Minisforum proved that a capable workstation doesn’t must be costly; the EliteMini H31G is a strong statement of intent from the Chinese producer with a balanced performance that hits all the suitable notes. Bravo!
- Two year guarantee
- Good compute and graphics performance
- Excellent expansion options
- Solidly built
- Windows 10 Pro
- Noisy under load
- We’d love extra USB ports please!
- Storage performance could be better
One of the extra distinguished ones is Besstar Tech, often known as Minisforum whose HDMI Mini PC, the S41, we lately examined. The EliteMini H31G has simply been launched with the seller claiming that it’s the world’s smallest mini desktop with discrete graphics. In different phrases, an incredible potential alternative for the normal desktop PC, so Minisforum says, because of a 1.4L quantity.
The EliteMini H31G can be bought from Minisforum instantly for as little as $399. Our configuration, which comes with an Intel Core i7-9700F, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD retails for $749 on the time of writing after a $50 discount when you use the coupon code C-S3HXSRJ0BCYD at checkout.
This mini PC shares some design cues with a recent product we reviewed, the TBao MN25. Just like the latter, the H31G is an sq. slab with a small footprint (154 x 154 x 62mm) and a total quantity of 1400cc, far smaller than a comparable tower model.
The assemblage of steel and plastic works nicely regardless of having some tough edges and questionable however finally minor design decisions.
Connectors include: HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, USB Type-C DisplayPort, a proprietary barrel-type power socket, four USB 3.0 and three audio ports.
There’s also a microSD card reader and – it won’t come as a surprise – there’s a number of holes and fins within the chassis to chill the components inside. Minisforum bundled an additional dustproof internet, a mini DP cable, a mini HDMI cable and a VESA mount.
CPU: Core i7-9700F
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 Ti
RAM: 8GB Kingston DDR4
Storage: Kingston OM8PDP3256B-A01 256GB
Ports: 4 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB Typ-C DisplayPort, microSD Card reader audio jack, 1 x HDMI
Connectivity: Intel AX200, 802.11ac Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Size: 154 x 153 x 62mm (H x W x D)
On the heart of the EliteMini H31G is the Intel Core i7-9700F, an Espresso Lake processor which is among the last to be constructed utilizing a 14nm course of. It has eight cores and eight threads with 12MB cache, a base/turbo frequency of 3GHz/4.7GHz respectively and a TDP of 65W. Note that it doesn’t have hyperthreading or integrated graphics.
As a substitute, there’s an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 Ti (soldered onto the motherboard) with 4GB GDDR5 memory. A pair of followers with 4 copper pipes are tasked with cooling the general system which below load can generate more than 100W of heat.
There’s additionally 8GB memory in a single slot, lacking out of the dual-channel configuration. A 256GB Kingston PCIe SSD, an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 connectivity chip, Windows 10 Pro and a large 148W brick-like power provide unit that weighs 800g accompany the H31G.
Storage enlargement inside the machine is definitely pretty good. There’s no room for any 3.5-inch parts however you’ll be able to plug in a 2.5-inch SATA device (HDD or SSD) plus an M.2 2242 SATA SSD and an M.2 2280 PCIe SSD.
Right here’s how the EliteMini H31G performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
CPU-Z: 558.9 (single-thread); 4331.8 (multi-thread)
Geekbench: 1264 (single-core); 5688 (multi-core); 22716 (compute)
CrystalDiskMark: 1574MBps (read); 1267MBps (write)
Cinebench CPU: 3196
Atto: 1460MBps (read, 256mb); 1420MBps (write, 256mb)
Windows Expertise Index: 8.4
The performance of the H31G was understandably mind-blowing for a device that, let’s not overlook, prices lower than $800 and comes with eight cores and a discrete Geforce GTX1050 Ti GPU, a workstation that may be crammed and packed right into a backpack without a lot challenge.
Let’s begin with the graphics; the card is about twice as quick because the quickest built-in GPU we examined so far, the one on the Honor MagicBook Pro which comes with a built-in Vega GPU with 6 compute units clocked as much as 1.5GHz.
Computes, its eight cores give it the sting on most different systems we’ve examined (bar the monstrous XMG Apex 15 which has 16 cores) whereas the storage subsystem is a slight disappointment nudging only 1.57GBps and 1.27GBps on learn/write below CrystalDiskMark. We’re splitting hairs right here although as these numbers are completely acceptable for all however some edge instances.
Rivals to the H31G have to have a small kind issue and the precise configuration which incorporates the Geforce card. We couldn’t discover something comparable within the US; the PCs have been both too costly or, in the event that they retailed for roughly the identical worth, didn’t embrace the graphics card.
It’s a distinct story altogether in China the place Minisforum hails from. Aliexpress is awash with related merchandise that appears to originate from the identical ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) however are barely dearer at just below $1000.
Two fashions nonetheless are price considering from Banggood, the $660 HYSTOU F8 and the $810 NVISEN Y-GX01; both of them have a 256GB SSD and a more highly effective Nvidia Geforce GTX1650 GPU. The HYSTOU has 8GB RAM and an Intel Core i7-7920HQ (quad-core/eight-threads) whereas the NVISEN has 16GB of RAM and an Intel Core I7-9750H (six-cores/12-threads).
The third potential choice is to construct it yourself utilizing the $399 barebone unit; nonetheless we’re very doubtful which you can get an Intel Core i7-9700F processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD for $350. Add in the price of Windows 10 Pro, the 3-year warranty and the opportunity value related to constructing the PC and also you’re higher off simply shopping for it.
The EliteMini H31G compares very favorably with the large brands on the market. We couldn’t discover something available on the market that can compete with it each in terms of features and pricing. Minisforum managed to deliver the Goldilocks of mini workstations.
Simply bear in mind that this is not a gaming PC and regardless of the cooling system that it prides itself of, the H31G can get fairly noisy below load. One minor grip we had was with the dearth of additional USB ports; 4 is simply not sufficient in this day and age.
Other than that there’s hardly something we’d advocate bettering. Oh, possibly one last, how about pairing an eight-core AMD Ryzen CPU with an Nvidia Geforce 1650 for the following flagship mini PC for a similar worth? That’s a tantalizing prospectus and creatives would salivate at.