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Bottom line: Mini PC maker Simply NUC has announced the Ruby and Topaz family of high-end, SFF PCs. Both models use the company's 4x4 Universal Chassis, with the Ruby powered by AMD's 4000-series Renoir chips and the Topaz lineup running Intel's 11th-gen Tiger Lake silicon. While they share similar specs in terms of memory, storage, and I/O across all three SKUs for each model, the AMD-powered Ruby slightly edges out the Topaz in price and availability.
AMD and Intel’s mobile chips have found yet another home in the tiny 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.9-inch case of Simply NUC’s new Ruby and Topaz lineup of high-end mini PCs. Both models look pretty much identical on the outside and have blue/red LEDs to remind you of who's running the show.
The Simply NUC Ruby features AMD's Ryzen 4000-series mobile chips that we recently saw inside ASRock's Mars 4000U mini PC and starts at $519 for the Ruby R3. This base version packs a 4C/4T Ryzen R3-4300U CPU with Vega 5 Graphics, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and Ubuntu Linux. Spend another $80 to get the 6C/6T Ryzen 5-4500U chip with Vega 6 Graphics or $249 more to get the highest-end 8C/16T R7-4800U with Vega 8 Graphics.
The Intel-powered Topaz series offers the same RAM and storage across its three variants but is slightly more expensive than the Ruby, starting at $559 for the Topaz i3 that features a 2C/4T Core i3-1115G4 CPU with Xe graphics. Upgrading to a 4C/8T i5-1135G7 costs another $100, while the flagship model with its 4C/8T i7-1165G7 chip requires spending another $230.
Both the Ruby and Topaz can also be upgraded with up to 64GB of RAM, 10TB of storage, and Windows 10. In terms of I/O, they offer Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, 4 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports (which support DP 1.2a on Ruby and DP 1.4 on Topaz), dual ethernet, 1 x HDMI 2.0a, and a combo audio jack port. They also feature 2 x m.2 storage slots, but only one slot supports NVME and SATA drives, while the second slot only supports SATA SSDs.
Simply NUC is also selling other peripherals and accessories with these mini PCs, including display cables/adapters and mouse/keyboard combos. The company reportedly plans to sell barebones versions of these PCs too, but for now, it'll be shipping pre-configured Ruby systems starting this month, followed by Topaz that'll arrive in January.