Still, the MinisForum EliteMini CR50 PC is at least a nifty looking box of tricks, although the price tag is steep for what it is – and indeed what it isn’t, namely as claimed by the maker, a machine capable of “ultra-high frame rates and professional gaming”, which is a billing it falls well short of (more on that later).
VideoCardz spotted the press release, and the spec of the CR50 comprises of the AMD 4700S – that’s (purportedly) the 8-core (16-thread) SoC used in Sony’s PlayStation 5 – combined with 16GB of on-board GPDDR6 memory, both of which are soldered to the motherboard. They’re combined with an AMD Radeon RX 550 discrete graphics card.
Storage options are a 256GB or 512GB SSD (2.5-inch SATA), or you can order a unit with no drive and fit your own.
The MinisForum CR50 is now up on pre-order with a discount, meaning you can currently get the PC with no drive for $679 / £496, or the 256GB model for $729 / £532, or the 512GB version for $759 / £554. Once the pre-sale period is over, those prices will go up.
Analysis: A far cry from fast frame rates
You may recall that back in July 2021, AMD’s 4700S Desktop Kit was released, and this CR50 Mini PC is essentially this kit stuffed inside a compact case, all ready to go.
That kit is almost certainly built around repurposed PS5 chips (though AMD hasn’t confirmed that), as our sister site Tom’s Hardware has made clear in the past. So what’s essentially happening is that these were SoCs rejected for Sony’s console, and AMD is finding a use for them – it’s most likely the GPU which has gone wrong somewhere, because that’s disabled in the 4700S here.
At any rate, Tom’s has evaluated the AMD 4700S solution before and observed its lack of gaming chops on various fronts, and pairing it with a distinctly lackluster RX 550, a rather dated GPU which also lacks punch, means that the CR50 won’t set anyone’s gaming world alight. (Remember, AMD has said that its kit can be combined with up to an RX 590 GPU).
Far Cry 5 hits 26 frames per second, MinisForum asserts, although it doesn’t tell us what graphics settings were used in that benchmark. Naturally, none of this represents the “ultra-high frame rates” that the product spiel promises.
When you compare a (discounted) asking price of more than $700 / £500 – considerably over if you want 512GB – to the price tag of the PS5, which starts at $399 / £359 for the Digital Edition, the PC obviously doesn’t come off well in the comparative stakes for gaming. Not that you could expect a small PC maker to remotely compete with Sony’s volume production clout, of course – but things are considerably askew here, performance-wise.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).