Looking for a tiny but powerful PC? Check out the Minisforum U820/U850

Hong Kong-based miniature PC specialist Minisforum introduced two new fashions of its signature NUC-like minis out there for pre-order this week; the U820 and U850. These sibling fashions share the identical fundamental kind issue and specs—they’re palm-sized packing containers filled with enter, output, and storage ports as proven under. The U850 gives an Intel i5-10210U CPU, and its cheaper U820 sibling sports activities an i5-8259U.

These methods measure 5×5 inches, at 2.5 inches tall, and include VESA mount {hardware} that can be utilized to mount them on to the again of most displays. They help as much as three simultaneous shows (HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C), and may make nice homebrew routers due to their twin Ethernet interfaces.

We should always notice that these methods can be found for pre-order now, with transport anticipated in April—however this isn’t Minisforum’s first rodeo; it has been transport miniature PCs like these for a number of years by way of direct gross sales and Amazon.


Specs at a look: U820 / U850
CPU Intel i5-8249U (U820)
Intel i5-10210U (U850)
OS Home windows 10 Professional (pre-installed) / Linux supported
GPU Intel UHD 630 / Intel Iris+ 655
Wi-Fi M.2 2230 Wi-Fi 6, dual-band + BlueTooth 5.1
SSD M.2 2280 512GB NVMe SSD
  • two SATA ports
  • one full-size HDMI 2.0
  • one full-size DisplayPort
  • one USB-C (full featured)
  • one USB-C (cost solely)
  • 4 USB3.1 Kind-A
  • one 1Gbps Ethernet
  • one 2.5Gbps Ethernet
  • one 3.5mm audio
  • one Digital Mic
Worth as specified $639 (U820) / $699 (U850)

Each processors are quad-core with hyperthreading enabled, however the efficiency scenario is not what you would possibly count on. The i5-8259U has a 28W TDP in comparison with the i5-10210U’s 15W, nevertheless it’s about 25 p.c sooner, with a multi-threaded Passmark rating of 8348 to the 10210U’s 6541. It additionally sports activities Iris+ 655 built-in graphics, with 58 p.c increased scores in 3DMark Time Spy and 74 p.c increased scores in Fireplace Strike than the newer i5-1021U’s UHD 630.

If you happen to’re contemplating upgrading the system from the 16GiB RAM it ships with, the i5-8259U could be upgraded to a most of 32GiB (2x 16GiB DDR4 SODIMMs), and the i5-10210U could be upgraded to 64GiB (2x 32GiB DDR4 SODIMMs). In both case, you will find yourself needing to exchange the shipped system RAM solely, since 16GiB (in 2x 8GiB DDR4 SODIMMs) is the one buy choice.

For many general-purpose use, both of those processors can be high-quality—however except you want the decrease TDP or increased most RAM of the i5-10210U, we would advocate saving a couple of dollars and going with the cheaper however throughout increased efficiency i5-8259U.

Working methods and compatibility

The U820 and U850 ship with Home windows 10 Skilled pre-installed. Minisforum PCs usually haven’t got a Home windows OEM sticker on them however as an alternative embody the important thing straight in BIOS, very like Dell or HP laptops do.

I purchased an earlier mannequin of Minisforum PC (DMAF5) on Amazon final yr to exchange my daughter’s college PC. It additionally shipped with Home windows 10 Professional and didn’t present any indicators of illegitimacy previous to me wiping it and reloading with Ubuntu. I confirmed the presence of its Home windows key in BIOS this morning.

Enlarge / This Minisforum DMAF5 is operating Ubuntu Focal now, however we are able to verify the presence of its BIOS-installed Home windows key due to the magic of /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM.

Jim Salter

All of Minisforum’s PCs so far have absolutely supported Linux. Minisforum’s announcement didn’t point out Linux help, however we broadly count on it to be no totally different. Equally, its announcement didn’t specify the precise Wi-Fi chipset used—however I can verify that the DMAF5 mannequin talked about above makes use of Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (regardless of its AMD Ryzen CPU) with full Linux help, and I look forward to finding the identical chipset within the newer fashions.

We now have reached out to Minisforum for official affirmation on Wi-Fi chipset and general Linux compatibility and can replace right here when that data arrives.

Itemizing picture by minisforum

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