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Sapphire Edge Mini PC Review

Price: $300


It seems like computers are just getting smaller and smaller lately. Netbooks, Net-tops and mobile phones that are as powerful as desktop PC's from not that long ago are becoming more and more common. Packing a full PC into a small package has the advantage of taking up less space (obviously), lowering the cost and typically lowering the power usage. While all of this sounds great in theory, netbooks and net-tops end up being underpowered due to their low-power processors and integrated graphics that are really only capable of photo viewing, internet browsing and standard definition video.

Here is where the Sapphire Edge Mini PC comes into play. The Edge Mini PC definitely fits the main specifications of a net-top; it is extremely small; it will be relatively inexpensive and it will consume very little power (around 20 Watts). Right there, however, is where the similarities end. The Edge Mini PC utilizes the second generation NVIDIA ION 2 platform. This platform is comprised of an Intel Atom processor paired with a next generation NVIDIA graphics core. The Edge Mini PC was purpose built to be small form-factor, low-cost and low-power all without sacrificing any performance in the process. Let's see if the world of HD Video, parallel processing and multitasking is really available in such a small package.


Closer Look:

The Sapphire Edge comes in a pretty attractive glossy greyscale + blue box. Around the front you get a quick rundown of specs, list of features and included accessories. Moving over to the right side, there are the detailed system specifications. The back has a size comparison shot next to a hand that really shows off its size, a detail view of the rear ports and a description of the Edge’s capabilities. The packaging is pretty minimal; there is no wasted cardboard, foam or plastic here.










Opening up the box you get a thin piece of cardboard and foam on top, with the computer directly under it wrapped in anti-static packaging. Under that are all of the accessories.



Included is a “Quickly Install Guide”, HDMI to DVI Adapter, HDMI cable, the stand, a Sapphire-branded USB flash drive containing the drivers and the power adapter.



With the more-than-adequate packaging and accessories out of the way, let's take a look at the computer itself..

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Closer Look (BIOS)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup
  6. Testing: iTunes, Winzip, VLC
  7. Testing: Apophysis, Geekbench, Bibble 5, PCMark Vantage
  8. Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2010
  9. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench, HDTune
  10. Extras: Power Consumption & Temperatures
  11. Conclusion
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