MinisForum Neptune HX100G review

The MinisForum Neptune HX100G bridges the gap between full-sized desktop and mini gaming PC - so we put it to the test.

Feb 29, 2024 - 20:30
 0  240
MinisForum Neptune HX100G review

MinisForum Neptune HX100G: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HX
Graphics:
AMD Radeon RX 6600M
RAM:
DDR5 Dual channel (SODIMM Slots×2), supports up to 64GB
Storage:
M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD, up to 2TB
Rear Ports:
RJ45 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port, USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A Port x2, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port, USB4 Type-C Port ×2, HDMI ×2
Front Ports:
USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A Port, USB3.2 Gen1 Type-C Port, 3.5mm audio in, 3.5mm audio out
Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio:
HDMI ×2, Headphone Jack ×1
Camera:
N/a
Size:
205x203x69.3 mm
OS installed:
Windows 11 Home
Accessories:
Power Adapter, Power Cable, HDMI Cable, Base Support Frame, Base Bottom Plate, Technical Documents, Mounting Screw Set

The MinisForum Neptune HX100G is classified as a mini PC; however, in size and stature, it is slightly larger than the vast majority of recent Mini PC releases. It does, however, bridge the size difference between the ultra-compact mini PCs and larger desktop offerings. 

While much of the internal componentry is similar to many of the best mini PCs we've tested, with the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS and equipped with Radeon RX 6650M graphics, that extra size enables a significant step up in cooling, which helps to unlock the full potential of these components. It also allows for a little more airflow and space in and around the machine, so plugging in external drives and accessories is simple. 

With the two HDMI ports on the back, you have the option to hook up dual 8K displays, making it an ideal solution for anyone needing a multi-monitor setup for creative work or gaming. That additional space and cooling also mean that under most loads, the machine runs nice and quiet, and only when put under intense load do you really hear the fans kick in. For creative work such as using the best video editing software (think DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro), this machine is simply outstanding, providing the power you need. For gaming, the speed is good, with all games running well, albeit with some settings slightly reduced.

MinisForum Neptune HX100G: Price & availability

MinisForum Neptune HX100G

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The MinisForum Neptune HX100G is at the higher end of the mini PC pricing scale, but it packs in a high-end CPU and GPU combo that pushes the power and capability of the machine well beyond the reach of most other mini PCs. Moreover, there are several options for you to select from when purchasing this machine, including both barebones and slightly different configurations to meet your budget. The machine is widely available through the MinisForum website, as well as Amazon and other retailers.

  • Score: 5/5

MinisForum Neptune HX100G: Design & build

MinisForum Neptune HX100G

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The MinisForum Neptune HX100G boasts an attractive design with its all-black carbon exterior featuring intricate detailing. This outer casing isn't just for aesthetics; it serves a practical purpose by aiding in the machine's cooling.

Another noteworthy aspect of this external case is that it's made from a carbon and resin composite, making it extremely strong and protective of the internals. If you're in the market for a compact and portable machine, this model offers an excellent solution.

The overall build quality is high, and the machine, while larger than most mini PCs we've got our hands on, feels solid yet retains a relatively compact size. This allows it to sit neatly on your desktop, though it's a bit too large to mount behind a monitor like many other models.

The layout of the machine simplifies the expansion of storage with external hard drives and other accessories. The back features a generous array of ports, from HDMI to USB Type-C, providing ample connectivity options. For those needing a wired network, there's an RJ45 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port.

The front is kept simple, with a USB Type-A and C port alongside audio in and out, making this machine a solid choice for both creative work and gaming.

A notable feature of this machine is the option to upgrade from a barebones configuration, meaning it comes without RAM and an SSD, which you might already own. This can significantly reduce the cost, making it an appealing option for those looking to upgrade power. Access to the internals is a bit less straightforward than in most cases; the rubber feet on the base need to be removed to uncover four screws. These screws can be removed, and the base pulled away with a bit of force. This exposes a metal plate that aids cooling and protects the internals, secured by four screws. Once removed, it reveals the dual RAM slots and SSD slot.

Overall, the design of the machine is very neat, but it's the build quality that truly stands out.

