The Sapphire EDGE-HD Mini PC made quite an impression in the KitGuru labs as it was being tested over the last couple of weeks. A PC barely bigger than a compact disc case is certainly an eye catching piece of technology to get people talking.
On a performance level, the Intel Atom D510 is never going to set the performance charts on fire, in fact it is already beginning to look dated after the latest release of the AMD E350 which outpowers it in all the key areas. To be fair however, the Sapphire EDGE-HD PC is perfectly capable of playing 1080p content, watching high definition flash movies and handling even bare bones gaming duties. Additionally, the Nvidia Ion graphics can assist the Intel Atom processor with encoding and other demanding duties, granting more CPU cycles to the user.
Build quality is stellar and we still can’t get over the fact that Sapphire have managed to push noise emissions to around 27dBa under load. This is certainly a system that can be left on 24/7, even in a bedroom environment without disturbing the occupants. Power consumption is also class leading, drawing just over 20 watts at idle, around the same power as a Synology NAS system. You can be sure that the electricity bill won’t take a pounding if this is left on for a large portion of the day or night.
Connectivity is passable, although the omission of USB 3.0 and eSATA might concern a small portion of the prospective audience. With onboard wireless and gigabit lan support however, the networking capabilities are not to be overlooked. The inclusion of a substantial 250GB hard drive deserves a mention, even if it is relatively slow.
The pricing right now is around £250 inc vat in the UK which means this is extremely good value for money. You just need to factor in the potential costs for the operating system and you are ready to rock.
KitGuru says: A fantastic media system, or low powered PC for the house. Its silent, demands very little power. You won’t even know its there!