Desktop Systems Guide

Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini-PC review

Sapphire Edge VS8 - A Trinity Mini-PC

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Overall rating 7/10
Design:
8.5
Features:
8
Performance:
6
Value:
6.5
THE GOOD
Good connectivity options
Six USB ports (2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0)
Compact and slim design
Integrated WiFi & Bluetooth
THE BAD
Slow mechanical hard disk
Less than expected performance
Expensive considering no OS provided


Test Setup & Performance (Part 1)

Test Setup

Here’s the test configuration of our Sapphire Edge VS8.

  • AMD A8-4555M APU (1.6GHz)
  • AMD Hudson M3 chipset
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 500GB HDD 5400rpm
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

To evaluate the Sapphire Edge VS8, we will be pitting it against Intel’s NUC Mini-PC and also results gathered from our review of AMD’s flagship A10-5800K APU. The Intel NUC Mini-PC provides interesting competition as both systems were designed for mainstream computing use such as word processing, web browser and media consumption, and we are keen to see which system will offer better performance. That said, it isn’t an apples to apples comparison because while both systems have comparable processors, the Intel NUC Mini-PC has the benefit of an ultra-fast SSD 520 Series mSATA SSD, whereas the Sapphire Edge VS8 has to make do with a lazy 5400rpm mechanical hard disk. Nevertheless, it’ll be intriguing to see how the two system fares.

The list of benchmarks used:

  • SYSmark 2012
  • PCMark 7
  • 3DMark 11
  • Far Cry 2
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2


SYSMark 2012

Last year, BAPco recently released SYSMark 2012, the latest edition of their popular benchmarking software. SYSMark 2012 puts the system through a rigorous series of various workloads ranging from office productivity, data analysis, media creation and 3D modeling.

Looking at the overall score, we can see that the Sapphire Edge VS8 was outdone by the Intel NUC Mini-PC by close to 40%. No doubt that this was due to its weaker processor and slower mechanical hard disk. We have also included results from some recently reviewed AIO systems including the Apple iMac and ASUS ET2300INTI and we can see that the Edge VS8 is simply no match for these full-fledged computing systems.

PCMark 7

Unsurprisingly, the Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini-PC recorded the lowest scores on PCMark 7. It was completely outclassed by the Intel NUC kit by a whopping 142% - the culprit was once again its lazy mechanical hard disk. However, even as we compare the Edge VS8’s scores against our AMD A10-5800K and Intel Core i3-3220 test systems, we can see that the Sapphire was still trailing by a considerable margin of around 84%. Looking at the breakdown, we can see that the Edge VS8 was thoroughly outclassed in all the workloads. However, do note that scores of the AMD A10-5800K, Core i3-3220 and the remaining Core i5 processors were achieved with slightly faster 7200rpm hard disks.