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 adding a GPU using a ‘PCIe x16 to M.2 NVMe […]

Beelink SEI Review – A Core i3-10110U Mini PC Tested with Windows and Ubuntu

beelink sei review

Beelink has launched a new range of mini PCs called the SEi Series. Similar in size and appearance to an Intel ‘NUC’ they are available in various configurations. Beelink sent a Core i3-10110U SEi model for review which is the version that has now replaced their i3-1005G1 model which they had to discontinue due to the lack of processor availability. There is also an i5-8259U model in the series. Beelink SEi Hardware Overview The SEi physically consists of a 124 x 113 x 41mm (4.88 x 4.48 x 1.61 inches) rectangular plastic case. It is an actively cooled mini PC and uses Intel’s 14 nm++ Core i3-10110U Comet Lake processor which is a dual-core 4-thread 2.10 GHz processor boosting to 4.10 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics for 10th Gen Intel Processors. The front panel has a power button, a headphone jack, a Type-C USB 3.0 port, and two USB 3.0 ports. The rear panel includes the power jack, two HDMI […]

Mecool KM6 Deluxe (Amlogic S905X4) TV Box Review

Back in September 2020, Jean-Luc wrote about the Mecool KM6 TV Box. This comes with the Amlogic S905X4 with AV1 support and preloaded with Android TV 10. Since Jean-Luc could not review the KM6, I offered to do this for him. It was already mentioned the box was delayed in the previous article published in September. After that, it was further delayed until January 2021. So last week I received the Mecool KM6 deluxe for review. It comes with a remote, a 2A/5V PSU, and an HDMI cable. My deluxe version has 4GB LPDDR4 and a 64GB eMMC flash. They also sell the KM6 Classic which comes with 2GB LPDDR4 and a 16GB eMMC flash. Under the moto, don’t turn it on, take it apart. I opened the box to see its internals. There were 4 screws to undo under its rubber feet. It comes with a metal plate on the bottom which has a thermal pad making contact to […]

Rock Pi X Review – An Atom x5 SBC running Windows 10 or Ubuntu 20.04

Rock Pi X Review

The ROCK Pi X is the first x86 SBC (single board computer) from Radxa and resulted from repeated enquiries about running Windows on their earlier ROCK Pi 4. The ROCK Pi X comes in two models (Model A and Model B) with each model having either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM and either 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of eMMC storage. Additionally, the Model B includes WiFi and Bluetooth together with supporting Power over Ethernet (PoE) although this requires an additional HAT. Both Seeed Studio and Radxa provided samples and in this review, I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu and also discuss the thermals. Rock Pi X Hardware Overview The ROCK Pi X is similar in size to a Raspberry Pi board… but with slightly different ports and port locations even when compared to the Raspberry Pi 4. It is physically slightly larger than its specification size (85 mm x 54 mm) as the ports […]

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max mini PC review with 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max Review

Back in 2018 MINIX Introduced NEO J50C-4 Windows 10 Pro mini PC based on Intel Pentium J5005 Gemini Lake processor and fitted with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash. It never got released in this configuration, as due to Gemini Lake processors shortage the company relaunched it with a 64GB eMMC flash in 2019. Since then, the company launched the NEO J50C-4 Plus with a 240GB SSD and 4GB RAM, which I did not review. But now the Hong Kong company has introduced a new model with NEO J50C-4 Max equipped with 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD. I’ve just received a sample, but since the design and specifications are the same as the earlier NEO J50C model except for the SSD and RAM capacity, I’ll focus this mini review on the main differences, and small issues I had last year. NEO J50C-4 Max Unboxing The package looks familiar… And so are the specifications except for the 8GB DDR4 (upgradeable to […]

Cincoze GM-1000 Embedded GPU Computer Review

Cincoze GM-1000 is an industrial embedded GPU computer. It is highly expandable including supporting an embedded MXM GPU. As a rugged computer, it can either be passively cooled or actively cooled with add-on fans. It can support an operating temperature ranging from -40°C – 70°C and is also able to survive being dropped or hit with a vibration/shock tolerance of 5G/50G. It is marketed as having all the features required for a compact, reliable, and high-performance computing system for field applications in machine vision, image processing, and artificial intelligence. In this review, I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu and also discuss the thermals. Hardware Overview The model loaned by Cincoze for review came with an Intel Core i7-9700TE which is an eight-core 8-thread 1.80 GHz Coffee Lake-R processor boosting to 3.80 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics 630. It also came with an NVIDIA Quadro Embedded P2000 MXM module installed, 32GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe […]

NanoPi R4S SBC preview with OpenWrt and Ubuntu Core

NanoPi R4S review

Rockchip RK3399 powered NanoPi R4S router SBC launched at the beginning of the month, and FriendlyELEC kindly sent a review sample to CNX Software. I intended to test thermally performance, Ethernet, and USB like I did for NanoPi R2S and NanoPi NEO3,  but Armbian is not available right now, so I could not use some of the tools I normally used right now. So instead, I tested the board/gateway with the image from FriendlyELEC. First FriendlyCore based on Ubuntu Core 20.04, but there some issues which we’ll detail in this preview, so I then switch to FriendlyWrt built upon OpenWrt 19.07 which works better, but I still encountered some problems. That’s just to say it might be better to wait a little longer until Armbian images are released, or until FriendlyELEC fixes some of the shortcomings. NanoPi R4S gateway unboxing Before testing the software, let’s see what I’ve received. NanoPi R4S SBC inside its metal enclosure together with a 16GB […]

Raspberry Pi 400 Keyboard PC Review and Benchmarks vs Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 400 Review vs Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard computer with Broadcom BCM2711C0 1.8 GHz processor has just launched, and we already published a teardown of the Raspberry Pi 400 hardware to check out the cooling solution and overall hardware design. In this review, we’ll mostly focus on Raspberry Pi 400 and Raspberry Pi 4 differences, since both devices mostly rely on the same chips. After checking the different features, we’ll run Thomas Kaiser’s “SBC Bench” script to test thermal cooling and benchmark both RPi hardware platforms. Raspberry Pi 400 vs Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Features Since under the hood, the two platforms are very similar, we’ll highlight the difference as shown in the table below courtesy of Cytron. Price is not shown in the table above, but Raspberry Pi 400 costs $70, while Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB goes for $55. That’s $15 extra for a keyboard, case, and cooling solution, so the price is very attractive. Stock performance is a little higher […]