It makes no sense to deny that personal computers in a miniature form factor, although they are not market leaders in terms of sales, nevertheless have a steady demand from users who value compact size and low power consumption. From the listed advantages directly follow the disadvantages of such products, for example, modest upgrade opportunities or performance limitations. The latter is sufficient for everyday tasks, but may not be enough to run specific professional applications and, of course, resource-intensive 3D games. As a result, miniature PCs perform well both as a home entertainment center and as an office workhorse. The benchmark in this category of devices is considered to be Intel NUC, which were introduced back in 2012 and continue to develop successfully so far. Since then, many worthy implementations of this concept have appeared on the market, both from the side of Intel itself and its many competitors, for example, ASUSTek or MSI. Along with A-brand products, users can pay attention to models from numerous manufacturers from China, but in this case, logistics issues fall on the shoulders of the buyers themselves, and technical support and warranty service, as a rule, leave much to be desired. The Brain company, which has been operating on the Ukrainian IT market for more than 20 years, took up the solution of these problems, and the result was the creation in 2015 of the Vinga brand, which offers goods with a good price-quality ratio with the possibility of full warranty service in one of 16 service centers. centers of the Brain company, but without overpayment for the “name”. Vinga products are already familiar to our readers from reviews of power supplies, cases and cooling systems of the same name. In addition, the brand’s assortment includes peripherals, network equipment, consumables for office equipment, as well as laptops and personal computers. Among the latter there are economical ultra-compact models, such as Vinga Mini PC V650, to which we dedicate today’s review.
The product with the article number V65010510U.161T that got into our test lab is based on an energy-efficient Intel Core i7-10510u processor, equipped with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB solid state drive. Note that other configurations are also available to customers: from barebone kits for self-assembly to ready-to-use devices with Microsoft Windows 10 Home or Pro pre-installed. We will talk about all the features of the novelty during the review process, but now let’s take a look at the specifications of Vinga Mini PC V650.
|Model||Vinga Mini PC V650 (V65010510U.161T)|
|Official product page||Mini PC V650|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10510U 1.8GHz (TDP 15W, 4 cores, 8 threads)|
|RAM||2x SO-DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 8 GB 2666 MHz Exceleram E416269SD (32 GB maximum)|
|Video card||Intel UHD Graphics (24 EU, 1150 MHz)|
|Video connectors||1x HDMI (4096 x 2304@24 Гц), 1 x DisplayPort (4096 x 2304@60 Гц)|
|Disk subsystem||1x M.2 Leven JP600 1024GB, 1x SATA 6Gb/s|
|I/O ports||1x USB 3.2 Type-C, 4x USB 3.2, 2x USB 2.0, 1x RJ-45, 1x 3.5mm analog audio jack|
|Sound subsystem||Realtek ALC269|
|Communications||1х Realtek (Gigabit Ethernet), 1x Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n+ac, Bluetooth 4.2)|
|Power Supply||External (19V, 40W)|
|Dimensions, mm||128 x 128 x 38|
|Additional features||VESA mount, TPM module|
|Recommended price||UAH 20932|
Contents of delivery
The device comes in a medium-sized cardboard box. There are no complaints about the quality of materials and printing, as well as the design: it is strict and not defiant, made in soothing dark colors. The front side has the brand name and model name, as well as an image of Vinga Mini PC V650.
The reverse side shows the original manufacturer – Shenzhen Elebao Technology Co., Ltd from China, as well as contacts of importers in Ukraine and EU countries. In addition, some of the features of the novelty are shown on the back surface, such as Bluetooth 4.0 support, the ability to mount on a VESA bracket, and a “robust case”.
The contents of the box are laid out in polyurethane foam boxes, and a set of accessories is enclosed in a separate cardboard box. By the way, the list of accessories consists of:
- a metal adapter plate for mounting the device on a VESA bracket and a set of screws;
- network adapter ADS-40SI-19-3 with an output voltage of 19 V and a power of 40 W;
- power cord with CEE 7/4 plug;
- paper documentation “Operating Manual” and “User’s Manual”;
- SATA cable for connecting a 2.5” drive and a set of mounting screws.
The miniature PC is enclosed in an all-metal case made of aluminum alloy. Its matte khaki metal finish not only looks great, but is quite practical in terms of visibility of dust and fingerprints. The weight of the novelty is 650 g with dimensions of 128x128x38 mm, which is comparable to the “canonical” Intel NUC with their dimensions of 115x111x51 mm. Along the perimeter of the case there is a polished chamfer that performs exclusively aesthetic functions.
