Powerful Mini PC with AI

  • Published
  • Posted in Tech News
  • 11 mins read
  • Tagged as

The GEEKOM A8 Mini PC is a compact desktop computer with an AMD Ryzen 9 CPU, Radeon 780M graphics, 32GB DDR5 RAM, 2TB of storage, and a focus on AI.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Compact
  • Ryzen 9 is great for AI
  • Plenty of ports
  • Excellent performance

Cons

  • Fans can get noisy
  • Price is expensive without discounts

This is a sponsored article. All content and opinions expressed within are of the author.

The GEEKOM A8 Mini PC is the latest and greatest AMD-powered Windows PC from a brand that BGR readers have come to know and love. GEEKOM has become widely recognized for offering compact Windows computers that are just as powerful as many of their full-size counterparts. And if it’s power you’re after, the GEEKOM A8 is exactly what you’re looking for.

GEEKOM’s flagship A8 Mini PC packs the latest-generation AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor, with 8 cores, 16 threads, 16MB of cache, and clock speeds between 4.0GHz and 5.2GHz. This 4nm chip is a marvel when it comes to both performance and efficiency. You also get AMD Radeon 780M graphics with support for up to four monitors and up to 8K resolution.

In my tests, the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC was an absolute beast. It has enough power to tackle everything from web browsing and movie streaming to audio and video editing. It even handled gaming, though there are some limitations that I’ll cover later on.

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC
You can see how small the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC is when it’s next to a MacBook Air.

One more thing to note is that because it’s powered by the newest AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor, the A8 Mini PC is perfectly tailored for the AI revolution that we’re all watching unfold in real time. Compared to the previous-generation Ryzen 7 7735HS chipset, this SoC offers a 60% boost in AI performance. Windows 11 Pro already has tons of great AI features built in, and so much more is coming in updates this year. With the GEEKOM A8, you’ll be ready to make the most of all the new AI features that Microsoft has in the works, as well as all the other AI apps that are coming down the pike.

All that power and performance is packed into a compact mini PC case that is shockingly small. You still get tons of ports and fast wireless connectivity, though the tradeoff is that the fans in the cooling system can get pretty loud when the PC is handling resource-intensive tasks.

In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC. I also have exclusive deals for BGR readers: Save 5% when you buy the A8 directly from the GEEKOM US store or UK store with coupon code BGRA8, or 5% when you buy one from Amazon with coupon code BGRGKA85. These coupon codes are good through July 30, 2024.

Design

Hardware design typically isn’t much of a consideration when buying a new PC. After all, you don’t really interact with the computer itself, but rather with your monitor and peripherals.

In the case of a mini PC, however, hardware is obviously very important.

The main reason to buy a mini PC instead of a full-size computer is specifically the hardware. After all, the goal with a mini PC is to get the smallest case and pack in as much power as possible within your budget.

Incredibly, the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC measures just 4.4 x 4.4 x 1.34 inches. That’s unreal. To put it into context, the smallest iPhone 15 model that Apple makes is 5.81 inches tall. That means the GEEKOM A8 is shorter than an iPhone despite being a full-fledged Windows 11 Pro PC.

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC
The compact GEEKOM A8 Mini PC is shorter than an iPhone.

Apart from taking up practically no space at all, the sleek silver metal enclosure on the A8 looks great on any desk. That means you won’t want to hide it away like you would with a regular PC tower. In my testing, the GEEKOM A8 looked right at home on my desk in between my silver iMac and my 4K gaming monitor.

I’ll talk more about monitors, resolutions, and gaming later on.

The other thing I absolutely love about GEEKOM’s A8 design is the wide array of ports. Despite being impossibly small, it still manages to pack in just about every port you might want.

On the front of the GEEKOM A8, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port with power delivery (PD) support, a second USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, and a power button. There’s also an SD memory card reader on the side.

Around back, you’ll find one USB 4 Gen3 Type-C port with PD support, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with PD support, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, an RJ45 RTL8125BG-CG port, and a DC power port.

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC

Rating: 4.5 Stars

BGR may receive a commission

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC

BGR may receive a commission

Specs

Now that I’ve covered the outside of the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC, it’s time to dive inside this mini PC and talk about what makes it tick.

At the heart of the A8 is AMD’s latest-generation Ryzen 9 8945HS. This bleeding-edge chipset is built on a 4nm process and features Zen 4 architecture. It sports 8 cores, 16 threads, 16MB of cache, and a clock speed of up to 5.2GHz. This SoC managed a 2381 single-core score and an 11789 multi-core score in Geekbench 6 benchmark tests, making it one of the fastest 8-core processors AMD has ever made.

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC
Here, you can see all the ports on the back of the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC.

AMD Radeon 780M graphics take the GEEKOM A8 to the next level. With support for up to four monitors, the A8 is a multitasker’s dream. It’s perfect for video editing, day trading stocks, and anything else where only one or two monitors won’t do. This mini PC also supports output resolutions up to 8K.

The version of the A8 that I tested, which features the aforementioned Ryzen 9 processor instead of a Ryzen 7, comes with a nice big 2TB SSD. It’s worth noting that there’s only one M.2 2280 slot inside this mini PC, so 2TB is the most internal storage you can get. Of course, there are several high-speed USB ports for external drives if you need more space.

It’s also worth noting that the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC comes with 32GB of DDR5 RAM, which is more than enough for most people. If you plan to use the A8 for gaming, video editing, or other resource-intensive functions, you can expand your memory to up to 64GB.

