The GMKtec NucBox G3 is a budget-conscious choice that delivers on essential computing needs. With its Intel N100 processor and entry-level hardware, it handles routine tasks and light multimedia activities well. The NucBox G3 is ideal for users seeking a basic, reliable mini PC for everyday use; the G3 stands out for its affordability and simplicity, making it a practical choice for casual or entry-level computing needs.
Limited gaming performance
Basic processor capabilities
Modest storage capacity
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GMKtec NucBox G3: 30-second review
CPU: Intel 12th Alder Lake-N100, 4C/4T, up to 3.4 GHz
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics (750MHz, 24 execution units)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200 MT/s (expandable to 32GB)
Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD (expandable to 2TB)
Rear Ports: 2 x USB3.2 (Gen1*1 5Gbps/S), 2 x HDMI (4K@60Hz), 1 x 2.5G Giga LAN (RJ45)
Front Ports: 2 x USB3.2 (Gen1*1 5Gbps/S)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: 1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack
Camera: Not included
Size: 115mm x 108mm x 44mm
OS Installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: Power adapter (DC IN 5.5/2.5mm, 12V/3A)
The GMKtec NucBox G3 is definitely priced to attract entry-level users, those on a budget or just want a compact machine that will enable them to browse the internet and carry out office and some multimedia tasks.
Powering the small box is an Intel 12th Alder Lake-N100 processor, an ideal choice for this style of mini PC as, while not a top specification processor, it is still designed to handle everyday tasks efficiently. With its 4 cores and 4 threads, it reaches a maximum speed of 3.4 GHz. We've tested plenty of the best mini PCs, and while not groundbreaking, there's sufficient power here for basic office applications, web browsing, and light multimedia tasks such as watching videos and streaming music.
The GMKtec NucBox G3's performance in benchmarks like Crystal Disk, GeekBench, and PC Mark underscores its suitability for light to moderate use. The Crystal Disk scores of 1763 MB/s read and 1692 MB/s write speed indicate impressive speeds with the handling of data transfer and storage tasks. GeekBench scores, with 933 in single-core and 2303 in multi-core tests, highlight its capacity to manage day-to-day applications smoothly, although it does rule out more processor and graphic-intensive tasks.
In terms of gaming, the G3's limitations become apparent. Its Intel UHD Graphics, while adequate for basic graphical tasks, is not cut out for high-end gaming or even mid-range, as evidenced by Fire Strike and Time Spy scores. This Mini PC caters well to casual gamers who are content with less demanding titles, but for those seeking a device for intensive gaming, the G3 might not be the ideal choice
The design of the G3 is another highlight, featuring a lush green colour variant that adds a touch of uniqueness to its compact form. The build quality is solid, and it is remarkably lightweight at just 0.79 lb (361g), making it highly portable. The option for DIY upgrades is a welcome addition, with easy access to RAM and SSD slots, ensuring that the device can grow with the user's needs.
Connectivity options on the G3 are ample, with multiple USB 3.2 ports, dual HDMI supporting 4K at 60Hz, and a 2.5G Ethernet port for faster internet connectivity. Its Wi-Fi 6 capability ensures speedy and reliable wireless connections. The audio output is limited to a single 3.5mm headphone jack, which is standard for most mini PCs.
Running on Windows 11 Pro, the GMKtec NucBox G3 offers a familiar and intuitive user experience, with added support for Linux for those who prefer an open-source environment. If you're running any of the best 3D printers or best laser engravers, then this could make a great workshop choice.
GMKtec NucBox G3: Price & availability
The GMKtec NucBox G3 Mini PC, already attractively priced at $279 for the 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD variant, can often be found discounted through various retailers, including directly from GMKtec by clicking here or from Amazon by clicking here. This aspect of affordability enhances its value proposition significantly.
- Score: 4/5
GMKtec NucBox G3: Design & build
The GMKtec NucBox G3 might be at the budget end of the market, but it still models a sleek, modern mini PC design, combining both form and function in a compact and lightweight package. Weighing in at just 265g and with dimensions of 115mm x 108mm x 44mm, it's both a great desktop space saver with its small footprint and small and lightweight enough to make it portable if needed.
As with other NUCs and thin clients of this type, it also offers a good range of alternative mounting options, enabling you to monitor, stand or wall mount if needed
The exterior of the G3 is made from high-quality plastic, which balances the lightweight construction with portability and durability. Despite its all-plastic construction, the unit feels robust and well-built. The design also makes it incredibly easy to upgrade if needed with the top cover, which can be easily pried open, providing hassle-free access to the internal components. This feature is particularly beneficial if you purchase the barebones version or want to upgrade the hardware in the future, as it enables quick modifications.
The layout of the ports around the case helps to enhance the G3's usability. On the front are two USB Type-A ports, and then there's a well-arranged selection of ports at the back, all of which help when setting up the Mini PC. The G3's port design is really well thought out, especially the two HDMI ports, one on either side of the rear of this small machine.
- Design: 4/5
GMKtec NucBox G3: Features
The G3 boasts a rich array of ports, including USB 3.2 for high-speed data transfer, HDMI for 4K@60Hz Ultra HD output, and a 2.5G Giga LAN port for fast-wired network connectivity. This variety of interfaces caters to diverse needs, allowing connections to monitors, TVs, audio systems, NAS, printers, and projectors. The inclusion of a Kensington lock port also adds a layer of security if needed.
At its core, the G3 features the Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake N100 processor, which offers increased performance and energy efficiency compared to its predecessors like the N95 processor. This processor is equipped with 4 cores, 4 threads, and a 6 MB cache, operating at a speed of 3.4 GHz. The micro-sized chip's 7nm lithography and 6W TDP (Thermal Design Power) make it an energy-efficient yet fast processor, suitable for multitasking and everyday computing tasks such as Microsoft Office and web browsing.
