Minisforum MS-01 Launched 10GbE Mini PC First Look

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Minisforum MS 01 Back
Minisforum MS 01 Back

Let me start by saying that we are going to have our full review soon. At the same time, we had a number of readers ping me yesterday across various platforms about the Minisforum MS-01, a system that has been floating around in our forums for several months. Just after Minisforum officially launched the product, our review unit arrived via DHL. So instead of just saying that something launched, we figured, why not show a real unit? Let us get to it.

Minisforum MS-01 Launched 10GbE Mini PC First Look

Given the timelines, we do not have a full video yet, but here is a short from our new STH Labs channel on the new system.

As for the unit itself, it is notably larger than a 1L Project TinyMiniMicro PC, and much larger than many of the smaller mini PCs we have reviewed. It is still relatively compact in size despite that.

Minisforum MS 01 Front
Minisforum MS 01 Front

On the rear of the unit, we get a few notable ports. Those include dual SFP+ 10GbE ports, dual 2.5GbE ports, and two USB 4 (supports Thunderbolt 3 devices) ports.

Minisforum MS 01 Back
Minisforum MS 01 Back

Inside we get an Intel Core i9-13900H (there is a less expensive i9-12900H model as well) and a cooling solution similar to a HP Elite Mini, except with screws to get to the memory instead of a tool-less design.

Minisforum MS 01 Internal Overview CPU Memory And PCIe Slot Side CPU Top
Minisforum MS 01 Internal Overview CPU Memory And PCIe Slot Side CPU Top

The PCIe slot can be hard to see in pictures, but this is a PCIe x16 slot with an x8 electrical connection. Using a GPU here lowers the TDP of the CPU and also may require a bigger PSU.

Minisforum MS 01 LP PCIe Slot
Minisforum MS 01 LP PCIe Slot

On the bottom, removing the cooling fan, we can see the three M.2 slots, with one special slot.

Minisforum MS 01 Internal Overview SSD And WiFi Side
Minisforum MS 01 Internal Overview SSD And WiFi Side

The special slot has an internal switch to supply 12V power so it can power a U.2 NVMe SSD. If you have this set to U.2, and you insert a M.2 drive, there is a good chance you would fry the drive. There is a big warning sticker, but if you have ever seen a M.2 to SFF-8639 adapter and wondered why there was a power input instead of just pulling M.2 power, this is a similar reason.

Minisforum MS 01 Sandisk In M.2 To U.2 Converter
Minisforum MS 01 Sandisk In M.2 To U.2 Converter

There is really a lot to like with this little box and there are folks we have seen in reviews asking for almost this exact system. We are not completely sure whether to classify it as a server or as a workstation at this point.

Final Words

There is still a ton of work to be done on this system, but our team is on it. We also are kitting the system out with a bunch of different features. The NVIDIA RTX A2000 mobile (not desktop) is more of a DIY solution. We could not find a compatible module on AliExpress last night. Still, we have ideas.

More coming in the full review. In the meantime, you can check out local pricing on the Minisforum website (Affiliate link.)

28 COMMENTS

  1. I’m really interested in this thing but what scares me is first of all the noise it probably generates, and also – U.2 drive seems like a bad idea, i’d much rather have a way to connect a regular sata ssd drive since finding one that’s high capacity won’t cost more than the machine itself.

  2. The price on this thing is extremely reasonable for what this machine packs. Looking forward to reviews. I might consider picking up one or two.

  3. @Christos: Everything you want to know is in the forum thread:

    10G NIC: Intel X710
    2.5G NICs: Intel I226-V + Intel I226-LM(with vpro kvm support)

  4. WTF!!!This external interface is too intimidating.
    I think the only drawback is that the CPU is not AMD’s 7945HX.

  5. this is cool, especially the I/O (kudos to Minisforum!!)..BUT…only single sided nvme’s (hence the 2tb limit) along with 2 modules or RAM for a max of either 64 or 96 RAM (is 96 confirmed??) limits it’s usefulness for a All-in-one homelab server. Add in the intel e-core issues with some hypervisors, I would say wait to see if they produce a ryzen version. NOTE**: For those that want a Homelab in a box and not a workstation, wait a bit longer for the new AM5 version of the deskmeet that was announced. Full desktop CPU, GEN 5 nvme, 4 memory slots for up to 192GB RAM.

