Updating the BIOS (System Firmware) from the Device Manager in Windows 10

Device Manager: Firmware->Acer Inc System Firmware

I recently started having problems playing YouTube videos in Firefox and Chrome in Ubuntu 18.04. The video would load, and I could see frames at any time, but it would just not play. I soon discovered that killing PulseAudio, and the video would play without audio. I also noticed I had Dummy Output in Sound settings. I tried all usual tricks to fix this, but still no luck. Then I discovered I had audio just after booting my computer, but after a while, there would be no audio at all. This seems to match the time by which the AMD GPU drives crashes (just warning), something that had happened ever since I installed Ubuntu on my Acer laptop. After more failed attempts, I decided to try to update the BIOS using Windows 10. A 10-minute task, right? I would just have to replace the hard drive with one pre-loaded with Windows 10 (I got one from warranty service a few …

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DFI GHF51 Ryzen Embedded R1000 SBC is about the Size of a Raspberry Pi

DFI GHF51 1.8-inch Ryzen Embedded SBC

We’ve seen a fair amount of AMD Ryzen Embedded boards over the last few months including 3.5″ Ryzen Embedded SBC‘s such as Kontron SBC-VR1000 and IBASE Technology IB918, as well as larger boards such as SAPPHIRE FS-FP5R 5×5 motherboard. The most compact Ryzen Embedded board we covered so far must have been the upcoming Sapphire NP-FP5 based on Ryzen R1305G processor with a 4″x4″ (10.16 x 10.16 cm) form factor. But DFI GHF51 1.8″ SBC takes the crown of the smallest Ryzen Embedded SBC, with the business card / Raspberry Pi sized board measuring just 84 x 55 mm, and featuring an AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000-series processor combined with up to 8GB RAM. DFI GHF51 specifications: SoC – AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 Series with Radeon Vega 3 GPU; 12W CPU System Memory – 2GB/4GB/8GB single-channel DDR4 3200MHz Storage 1x 16GB/32GB/64GB eMMC flash 64Mbit SPI Flash for BIOS (supports UEFI boot only) Video Output – 2x micro HDMI 1.4 ports up …

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TRITON-TX8M i.MX8M Mini / Nano Modules & Devkits Support Linux, Windows 10 IoT Core, and (Soon) QNX 7.0

Triton-TX8M Development Board

UK-based Direct Insight has recently unveiled TRITON-TX8M system-on-module (SoM) powered by NXP i.MX 8M Mini or Nano processor, coupled with up to 2048MB DDR3L and a 4GB eMMC flash. The tiny (68 x 26 mm) SODIMM module is pin-compatible with the company’s earlier TRITON-TX i.MX6 / i.MX8 module family, and currently support Linux and Windows 10 IoT Core, with a QNX 7.0 BSP in the works. TRITON-TX8M SoM specifications: SoC TRITON-TX8MM – NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad 4x Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.6 GHz with real-time Cortex-M4F core, Vivante GC NanoUltra 3D GPU + GC320 2D GPU, 1080p VPU TRITON-TX8MN – NXP i.MX8M Nano Dual 2x Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.4 GHz with real-time Cortex-M7 core, Vivante GC7000UL GPU with OpenGLES 3.0, OpenCL and Vulkan support System Memory – 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB RAM Storage – 4GB eMMC flash 200-pin SODIMM200 edge connector with Storage – 2x SD Card/SDIO Display – 4-lane MIPI DSI up to 1080p; Optional  10.1″ LCD with …

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HiGole F11APL Apollo Lake Industrial Mini PC Comes with a 11.6″ Touchscreen Display

HiGole F11APL

We’ve previously reviewed a few unusual mini PCs and tablets from Shenzhen Qianhai Gole Technology Co., Ltd – batter known as just GOLE – such as GOLE F7 rugged tablet very recently, and before that some mini PCs with built-in display as GOLE 10. The company has now come up with an update to the latter with a more powerful Apollo Lake processor. HiGole F11APL comes with a slightly larger 11.6″ touchscreen display, but the Intel Celeron N3450 processor combined with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC flash storage will provide much better performance than the previous Cherry Trail-based solution. HiGole F11APL specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad-core Apollo Lake processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz (Burst frequency) and 12 EU Intel HD Graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz (Burst freq.); 6W TDP System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash,  micro SD slot up to 128 GB, support for M.2 SSD Display – …

