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AMD Ryzen 4000-Powered Asus Mini PC Challenges Intel's NUC

Asus PN50 ryzen mini pc

Asus PN50 (Image credit: Inet)

Intel NUCs may be the name you think of when it comes to mini-PCs, but Asus' PN50 could give the tiny systems a run for their money. According to a report from Korean publication iT DongA, the PN50 will be armed to the teeth with AMD's Ryzen 4000 U-series (Renoir) APUs.

The PN50 will reportedly feature Zen 2 APUs that span from the entry-level Ryzen 3 4300U chip with four CPU cores up to the octa-core flagship Ryzen 7 4800U. Surprisingly, Asus doesn't seem to offer the PN50 with a Ryzen 5 4600U, which means consumers who want a hexa-core option will be stuck with a Ryzen 5 4500U that lacks SMT

The current schedule for the PN50 pintpoints the Ryzen 3 4300U and Ryzen 5 4500U models with a release date in July and the Ryzen 7 4700U and Ryzen 7 4800U models for an August launch.

AMD Ryzen 4000 U-Series Specifications

ProcessorCores / ThreadsBase / Boost Clock (GHz)Cache (MB)Graphics CoresGraphics Frequency (MHz)TDP (W)
Ryzen 7 4800U8 / 161.8 / 4.21281,75015
Ryzen 7 4700U8 / 82.0 / 4.11271,60015
Ryzen 5 4600U6 / 122.1 / 4.01161,50015
Ryzen 5 4500U6 / 62.3 / 4.01161,50015
Ryzen 3 4300U4 / 42.7 / 3.7651,40015

The PN50 looks almost identical to the current PN60 with a few changes here and there. Swedish retailer Inet has already listed different variants of the PN50, which also gives us a peek at the PN50's specifications.

The PN50 reportedly comes in at 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.9 inches ( 115 x 115 x 49mm) and weighs 1.5 pounds (0.7kg). These are the same dimensions and weight of the PN60. 

Intel's NUC 10 Performance (codename Frost Canyon) measures 4.6 x 4.4 x 2 inches (117 x 112 x 51mm), making the PN50 a legitimate NUC alternative.

When it comes to the PN50's internals, there's an M.2 slot for M.2 drives and spacing for a standard 2.5-inch drive as well. The mini PC comes with two SO-DIMM DDR4 slots for up to 64GB of RAM, which is quite enticing for such a tiny device. Keep in mind that AMD's Zen 2 CPUs come with native support for DDR4-3200 memory modules, so the PN50 shouldn't be bottlenecked by memory.

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Asus PN50

Asus PN50 (Image credit: Inet)
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Asus PN50

Asus PN50 (Image credit: Inet)

The PN50 has one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port up front and another USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports at the rear. The other interfaces include a microSD card reader and 3.5mm audio jack.

Asus' mini PC provides a conventional Gigabit Ethernet port; however, Inet also lists the PN50 with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity via the included Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 wireless card.

The PN50 can also appease multi-taskers with one HDMI 2.0 port and one DisplayPort 1.4 output. You could also put the two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports into DisplayPort Alternative Mode and have the PN50 power up to four 4K resolution displays at the same time. The Ryzen 4000 U-series parts sport sufficient Vega cores so they aren't a slouch on iGPU performance either.

Since Inet is a Swedish store, we've deducted the standard 25% VAT (value-added tax) rate from the prices and converted the results from krona to dollars. The Ryzen 3 4300U and Ryzen 5 4500U models sell for $325.52 and $334.18, respectively. The Ryzen 7 4700U and Ryzen 7 4800U models, on the other hand, will set you back $385.69 and $505.96, respectively.

  • ColoradoClyde
    I like it! I probably would have bought this if it were available a while ago. But if you're willing to go slightly bigger (6" x 6" x 3"), the Asrock A300W has an AM4 socket, 2 SODIMM slots, WiFi, 2 M.2 slots, and 2 SATA ports, which is what I went with. It's great for my home automation system. This PN50 is going to be a bit lower power since it uses a laptop CPU, but the AM4 socket on the A300 would allow for upgrades.
    Reply
  • chaz_music
    I looked to see if they have ECC but there is no information yet. If they do have ECC memory support, I have several uses for them, right away.
    Reply
  • dlee67
    Seems like this form factor would be nice to put a 4600G instead of only the U series. Is there any thought or plans in that direction?
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    A good step in the right direction from mini-PC makers in AMD adoption. Only thing I could see being a deal-breaker for some people is the lack of as many USB-C and thunderbolt 3 altogether. Hopefully OEMs keep up this trend and by next year we will have feature parity with Intel NUCs while having great AMD CPU performance.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    This is like a dreambox 4 years ago. 8 core 16 threads, gaming enabled with 32GB of ram and nvme storage AND hopefully VESA mountable.
    But that was 4 year ago, and not it seems like just ok box
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    It looks... awful (When compared to the nuc range).
    Reply
  • RodroX
    Great news, specially considering the amount of power Ryzen 4xxx APUs are showing on the laptop segment (even with almost all OEMs <Mod Edit> about leaving AMD to only mid-lower tier products).
    Reply
  • heffeque
    Would seriously consider one of these.
    It would be perfect if the maximum TDP could be configured through BIOS (10 to 25 Watt as far as I know).

    That way the user can decide whether to have a completely silent (passive cooling) mode with 10 Watt, up to high performance with 25W with the fans revved up.
    Reply
  • spiff72
    ColoradoClyde said:
    I like it! I probably would have bought this if it were available a while ago. But if you're willing to go slightly bigger (6" x 6" x 3"), the Asrock A300W has an AM4 socket, 2 SODIMM slots, WiFi, 2 M.2 slots, and 2 SATA ports, which is what I went with. It's great for my home automation system. This PN50 is going to be a bit lower power since it uses a laptop CPU, but the AM4 socket on the A300 would allow for upgrades.
    That is an intriguing setup - can you share your build specs with that A300? (What CPU, memory, storage, etc)? Can this use a Ryzen G-series CPU to get graphics support (or MUST you use a G-series - I can't tell whether this board has onboard graphics)...
    Thanks!
    Reply
  • Flosster
    spiff72 said:
    That is an intriguing setup - can you share your build specs with that A300? (What CPU, memory, storage, etc)? Can this use a Ryzen G-series CPU to get graphics support (or MUST you use a G-series - I can't tell whether this board has onboard graphics)...
    Thanks!

    The A300W is an STX form factor barebones motherboard and case. You MUST use a CPU that has graphics with it. It is based on the B320 chipset and made by Asrock which means it is very iffy if it will have an upgrade path. If you need an SFF machine now and don't care about CPU upgradability, this barebones kit may be a good choice. If you want the new 4000-series, wait until it's released before restarting the research process.
    Reply