Chinese PC makers have been cranking out inexpensive small form-factor desktop computers with low-cost, low-power Intel Celeron processors for the past few years. But now at least one company is doing the same thing with one of AMD’s entry-level chips designed for budget laptops.
Maxtang’s new MTN-FP50 mini PC measures 5.1″ x 5″ x 2″ and it’s available with a choice of AMD 3020E or AMD Ryzen Embedded R1305G processor options. The little Ryzen-powered PC is available from AliExpress for about $250 and up.
The starting price is for a model with a AMD 3020E processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, but you can pay a little extra for up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and the Ryzen Embedded chip.
Keep in mind that these are both entry-level processors designed for low-cost, energy-efficient computers. They’re not going to offer the kind of performance you’d get from the latest AMD laptop chips, let alone a high-performance Threadripper processor. But they should be able to handle basic computing tasks as well as 4K video playback, which is something that similarly-priced mini PCs with Intel Celeron chips tend to struggle with.
Both processors feature AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics, but the AMD 3020E is a 1.2 GHz 2-core/2-thread processor with top speeds of 2.6 GHz and a 6-watt TDP while the R1305G is a 1.5 GHz 2-core/4-thread processor with speeds that top out at 2.8 GHz and support for an 8 to 10 watt TDP.
Whichever processor you opt for, you’ll get a small desktop computer with:
- 2 x SODIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory
- M.2 280 slot for SATA SSD
- 2.5″ drive bay for hard drive or SSD
- 2 x HDMI ports
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
- 3 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x mic input
- 1 x line out (headphone or speakers)
Overall, the $250 starting price seems pretty reasonable, but keep in mind that it does not include a Windows license. The Maxtrang MTN-FP50 seems to come with an unspecified Linux distribution pre-installed, so if you want to run Windows or a different OS, you’ll need to install it yourself.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the computer is actively cooled, so while it may be small, the fan inside the case means it won’t be silent.