Morefine S500+ Review – An AMD Ryzen 7 5700U mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04

MOREFINE S500+ review

Morefine has recently released their S500+ series of mini PC series which features models with either a Zen 2 or Zen 3 AMD mobile processor. Morefine kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu. Morefine S500+ Hardware Overview The S500+ physically consists of a 149 x 145 x 40mm (5.87 x 5.71 x 1.57 inches) square metal case with a plastic top. As an actively cooled mini PC, it is available with either an AMD Zen 2 or Zen 3 mobile processor. The review model came with AMD’s 7 nm Zen 2 Ryzen 7 5700U Lucienne processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 1.8 GHz mobile processor boosting to 4.3 GHz with Radeon Graphics. The front panel has a power button, a light to indicate power, two USB 3.1 ports, and a Type-C USB 3.1 port with Alternate Mode. The rear panel includes a […]

Beelink SER4 Review – Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04, and “overclocking” AMD Ryzen 7 4800U SoC

Beelink has released the SER4 which is the latest in their ‘SER’ mini PC series and it features a Zen 2 AMD mobile processor. Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu and dabbled with ‘overclocking’. Beelink SER4 Hardware Overview The Beelink SER4 physically consists of a 126 x 113 x 40mm (4.96 x 4.45 x 1.57 inches) square metal case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses AMD’s 7 nm Zen 2 Ryzen 7 4800U Renoir processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 1.8 GHz mobile processor boosting to 4.2 GHz with Radeon Graphics. The front panel has an illuminated power button, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Type-C USB 3.1 port with Alternate Mode, dual USB 3.1 ports, and a reset pin-hole ‘CLR CMOS’.  The rear panel includes a gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 3.1 port and a USB 2.0 port, […]

Higole F7G Plus Review – An affordable rugged tablet tested with Ubuntu 20.04 & Windows 11

Ruggedized industrial-use PCs are typically expensive so it is refreshing to see Higole F7G Plus, an Intel Gemini Lake Refresh tablet, being offered at an affordable price. Higole kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at functionality and performance running on Ubuntu and also its Windows performance. Hardware Overview The Higole F7G Plus is a 10.1 inch IPS touch screen rugged industrial fanless tablet that uses Intel’s 14 nm Gemini Lake Refresh N4120 processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 1.10 GHz Celeron processor boosting to 2.60 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics. Designwise, meeting the MIL-STD-810G standard which is the de facto ‘ruggedized’ standard for consumer products and covers whether the device can work in a broad range of environmental conditions including surviving dropping, is evidenced by the thick protective shell around the tablet. To ensure its IP67 Certification for waterproofing each of the ports are covered by detachable rubber […]

Aerofara Aero 2 Pro Review – A Celeron N5105 mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04

Aerofara’s Aero 2 Pro is an Intel Jasper Lake mini PC and one of the very few new mini PCs to include a VGA port. Aerofara kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu. Aero 2 Pro Hardware Overview The Aero 2 Pro physically consists of a 120 x 120 x 23mm (4.72 x 4.72 x 0.91 inches) rectangular metal case with inset front and back plastic panels. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s 10 nm Jasper Lake N5105 processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz Celeron processor boosting to 2.90 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics. The front panel is bereft of anything save a pinhole which is illuminated blue when the device is powered on. The rear panel includes the power jack, a USB 3.1 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a […]

Beelink GTR5 Review – An AMD Ryzen 9 mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04

Beelink’s GTR5 is their most powerful mini PC to date and has been released as part of their ‘GT’ series of slightly larger mini PCs that are notable for expandable storage configurations together with multiple ports and characterized by the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner. Featuring an AMD Ryzen 9 mobile processor with Radeon Graphics, Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu. Hardware Overview The Beelink GTR5 physically consists of a 168 x 120 x 39mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses AMD’s ‘Zen 3’ Ryzen 9 5900HX processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 3.3 GHz mobile processor boosting up to 4.6 GHz together with Radeon Graphics. The front panel has an illuminated power button, a ‘CLR CMOS’ button, a USB 3.1 port, a Type-C USB 3.1 port, and a […]

Beelink GTi11 modding – PCIe Gen 4.0 M.2 slot, tweaking power limits, and eGPU

Previously I reviewed Beelink’s new GTi11 Intel Tiger Lake mini PC running Windows 11 and Ubuntu 20.04, so in this final part of the review, I’ll cover in more detail some of the features only briefly highlighted before. Specifically, I’m going to look at the PCIe Gen 4.0 M.2 slot, dabble in ‘overclocking’ and explore eGPU options. Hardware Recap The GTi11 is a 168 x 120 x 39mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) actively cooled mini PC and the review model has an i5-1135G7 Intel Tiger Lake quad-core 8-thread 2.50 GHz Core processor boosting to 4.20 GHz with Intel’s Xe Graphics. The review model also included a 500GB M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 SSD drive with Windows 10 Pro installed, two sticks of 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz memory, a soldered WiFi 6 (or 802.11ax) Intel AX201 chip, and dual 2.5Gb Ethernet ports. Interestingly there are another two key […]

OS and Memory Impact on Mini PC Gaming Performance

This article looks at what the effect of running a different operating system or having more memory has on similarly spec’d Intel and AMD mini PCs when gaming. Note: This article has been updated and corrected as a result of reader feedback and additional testing. It was inspired by having built and tested a pseudo ‘Steamdeck’ running Manjaro on an AMD-based mini PC with 16GB of memory, which made me wonder what the performance would be like using Windows 11. Initial results were surprising because Windows appeared much slower. As I’d previously heard of performance improvements when using 64GB of memory I swapped out the currently installed 16GB memory and immediately saw improved results. As I’d never observed such a dramatic performance increase on Intel mini PCs just through increasing the memory I decided to explore further by testing gaming performance on similar Intel and AMD mini PCs when using […]

Beelink GTi11 review – Part 2: Ubuntu 20.04 on an Intel Core i5-1135G7 mini PC

Previously I reviewed Beelink’s new GTi11 Intel Tiger Lake mini PC running Windows 11, so in this part, I will cover Ubuntu 20.04. Hardware Recap The GTi11 is a 168 x 120 x 39mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) actively cooled mini PC and the review model has an i5-1135G7 Intel Tiger Lake quad-core 8-thread 2.50 GHz Core processor boosting to 4.20 GHz with Intel’s Xe Graphics. The review model also includes a 500GB M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 SSD drive initially with Windows 10 Pro installed but now successfully upgraded to Windows 11 Pro, two sticks of 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz memory, a soldered WiFi 6 (or 802.11ax) Intel AX201 chip and dual 2.5Gb Ethernet ports. The specifications list four of the USB ports as 3.0 so I retested them on Ubuntu using a Samsung 980 PRO PCle 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD housed in an ‘USB to […]