Xe Graphics], and 1TB Lexar NM7A1 SSD, The CPU temperature is 52°C at idle. The MediaTek MT7922 wireless module with 802.11ax (WiFi 6) and USB Bluetooth is detected, but we’ll note that there’s no MAC address for the Bluetooth device and it is down. More on that later…

GEEKOM XT12 Pro benchmarks on Ubuntu 24.04

Let’s start with Thomas Kaiser’s sbc-bench.sh script:


The maximum temperature (100.0°C) is reached during 7-zip single and multi-core test, at which point the CPU frequency drops as low as 400 MHz. The CPU temperature hovers around 89.0°C during the multi-core cpuminer test. That’s due to modern CPU designs that enable a burst of performance for a short time. This is also confirmed by the 7-zip test where the first run (43783 MIPS)  is faster than the subsequent ones (38345 and 38431 MIPS). The utility also complains that the Lexar NM7A1 SSD’s temperature is too high at 67°C.

We can check the power limit as recommended by the script using powercap-info:


PL1 is set to 45W and PL2 to 80W with the Intel Core i9-12900H TDP advertised as 45W. We had 35W and 80W in Windows 11.

We can further test the CPU with Geekbench 6.3.0.

Intel Core i9-12900H CPU Geekbench 6.3.0

The single-core score was 2,575 points and the multi-core one was 10,447 points. You’ll find the full results on Geekbench website.

We’ll start testing GPU performance in Linux with the Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 program where the GEEKOM XT12 Pro managed to render the scene at an average of 51.3 FPS and got a score of 1,293 points at the standard 1920×1080 resolution.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0

We then test 4K and 8K YouTube video playback in Chrome.

youtube 4k p30 GEEKOM XT12 Pro Chrome

No issue at 4K 30 FPS with no frames dropped at all while watching the video for over 7 minutes.

youtube 8k p30 GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu 24.04 Chrome

8K 30 FPS was good too with only 9 frames dropped out of 13786.

youtube 4k p60 GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu 24.04 Chrome

4K 60 FPS is a bit more challenging, but still perfectly watchable with 4k p60 with 329 dropped frames out of 25691.

youtube 8K 60 FPS GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu 24.04 Chrome

8K 60 FPS is another story with the system struggling, and the video is not watchable with 7,993 frames dropped out of 22,149, or a 36% drop rate…

We had no such issue in Windows 11 Pro with the GEEKOM XT12 Pro playing YouTube videos up to 2160p60 without any issues.

We evaluated web browsing performance in the latest version of Firefox using Speedometer 2.0.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro speedometer 2.0

The score was 298 runs per minute, one of the best so far, but looking at the details for 10 iterations, there were some variations with the score ranging from 274.5 to 311.3 runs per minute.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro speedometer 2.0 detail

GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu benchmarks comparison against other mini PCs

Let’s compare Ubuntu 24.04 benchmark results for the Intel Core i9-12900H-powered GEEKOM XT12 Pro against other systems (running Ubuntu 22.04) such as GEEKOM Mini IT12 (Intel Core i7-12650H), GEEKOM Mini IT13 (Intel Core i9-13900H), GEEKOM A7 (AMD Ryzen 9 7840HS), and the Khadas Mind Premium (Intel Core i7-1360P).

But first, let’s list the key specifications of the five systems.

GEEKOM XT12 ProGEEKOM Mini IT12GEEKOM Mini IT13GEEKOM A7Khadas Mind Premium
SoCIntel Core i9-12900HIntel Core i7-12650HIntel Core i9-13900HAMD Ryzen 9 7840HSIntel Core i7-1360P
CPU14-core/20-thread (6P+8E) processor up to 5.00 GHz (P-cores) and 3.80 GHz (E-Cores)10-core/16-thread (6P+4E) processor up to 4.70 GHz (P-cores) and 3.5 GHz (E-cores)14-core/20-thread (6P+8E) processor up to 5.4 GHz (P-Cores) and 4.1 GHz (E-Cores)8-core/16-thread processor up to 4.0GHz12-core/16-core (4P+8E) processor up to 5.0 GHz (P-Cores) and 3.7 GHz (E-Cores)
GPU96EU Intel Iris Xe Graphics64 EU Intel UHD Graphics 96 EU Intel Iris Xe GraphicsAMD Radeon 780M Graphics96 EU Intel Iris Xe Graphics
System Memory32GB DDR4-320032GB DDR4-320032GB DDR4-320032GB DDR5-560032GB LPDDR5-5200
Storage1TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD2TB NVMe SSD2TB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD
Default OSWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 ProWindows 11 Home

And now for the benchmark results.

