Video shows off Minisforum Neptune HX90G mini PC with AMD hardware and liquid metal

midian182

Posts: 8,034   +89
Staff member
In brief: Today's mini PCs are far from the office-designed, underpowered machines that they used to be. Just take a look at the Neptune HX90G from Minisforum, which packs a high-end AMD or Intel CPU, a Navi 23-based GPU, a massive heatsink, and even pre-applied liquid metal, all inside a tiny 2.8L chassis.

Minisforum announced the Neptune HX90G earlier this month, confirming that a model with a Ryzen 9 5900HX would arrive first followed by versions with Ryzen 9 6900HX and Intel Alder Lake processors.

It appears that all variants' GPUs are restricted to the Radeon RX 6650M, a Navi 23-based graphics card with 8 GB of VRAM and 1,792 cores (28 Compute Units) that's also an option in the HP Omen 16. The Neptune HX90G's small form factor means the graphics are soldered to the PCB, so it can't be replaced or upgraded.

The promo video for the Neptune HX90G suggests Minisforum is making sure the components stay cool in its tiny case. The vast heatsink has two fans that sit above the CPU and GPU, and there are seven heatpipes split between the two components.

Minisforum says the cooler and liquid metal allow heat dissipation without performance loss from the CPU and GPU operating at 100% load: 50W and 100W, respectively. The company has confirmed that the mini-PC will ship with a 260W power adaptor.

As with similar mini PCs, the Neptune HX90G comes without RAM or storage. You do get two SODIMM slots that support up to 32GB of dual-channel DDR4 and two PCIe 3.0 slots for up to 1TB of storage. It also boasts two HDMI ports, two DisplayPort outputs, an audio jack, one 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, three USB 3.2 Gen 2, one USB 3.1 Gen 1, and one USB Type-C. No word yet on price.

In March, Gigabyte launched what it called the "most powerful" mini PC in the world: the Brix Extreme. It uses Intel's latest mobile Alder Lake CPUs and features PCIe Gen 4 connectivity but lacks a dedicated GPU, relying only on Intel Iris Xe graphics.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,216   +4,268
I would actually prefer a model *without* them trying to do liquid metal again: They already tried this once and if you follow Gamers Nexus you know it was a literal and dangerous mess.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,526   +5,394
While they would never work for me I always found mini-pc's really cool. And seeing 2.5GbE is a nice touch. Still, 2.5 isn't fast enough to saturate a SATA SSD, We really need a push towards 10gig. It does feel like we've been stuck on 1gig for far too long. I feel like I've had a 1gig capable router since the early 2000's. I want to say I "acquired" 500 feet of Cat6a when my school decided to go Cat8 at the last minute. They had literal miles of the stuff that the IT students(and teachers) happily took home.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 278   +658
While they would never work for me I always found mini-pc's really cool. And seeing 2.5GbE is a nice touch. Still, 2.5 isn't fast enough to saturate a SATA SSD, We really need a push towards 10gig. It does feel like we've been stuck on 1gig for far too long. I feel like I've had a 1gig capable router since the early 2000's. I want to say I "acquired" 500 feet of Cat6a when my school decided to go Cat8 at the last minute. They had literal miles of the stuff that the IT students(and teachers) happily took home.
I had my old house wired for GigE around 2005-2006. I've been tempted to do the current place with Cat6+, but the layout of the house and expense of 10gig hardware, along with improving wifi speeds have made it not worth it.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,526   +5,394
I had my old house wired for GigE around 2005-2006. I've been tempted to do the current place with Cat6+, but the layout of the house and expense of 10gig hardware, along with improving wifi speeds have made it not worth it.
I think super fast NVME storage is going to start a push for 10gig and higher. Aside from faster load times in games and some productivity work, there really isn't too much use for super fast NVME drives outside of benchmarks and bragging rights. It's not like they even really help with boot times in windows because of the bloat they dropped in it. Linux Mint boots almost instantly on just an SSD.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,270   +1,154
As long as it doesn't match the price of the Brix, this is very tempting. I'm looking to down size my Lounge room PC, but it has to be powerful. I'm in no hurry and will wait for Zen 4 based APU's or Meteor Lake.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 644   +526
I've observed that Minisforum have been using liquid metal as a carrot in their marketing. The truth is you actually don't need fancy thermal compound. In most cases, you just need a good sized heatsink with heatpipes and big enough fan to remove heat from the heatsink. At the end of the day, even if LM improves heat transfer from the CPU/GPU to the heatsink, the bottleneck for small PCs/ laptops is always the heatsink that is puny and can't really soak up much heat.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 644   +526
As long as it doesn't match the price of the Brix, this is very tempting. I'm looking to down size my Lounge room PC, but it has to be powerful. I'm in no hurry and will wait for Zen 4 based APU's or Meteor Lake.
What do you use your lounge PC for? In the past, I always use a HTPC in my living room. But of late, I've switched to using game consoles which functions really well as a HTPC replacement. The likes of the Xbox One X is quite small, quiet enough, and have all the softwares/ apps that I need in a HTPC. In addition, the UHD Bluray drive is also useful since I have a Bluray collection that I watch from time to time.