30 seconds rating
Sometimes you come across a product that makes you wonder how fast the PC market has gone. Beelink’s GTR5 is one of them. Powered by a high-end Ryzen 9 processor with up to 64GB RAM and 1TB SSD, it formed the basis for what is an excellent mini pc focused on the workstation market must perform.
Speaking of benchmarks, the 5900HX powering the GTR5 helped it score some impressive numbers in multi-threaded tests that made good use of its 16 threads. But there’s more to it than just the pure execution; Beelink’s attention to detail – as well as her desire to deliver USPs – is highly commendable. From the dual microphones to the fingerprint reader and dual 2.5Gb Lan ports, there are enough differentiators to push the GTR5 to the top of our rankings.
Beelink GTR5: Pricing and Availability
You can buy the GTR5 (32GB/500GB) from Amazon.com for a little more for about $807, which is about 6% more expensive than what popular online Chinese retailer is Banggood charges (but then shipping is extra and you have to wait much longer). The 64GB model is available at Banggood for a cool $950† Please note that in all cases you may have to pay more to cover any shipping or courier charges.
Beelink GTR5: Design
The GTR5 uses a different chassis compared to the SER4 we reviewed it in April 2022. Larger and comparable in size with a thick paperback novel measuring approximately 165 x 120 x 39mm for a weight of just under 680g. A very similar chassis is used for the Intel-based GTI i5-1135G7 and the GTR3-3750H; economies of scale play an important role in creating product lines. A magnesium aluminum alloy is used throughout as the main material for the chassis with a bit of perforated acrylic plastic on top (for air circulation) and rubber on the base. There’s an illuminated AMD Let’s Start slogan at the top below the Beelink logo and next to a fingerprint scanner.
I expected to see air intakes on the bottom plate, but that wasn’t the case, instead Beelink thought it appropriate to use it as an area to permanently store instructions (how to enter the BIOS, for example). The top and both sides of the GTR5 are perforated (think speaker grilles) and fan outlets can be seen at the back.
There are plenty of connectors, which is what Beelink users are used to. On the front of the device are two microphone holes, a reset/clear CMOS button, the power button, a 3.5mm audio jack, a Type-C connector and a Type-A connector. Unfortunately no card reader here.
On the rear are two 2.5GbE LAN ports (a rarity in this price range), a barrel-type DC input, a full-size DP port, an HDMI connector and four other Type-A USB ports, two which are USB 2.0, a furious let down. We don’t mind the lack of Thunderbolt ports, which is understandable as hardly anyone has used this Intel technology on AMD, despite it being (a) very useful (b) royalty free.
Beelink GTR5: Hardware
A beast spins in the GTR5, one with eight
horns cores and 16 wires. Meet the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX in all its glory, a processor with 20 MB cache (L2 + L3), a base frequency of 3.3 GHz and an AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics with eight cores and a clock speed of 2.1 GHz . It’s meant to fit into desktop replacement laptops, and its relatively low TDP (power dissipation) means it’s well-suited for an SFF device. Despite being launched in early 2021, it still packs in formidable power.
The CPU is flanked by two Crucial 16GB DDR4-3200 memory modules (additional cookie points for dual-channel configuration), a 500GB Kingston SNVS500G NVMe PCIe SSD, and an AMD/Mediatek RZ608 WiFi-6E wireless card that supports Bluetooth 5.2. There’s an empty 2.5-inch bay to host an SSD or HDD, plus an M.2 SATA slot for an additional SSD. The mini PC comes with a 90W power supply, two HDMI cables, a VESA mounting bracket and a user manual.
Beelink GTR5: Performance
We tested it using a range of industry standard benchmarks and it performed excellently. It scored highly on CPU-intensive tests like Cinebench and Geekbench, although it failed to convincingly beat the Ryzen 9 4900H in the Minisforum HM90. It proved to be an excellent all-rounder, the weakest point being the SSD, which isn’t as fast as the rest of the hardware, especially when it turned out to have write speeds (just 1.56 GBps on some tests).
Windows 11 Pro powers the GTR5, which is a bit of a surprise, but makes sense given the professional audience it targets. There’s absolutely no bloatware, which is a bonus and something we’d love to see other, more well-known brands emulate. Keep in mind that this is quite a noisy device, especially under load.
Should I buy the Beelink GTR5?
Buy it if you want the best performing mini PC or workstation for under $1000. With the option for a 64GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage model, along with an ultra-powerful processor, there’s almost no job this little puppy can do. won’t do.
Don’t buy it if you like working in absolute silence. The constant humming of the fans coupled with random changes in fan speeds may infuriate some users. Another thing to keep in mind.
The T-Bao BOOK MN59 is $20 more expensive than the GTR5. You get double the storage capacity (1 TB) and the ability to run three screens at 4K (thanks to a Type-C connector). On the other hand, it only offers WiFi-6 and does not have a 2.5GbE LAN or two ports. On paper, the GTR5 is still a clear winner.
The Elite mini B550 isn’t powered by the same processor, but the Ryzen 7 5700G should lose only marginally to the 5900HX. It can power three 4K monitors and costs about the same as its Beelink rival. What makes it stand out, though, is the free dock that allows it to hook up an external GPU, although you’ll also need another PSU.
Peeking at what’s available from more mainstream suppliers, Dell sells the Optiplex 7090 in an SFF chassis (292 x 290 x 93) for under $1400. It’s about 10x the size of the GTR5 (in terms of volume) and you don’t get Wi-Fi or an AMD processor, but you do get three years warranty and Dell’s worldwide after sales support network.