GEEKOM XT12 ProGEEKOM Mini IT12GEEKOM Mini IT13GEEKOM A7Khadas Mind Premium
sbc-bench.sh
- memcpy22,375.8MB/s (P-core)24,180.5 MB/s24,014.4 MB/s (P-core)20,406.025,389.5 MB/s (P-core)
- memset27,398.0MB/s (P-core)27,539.6 MB/s26,647.9 MB/s (P-Core)62,491.724,731.8MB/s (P-core)
- 7-zip (average)40,19035,73056,54071,11044,430
- 7-zip (top result)43,78341,36060,98172,49650,396
- OpenSSL AES-256 16K1,661,583.36k (P-Core)1,630,005.93k (P-Core)1,844,401.49k (P-Core)1428559.19k1,771,334.31k (P-Core)
Geekbench 6 Single2,575
2,5752,7452,5352,093
Geekbench 6 Multi10,4479,87411,97412,9148,891
Unigine Heaven score1,2931,0021,3332,0321,349
Speedometer (Firefox)298302273249242

The GEEKOM XT12 Pro delivers slightly better performance than the GEEKOM Mini IT12 in most tests, including 3D graphics, but not overly so despite featuring a 14-core Intel Core i9 processor. The performance is not that different from the Khadas Mind Premium either with a 13th Gen Core i7-1360p CPU, but the GEEKOM Mini IT13 (Intel Core i9-13900H) and especially the GEEKOM A7 (AMD Ryzen 9 7840HS) are a step ahead from it comes to performance. But somehow both the Mini IT12 and XT12 Pro outperform their peers in Speedometer 2.0 web browser test.

Storage and USB performance tests

We tested the 1TB NVMe SSD performance with iozone3:


That’s pretty good with about 4,315 MB/s sequential read speed and 4,323 MB/s sequential write speed. By comparison, CrystalDiskMark utility in Windows reported 5,096 MB/s and 4,438 MB/s respectively for similar tests.

We don’t have a spare M.2 2242 SATA SSD, so we did not test the M.2 SATA socket in the GEEKOM XT12 Pro.

We’ll now test the USB4, USB 3.2, and USB 2.0 ports on GEEKOM XT12 Pro using an ORICO M234C3-U4 M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure for USB 3.x/4 ports and a USB 3.0 hard drive for the USB 2.0 port, as well as the iozone3 and lsusb or boltclt to confirm the transfer speed.

Here’s an example with the left USB 3.2 Type-A on the front panel:


USB4 testing relies on boltctl. Here’s the output for the left USB4 port on the rear panel:


Finally, the results for the single USB 2.0 port:


Here’s a summary of the results of all 6 ports (from left to right)

  • Front panel
    • USB-A #1 – USB 3.2 – 10 Gbps – Read speed: 870  MB/s; write speed: 963 MB/s
    • USB-A #2 – USB 3.2 – 10 Gbps – Read speed: 759 MB/s; Write speed:  727 MB/s
  • Rear panel
    • USB-C #1 – 40 Gbps Thunderbolt – Read speed: 2527 MB/s; write speed: 2209 MB/s
    • USB-C #2 – 40 Gbps Thunderbolt – Read speed: 2513 MB/s; write speed: 2262 MB/s
    • USB-A #1 – USB 3.2 – 10 Gbps – Read speed: 864 MB/s; write speed: 969 MB/s
    • USB-A #2  – USB 2.0 – 480 Mbps – Read speed: 41 MB/s; write speed: 42 MB/s

Everything works as expected.

Networking performance (2.5GbE and WiFi 6)

We’ll use iperf3 to test both 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 networking starting with 2.5GbE using an UP Xtreme i11 Edge mini PC running Ubuntu 22.04 on the other side.

  • Download

  • Upload

  • Full-duplex (Bidrectional)


No issue whatsoever.

Let’s add a Xiaomi Mi AX6000 router to the mix to test WiFi 6 (5 GHz):

  • Download:

  • Upload:


WiFi 6 has download speeds of 880 Mbps and upload speeds of 788 Mbps. For reference, iperf 3.16 (the version is important) reported 924 Mbps and 815 Mbps in Windows 11.

When we wanted to test Bluetooth 5.2 supported by the MediaTek MT7922, we noticed to could not be enabled.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro bluetooth fail

Looking at the kernel we can see the same error as in the GEEKOM A7 fitted with the same MediaTek MT7922 module.


We did not manage to find a solution, so if you need Bluetooth in Linux, devices with a MediaTek MT7922 should be avoided until a solution is found. In a general sense, Intel wireless modules usually work fine in Linux, but MediaTek ones may be hit or miss. For example, I have a laptop with an MT7902 wireless module and there aren’t any Linux drivers for it, so I’m using a 2.5GbE USB dongle or USB tethering to my phone when Ethernet is not available…

Checking thermal performance with a stress test

We ran a stress test on all 20 threads of the Intel Core i9-12900H processor and monitored the package temperature and CPU frequency with psensor and sbc-bench.sh to check for CPU throttling.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu Stress test psensor

The Psensor chart shows the package temperature jumps quickly to 97°C in the first 30 seconds before stabilizing to around 89-91°C in the long run. The P-cores max out at around 3,100 MHz, before dropping to around 2,600 MHz, and E-cores started at 2,400 MHz before running at 2,200 MHz.

