Beelink BT4 Mini PC Review – Slow, Buggy, Fan-cooled, and Overheating

Beelink T4 Review

Intel’s low-cost chip shortage has been so bad that Beelink has had to demothball some Atom chips when creating their new mini PC the Beelink BT4. This is one of the cheapest new mini PCs recently launched and uses the somewhat now old Cherry Trail Intel Atom x5-Z8500 CPU which was launched at the start of 2015 and is a quad-core 4-thread 1.44 GHz processor boosting to 2.24 GHz with Intel’s HD Graphics. The BT4 is the same form factor as the more recent Beelink mini PCs being a half-thick ‘NUC’ style device physically consisting of a 120 x 120 x 22 mm (4.72 x 4.72 x 0.87 inches) plastic rectangular case. This is not a passive device as it contains a small fan that stays on after the device has been shut down. The front panel has only a blue ‘power’ LED and the rear panel includes the power button, power jack, VGA port, HDMI port, a gigabit Ethernet …

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Beelink T45 Review with Windows and Linux, and Tweaking BIOS Power Limits

beelink t45 temperature

[Update December 23, 2019: We’ve been informed by Beelink that the T45 has been updated to the 6W Celeron N4200 processor instead, and the system is now cooled with a fan. The model reviewed in this post is the fanless version with a 10W Intel J4250 processor, which was never sold] Beelink have further extended their ‘Gemini’ range of mini PCs by adding the T45. This is a passively cooled mini PC that is effectively a companion to the J45 as it again uses the slightly older Apollo Lake Intel 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. Although the T45 is a ‘NUC’ style mini PC physically consisting of a 119 x 119 x 17.7 mm (4.69 x 4.69 x 0.70 inches) all-metal (and surprisingly quite heavy) rectangular case, it is just under half the thickness of the J45 and is very similar in size to the …

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

Windows Mini PC Benchmarks Comparison

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

Mini PC Comparison

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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AWS EC2 6th Gen Instances are 7x Faster thanks to Graviton 2 Arm Neoverse N1 Custom Processor

AWS ECS2 Graviton 2 Instances

Last year Amazon introduced their first 64-bit Arm-based ECS2 “A1” instances which were found to deliver up to 45% cost savings over x86 Instances for the right workloads. A few months ago, AWS (Amazon Web Services) provides a new offering with bare-metal A1 instances, and with re:invent 2019 now taking place the company has unveiled AWS ECS2 6th generation Arm instances (which they did not call A2 instances yet) powered by Graviton 2 processor comprised of custom Arm Neoverse N1 cores and promising up to 7x the performance of the original A1 instances. There will be three types of Graviton2-powered EC2 instances with the d suffix indicating NVMe local storage: M6g and M6gd for General Purpose workloads (application servers, mid-size data stores, microservices, and cluster computing) with 1 to 64 vCPUs and up to 256 GB of memory. C6g and C6gd for Compute-Optimized workloads (high-performance computing, video encoding, gaming, and CPU-based machine learning inference acceleration) with 1 to 64 vCPUs …

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MINIX NEO G41V-4 Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Pro

MINIX NEO G41V-4 HDMI + VGA

MINIX NEO G41V-4 is the latest mini PC from the Hong Kong-based company, and this time they’ve gone fanless with a new design that should allow proper cooling with a large heatsink, plenty of ventilation holes on the top, as well as a dust-resistant meshing to present dust from entering inside the enclosure. I’ve now had time to review the fanless mini PC, and I’ll report my experience with Windows 10 Pro. Switching to Windows 10 Boot from SSD I had installed the optional 240GB SSD in the first part of the review. It offers an easy way to get more storage and performance, and you don’t need to reinstall Windows 10 Pro since it’s already installed in the SSD. You just need to change some settings in the BIOS as explained in the user manual. To be on the safe side, you may want to follow the instructions to the letter, but for convenience, I followed a slightly different …

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Rikomagic R6 Mini Projector Review – Part 2: Android 7.1

Rikomagic R6 Android Projector Review

We’ve already quickly checked out Rikomagic R6 mini projector in the first part of the review with an unboxing and first boot,  but now I’ve had more time to play with the device, so I’ll report about my experience. Android Launcher and Default Apps Here’s the launcher pre-installed in the projector. Media Center The Media Center app allows you to display images, play audio files as well as videos. It will show thumbnails of images present in the current folder… and as soon as you select one image in the folder it will start a slideshow with classic music playing the background. You’ll be able to see what it looks like in the video at the end of this review. Happy Cast It’s an app in Chinese, that apparently allows you to cast from other Chinese apps, but I have not used it. WiFi Display WiFi Display will be one of the most useful app, as it allows you to …

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NanoPi M4V2 Kit Review – Part 2: FriendlyCore Desktop

NanoPi M4V2 Review

We’ve already seen how to assemble NanoPi M4V2 metal case kit which offers an Arm mini PC solution with support for NVMe SSD. The new NanoPi M4V2 Rockchip RK3399 SBC is an evolution of the M4 board that brings faster LPDDR4 memory and adds power & recovery buttons. Since we’ve already tested several RK3399 SBC‘s and TV boxes, I planned to focus the review on thermal design evaluation (i.e. see how well the board cools), and see how memory bandwidth evolved from LPDDR3 to LPDDR4. I wanted to do so both with Linux and Android, since I could compare NanoPC-T4 (LPDDR3) benchmarks in Android. But this requires an eMMC flash module, and I don’t own any. So instead I planned to run Armbian because of support for armbian-monitor for nice temperature chart but it’s not working just yet, so instead I’ve done all tests with FriendlyCore Desktop (rk3399-sd-friendlydesktop-bionic-4.4-arm64-20190926.img) based on Ubuntu 18.04. System Information The desktop environment will auto-login, but …

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