Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Mini PC

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Hard Drive Performance

Note: Motherboards tested with WD Scorpio Blue 500GB, Edge HD3 with stock Samsung Spinpoint M7E 320GB.

The Samsung Spinpoint M7E 320GB 5400 RPM hard drive that shipped inside our Edge HD3 sample wasn't a speed demon, but it held its own with an average read speed of 78 MB/s according to HD Tune. Access time was average for a drive of this class.

USB 3.0 Performance

Note: Motherboards tested with WD Scorpio Blue 500GB, Edge HD3 with stock Samsung Spinpoint M7E 320GB.

A brief test of the Edge HD3's ASMedia USB 3.0 controller shows it to be on the slow side. We attained an average speed of 98.4 MB/s when copying a large file from a USB 3.0-connected WD VelociRaptor 600GB. The Renasas controller on the Asus P8H67-I and the native AMD controller on the Gigabyte A75M-UD2H both produced speeds greater than 110 MB/s. It should be noted, however, that the Samsung drive in our Edge HD3 sample is faster than the WD Scorpio Blue we use for motherboard testing.

Wireless Performance

We were surprised that the Edge HD3 lacks an external antenna for its Realtek 802.11n adapter. We expected issues with range, but we didn't anticipate an almost complete inability to function. It would not connect to two different routers in different buildings, even at short distances with no obstructions. Windows reported a signal strength of just one bar and the adapter couldn't detect the networks of neighbors, etc. It did manage to connect to an Android phone in WiFi hotspot mode, but only at a distance of 3~4 feet where it reported full signal strength. At 5 feet we only got one bar it would not connect. The cause is most likely a defective WiFi adapter as it's unfathomable that such a glaring issue could be widespread.

Audio Recordings

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

  • Sapphire Edge HD3 at 0.6m distance
    — idle, CPU fan at 3900 RPM (25~26 dBA)
    — H.264 playback, CPU fan at 4320 RPM (27~28 dBA)
    — CPU load/CPU+GPU load, CPU fan at 5580 RPM (33 dBA)

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