Ubuntu 18.04 on Beelink Gemini J45 Mini PC (Fix and Review)

When I recently reviewed the Beelink J45 (aka Beelink Gemini J), a mini PC that uses the slightly older Intel Apollo Lake Pentium J4205 processor, whilst Windows 10 Pro ran fine it was unsuitable for Ubuntu because after installation the system became unstable and problems were encountered when running anything that loaded the system. The main issue was that when connected via wired-ethernet performing a command like ‘sudo apt upgrade’ would cause the ethernet to drop after which only a reboot would restore the connection. At the time it, was unclear what the cause was however a solution to the issue was posted by ‘gambetta’ on the Beelink forum. Basically it consists of installing the r8168 module which is the Linux device driver released for RealTek RTL8168B/8111B, RTL8168C/8111C, RTL8168CP/8111CP, RTL8168D/8111D, RTL8168DP/8111DP and RTL8168E/8111E Gigabit Ethernet controllers with PCI-Express interface. To paraphrase the ‘README.Debian’ file, you use ‘r8168-dkms because the in-kernel r8169 does not support your NIC or is not working […]

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A Look at Ubuntu on MINIX NEO G41V-4 and J50C-4 Mini PCs

MINIX Technology Limited recently released two new Gemini Lake mini PCs running Windows 10 Pro namely the MINIX NEO J50C-4 actively-cooled mini PC with an Intel Pentium Silver J5005 processor and the MINIX NEO G41V-4 fanless mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron N4100 processor. Whilst each mini PC comes with 64GB of eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10 Pro together with 4GB of RAM they also support the addition of an optional 2280 M.2 drive and the MINIX NEO J50C-4 allows optional memory upgrades. Prior to testing their performance under Ubuntu, I established a comparison baseline by updating Windows to version 1903 and then running my standard set of benchmarking tools first with the default configuration of each mini PC and then repeated having installed the official MINIX 2280 M.2 240GB drives for each device together with adding an extra 4GB RAM to the MINIX NEO J50C-4. The results can then compared them with other Intel mini PCs: Then for […]

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Beelink J45 Mini PC Review – Windows 10 Works as Expected, but Linux is Unstable

Beelink J45 Windows 10 OK, Linux Fails

[Update December 14, 2019: We’ve now found out that Ubuntu 18.04 can work fine on Beelink J45, but the Realtek Ethernet driver needs to be manually installed] Beelink has added a new mini PC to their ‘Gemini’ range (X45 and X55) namely the Beelink J45 (aka Beelink Gemini J45). What is rather unusual about the naming of this mini PC is that it uses the slightly older Intel Apollo Lake Pentium J4205 CPU which is a quad-core 4-thread 1.50 GHz processor boosting to 2.60 GHz with Intel’s HD Graphics 505. The J45 is another ‘NUC’ style mini PC and physically consists of a 115 x 102 x 43 mm (4.53 x 4.02 x 1.69 inches) box case with a front panel that includes the power button, a headphone jack and a couple of USB 3.0 ports and then on the rear, two more USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI (1.4)ports up to 4K @ 30 Hz, and a gigabit Ethernet port. […]

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CHUWI GBOX Pro Review – Intel Atom x7-E3950 mini PC Tested with Windows 10 & Ubuntu 18.04

CHUWI Gbox Pro Review

CHUWI has released a new mini PC called the GBox Pro. This is a passively cooled mini PC that uses the slightly older Apollo Lake Intel Atom x7-E3950 CPU which is a quad core 4-thread 1.60 GHz processor boosting to 2.00 GHz with Intel’s HD Graphics 505. The GBox Pro is somewhat physically larger than typical recent mini PCs and consists of a 189 x 139 x 39 mm (7.44 x 5.47 x 1.54 inches) rectangular case with a front panel that includes the power button, micro SD slot, a couple of USB 3.0 ports and a Type-C USB port and then on the rear, a headphone jack, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit ethernet port, an HDMI (2.0) port and a VGA interface. The full specifications include: The GBox Pro comes with 64GB of eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10 Home (version 1809 OS build 17763.316) together with 4GB of soldered LPDDR4 RAM. The GBox Pro also supports the addition […]