  6. It always cracks me up when someone comes out with an innovative product like this at a very reasonable price, there is always someone who isn’t happy and produces a list of specs and features irregardless of what it will do to the price or balance of functionality.

    “I want a Corvette Z06 with the ability to tow my 22′ RV” or “I want a high perf off road truck that can 5th wheel a camper but still get 23 mpg”. “I want a hybrid SUV that can carry 6 people and luggage on trips and still allows me to race it on weekends”

    Just like when a new RaspPi or SBC comes out, “it sucks because it can’t do PCIe Gen 5 and support ECC ram”. When its obvious that it was never ever designed to do such a thing.

  7. @Mama – well, unless I overlooked something, I’d argue – if you were the target audience, you’d have already tested it yourself. Unfortunately, you/me are not target audience, bcs we’re not going to buy them in bulk, so either solidrun will not even bother with us, or the price will likely be way over what’d be comfortable to pay (given the recent quote I received from simplynuc for their v2000 mobo only for 550e). And I could not see anyplace to buy them as consumers. The same goes for other interesting machines, e.g. german eepd.

    @Bobii – very unlikely since intel says those cpus don’t support ecc.

  8. @stanos4 – sooooo, we should just love every product? this thing is cool, but it has some weird quirks if you want to use it in your homelab. If you like it, buy it….but make sure you understand that it might not accomplish what you need it to a bit down the line. Not sure why you would buy intel for a homelab, as the e-cores are an issue for virtualization, so Ryzen would be better…there isn’t much reason not design it to use double sided nvme’s, but they didn’t. using mobile chips only allows 2 memory modules, so there is a limit…and memory is much more of a limiting factor over CPU when running vms…no gen 5 nvme means you will be left behind in the coming year when it becomes fully adopted. this product is very much a v1 product that will leave you wishing that you waited for v2 or the ryzen version.

  9. @Seethe You could be surprised if you check the price of KINGSTON U2 DC1500M SSDs ! They are less expensive than their 2,5′ SATA counterpart (DC500M and DC600M), even for 7,68 TB.
    SATA is a pity with 10 GB NICs.

  10. Intel’s asymmetric P and E-core CPU designs date from the end of 2021. As this is now 2024, that seems like some time ago. Even so, software has not caught up. Automatically scheduling tasks across different core types turns out to be a difficult problem.

    Surprisingly, isolating specific cores for virtualization, though apparently easier, is also a case where software is behind the capabilities of the hardware.

    Sometimes I think about getting an E and P core processor just to taste the difficulties. Then I remember that difficulties are not always that fun.

    Could the main use for a home lab be learning how to efficiently use P and E cores at the same time?

  11. @stanos4
    Fair enough, but I was hoping to see a review for over a year now. I can’t buy this unit without knowing it’s compatible with Proxmox/Debian etc. You can buy single units from at least some EU sites, but they don’t list the price.

    “Of course, the big question many of our readers will have is whether we will review the new Bedrock PCs. The answer is: that is the plan.” – https://www.servethehome.com/solidrun-bedrock-pc-with-the-amd-ryzen-v3000-series-coming/

  12. Do you know if the Minisforum X710 chip can handle 2.5GbE please ?

    I use a GPON SFP ONU and i need to sync at 2.5 so i can use my internet connection at full speed. Looks like some X710 versions can and some just cant …

    Thanks !

  13. Patrick congratulations on this quick preview. Could you post here RAM details (brand-model-size) that was inside the MS-01 or you used to check it?
    I have sent an email to their support and got typical reply only about sodimm DDR5/5200 speed.
    Also, when should we expect full review?
    Thank you in advance.

  14. FYI in regards of ECC,

    I’ve been in touch with after sales people of Minisforum, and I was told that (direct quote):

    does those support DDR5 ECC


    Server level ECC is not supported.
    All DDR5 come with inline ECC

    Sooooo – that’s the answer. Now, I think it would be nice to have a full ECC, however for machine of this class and price point – I’m still fine.

  15. That mention of the DeskMeet, definitely looks like a good box for a Hyper Converged cluster, with the 2×3.5″ drives etc. Will be keep an eye on that, as my Lab is about due a renewal..

  16. Hi experts,

    Does anyone know if I could connect an eGPU via the USBC port? I believe it supports thunderbolt, correct?

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