Here are the complete specs for the GEEKOM A8:

CPU AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS
TDP 45W
Video Engine Processor AMD Radeon 780M
Memory Dual channel DDR5 262PIN 5600MHz SODIMM, up to 64GB (32GB incl)
Storage 1 x SSD PCIE Gen 4*4 up to 2TB
I/O Port 1 x rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x rear USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x front USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A support Power Delivery, 1 x front USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support Power Delivery (back panel)
1 x USB 4 Gen3 Type-C support Power Delivery (back panel)
1 x 3.5mm front stereo headset jack
1 x RJ45 (back panel) RTL8125BG-CG
2 x HDMI 2.0 (back panel)
1 x DC in (back panel)
1 x Power Button
1 x SD Card
Internal Connector 1 x M.2 key-M slot for PCIe x4 Gen 4
1 x M.2 2230 for WIFI PCIe
1 x FAN
LED 2 x POWER LED (Power On: White)
Ethernet Intel 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps RJ45 RTL8125BG-CG
Wireless LAN M.2 Wi-Fi 6E BT5.2 AW-EB600NF
Kensington Lock NO
DTPM2.0 FTPM
Battery RTC coin battery
Adapter 19V6.32A
PCBA Dimension 105.75*102.9*1.6mm 
Certification CE, FCC, CB, CCC, RoHS
Operating system Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (64-bit)
Accessory VESA Mount

Real-life performance

There’s no question that the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC looks impressive on paper. Those are some killer specs, especially when you consider the fact that all that oomph is crammed into such a tiny enclosure. But how does the A8 perform in the real world?

After setting up the GEEKOM A8, I installed a few apps and ran some benchmarks. Thanks to Wi-Fi 6E support, download speeds were nice and fast. Of note, the A8 also has a Bluetooth 5.2 radio, and my headphones stayed connected without a problem while I was testing the machine.

Next, I connected two 4K monitors. On one, I opened Microsoft Edge along with Word and a few more apps. Then, on the second monitor, I opened another instance of Edge and streamed a high-resolution movie from Netflix.

I like to perform this test on every computer I review for two reasons. First, it gives me a good idea of how the PC will perform under the “max load” that most average users will ever need. And second, this is something that the main iMac I use for work cannot handle. If I have a bunch of apps open and I try to stream 4K or even FHD video on one of my monitors, my M1 iMac immediately begins to choke.

Good news: the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC handled this test without any problems. The apps never got bogged down while I worked, and the Netflix movie was nice and smooth.

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC
Built-in Bluetooth 5.2 lets you connect to any headphones, like the Sonos Ace.

After that, I did a similar test, but this time with an app that’s notoriously rough on processors. I opened thinkorswim on one monitor, which is a very clunky Java-based trading platform that is now owned by Charles Schwab. Then I opened Edge on the other monitor and streamed some YouTube videos while I had more than a dozen charts open in thinkorswim. Once again, I was very impressed with how smooth everything was. My iMac would probably melt if I ever tried this on my work computer.

I moved on to AI next since GEEKOM made sure to point out that its Ryzen 9-powered A8 Mini PC is great for running AI applications. This is a tricky test, of course, since all of the trendy generative AI apps people are obsessed with right now — ChatGPT, Microsoft CoPilot, and so on — use cloud processing. I did test plenty of AI features in Adobe’s latest Photoshop beta, however, and I was impressed with how quickly everything was processed.

To wrap up my testing, I tried some gaming with Steam as well as some basic video editing. Once again, the A8 Mini PC impressed me with its smooth performance and quick rendering.

Now, there is one negative issue that I couldn’t help but notice while performing all of these tests. When the fans in GEEKOM’s proprietary IceBlast 1.5 cooling system really start moving, they can get quite loud.

Cooling is obviously crucial to performance. This is especially true in a mini PC, where the components are crammed together in a very tight space. Even still, the fan noise with the A8 is noticeable and may be bothersome if the PC is placed close to a user on his or her desk.

The only other downside is the price. GEEKOM’s A8 Mini PC packs the latest and greatest components, and they’re not cheap. With a retail price of $899, this is definitely on the high end in terms of cost. BGR readers will thankfully pay less than that, however. We have exclusive coupon codes to save our readers up to 10% in addition to any other deals that GEEKOM is running.

Should you buy one?

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC
The GEEKOM A8 Mini PC features a sleek metal enclosure.

If you’re in the market for a powerful PC but don’t want a huge tower taking up space, the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC is perfect.

This model has the latest cutting-edge AMD Ryzen CPU and 32GB of DDR5 RAM, so it delivers excellent performance. You also get Radeon 780M graphics with support for up to four displays and up to 8K resolution. Plus, the A8 Mini PC is an AI powerhouse, with a chipset that delivers 60% better AI performance than AMD’s Ryzen 7.

Of course, the GEEKOM A8 is a premium PC, so it commands a premium price. Thanks to an exclusive discount for BGR readers, however, you can save 5% when you buy one directly from GEEKOM US or UK (coupon code BGRA8) or 5% when you buy one from Amazon (coupon code BGRGKA85).

With those discounts, stacked with other deals that GEEKOM is currently offering, the GEEKOM A8 Mini PC is a terrific value.

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC

Rating: 4.5 Stars

BGR may receive a commission

GEEKOM A8 Mini PC

BGR may receive a commission

News Article Courtesy Of Maren Estrada »