Beelink SER3 Review – A good AMD Ryzen 7 mini PC… after tweaks

Beelink SER3 Review

Beelink has just launched a new mini PC called the SER3. It is another ‘new’ mini PC using an older CPU, in this case, an AMD mobile processor. However, the performance is surprisingly good once a few tweaks are made to the stock configuration. Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu together with using an eGPU. Hardware Overview The SER3 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 older 12 nm Zen+ Ryzen 7 3750H Picasso processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.3 GHz mobile processor boosting to 4.0 GHz with Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics. The front panel has an illuminated power button, dual USB 3.0 ports, a Type-C USB 3.0 port with Alternate Mode, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a […]

MINIX NGC-5 Review – Windows 10, Ubuntu 20.04, and external GPU

minix ngc-5 review egpu setup

MINIX has just launched a new mini PC in their NGC range called the NGC-5. Although it uses a somewhat dated Intel eighth-generation Core i5 processor, the integrated Iris Plus Graphics 655 is notable for being one of the more powerful iGPU solutions. MINIX kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu together with using an eGPU. Hardware Overview The NGC-5 physically consists of a 153 x 153 x 43mm (6.02 x 6.02 x 1.57 inches) square plastic case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s older 14 nm++ Core i5-8279U Coffee Lake processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.40 GHz processor boosting to 4.10 GHz with Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 655. The front panel has just a LED power indicator whereas the rear panel includes dual gigabit Ethernet ports, dual USB 3.1 ports, a DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI 2.0a port, […]

GMK NucBox Review – A palm-sized Windows 10 mini PC

GMK NucBox Power Adapter

GMK released their diminutive mini PC called the NucBox a while ago however they have recently updated the BOM with a new fan and WiFi module together with changing their logo from GMK to GMK TEC. GMK sent the new NucBox for review and the results from various testing are detailed below. Hardware Overview The NucBox physically consists of a 62 x 62 x 42mm (2.44 x 2.44 x 1.65 inches) rectangular metal case with a plastic top and base plate. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s 14 nm J4125 Gemini Lake Refresh processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz processor boosting to 2.70 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics 600. The front has just the power button whilst the rear includes two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a Type-C USB port for power. The left side has a microSD card slot and a headphone […]

MeLE Quieter2 Review – Windows 10, Ubuntu 20.04, and eGPU

Mele Quieter2 review

MeLE has recently released a passive mini PC called the Quieter2. What is particularly interesting is that whilst it only has a low-powered Intel Celeron CPU it also supports an M.2 2280 NVMe SSD drive which theoretically makes using an eGPU possible. MeLE provided a 99% discount coupon so that I could purchase one for review and the results from various testing are detailed below. Hardware Overview The Quieter2 physically consists of a 131 x 81 x 18.3mm (5.16 x 3.19 x 0.72 inches) rectangular plastic case with a metal base plate. The top half of the case is finely grooved to mimic the fins of a heat spreader but is made of plastic rather than metal to allow reception to the WiFi antennas as one is directly connected to it. As a passively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s 14 nm J4125 Gemini Lake Refresh processor which is a […]

Beelink GKmini Review – An Intel Celeron J4125 mini PC reviewed with Windows 10 Pro, Ubuntu 20.04

Beelink GKmini Review

Beelink have recently released another small form factor (SFF) design similar to the traditional Intel ‘NUC’ called the GKmini which they have provided for review. Available as a fully configured Windows 10 Pro mini PC means it can be up and running straight out of the box. Hardware Overview The Beelink GKmini physically consists of a 115mm x 102mm x 43mm (4.53 x 4.02 x 1.69 inches) rectangular plastic case. It is an actively cooled mini PC and uses Intel’s 14 nm J4125 Gemini Lake Refresh processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz processor boosting to 2.70 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics 600. The front panel has a power button, a headphone jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and a ‘CLR CMOS’ pinhole that leads to a button which when pressed clears the CMOS. The rear panel includes the power jack, dual HDMI ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, a further […]

Linux and Memory Performance on an Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast Phantom Canyon NUC11PHKi7C

nuc11phki7c Linux

I’ve already looked at Windows performance on the NUC11PHKi7C Enthusiast Phantom Canyon which is Intel’s latest NUC 11 flagship product specifically targeting gamers as it includes an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU. Now it is the turn of Linux and like before I will compare performance against Intel’s previous NUC with a discrete GPU: the NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon. I will also briefly revisit Windows performance by looking at the impact of using 3200MHz memory as opposed to the 2400MHz used during the previous review. Hardware Overview As a reminder, the NUC11PHKi7C physically consists of a 221 x 142 x 42 mm (8.70 x 5.59 x 1.65 inches) rectangular plastic case. It is an actively cooled mini PC and uses Intel’s 10 nm Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.80 GHz processor boosting to 4.70 GHz with Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics and the NUC also includes […]

Windows Performance on an Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast Phantom Canyon NUC11PHKi7C

NUC11PHKi7C skull

The Enthusiast Phantom Canyon is Intel’s flagship product from its latest NUC 11 range of mini PCs. Specifically targeting gamers it includes an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU. In this article, I take a brief look at the performance under Windows and compare it against Intel’s previous NUC with a discrete GPU: the NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon. Hardware Overview The NUC11PHKi7C physically consists of a 221 x 142 x 42 mm (8.70 x 5.59 x 1.65 inches) rectangular plastic case which is remarkable because of its size and is similar to just a graphics card like NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition (229 x 113 x 35 mm). It is an actively cooled mini PC and uses Intel’s 10 nm Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.80 GHz processor boosting to 4.70 GHz with Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics. But it also includes NVIDIA’s N18E-G1-B notebook graphics […]

Using an eGPU with a mini PC

using r43sg egpu with mini PC

Mini PCs have grown in popularity in part due to their small form-factor offering low-powered basic computing with sufficient ports for connectivity. As such they are useful both in commercial settings such as digital signage as well as with consumers needing a small-footprint or VESA-mounted low-cost computer. However, one drawback is their limited graphical performance due to using CPUs with integrated graphics which results in the options for playing games being somewhat restricted and ‘AAA’ titles typically being unplayable. Lower-priced laptops often share the same drawback and one of the ways that users have addressed their graphical need is by utilizing an external GPU (eGPU) however the commercially available ones are both expensive and require connecting via a Thunderbolt 3 port. Unfortunately, not many Chinese-made mini PCs currently include a Thunderbolt 3 port however now that they have started to include M.2 NVMe ports this has created the possibility of […]