The major improvements are on the architecture, increased frequency, optimized multimedia capabilities, more resources for media decoding, and support for the video format of 10bit (1.07 billion colors) such as VP9, namely, hardware decoding of VP9 10-bit Profile 2. But the last generation Apollo Lake only supports VP9 8-bit Profile 0. In short, this generation Gemini Lake will become the new low-power decoding CPU which supports H.264/MPEG-2/VC-1/JPEG/VP8/HEVC/HEVC 10-bit/VP9/VP9 10-bit.
Another characteristic of the new processor is “connectivity”, but it does not support Always Connected PC. Instead, it integrates the Gigabit Wireless-AC 9560 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi module. Compared with 802.11 b/g/n, the speed is 12 times that of the former one and even exceeds the traditional Gigabit Ethernet connection, which means that users can download files and enjoy faster streaming media. The other details are tedious, LPDDR4-2400 and eMMC5.1/PCIe 2.0/. It supports USB 3.0/USB 2.0 and has 4 cores (Goldmont + architecture). It adopts the 14nm process like the previous Apollo Lake.
In May 2018, Beelink SI MiNi Pc was upgraded to SII MiNi PC. Beelink SII MiNi Pc is equipped with the new-generation ultra-low power platform of Celeron N4100 and Pentium N5000 to replace the Apollo lake in SI MiNi PC. The power of N product line is 6W; the specification is the same with that of SI, that is, 160mm*134mm*32mm; the performance is very good; and the power consumption is very low. Although it cannot be compared with the general laptop CPU, it can meet the needs of daily office and audio/video entertainment.
Compared with the previous SI’s Apollo lake, the Gemini lake for SII has been upgraded in CPU frequency and other aspects to some extent. The RAM has been upgraded to DDR4/2400MHz from DDR3/1866MHz. It has the dual-channel DDR4 RAM, thus the speed is faster than that of the single-channel RAM of SI.
The key change lies in that the Cache has been upgraded to 4MB with dual channels, each has 2MB. It also supports dynamic allocation. If the customer uses the single-channel RAM, the system will automatically allocate 4MB to one channel to improve the performance.
The Cache of Apollo lake is 2M, each channel has 1M. It does not support dynamic allocation.
Low-power N product line Gemini lake vs. Apollo lake High-power J product line Gemini lake vs. Apollo lake Internal architecture of Gemini lake chipset
Let’s take a look at the Beelink SII miniPC powered by the Intel Gemini lake Chipset.
Beelink SII has two configurations
|Beelink SII INTEL Gemini Lake Celeron N4100||Beelink SII INTEL Gemini Lake Silver Pentium N5000|
|4GB LPDDR4||8GB LPDDR4|
|64GB 3D FLASH||128GB SSD|
|WIFI 2.4G/5.8G||WIFI 2.4G/5.8G|
|Blutetooth BT4.0||Blutetooth BT4.0|
Celeron N4100 with a good performance of overclocking is the first choice for cost performance. Silver Pentium N5000 has a higher performance. Both configurations can support the 2.5-inch mechanical hard disk and simultaneous and asynchronous display of dual HDMI, which can bring excellent experience to your office.
In terms of appearance, we give up the style of the previous products, instead, we adopt the design concepts different from the previous ones. It is three-dimensional and looks unique. The case has a polished finish is made of hard composite materials to prevent accidental collisions and damage to the internal structure.
In terms of heat dissipation, there are heat dissipation holes on both sides of the case, which are different from the dissipation of the previous cases as they reduce overheating resulted from poor heat dissipation.
SII has various interfaces for peripheral devices. It has two latest 4K 60HZ HDMI 2.0 ports and gives up the traditional VGA connector. With much better connectivity in high definition, you will not worry about compatibility and the black screen resulting from multiple video outputs can be solved. The video transmission is more stable.
There is an expansion interface that supports the expansion of 2.5-inch mechanical hard disk on the back of SII MINI PC. It supports up to 2TB hard disk expansion, allowing your MINI PC to have larger storage.
