GMKtec NucBox K6 review

More AMD's silicon showcased by GMKtec

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC
(Image: © Mark Pickavance)

TechRadar Verdict

While the grey finish of the K6 looks distinctly better than the silver K8, it’s still painted plastic. However, the really interesting aspect of this design is that it comes with most of the features of its bigger brother, but it's up to $100 cheaper.


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    Decent graphics performance

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    Dual M.2 Slots

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    Dual 2.5GbE LAN


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    Plastic construction

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    No Thunderbolt ports

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    Only one USB 4.0 port

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30-second review

Another in the wide release of new GMKtec NucBox designs, the K6 takes a step back from the performance level of the K8 and offers a neat combination of features and flexibility.

If this mini PC looks slightly familiar, and you caught our previous K8 review, their similarities are sufficient for them to be easily confused. That's because it uses the same enclosure as the K8 with the same port arrangement and possibly the same mainboard.

That similarity extends to being mostly plastic and having a slightly annoying awkward internal access, but it's nicely finished, and the grey colouring has a distinctly Star Wars Empire vibe.

It inherits from the K8 (or vice versa) the dual M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots, dual 2.5GbE LAN ports, and a reasonable selection of USB that includes a single USB 4.0 port. No Thunderbolt, unfortunately, but at this price and from AMD, that wasn't likely to happen.

The K6 offers a slightly cheaper option than the K8. It uses a Phoenix  7040 Series processor from a mid-2023 generation instead of the new 8040 Series Hawk Point silicon that the K8 had.

In the number of cores and threads, these chips are identical, as is the GPU, and they both use the same TSMC FinFET 4nm process. The only significant difference is that the Hawk Point chip is rated for Ryzen AI up to 16 TOPS, whereas this processor is only 10 TOPS capable. Having tested many of the best mini PCs, you are unlikely to notice the difference unless you have a specific AI project.

Like the K8, the K6 is a simple but effective design that harnesses AMD's latest mobile platforms to deliver a quiet but powerful platform.

GMKtec NucBox K6: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost?  From $400
  • When is it out? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Directly from GMKtec

Unlike the K8, which had only three SKUs, the K6 offers a much wider choice. The starting point is a Barebone model, which can currently be sourced for $399.99 (£315.23).

Above that is a 16GB RAM option with a 1TB SSD and 32GB  models with 512GB, 1TB or 2TB storage. The cheapest with RAM, storage and Windows 11 Pro installed is the 16GB and 1TB SKU, costing $499.99 (£394.04), and the most expensive is the 32GB/2TB option at (£496.49)

All these units are available in the grey colour scheme, called Space Blue, and an alternative Steel Blue colour.

Given the high specification of these systems, the prices seem highly competitive. Although this is on a Flash sale, and the MSRP of the Barebone is $180 greater than the sale price.

If you believe they will ever sell it at that MSRP price and want one, you should buy it now.

However, the GMKtec NucBox K3 Pro was launched in November 2023, and the cheapest SKU that isn't a Barebones was $640, which is the same price today.

  • Value: 4 / 5

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

GMKtec NucBox K6: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPU:AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS (8 cores, 16 Threads)
GPU:Radeon 780M
RAM:32GB DDR5-5600 (2800 MHz) (16GB x 2) Expandable to 64GB
Storage:1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4
Expansion:1x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4
Ports:1x USB 4.0 Type-A, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x 3.5mm CTIA
Networking:2x 2.5GbE LAN, WiFi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2
OS:Windows 11 Pro (pre-installed)
Base Power:35W-54W (configurable)
PSU:19V 6.32A 120.08W
Dimensions:123 x 111 x 43 (mm)

GMKtec NucBox K6: Design

  • All plastic
  • Awkward internal access
  • Lacks Thunderbolt

It seems pointless to go into greater detail about this machine than to say it's the same as the K8 that we've reviewed. 

What it offers is exactly the same catalogue of good points and a few less wonderful aspects, the most noticeable being the slightly convoluted access to the internal parts.

