Minisforum HX90 Internal Hardware Overview
Once the bottom cover is off, we can see the storage and WiFi area.
The unit has room for two 2.5″ SSDs. One item we were not crazy about was that they use proprietary cables to connect power and data to the motherboard. Still the design uses two hooks on one side, then the drive(s) can be secured via two additional screws.
This system only has one M.2 slot. Here we get a Kingston PCIe Gen3 NVMe SSD at 512GB in our configuration (others available.) Compared to some of the SSDs we saw in units like the Topton M6 this is at least a brand many are familiar with.
The WiFi on the listing we purchased from said WiFi 6, but this unit came with WiFi 6E. It was a MediaTek module, so that is a little less exciting than getting an Intel AX210.
Getting inside the system takes some prying, but once inside the motherboard exposes upgradable SODIMMs. Still, getting to this side of the chassis is much more difficult.
The SODIMMs are also Kingston units.
We noticed a second 4-pin PWM fan header, but this was not being used in our system.
The heatsink is a downward firing fan design with two heat pipes and in a black finish.
This heatsink fan pulls air through the top hole of the chassis.
Minisforum seems to have had challenges with pre-production units and liquid metal, but our unit did not have stray liquid metal on the board.
Something that we wish Minisforum looked at is to use a larger heatsink potentially dropping temperatures and fan noise even more.
Next, let us get to the performance.
Minisforum HX90 Performance
Instead of going through the entire Linux-Bench test suite, we are going to show a few performance and power numbers here to give a general sense of performance. This also gives us the opportunity to test with Linux/ Ubuntu instead of just Windows.
Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark
This is one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read:
Performance of the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is very good, topping the 5750GE we see in the 1L PC segment by a small margin.
7-zip Compression Performance
7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is a 45W base TDP CPU, so it is a higher-end CPU than many of the 35W TDP CPUs we see in the Project TinyMiniMicro space. That extra TDP headroom is yielding more performance.
OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:
Here are the verify results:
This is still an 8 core 16 thread Zen3 CPU, but we get some solid performance out of the CPU. In the video we discussed the GPU side which is still the Vega 8. It is not great for gaming, but works well for things like YouTube 4K and also game streaming via in-home streaming with Steam.
We also looked at the Kingston SSD performance, it is certainly a NVMe SSD, but it is not exactly top-tier PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSD performance. We are now starting to see some mini PCs/ TMM nodes with Gen4 SSDs so this is good but not a great result.