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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MINIX Unveils NEO G41V-4 Fanless Windows 10 Pro Mini PC

MINIX NEO G41V-4

MINIX has launched several Intel-based mini PCs in recent years, but while their lower-end models such as MINIX NEO Z83-4U were fanless, their Apollo Lake (NEO N42C-4) and Gemini Lake (NEO J50C-4) mini PCs all came with a fan, albeit a pretty quiet one. But the company demonstrated a new fanless Gemini Lake mini PC at IFA 2018 with a new approach to thermal cooling compared to their previous fanless design. MINIX NEO G41V-4 mini PC is powered by an Intel Celeron N4100 quad-core processor coupled with 4GB DDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, and an easy to access M.2 SSD expansion slot. MINIX NEO G41V-4 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N4100 quad-core Gemini Lake processor @ with Intel UHD Graphics 600 System Memory – 4GB DDR4 RAM @ 2400 MHz (soldered) Storage – 64GB eMMC 5.1 flash (soldered), M.2 2280 SATA 3.0 slot, MicroSD card slot Video Output HDMI 2.0a up to 4Kp60 DisplayPort up to 4Kp60 VGA up to …

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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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ODROID-H2 Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 19.04

ODROID-H2 Review

After many months of delays due to Intel not mass-producing Gemini Lake processors, Hardkernel started selling ODROID-H2 again, more exactly ODROID-H2 Rev. B, and the end of last month, and the company sent me a full kit for evaluation. You can check out ODROID-H Rev. B with Type 3 case and the assembly instructions in the first part of the review. I’ve now had time to play with the board using the pre-installed Ubuntu 19.04 operating systems so I’ll report my experience in this second part. Note that ODROID-H2 does not rely on a custom version of Ubuntu, and instead you can download and flash Ubuntu 18.04 or 19.04 ISO directly from Ubuntu website. First Boot and System Information I had already connected two SATA drives inside the enclosure, one SSD and one HDD, but before booting the device I connected an HDMI cable, one Ethernet cable, USB keyboard & mouse, as well as the power supply. The board booted …

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Chatreey AC1-Z Low Power Fanless Mini PC Goes for $153 and Up

The Chatreey AC1-Z mini PC is running either the Intel Celeron Apollo Lake J3455 and the Intel Celeron Gemini Lake J4105 and boasts a full complement of features and SoC peripherals. It closely resembles the series of mini computers similar to the Zotac Nano mini PC. The Chatreey AC1-Z is a silent, fanless mini-PC that offers 4GB RAM, 4K resolution across two display inputs, and housing either the Apollo Lake or the Gemini Lake processors.  The Gemini Lake version has a choice of up to 64GB eMMC storage and offers a drive bay for an optional 2.5 SSD or SATA HDD. I/O 2x USB 3.0 Type A, 2x USB 2.0 Type A 1x LAN 1x Micro SD 1x Audio 3.5 mm 2x HDMI Features Power Button Kensington Lock Power Connector (12V 2.5A) Dual-band WIFI /WLAN 802.11ac+BT The AC1–Z system is inspired by other mini-PC models and carries a lot of the features and options but is generally less expensive for …

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ODROID-H2 Rev B Review – Part 1: Kit Unboxing and Assembly

ODROID-H2 Case Type 3 Assembled

ODROID-H2 was announced in October 2018 as the first x86 SBC from Hardkernel. The board features an Intel Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake processor, two SO-DIMM slots for memory, two SATA ports and M.2 NVMe slot for storage, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a mix of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, as well as HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs. The board went for sale the following month for $111, and the first batch of 2,000 boards was sold within 24 hours. In normal cases, this should not be a big problem, and in a few weeks, the company should have been able to produce more boards to fulfill the demand. But Intel decided to prioritize higher-end processors, and Gemini Lake SoCs’ manufacturing was put on the back foot. That means Hardkernel had to wait over 6 months to get supply of the Celeron J4150 processors. In the meantime, the company slightly redesign the board, now called ODROID-H2 Rev B, and the good …

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KODLIX GN41 Gemini Lake Ubuntu Mini PC Sells for $215

Most Intel mini PC ships with Windows 10, so when we see models shipping with a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu we like to point those out. Recently we covered MINIX NEO-Z83-4U Ubuntu 18.04 mini PC that comes in a well designed and passively cooled enclosure, but also a relatively underpowered Intel Atom x5 processor, and geared towards business use cases such as digital signage player or thin client. KODLIX GN41 is another Ubuntu mini PC that would make a decent entry-level desktop thanks to an Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake processor, 8GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC flash that can be complemented with your own 2.5″ hard drive or SSD. KODLIX GN41 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N4100 quad core processor @  1.10/2.40 GHz with Intel UHD Graphics 600; 6W TDP; 4.8W SDP System Memory – 8GB DDR4L RAM Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash flash; 2.5″ SATA slot for HDD or SSD, micro SD slot up to 128GB Display …

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ZOTAC Unveils ZBOX PRO Embedded Mini PC Line-up

Zotac ZBOX PRO CI329 nano

ZOTAC  is known for their ZBOX consumer and business mini PCs, but they are now entering the embedded computing market with the launch of ZBOX PRO line-up based on their commercial offering but with more robust designs for medical equipment, industrial robots, casino game systems, IoT gateways, ATMs, and more. The company launched 5 models features various Intel processors from Celeron to Core-i7, but I’ll focus on the three passively cooled low power models in this post. ZBOX Pro CI329 nano Specifications mostly follow the ones of ZBOX CI329 Nano model with differences highlighted in bold or stricken-through: SoC – Intel Celeron N4100 quad-core processor (1.1GHz up to 2.4GHz, 4MB cache) with Intel UHD Graphics 600 System Memory – 2x DDR4-2400MHz dual-channel SO-DIMM slots, up to 8GB Storage 1x 2.5″ SATA 6.0 Gb/s HDD/SSD bay 1x M.2 2242/2260 key-M socket for SSD SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader Video Output 1x HDMI 2.0, max resolution 4096×2160 @ 60Hz 1x DisplayPort 1.2, max resolution …

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