Maybe we've done this process too many times, but getting inside is getting easier, and once the lid is popped off, four screws get you to the inner sanctum where the storage and memory are located.

The snag with this arrangement is that a small cable connects the fan in the secondary cover to the main board, and without prior knowledge, someone pulling it away could so easily rip the end off the connecting cable.

Maybe Pogo Pins would have been a better idea than an easily damageable connector and ribbon cable combination? However, once you know what to expect, it's relatively straightforward, unlike the new Asus Nuc 14 Pro that we're currently looking at.

We didn't previously notice that where the pre-installed 1TB SSD sits, another M.2 2242 module sits underneath with the WiFi electronics on it.

Those who intend to directly wire the machine and not use WiFi could replace this with even more storage if they so wished.

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

The transition to dual M.2 2280 slots in these designs is a welcome change since you can easily get a faster or larger drive than the factory-installed option. Cloning these drives is much easier with two slots.

If this design has a weakness, it's that GMKtec only exposed one of the two USB 4.0 ports that the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS natively has, for whatever reason. And because Intel owns the chips for Thunderbolt, that isn't an option.

  • Design: 4 / 5

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

GMKtec NucBox K6: Features

  • AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS (8 cores, 16 Threads)
  • 20 PCIe Lanes
  • Radeon 780M GPU

Technically, the processor in this NUC is a generation back from the latest Hawk Point designs, like the one in the K8.

However, the differences between these chips are subtle since they both offer Zen 4 architectures with RDNA3 and XDNA.

This chip has 64 KB (32 KB data + 32 KB instruction) per core L1 and 1MB of memory per core L2 cache, the same as the Ryzen 7 8845HS seen in the K8, and it also has the same core configurations and clock speeds.

As was mentioned earlier, the only significant difference is that the Ryzen AI performance is greater in the Hawk Point chip, but in every other respect, they're brothers.

One important aspect of these processors is that they have 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, allowing for some significant internal bandwidth for storage and peripherals. As each of the two M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots will take four lanes, that still leaves twelve to be used for the WiFi, dual 2.5GbE LAN ports and other USB slots, which is plenty.

The number of PCIe lanes has brought us dual M.2 slots, and it avoids GMKtec having to use PCIe switches to support all the I/O included.

Where this silicon might be better is that the Radeon 780M integrated GPU isn't substantially better than the 680M that came before it. With more competition from Intel with the integrated ARC GPU replacing the Iris Xe on some Ultra series chips, this subsystem is ripe for improvement.

That said, compared to the AMD Radeon Vega 8 and the Intel Iris Xe GPUs, the 780M has more performance, even if it doesn't make the NucBox K6 a gaming machine.

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
  • Features: 4 / 5

GMKtec NucBox K6: Performance

  • Matching K8 performance
  • Radeon 780M
  • MasonSemi MC5000 1TB NVMe
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mini PCHeader Cell - Column 1 GMKtec K6GMKtec K8
CPURow 0 - Cell 1 AMD Ryzen 7 7840HSAMD Ryzen 7 8845HS
RAMRow 1 - Cell 1 32GB DDR5 (2x16GB)32GB DDR5 (2x16GB)
StorageRow 2 - Cell 1 MasonSemi MC5000 1TB NVMeLexar 1TB NVMe
GraphicsRow 3 - Cell 1 Radeon 780MRadeon 780M
Row 5 - Cell 0 FireStrike79197664
Row 6 - Cell 0 TimeSpy33003102
Row 8 - Cell 0 Multi1555615691
Row 9 - Cell 0 Ratio9.268.9
Row 11 - Cell 0 Multi1154011864
Row 12 - Cell 0 OpenCL3382634563
Row 13 - Cell 0 Vulkan3875930270
CrystalDiskRead MB/s70835105
Row 15 - Cell 0 Write MB/s67004390
PCMark 10Office74817396
WEIRow 17 - Cell 1 8.28.2

Having just covered the K8, I think it is the best machine to compare with the K6.