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Intel Mini PCs Linux Performance Comparison

Recent vulnerabilities in Intel x86 microprocessors (Meltdown, Spectre, Foreshadow, RIDL, Fallout, ZombieLoad, etc.) are now addressed with mitigation patches for the Linux kernel although have resulted in some performance degradation. As a consequence, my previous comparison benchmarks could be somewhat misleading when compared with new results given the different versions of software at the time of execution. So I’ve repeated running my standard Phoronix Test Suite benchmarks on several of the latest mini PCs each running the latest updated Ubuntu 18.04.2 software with the same Ubuntu 4.15.0-54 kernel. Specifically, the mini PCs I’ve used are as follows: Intel NUC NUC7CJYSAL (Celeron J4005 Gemini Lake) Pepper JobsGLK-UC2X (Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake) Beelink Gemini X X45 (Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake) Beelink Gemini X X55 (Pentium Silver J5005 Gemini Lake) with updated BIOS Intel NUC NUC7PJYH (Pentium Silver J5005 Gemini Lake) Beelink L55 (i3-5005U Broadwell) On each mini PC, I’ve also run sbc-bench which is a small set of different CPU performance tests focusing on […]

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Beelink L55 Review – An Intel Core i3-5005U Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 & Ubuntu 18.04

Beelink L55 Review

With the shortage of Gemini Lake processors, some manufacturers have taken to releasing new mini PCs using older CPUs. The Beelink L55 is one such example and uses Intel’s Broadwell I3-5005U CPU which is a dual-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz processor with Intel’s HD Graphics 5500. The L55 is a ‘NUC’ style mini PC and physically consists of a 128 x 126 x 46 mm (5.04 x 4.96 x 1.81 inches) box case with a front panel that includes the power button, a headphone jack and a couple of 3.0 USB ports and then on the rear, two more 3.0 USBs, two 2.1 USBs, HDMI (1.4), DP and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Note that there is no SD or micro SD card slot. The full specifications include: The L55 comes with either a 256GB or 512GB (as tested in this review) M.2 SSD with pre-installed Windows 10 Home version 1809 together with a single slot of 8GB DDR3 RAM. The L55 […]

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LIVA Q2 Review – ECS Micro PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

ECS LIVA Q2 Teardown

ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is a Taiwanese company that has been offering mini PCs for several years now. Last year they announced their ‘pocket-sized’ model the LIVA Q. Originally featuring Apollo Lake SoCs it has now been upgraded and renamed as the LIVA Q2 and offers a choice of Gemini Lake SoCs. The distinguishing feature of the LIVA Q series however is the form-factor. Compared with Intel Compute ‘stick’ PCs and Intel NUC ‘mini’ PCs the LIVA Q2 is a ‘micro’ PC. This micro PC is like a minimalist mini PC that includes just the minimum number of useful ports namely a couple of USB ports (3.1 and 2.0) on one side, a micro SD card slot on another and finally an HDMI (2.0) and gigabit Ethernet at the rear. The resultant micro PC is beautifully small consisting of a 70mm (2.76″) square case by 33.4mm (1.31”) tall which can still be mounted on the back of a monitor using […]

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Pepper Jobs GLK-UC2X Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

Pepper Jobs GLK-UC2X Teardown heat pipe cooling

Pepper Jobs is a new company led by Ken Wong who was formerly MINIX’s product director and defined many innovative products such as NEO-X series Android media hubs and NEO-Z series Intel-based mini PCs. The first Pepper Jobs designed and released mini PC is the GLK-UC2X targeting small business, 4K home theater, and living room use with an emphasis on low power and great savings on electricity bills. The GLK-UC2X contains an Intel Celeron N4100 Processor Gemini Lake SOC which is a quad-core processor bursting up to 2.40 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. It physically consists of an approximately 139mm (5.5″) square case about 33mm (1.3”) tall with a side panel that includes the power button, a couple of USB ports, a Type C USB port and a micro SD card slot with the rest of the ports including headphone jack, Type C USB, HDMI (2.0a), mini DP […]

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