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Asus PL63 mini-PC mini-review

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Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Sep 20, 2001
Bakersfield, CA
I bought an Asus PL63 Tiger Lake mini-PC for my mother for an early Christmas present. She currently has my old Abit IP35 Pro with a Q9650 and a GTX460 GPU. In my opinion it has no business being in service anymore except as a borderline retro gaming PC. The PL63 has a 10nm quad core CPU that boosts up to 4.2GHz and Xe graphics. I had one stick of DDR4-3200 on hand, and bought a matching stick to get 16GB total. Threw in a spare M.2 Crucial PCIE3.0 QLC SSD and installed Win11Pro. OS was installed and updated within 20 minutes of first power up. Updated the BIOS for good measure. I did a full tear-down for fun to inspect the thermal grease. The factory TIM was over-applied but well covered. Replaced that with some Thermal Grizzly I had on hand. One thing that I really wanted for this machine was the dual external antennas since where the PC will live it needs all the wifi advantage it can get. All aluminum chassis is pretty nice. Total system build cost was under $500.

Some basic CPU tests show that the single-threaded performance is about double my father's FX-8350 machine for 20% of the TDP. Multi-threaded was much faster. 3D performance was actually pretty decent on Heavan. Prime 95 maxed out with a 90C spike but leveling to 70C at the 28W max CPU package power. The thermal solution seems to work rather well and at tolerable noise levels when running hot. Idle temps are in the 30C range. 4K60 Youtube decoding performance has zero stutter, which was no surprise. The BIOS is pretty bare bones with no performance options. No XMP for memory and it's locked at Gear 2.

This thing would be great for a living room stream-box, or a general use PC that doesn't need much GPU power. I kind of want one for myself now. Even compared to my Ncase M1 build this thing is tiny.


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