The results are interesting for several reasons, not least because in many of the graphics tests, the K6 edged the K8.

In reality, the difference between these two platforms when the variance of these benchmarks, if run repeatedly, is considered is paper thin, if not imaginary. Re-running these tests on another day might reverse the winners or reduce the margins dramatically.

Most of the benchmarks show that for most users, there is no big difference between them that a user would immediately notice.

The K8's advantage is in AI processing, and none of our benchmarks currently test that aspect. Hopefully, we'll add an AI benchmark once more people use this capability regularly.

Oddly, the K6 is better in one place: the SSD that GMKtec chose to install. On the K8, they used a Lexar SSD NM7A1, a drive that doesn't do justice to the PCIe Gen 4 slot.

The cheaper K6 comes pre-installed with a lesser-known brand, MasonSemi, and its MC5000 SSD.

This machine might not have the kudos of Lexar branding, but its performance is markedly better. It achieves over 7,000MB/s reads and 5,000MB/s writes on CrystalDiskMark.

The better SSD doesn't impact the PCMark 10 score much, curiously, but it appeared to make the K6 launch more rapidly.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

GMKtec NucBox K6: Verdict

GMKtec NucBox K6 Mini PC

(Image credit: GMKtec)

Unless you intend to run AI tools on your NucBox, the K6 is practically the same experience as the K8, but for around $100 less outlay.

That makes it a powerful system that can do the work that would have been exclusively the remit of a tower desktop system only a few years ago.

Almost everything about this design is right, except for the awkward internal access and the lack of Thunderbolt. When GMKtec creates the K10, it should use both USB 4.0 ports, not just one. But these are relatively minor issues

For the asking price, the GMKtec NucBox K6 provides a wide selection of reasons to purchase and relatively few to pass.

Should I buy a GMKtec NucBox K6?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueFor the system inside, the current price is exceptional value4/5
DesignThe awkward internal access is the only issue with the engineering of this model.4/5
FeaturesDual M.2 Gen 4 slots, no Thunderbolt but USB 4.0, triple monitor support and dual 2.5GbE LAN ports. 4/5
PerformanceComparable with the K8 in many tests.4.5/5
OverallsA small powerhouse of a PC, ready for almost any task.4.5/5

Buy it if...

You want extra performance
This mini-system is remarkably powerful and can handle applications that use multi-threading to improve processing times. Unless you want to do local AI processing, the K6 is an excellent choice.

You want extra GPU power
While not quite as fast as the Intel ARC, the Radeon 780M is still a solid integrated GPU that provides decent performance suitable for simple design work and web applications.

Don't buy it if...

You need Thunderbolt or two USB 4.0
GMKtec left Thunderbolt off this machine and instead gave it a single USB 4.0 port. If you specifically want Thunderbolt, then you need to look elsewhere.

You want Intel hardware
Mostly for historical reasons, some people insist on Intel processors, and the K6 is AMD. That said, getting an Intel machine with equivalent processing power will likely cost at least $200 more for the pleasure.

Also consider


Acemagic F2A
Using the latest Ultra 5 class processor from Intel with the ARC-integrated GPU, this is another powerhouse solution, but it is from a different stable.

The downsides to this option are that it is more expensive and it doesn't have USB 4.0 or Thunderbolt. But it's another powerful small system to consider.

Check out our Acemagic F2A hands on


GMKtec NucBox K8
The K8 is the bigger brother of the K6 and uses the latest 8000 series chips from AMD. In most comparisons, the K8 performs similarly to the K6, but it does have superior AI processing if you need that functionality.

Check out our GMKtec NucBox K8 review

Mark Pickavance

Mark is an expert on 3D printers, drones and phones. He also covers storage, including SSDs, NAS drives and portable hard drives. He started writing in 1986 and has contributed to MicroMart, PC Format, 3D World, among others.