Sapphire Edge VS8 review

Sapphire’s tiny PC looks the part, but poor performance from the AMD APU and a high price leave it lagging behind the competition

Mike Jennings
15 Jan 2013
3
Price when reviewed 
400

Page 1 of 2 Sapphire Edge VS8 review

There’s no shortage of small-form-factor PCs on the market, but while most utilise Intel hardware, the Sapphire Edge VS8 dares to be different. This tiny, slimline PC takes the plunge with one of AMD’s APUs, cramming a quad-core processor and Radeon graphics core inside a case only 24mm wide.

Sapphire has history when it comes to producing miniature PCs, and the Edge VS8 refines the blueprint set out by its Edge HD. The slender, 185mm-tall chassis looks smart thanks to its chamfered edges and moulded side panels, and is sheathed entirely in soft-touch, matte-black plastics. If we were to be really picky, though, there is some flex in the side panels – the plastic construction can’t hold a candle to Apple’s metal-clad Mac mini.

Sapphire Edge VS8

It’s well connected for such a tiny PC. Two USB 3 ports on the front are joined by four USB 2 sockets on the rear, and there are HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs. It has an optical S/PDIF socket and an SD card reader, and a single-band 802.11n wireless radio and Gigabit Ethernet port covers networking. Future upgrades are on the cards, too, as it only takes the removal of four screws to access the 2.5in hard disk and two RAM slots.

One of AMD’s mobile Trinity APUs, the A8-4555M, takes centre stage, and its four cores run at 1.6GHz with a Turbo Core peak of 2.4GHz. That’s a long way behind the 3.8GHz stock speed of AMD’s top-rated desktop APU, but the flip side is efficiency. With a TDP of only 19W, the Edge VS8’s APU promises to match modest performance with low power consumption, and it certainly delivers. In idle this PC consumes a miserly 15W and peaks at a moderate 34W.

Sapphire Edge VS8

Yet, despite its quad-core APU, the Sapphire’s application benchmark score of 0.43 is some way behind Intel-powered rivals. Even the mobile low-voltage Core i3 processor in the Intel NUC fares better, with its dual-core architecture reaching an overall score of 0.56 in our Real World Benchmarks. Compared to the quad-core Core i7 mobile processor in Apple’s Mac mini, the Sapphire falls far behind – with a score of 0.93, the Mac mini is more than twice as fast.

Page 1 of 2 Sapphire Edge VS8 review

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity500GB
RAM capacity4.00GB

Processor

CPU familyAMD
CPU nominal frequency1.60GHz

Motherboard

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardAMD Radeon HD 7600G
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetAMD Radeon HD 7600G
HDMI outputs1
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskWestern Digital Scorpie Blue
Capacity500GB
Hard disk usable capacity465GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA
Spindle speed5,400RPM

Case

Case formatSmall form-factor
Dimensions24 x 190 x 185mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)4
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks2

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readeryes

Operating system and software

OS familyNone

Noise and power

Idle power consumption15W
Peak power consumption34W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings36fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.43
Responsiveness score0.57
Media score0.44
Multitasking score0.28

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