At the bottom of the case there are six rows of large ventilation holes, covered from the inside with a fine mesh to protect against dust, four rubber feet are located in the corners, and a factory plastic sticker is visible in the center, on both sides of which you can see a pair of holes for mounting a VESA adapter plate. Another sticker – this time paper – carries information about the article of the product, its serial number and production date.
While the lower part of the case of the Vinga Mini PC V650 is removable for Intel NUCs and their analogues, on the contrary, the top cover is removed, which serves as a chassis for installing a 2.5 ”drive. Recall that for its operation, the package includes a corresponding cable with a SATA connector and four M3 screws.
On the front panel of the device are two USB3.2 connectors and two USB 2.0 ports, a combined analog audio jack, LED indicators for disk subsystem activity and power, as well as a large metal power button.
On the back of the case, there was a place for an external power supply connector, an RJ-45 network socket, two USB3.2 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort digital video outputs – both with support for 4K image output, as well as a USB 3.2 Type-C connector. The latter does not have an image output function and does not support the Thunderbolt protocol.
The design of the side faces of Vinga Mini PC V650 is identical: their central part is occupied by a black plastic insert, and below there are a number of ventilation holes. At first, we assumed that these inserts play a purely decorative role, but later it became clear that they serve to operate wireless network antennas, which otherwise could not function in an all-metal case.
Inside the case is a motherboard with a pair of SO-DIMM slots that can accept up to 32 GB of RAM, inclusive. In our case, they were occupied by an Exceleram E416269SD RAM kit, consisting of two DDR4-2667 modules with a capacity of 8 GB each. In addition, the system board is equipped with two M.2 ports for installing a wireless network adapter and a 2280 format SSD with SATA 6 Gb / s or PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface. The first is the budget solution Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 with support for Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi standards IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n + ac at speeds up to 433 Mbps, while the storage function is performed by Leven JP600 with a capacity of 1024 GB. This SSD is based on the SM2263XT quad-channel controller, which lacks a DRAM buffer, but thanks to the support of HMB (Host Memory Buffer) technology, it can use RAM to store the address translation table. Eight Micron 64-layer TLC NAND flash chips with a capacity of 128 GB each are used as flash memory chips.
The Realtek controller is responsible for supporting the wired Gigabit Ethernet network, and analog audio is output using the Realtek ACL269 HDA codec. On the reverse side of the motherboard is a cooling system consisting of a copper base with a heatsink and a radial fan, which, alas, is not equipped with a speed sensor.
Hidden under the cooler is an energy-efficient 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510u processor codenamed Comet Lake. Made using 14nm lithography, this CPU is equipped with four processing cores, which, thanks to Hyper-Threading technology, can process up to eight program threads. Microarchitecturally, the Core i7-10510u goes back to the Intel Skylake processors introduced in 2015. Each of the computing cores is equipped with L1 and L2 cache memory with a total volume of 64 KB and 256 KB, respectively, SIMD instructions SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, AVX2.0, FMA3 are supported, as well as AES encryption acceleration. The capacity of the L3 cache common to all cores is 8 MB, and the CPU components communicate with each other via a ring bus, to which a dual-channel RAM controller supporting DDR4-2666, LPDDR3-2133, LPDDR4-2933 standards, and an integrated graphics core Intel UHD Graphics are connected. The Core i7-10510u TDP is set at 15W, the stock clock speed is 1800MHz, which can be dynamically increased up to 4900MHz thanks to the Turbo Boost technology. In the case of the Vinga Mini PC V650, the manufacturer increased the TDP to 25 W, which made it possible to keep the frequency at a load of all cores at 2300 MHz, and when running single-threaded applications, the processor accelerated to 4400 MHz and higher.
As for the integrated UHD Graphics card, this solution belongs to the ninth generation of Intel graphics cores, it includes 24 execution units that operate at frequencies up to 1150 MHz inclusive. The video accelerator supports API DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.2 and is compatible with Intel’s proprietary Clear Video HD technology, designed to improve image quality. The Intel Quick Sync block provides hardware acceleration for processing HVEC and VP-9 video streams at resolutions up to 8K inclusive.
Frankly, the Comet Lake graphics subsystem has not changed since the days of the 7th generation Intel processors, its performance in demanding 3D games is clearly insufficient, while the multimedia capabilities of Intel UHD Graphics are at a fairly high level. However, performance tests are ahead of us, which will dot the “i”, and now let’s take a look at the capabilities of the UEFI setup menu.