Compact PC and barebones specialist Minisforum has launched a graphically beefed-up version of its HX90 mini PC. The new Minisforum HX90G builds on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX of its predecessor by adding a discrete Radeon RX 6650M GPU to the motherboard. Unfortunately, Minisforum has yet to publish an HX90G product page, so all the specs we have come courtesy of the Dutch tech site Tweakers. As such, take them with a grain of salt until we have official confirmation.
We don't have the physical dimensions for the new Minisforum HX90G but the source report says it is 2.8 liters in volume, which is over 25% larger than the HX90, which measured 195×190×60mm and 2.2 liters. The images of the new mini PC show it uses quite a different style too, taller, with more extensive venting. Apparently, the HX90G is the start of what is called the Neptune series.
Adding the GPU to the mini PC design has bumped up the thermal load quite significantly, even though it is a mobile GPU. This is probably the most obvious reason for the bulkier case. According to Tweakers, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX in the HX90G uses up to 50W, while the discrete Radeon RX 6650M GPU will eat up to 100W. As such, the mini PC is provided with a 260W power brick to cope with the CPU, GPU, and the rest (motherboard, storage, RAM, USB ports, etc.). In addition, with the more powerful processing, there are now two cooling fans in the chassis and seven heat pipes – three for the CPU and four for the GPU.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor has a base clock speed of 3.3GHz with a boost clock speed of up to 4.6GHz. In the HX90, you would have been relying on this APU's built-in (eight) Vega cores, clocked at 2,100 MHz. However, for any intensive 3D apps on the HX90G, you will be taking advantage of the discrete Radeon RX 6650M GPU.
AMD's Radeon RX 6650M 8GB is very new, so it hasn't featured in any laptop we have reviewed up until now. However, to provide a rough estimation of what kind of 3D performance to expect from this GPU, you should be set for "epic 1080p gaming," as that is how AMD described the capabilities of the RX 6600M. Playing Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p in Ultra quality, you should expect frame rates comfortably over 60fps (no ray tracing, of course).
Other features of the Minisforum HX90G mini PC are its; two 8GB Sodimm DDR4 memory, 512GB M.2-PCIe SSD, spare M.2. 2280 slot, three USB 3.2 ports, an Ethernet port, two HDMI, and two DisplayPort ports. In addition, a 3.5mm port, a USB3.1 port, and a USB-C port are on the front.
Minisforum is carving out a nice niche in mini PCs. One of the strengths of this company is that it isn't content just to copy and paste reference designs, and it seems to understand that some PC users want a tiny system without giving up the chance of a respectable dose of GPU acceleration.
We don't have HX90G pricing or availability at the time of writing, but the HX90, sans-discrete GPU, launched at $649. Tweakers says Minisforum will be making HX90G Neptune series variants with a Ryzen 9 6900HX processor and Intel Alder Lake CPU options.
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Minisforum does several things right:Reply
1.) By default it is careful to populate both memory channels of the CPU with 2 DIMMS, thus giving a distinct performance boost for multi-threaded apps.
2.) It allows the users to upgrade the memory.
3.) It allows users to install 2x 2.5" HDDs or SSDs
4.) Primary disk is always user replacable NVMe.
5.) Factory disabled power saving features in the installed Windows OS and the BIOS. You always operate the mobile CPU at the peak power limit.
6.) Since it is a mobile CPU, it is as silent as a notebook.
7.) Really small box.
8.) Designed to connect several big external screens.
9.) Two Ethernet ports save the cost of an additional PC for more involved network setups.
10.) AMD GPU included with Ryzen CPUs, which beats Intel mobile GPUs.
11.) It is a "desktop PC" with notebook internals. It can cost less, because there is no need for expensive role resistant cages and the cooling solution can be somewhat bulkier.
With this approach, it easily beats most notebooks in performance, while allowing upgrades at the fraction of the cost of a comparable notebook. Unless you are an avid gamer, you dont need any other PC for most work. And you can still put the PC in to rucksack to go and visit your friend.
And of course, the plus points are what the competition is "not" doing. Go try build a 64GB RAM notebook with 16TB of SSD and see what the notebook costs.
I have a question.Reply
Compact PC and barebones specialist Minisforum has launched...
In this first sentence of the article, what exactly does "launched" mean?
no product page has been published
no dimensions have been stated
I initially read "launched" the same way I would read "released" or "is now selling" or something similar.
While we are at it why not put the CPU in a discrete box?Reply
These two devices are shaping up to be the most power hungry(hottest) and would benefit the most.