Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Mini PC

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Sapphire Edge HD3 Mini PC

March 12, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Product Sapphire Edge HD3
Mini PC
Manufacturer Sapphire
MSRP £290 (including VAT)

Sapphire is a manufacturer best known for graphics cards and a long partnership with AMD/ATI. They also dabble in motherboards and mini PCs. The Edge HD and HD2 were their first mini PCs, using a form similar to that of the Asus Eee Box but even smaller. These vertically mounted nettops were powered by an Intel Atom processor and Nvidia ION graphics (an odd choice given their predilection for AMD hardware). In their latest version, the HD3, the heart of the machine is an integrated AMD APU which incorporates a dual core CPU, a DirectX 11 GPU, and the memory controller all sharing the same die.

The box.

The E-350 APU has been used in a variety of nettops and netbooks over the past year and offers a big performance boost over Atom offerings, while its HD 6310 graphics also delivers an upgrade over ION. The HD3 uses an E-450, which is identical except for slightly higher CPU and GPU speeds. Also included are 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, wireless 802.11n, gigabit ethernet, and even USB 3.0. The one thing not provided is Windows; instead, the H3 ships with FreeDOS pre-installed.


The Edge HD3.

The bulk of the retail box is taken up by a number of accessories: A driver disc and documentation, AC power adapter, vertical stand, HDMI to DVI adapter, and even an HDMI cable which is rarely provided gratis with any product. The PC itself is packed in a separate compartment protected with a foam lining. The Edge HD3 is a thin device, less than an inch thick, constructed primarily of plastic with a touch-inviting, soft, suede-like rubber covering much of the exterior.

Though the APU driving the system is quite energy efficient, the limited space means a low profile heatsink with a small fan running at high speeds. The last AMD nettop we reviewed, the Viako Mini-Letter ML-45, managed to cool its E-350 APU adequately with a reasonable noise level, but its enclosure was substantially larger. Cooling will be a greater challenge in this slimmer form factor, which incidentally seems perfect for mounting behind a monitor, but such mounting hardware is noticeably absent.

Sapphire Edge HD3: Specifications
(from the product web page)
CPU AMD APU E450 1.65GHz
Memory 4 GB DDR3 So-DIMM
Storage 320 GB SATA 2.5'' Hard Drive
Graphics AMD Radeon HD6320
LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps Built-in Ethernet
Wireless 802.11b/g/n Built-in Wireless Network
I/O 1 x VGA(D-sub) Port
1 x HDMI Port
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit LAN
2 x USB 2.0 Port
1 x Audio-in
1 x Line-out
2 x USB 3.0 Port
Power 65 W AC 100~240V 50/60Hz, 19v~3.42A
Dimensions 19.3 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm cm (L / W / H)
Weight 530 g net weight
Operation System Pre-installed Free DOS
Accessory 1 x HDMI cable
1 x HDMI to DVI adapter
1 x Quick Install guide (QIG)
1 x Chassis Stand
1 x Power cord
1 x Power Adapter
CD Driver

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