Sapphire Edge-HD Mini PC review

Price when reviewed

The humble nettop can only be improved in so many ways, with the Intel Atom processor and integrated graphics restricting it to basic tasks and media playback, so it’s natural that manufacturers have been looking to innovate elsewhere. Sapphire has decided miniaturisation is the way to go with its new Edge-HD.

It’s the firm’s first nettop, and is rather ambitiously touted as “the smallest PC in the world”. We’d argue that the Anders fit-PC 2 has a volume of 313cm[SUP]3[/SUP] to the Sapphire’s 558cm[SUP]3[/SUP], but the Edge-HD is certainly smaller than most and, at just 20mm wide, will be able to slip into the smallest of crevices. Note the need for an external power supply, though.

Despite the small size, the port selection is excellent. A pair of USB 2 sockets are hidden behind a flap on the front, and the rear serves up two more ports next to D-SUB and HDMI outputs as well as Gigabit Ethernet.

Sapphire Edge-HD Mini PC

It feels reasonably solid for such a small machine: the centre of the chassis is a bit flexible, but we’ve seen more expensive machines look and feel cheaper. It’s coated with a matte-black finish, and when the neat power buttons, minimal lines and ripple-effect base are factored in, you have one of the sleekest nettops around.

The Sapphire is powered by an Intel Atom D510, which used its pair of 1.66GHz cores to return a score of 0.40 in our application-based benchmarks. That’s what we’d expect from an Atom, although bear in mind that similar systems based on AMD’s Brazos platform should offer more juice when they appear – in our tests, the AMD E-350 was about 20% quicker.

Sapphire hasn’t settled for Intel’s integrated graphics, instead opting for Nvidia’s latest Ion chipset, which has 16 graphics processing cores and 512MB of DDR3 memory. While it won’t play top-level games – our Low quality Crysis benchmark crashed before it could finish – it’s powerful enough to handle 720p video playback smoothly, with only the most demanding sections of our 1080p test clips stuttering.


Warranty2 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity250GB
RAM capacity2.00GB
Screen sizeN/A


CPU familyIntel Atom
CPU nominal frequency1.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequencyN/A
Processor socketN/A
HSF (heatsink-fan)N/A


Motherboard chipsetNvidia ION
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total0
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total0
Internal SATA connectors1
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors0
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR2
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia ION
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetNvidia ION
Graphics card RAM512MB
DVI-I outputs0
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard disk usable capacity232GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Cache size32MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical driveN/A
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelN/A
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardN/A


Case formatSmall form factor
Dimensions20 x 147 x 190mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyN/A
Power supply ratingN/A
Power supply efficiencyN/A

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)4
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardN/A

Operating system and software

Recovery methodN/A
Software suppliedN/A

Noise and power

Idle/eco noise levelN/A
Peak noise levelN/A
Idle power consumption22W
Peak power consumption40W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score0.40
Office application benchmark score0.33
2D graphics application benchmark score0.49
Encoding application benchmark score0.35
Multitasking application benchmark score0.45
3D performance (crysis) low settings0fps
3D performance settingLow

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