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Sapphire EDGE VS8 Barebones Model Review (8GB/SSD)

Rating: 9.0.

Kitguru has reviewed many of the diminutive, versatile Sapphire EDGE systems in the last couple of years. 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. In early February we also reviewed the latest Celeron powered EDGE HD4. Today however we have something really special for you – the enthusiast focused barebones version of the EDGE VS8.

The EDGE VS8 has been my personal favourite of all the EDGE systems I have reviewed to date. The quad core AMD A8 4555M APU (1.6ghz) proved quite powerful and capable of handling a variety of tasks, a significant step above the Intel ATOM processors of yesteryear. It also demands very little power at the socket, which is a huge selling point if the system is to be left on 24/7.

My biggest problem with all of Sapphire’s EDGE systems has been the company insistence on including a painfully slow 2.5 inch 5,400 rpm mechanical hard drive. This has had a hugely negative impact on the overall performance of the system.

The barebones version of the EDGE VS8 negates this concern, as the system doesn’t ship with memory or a hard drive. You therefore have the option to populate this unit with whatever memory and hard drive, or solid state drive that you want. As the starting price has also been reduced accordingly this is surely a good thing.

The EDGE VS8 is built inside a tiny little chassis which is vertically mounted on a supplied stand. If the barebones VS8 is too expensive, then Sapphire also sell a VS4 version. This system features the 1.9ghz, dual core AMD A4-4335m.

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  • Chris Martin

    Yeah, very nice. tiny little thing. Quite a lot of cash, but you pay for the size.

  • Ben

    I didn’t like any of the others as the drive performance was rubbish and I wasn’t paying cash for a 5,400 rpm drive.

    This is tempting, but ill be interested to see how much OCUk land it for. They have been quite expensive lately thats why im buying from SCAN now.

  • Dennis

    How did I miss all the edge reviews before! I read this site all the time.

    This looks great, personally id need to put the money into a new gaming system, but great idea from sapphire. very cool.

  • Hank

    I think this would be a great little office machine, my only concern is the asking price for the VS8 generally. £300 for a barebones unit isn’t a bargain.

    I appreciate paying extra for the size, but I think the price tradeoff might prove hard for Sapphire. good review though

  • Alex

    Zardon does a good job of selling this, however im sadly not sold. Not because I dont like it, or value the size and power saving. I just think the pricing is way out of whack.

    Id want a 240GB SSD as I need a lot of applications installed. The HDD version they include is too slow so thats out. Then 8GB of ram and id need another Windows 7 license.

    The OS license is my big sticking point. I dont want WIndows 8 so id need to fork out another £100 for Windows 7.

    This would end up well over £500 (even £600). id rather build something in the Bitfenix Ghost chassis for the same cost with a core i3

  • Debbie


    Isnt the A8 4555m better than a core i3 for graphics though?

  • James M

    People are missing the point, the AMD A8 mobile chips are very low power demanding designs. Building a system into this is very difficult due to the size. its even smaller than a netbook.

    The cost is a little higher, but if Apple made one of these and put an aluminum cover on it, they would sell it for £800-£900 with a basic SSD and 4GB of memory. People would accept it as a great deal.

  • HWExpert

    @ James M. but apple would set it all up and put the OS on it, with all the ‘drivers’ and even some useful software.

    Sapphire will only drop the price of the barebones by £70-£80 (depending on exchange in UK and OCUK). So people need to get something of their own choice in regards to HDD and memory, then an OS< install it all, make sure it all works, then install the drivers.

    Its quite a cost really ,even though i like it myself. If they had brought out a version with a 120GB SSD, WIndows 7, 8GB of ram for £499.95 and had it ready to rock out out of the package without any user intervention it would make more sense.

    They are caught between targeting the educated enthusiast user who could do all the install stuff, but who won't want to pay the price, as other, faster options are available at less or similar money.

    the size is the main thing people will love, but im not too fond of the appearance, would have looked better out of aluminum or shiny materials.