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GOLE F7 Windows 10 Tablet Review – Part 2: Barcode & QR Code Scanner, NFC, and Ruggedness

GOLE F7 Waterproof tablet

GOLE F7 is a waterproof, shock resistant, rugged tablet running Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.  The company sent us a sample together with a charging dock, and you can check out “GOLE F7 Rugged Tablet Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Charging Dock” to find out more about the hardware interface and other physical features of the tablet. I’ve now spent more time with the tablet and tested some of the features such as Barcode scanner and NFC reader. I’ve only done minimal testing of the usual Windows 10 benchmarks since the Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor powering the tablet has been around for many years, and we have previous mini PC’s reviews showing the performance of the platform in Windows 10 with MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro or even the previous GOLE F10 model. Instead, I’ve focused on the differentiating features including the ruggedness of the device. GOLE F7 System Info Windows System info shows the Atom x5-Z8350 is coupled with 4GB …

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Kontron Launches AMD Ryzen Embedded Mini-ITX Board for Graphics Applications

AMD Ryzen Embedded mini-ITX Board

We’ve seen several AMD Ryzen Embedded boards launched over the last couple of years, but the only one we covered here that happens to follow the mini-ITX form factor was iBASE MI988 motherboard powered by a choice of Ryzen Embedded V1000 processors. But there are others including Sapphire IPC-FP5V 10GbE embedded mini-ITX motherboard, and Kontron has just announced the D3713-V/R mITX motherboard with AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000/R1000 processor and aimed at “demanding graphics applications” such as kiosks, infotainment, digital signage, professional casino gaming systems, medical displays, as well as thin clients and industrial PCs. Kontron D3713-V/R mITX specifications: SoC (one or the other) AMD Ryzen Embedded V1202B dual-core/quad-thread Zen processor @ 2.3 GHz / 3.2 GHz (Boost frequency) with RADEON VEGA 3 graphics; 12W to 25W TDP AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B quad-core/octa-thread Zen processor @ 2.0 GHz / 3.6 GHz (Boost frequency) with RADEON VEGA 8 graphics; 12W to 25W TDP AMD Ryzen Embedded V1807B quad-core/octa thread Zen processor @ …

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Kontron Launches the Smallest i.MX 8M Mini Module with 30x30mm Form Factor

Kontron Smallest i.MX 8M Mini Module

Introduced in 2018, NXP i.MX 8M Mini is the first i.MX processor from the company manufactured with a 14nm process, and the low-power processor is found in several compact modules such as Variscite VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI (38×28 mm), SolidRun i.MX 8M Mini SoM (47×30 mm), or Compulab UCM-iMX8M-Mini (38×28 mm). The smallest i.MX 8M Mini module we’ve covered so far is TechNexion XORE-IMX8M-Mini LGA system-on-module that takes just 30×30 mm of space. The TechNexion module is now joined by Kontron SoM SL i.MX8M Mini module with the same 30x30mm form factor, but a few more pins (267 vs 225). Kontron SoM SL i.MX8M Mini specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Mini quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.6 GHz with one Arm Cortex-M4 real-time core @ 400 MHz, as well as 2D GPU and 3D GPU System Memory – 1GB LPDDR4 RAM (option up to 4GB) Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (option up to 128GB), 2MB NOR Flash 267-pin on bottom of the …

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Beelink Gemini T45 Pentium N4200 Mini PC Review

Beelink T45-Pentium N4200 Mini PC Review

No sooner had I written ‘Beelink T45 Review with Windows and Linux, and Tweaking BIOS Power Limits’ than Beelink announce they wouldn’t in fact sell that configuration but an ‘updated’ version. And it is significantly different because this new version is now actively cooled and uses an Apollo Lake N4200 processor. It also still has the same name: the Beelink Gemini T45. I’ve now reviewed this new version and you may experience déjà vu on reading the following as in keeping with Beelink’s philosophy I’ve basically reused the same text as before and just updated where appropriate. Beelink have further extended their ‘Gemini’ range of mini PCs by adding the T45. This is an actively cooled mini PC that uses the slightly older Apollo Lake Intel Pentium N4200 CPU which is a quad-core 4-thread 1.10 GHz processor boosting to 2.50 GHz with Intel’s HD Graphics 505. The T45 is a ‘NUC’ style mini PC physically consisting of a 119 x …

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