Today we are looking at the Sapphire Edge HD4 Mini PC, the latest in their Edge lineup which features an Intel Celeron processor. We reviewed the EDGE HD3 in February 2012, powered by the AMD E450 and the EDGE VS8 in December 2012, powered by the AMD A8 4555M APU. How does the EDGE HD4 Mini PC slot into the lineup and is it worth buying?
At the heart of the Edge HD4 is the new dual core Intel Celeron 847 processor, which according to official specifications demands only 17 watts at the socket. Sapphire wanted to release an Intel based EDGE, following up on the first EDGE PC which we reviewed way back in March 2011. The machine at this time featured the Intel Atom D510 processor and proved popular with the audience who yearned for a diminutive, low power Intel system, particularly for specific certified software.
The EDGE HD4 shares the same slim outline as the other models in the range. It is worth pointing out at this early stage that these machines are not suited for hard core gamers, the graphics performance means that there are strict limitations. They can however replace a bulky desktop PC in a living room or bedroom and are ideal within an office environment, dramatically reducing the physical footprint and overall power draw at the socket.
Sapphire were generous enough to let us hang onto the original EDGE in 2011 and we still have it in action behind a television set in a spare room, it has worked flawlessly now as a media center for several years and is invisible to the naked eye.
Why could this be important? Well it would be fair to say that many men have to deal with unhappy partners, who don't want an ugly computer case hogging floor space in a living room. In this situation, the EDGE is an ideal choice.
In addition to the Intel Celeron 847 processor, specifications of the SAPPHIRE EDGE HD4 include 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard drive and built in wireless connectivity as well as high speed LAN port, one USB 3.0 and three USB 2.0 ports. It provides high resolution graphics output with a full HD (1920×1080) HDMI interface (with an HDMI cable and HDMI-DVI adapter also supplied) as well as a VGA monitor output and it has built-in audio with mic-in and line-out sockets.
The EDGE HD4 doesn't ship with an operating system installed so you need to budget the cost of a license to get it up and running. It has full support for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. All the drivers are supplied on a disc which is included in the box.
One of the main selling points for buying the EDGE is the incredibly low power drain. In the past we have documented that these systems will require around a tenth of the power of an average desktop computer system. They can be left on 24/7/365 without having a noticeably negative impact on an electricity bill.