MINIX NEO J50C-4 (2019) Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Pro

MINIX NEO J50C-4 (2019) Review

Last week, I received the latest MINIX NEO J50C-4 (64GB) mini PC that hardware-wise is very much like last year, never released, MINIX NEO J50C-4 mini PC, except it comes with a 64GB eMMC flash instead of just 32GB. I’m now spent time testing the updated version, with a focus on the potential performance benefit of the new storage device, as well as features I was unable to test last year, such as USB-C DisplayPort output, or WiFi AC, and check out if some of the issues I encountered last year are now solved. System Info We’ve got basically the same info as last year with J50C-4 mini PC powered by an Intel Pentium Silkver J5005 CPU coupled with 4.00 GB memory and running an activated (i.e. properly licensed) version of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit. We’ve now got more space to play with thanks to a 57GB Windows partition, which should make the computer easier to use than with just …

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MINIX NEO J50C-4 (64GB) Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown

Mini PC DisplayPort HDMI

MINIX demonstrated their latest fanless NEO G41V-4 mini PC at IFA 2019 together with a MINIX NEO J50C-4 mini PC that I thought was last year’s model since I reviewed it last September with Windows 10 Pro and the company’s MINIX NEO W2 air mouse for computers. So when I received another MINIX NEO J50C-4 sample for review I was confused but noticed the eMMC flash capacity was increased from 32GB to 64GB. So I asked, and it’s a relaunch due to the shortage of Intel Gemini Lake processors: The increased storage capacity, from 32GB to 64GB eMMC, is the only difference from the sample you received last year. While we announced NEO J50C-4 last year, due to the Intel CPU shortage we never actually officially released. The Intel CPU shortage meant we only sold a couple of hundred units that we managed to produce before the CPU stock ran dry. Now the CPU shortage is over, we’re doing an …

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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

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. On one side is a micro SD card slot. The full specifications include: The J45 comes with either a 128GB or 512GB (as tested in this review) …

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UDOO X86 II SBC Combines Intel Braswell SoC with Microchip ATMega32U4 “Arduino” MCU

UDOO x86 II

UDOO X86 development board was first introduced in a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 with a quad-core Intel Braswell processor coupled with an Arduino 101 compatible Intel Curie module for real-time I/O processing. Early July of next year (2019) the Intel processor and module seems to be going so well and have a bright future together with UDOO X86 board and accessories becoming broadly available. But life can be cruel at times, and Intel announced their plan to discontinue Intel Curie and other IoT projects just a few weeks later with the last shipment scheduled for July 2018. SECO, the company behind UDOO, could only order so much stock of Intel Curie module, so they had to design an alternative, and here we are with UDOO X86 II SBC offering many of the same features but replacing Intel Curie module by a Microchip ATmega32U4 MCU compatible with Arduino Leonardo.   Two UDOO X86 II models – Ultra and Advanced Plus – …

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AAEON BOXER-8310AI Rugged Fanless Mini PC Combines Apollo Lake Processor & Myriad X VPU for AI Edge Applications

AAEON BOXER-8310AI rugged fanless mini PC

We’ve covered several of AAEON rugged mini PCs part of BOXER-8100 family powered by an NVIDIA Tegra X2 processor and targetting AI Edge applications. The company has now introduced three new AI embedded computers for the same AI edge applications but using Intel processors together with Intel/Movidius Myriad X VPU (Vision Processing Unit) for AI acceleration. The three models are BOXER-8310AI, BOXER-8320AI, and the upcoming BOXER-8330AI based on respectively Intel Celeron/Pentium Apollo Lake processor, Intel Core i3 7th gen processor, and an Intel Core i3/77 or Xeon processor. I’ll focus on the Apollo Lake model in this post to introduce AAEON BOXER-8300AI family of rugged mini PCs. BOXER-8310AI specifications: SoC (one or the other) Intel Pentium N4200 quad-core Apollo Lake processor Intel® Celeron N3350 dual-core Apollo Lake processor System Memory –  1x DDR3L SODIMM slot supporting up to 8GB RAM @ 1867 MHz Storage Device – mSATA socket AI Module – AI Core X with Intel Movidius Myriad X VPU …

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Intel Mini PCs Linux Performance Comparison

Intel mini PC side-by-side comparison table

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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Shuttle EN01J is a Tiny Apollo Lake Mini PC Topped with a Large Heatsink

Shuttle EN01 Mini PC

Many people don’t want heatsink, but in some case fanless designs do not allow for maximum sustained performance. This should not be a problem for Shuttle EN01J mini PC with a choice of 10W Apollo Lake processors, and a rugged design completed with a large heatsink topping the enclosure used to make sure the processor runs optimally for the target applications, which include digital signage, industrial automation, and visual recognition applications as reported by FanlessTech. Shuttle EN01J specifications: SoC (One or the other) – Intel Celeron J3355 dual core, Celeron J3455 quad core, or Pentium J4200 quad core processor with Intel HD graphic; 10W TDP System Memory – Up to 8GB LPDDR4 2,400 MHz Storage – Up to 64GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 3840z2160 @ 30 Hz Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Intel) with optional POE-PD or POE-PSE, nano SIM slot for M.2 modem USB – 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 1x …

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More Intel Processor HW Security Flaws. Meet Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS)

Intel MDS Zombieload, RIDL, Fallout

2018 did not start so well for processor vendors, especially Intel, but also AMD, Arm and others as some of their processors leveraging speculative execution were impacted by Spectre and/or Meltdown hardware security bugs. The workarounds to improve security had a downside as they affected performance in some specific use case. Panic ensued as the bug was revealed to the public a bit too early, so companies were not fully ready with their mitigations / workarounds. Then in summer of 2018, another hardware security flaw known as Foreshadow or L1 Terminal Fault came to light. The new flaw potentially enabled the attacker to access data stored in L1 cache.  Provided you have updated your operating systems to the latest version, your computers and devices should be protected against those vulnerabilities, and you can even check with a script working in Linux or FreeBSD. But this now looks like a never ending game, as security researchers have found yet other hardware …

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