SII does not have the shortcoming of SI. Its motherboard seems very sophisticated. The arrangement of electronic components is more orderly and reasonable. It is the greatest news for the pickiest user.
It simultaneously supports two SSD hard disks of M.2 2280 and M.2 2242. Compared with the first generation which supports only M.2 2240, it provides more choices.
Since this generation Gemini Lake uses the BGA1090 slot, it’s an all-in-one design, and the CPU is directly covered by the aluminum heat sinks using the special dissipation structure with faster heat dissipation, low heat and ultra-low power consumption. That means the platform does not need active cooling, thus it can further reduce the noises of the CPU fan.
Then look at the results of the test software!
PC Mark Office Performance test
We used the latest version of PCMark 10 which is widely regarded as a standard PC benchmark tool to test the computer. PCMark 10 includes a set of comprehensive testing items such as various tasks in the modern offices. It mainly test basic operation and productivity operation. The former includes program start-up, web browsing and video decoding, and the latter includes editing, excels and other operations. PCMark series has always been used to gauge the comprehensive performance of PC, and it can be applied to test the comprehensive performance of modern office PC.
After the PC Mark test, in terms of office software performance, SII N4100 is increased by about 30% compared to S1, and SII N5000 has a 50% increase.
The following illustration is in standby power consumption (PS:p=ui , 1 degree Power =1000w/h )
It can be seen that the power consumption on standby is very low, that is only about 2.5W. It consumes only 0.0025kW/h, and only 1kW/h when it is in standby for 400 hours.
We stimulated the users’ use and added a hard disk and an USB external USB disk at the back for SII as well as a small speaker and used Intel(R)ThermalAnalysisTool software for full-load operation of SII.
The full-load operation of Beelink SII MINI PC consumes a power of only about 9.15W, which is outstanding.
It consumes only 0.01kW/h. 1kW/h can be used for 109 hours. Though it is in the ideal state, the power consumption is really low.
SI and SII respectively uses Celeron N3450 of intel APOLLO lake series and Celeron N4100, Celeron N5000 of intel Gemini Lake series. The main improvement is in the core speed. And the improvement of frequency allows you to have faster and smoother user experience.
As SSD Memory Read-write test (all uses 5G file)
SI N3450 64G 2D FLASH（Test Data）
SI and SII’s N4100 has no difference in data reading, but the speed of sequential access has been improved. It has been increased by nearly 300% in the random reading and writing of 4K and QD64. The Acc.Time has also been shortened.
As we have upgraded the storage of SII N4100, 2D NAND FLASH of SI has been upgraded to the 3D NAND FLASH of SII N4100, thus making data transmission faster and more stable.
SII N5000 M.2 128G SSD（Test Data）
In SII N5000, we have equipped with a 128G SSD with the M.2 interface. Although both of them use the FLASH memory, the ordinary RAM is very different from that of the SSD. Whether it’s data reading and writing, SSD comprehensively exceeds ordinary RAM. Seen from the testing scores, the reading and writing speed of RAM have been increased by nearly three times.
Inside SII we have optimized its structure and added a brand new heat sink, a piece of 99% pure red copper sheet as the cooling fin, tightly connected the copper sheet with the CPU through the thermal grease silicone, thus accelerating the heat transfer between CPU and heat sink and making the heat dissipate faster..
Whether in normal operating or overload operating condition, the overall temperature of SII is lower than that of SI.
After a series of tests, it is easy to find that compared to the Apollo Lake on SI, Gemini Lake has brought the “performance increase” of about 30%-50％. It allows you to watch HD videos, halve the time to edit images or create videos. It features mobile office, study and entertainment, family audios and videos and other functions. When idle, it can be used as a server; when overloaded, the power consumption of 6W is very low, so it is very attractive to those who need to establish servers. It can run 24 hours a day.
Such a powerful MiNi PC will definitely be very popular. We believe that the upgrade of Beelink will significantly improve the entry-level office PC. It will be worth looking forward to.