Fan noise

GEEKOM XT12 Pro’s fan is barely audible at idle or under light loads but becomes noisier under heavier loads. As usual, we measured the fan noise with a sound level meter placed at around 5 centimeters from the top of the enclosure:

  • Idle – 37.8 – 41.3 dBA
  • Stress test on all 20 threads – 49.5 – 54.7 dBA

For reference, the meter measures around 37 to 38 dBA in a quiet room.

GEEKOM XT12 Pro power consumption on Ubuntu 24.04

We measured the power consumption with a wall power meter:

  • Power off – 1.4 Watts
  • Idle – 6.1 – 7.2 Watts
  • Video playback – 56.3 – 63.3 Watts (Youtube 8K 60fps in Firefox)
  • CPU stress test (stress -c 20)
    • First couple of seconds – 68.0 – 70.9 Watts
    • Longer run – 51.1 – 51.9 Watts

During the measurements, the mini PC was connected to WiFi 6, a USB RF dongle was used for a wireless mouse and keyboard combo, and a 15.6-inch CrowVi Full HD display was connected via HDMI using its own power source.

Conclusion

The GEEKOM XT12 Pro works well and fast in Ubuntu 24.04 thanks to its powerful Intel Core i9-12900H 14-core/20-thread processor, 32GB of RAM, and fast M.2 NVMe SSD storage. Its six USB ports (USB 2.0,  USB 3.2, and USB4 ports) provide plenty of expansion, and 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 networking works great. The main downside is that Bluetooth 5.2 does not work at all due to driver issues.

YouTube video playback works well up to 4Kp60 and 8Kp30, but 8K 60 FPS was too much to ask in Ubuntu with around 36% of frames being dropped during our test, although it worked just fine in Windows 11 Pro. It does provide some small boost of performance compared to the Mini IT12, but somehow the latter had no issue playing an 8K 60 FPS in Ubuntu 22.04 when we tried, many because of the slightly higher room temperature (TBC). As with all other compact mini PCs, the CPU does get hot underload (stabilizes at 90°C) and the fan is barely audible under light load, and the noise may only become an issue for some people under heavy loads.

We’d like to thank GEEKOM for sending the XT12 Pro mini PC with an Intel Core i9-12900H processor, 32GB RAM, and a 1 TB NVMe SSD for review. It can be purchased for $664 on Amazon or GEEKOM US after applying the coupon code cnxXT12Pro for a 5% discount valid until May 31, 2024. Readers based in the UK can also use that coupon on GEEKOM UK.

CNXSoft: This article is a translation – with some additional insights – of the original review on CNX Software Thailand by Suthinee Kerdkaew.

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11 Comments
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tkaiser
tkaiser
2 months ago

Would be great if Suthinee could execute the following to get a Geekbench comparison of Gracemont and Golden Cove cores at same clockspeed:

tkaiser
tkaiser
2 months ago

Thank you! Though it hasn’t worked exactly since I forgot that on your system dmesg is telling us: ‘Intel P-state driver initializing, HWP enabled’ and with HWP in charge of cpufreq there’s no way to prevent the cores running at their maximum clock.

It may work to limit the Golden Cove cores to 3800 MHz by adding ‘intel_pstate=no_hwp’ to kernel cmdline so in case time permits another ‘MaxKHz=3800000 sbc-bench.sh -G’ might tell the full story 🙂

Sutinee Kerdkaew
Sutinee Kerdkaew
2 months ago

Thanks for the tip. I did it again.
https://sprunge.us/xyOUit

tkaiser
tkaiser
2 months ago

Thank you! Though disabling HWP didn’t help since the Golden Coves still were clocking in at 4.8 GHz 🙂

Vall
Vall
2 months ago

Great review as per your usual, thanks!

Just pointing a minor typo: “Full-dupllex” -> “Full-duplex”

Vall
Vall
2 months ago

I just bought an AMD Ryzen 7940HS mini PC from the same manufacturer (the Geekom A7, also featured in the comparison tables here) and this review of the Intel-based XT12-Pro served to impress me on the great deal I managed to catch with the Ryzen — and the horrible state of Intel CPUs in general and in this particular case: -The Ryzen measures up at 6701 in the 7z single thread benchmark, vs the Intel at 5502 (Intel loses by ~20%, and that’s with its fastest core). – On the multi-thread benchmark, Intel loses by even more: 43783 vs 70156… Read more »

Vall
Vall
2 months ago

Yeah, I think Geekom might be fire-selling the A7 because its 7940HS is not “AI-ready” (ie, has no TPU) when compared with the latest from AMD… and with all the AI hype being bandied around, they might be preparing to replace the current A7 with one sporting the equivalent AI-equipped processor. Well, we shall all see, I guess.

Vall
Vall
2 months ago

Thanks for both pointers, specially the one about the 7940HS TPU and your testing it (somehow I totally missed, err actually forgot about it). Will be sure to give it a thorough (re)read.

The Geekom AE7 would be interesting if it came with a functional 2nd M.2 NVMe slot (haven’t opened my A7 yet, but I’ve been reading it does have a 2nd one and that it’s non-functional because it’s missing the actual M.2 connector — been wondering it was because of excessive heat, if so better cooling could be exactly what’s needed to make it useable).

Khadas VIM4 SBC