  • Design: 4.5/5

MinisForum Neptune HX100G: Features

MinisForum Neptune HX100G

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The MinisForum Neptune HX100G mini PC offers a variety of features that cater to a diverse user base. Its support for dual 8K displays via USB4 Type-C ports stands out as a future-proof feature. For the present, the inclusion of these ports along with two HDMI sockets allows for the potential connection of up to four 4K@60 monitors.

In terms of connectivity, like most modern machines, it includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for fast and reliable wireless connections, and a network port for those who prefer a wired solution.

Internally, the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS, paired with Radeon RX 6650M graphics, provides ample power. Our review unit came equipped with a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD and 32GB RAM SO-DIMM memory, offering a solid foundation for both creative tasks and gaming.

This power, housed within a relatively compact (though not the smallest) case, could potentially generate a significant amount of heat under load. This is where the machine truly shines. Peering through the Carbon Fiber Armor's case reveals two large fans that facilitate airflow through the system while keeping fan noise to a minimum. Additionally, seven copper cooling pipes and liquid metal cooling significantly mitigate any heat issues.

The cases of such compact machines are often simple, but the MinisForum Neptune HX100G, while maintaining a discreet appearance, has been meticulously designed to maximize cooling efficiency and durability. Its Carbon-Fiber Armor case, composed of 70% carbon and 30% resin, ensures the machine is both lightweight and robust. Upon accessing the interior, further reinforcements are evident, indicating this PC is built to withstand more than most.

  • Features: 4/5

MinisForum Neptune HX100G: Performance

MinisForum Neptune HX100G

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 4810.72MB/s
Crystal Disk Write: 3899.02MB/s
GeekBench CPU Single: 2654
GeekBench CPU Multi: 13382
GeekBench Compute: 65629
PC Mark: 8490
CineBench CPU Multi: 16787
CineBench CPU Single: 1736
Fire Strike Overall: 21660
Fire Strike Graphics: 23769
Fire Strike Physics: 29743
Fire Strike Combined: 10449
Time Spy Overall: 8545
Time Spy Graphics: 8112
Time Spy CPU: 12257
Wild Life: 48783
Windows Experience: 9.4

In performance tests, the MinisForum Neptune HX100G shines, showcasing its ability to effortlessly handle intensive gaming, content creation, and multitasking. If you're looking for, say, the best video editing PC in a small form-factor, this one shows impressive prowess. 

The AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and Radeon RX 6650M graphics deliver outstanding performance, easily tackling demanding applications and modern games at mid to high settings. Popular titles such as Assassin's Creed, Cyberpunk 2077, and Tekken 8 all perform well, albeit with some reductions in Ray Tracing settings.

For video editing, 4K footage in DaVinci Resolve was handled with ease, though the 1TB internal storage proved somewhat limited, necessitating the use of an external Samsung T5 EVO 8TB as the primary working drive on this occasion.

The test scores for the MinisForum Neptune HX100G are impressive across the board, with Crystal Disk Read and Write speeds of 4810.72MB/s and 3899.02MB/s respectively, indicating swift storage access for applications. These transfer speeds are particularly beneficial for applications like DaVinci Resolve, enhancing 4K video editing with quicker file transfers and smoother playback, despite the limiting factor of a 1TB capacity.

High GeekBench scores, such as a Multi-Core score of 13,382, highlight strong CPU performance, suitable for demanding tasks like photo editing and multitasking office work.

For gaming and graphics-intensive tasks, Fire Strike and Time Spy scores suggest smooth gameplay and competent rendering for creative applications.

  • Performance: 4.5/5

Should you buy the MinisForum Neptune HX100G?

If you're seeking outstanding performance in a compact form factor, the HX100G is an excellent choice. It's well-suited for gamers and creative professionals who need the power of a desktop in a more compact package. A solid alternative, then, to some of the best video editing laptops (and even the best laptops for photo editing). However, those on a tight budget or looking for a system with more upgrade potential might consider other options.

MinisForum Neptune HX100G

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...


We tested the best monitors for photo editing - and these are our top picks