The G3 is equipped with 8GB DDR4 RAM at 3200MHz, which is expandable up to 32GB. It supports M.2 2242 SATA (not included) and comes with a 256GB SSD M.2 2280, expandable to 2TB. The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 technology ensures fast wireless connectivity, being three times faster than Wi-Fi 5. The cooling fan and vents incorporated into the design help maintain optimal operating temperatures.
The G3 offers advanced networking capabilities with super-speed Wi-Fi 6, allowing for dual-band speeds of up to 2400Mbps and high-speed Ethernet capable of 2.5Gbps. These features ensure faster and more stable internet connections, whether wirelessly or through a wired connection, so there are plenty of connection options depending on your needs.
With dual HDMI 2.0 ports, the G3 supports two 4K displays at 60Hz, which can again be useful in a work environment where you may want your work documents on one screen and a web browser on the other.
- Features: 3.5/5
GMKtec NucBox G3: Performance
Crystal Disk Read: 1763
Crystal Disk Write: 1692
GeekBench CPU Single: 933
GeekBench CPU Multi: 2303
GeekBench Compute: 3276
PC Mark: 2711
CineBench CPU Multi: 362
CineBench CPU Single: 683
Fire Strike Overall: 1080
Fire Strike Graphics: 1138
Fire Strike Physics: 6252
Fire Strike Combined: 413
Time Spy Overall: 373
Time Spy Graphics: 326
Time Spy CPU: 2163
Wild Life: 2699
Windows Experience: 6.4
The performance of the GMKtec NucBox G3 Mini PC, as indicated by the test results, positions it as a reliable performer for everyday computing tasks, though with limitations in more demanding applications.
For standard tasks like web browsing, document editing, and basic office applications, the G3 proves more than capable. Its Crystal Disk Read and Write scores indicate that it can handle data transfers and system operations swiftly, contributing to a smooth user experience for everyday tasks such as web browsing, transferring files and using Microsoft Office applications. We found it's also perfectly suited to handling 3D printing Slicing Software.
When it comes to creative applications like Photoshop, the G3's performance is modest. This is hardly the best photo editing PC out there - not even close. While it can handle basic photo editing and light graphical tasks, the CineBench scores suggest limitations in handling more processor-intensive creative work, such as complex image processing or running the best video editing software. While basic editing is possible, the speed of rendering on video footage above 1080p can quickly get jittery with dropped frames through playback, so we can't recommend this to anyone looking for the best video editing PC or a space-saving alternative to the best video editing laptops.
In our experience, the gaming performance of the G3 is best described as suitable for casual gaming. The Fire Strike and Time Spy scores reflect that while it can manage some light gaming, it struggles with more graphics-intensive games. Games like Red Dead Redemption II and Cyberpunk require more than this machine can provide on the graphics front.
The GeekBench CPU scores showcase that the G3 can handle multitasking, making it a solid choice for productivity tasks that don't demand intensive CPU usage, such as working on both Office and web browsing applications. However, for multi-threaded tasks or heavy multitasking, it may not be the most efficient choice.
With its dual HDMI ports supporting 4K displays and fast Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, the G3 is well-equipped for multimedia consumption and online activities. Its ability to support dual screens at high resolution is a great feature, considering the price point. It does enable you to split applications across two screens, which gives you far greater room to manoeuvre.
For an entry-level machine, the performance is solid. When in use, it's quick for everyday tasks and will handle Microsoft Office and other similar applications with ease. When it comes to anything more processor-intensive, while it can handle some tasks, it will struggle with others, but it is still impressively powerful for its intended market.
- Performance: 3/5
Should you buy the GMKtec NucBox G3?
The GMKtec NucBox G3 Mini PC is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a budget-friendly, compact computing solution. Its Intel N100 processor handles everyday tasks and basic multimedia applications with relative ease, making it one of the best business computers for everyday office and browser-based use.
While it falls short in high-intensity gaming and creative tasks, its design, featuring a rich array of connectivity options and upgradability, adds significant value.
Priced at $279, it offers great value for money, perfectly suiting budget-conscious consumers, students, and anyone needing a reliable, no-frills computer. Overall, the G3 is a practical, cost-effective mini PC for everyday use and light multimedia activities.
- Value: Exceptionally priced for basic computing needs. (4/5)
- Design: Compact, lightweight, with practical connectivity options. (4/5)
- Features: Adequate features for everyday use and upgrades. (3.5/5)
- Performance: Satisfactory for general tasks, limited for gaming. (3/5)
- Total: A cost-effective, efficient choice for basic usage. (3.5/5)
Buy it if...
You want a versatile workhorse:
Budget-Focused Basic Computing:
Suppose you're seeking an affordable mini PC for everyday tasks like web browsing, document editing, and media consumption. In that case, the GMKtec NucBox G3 is a perfect fit with its efficient performance and budget-friendly price.
Compact Space Saver:
Ideal for users with limited space, the NucBox G3 offers a compact and lightweight design without compromising on essential features and connectivity, making it perfect for small workspaces or home use.
Don't buy it if...
High-End Gaming Enthusiast:
If your primary need is for a mini PC that can handle demanding games and graphics-intensive applications, this GMKtec mini PC, with its modest graphics capabilities, might not meet your expectations.
Professional Creative Work:
For professionals in video editing, graphic design, or other creative fields requiring high processing power and advanced graphics, the G3's basic performance profile may fall short of meeting the necessary computing demands.