Many of the mini PCs that have flooded the market in recent years have drawn inspiration from the Intel NUC line of products that debuted in 2012. Some models manage to stand out with pocket-sized designs, additional storage options, or gaming features.

But the AYANEO AM02 is one of the most unusual looking mini PCs I’ve tested to date, with a design that makes it look like a vintage game console. But it would be foolish to dismiss the AM02 mini PC from AYANEO as just another attempt to create a so-called “gaming” mini PC by adding a few extra gimmicks. The company says the AYANEO AM02 computer has “Vintage Aesthetics, Innovative Screen, High-Performance Configuration,” and in my testing, the AYANEO AM02 lives up to each of those claims.

AYANEO is a Chinese company that got its start by making handheld gaming PCs, and those portable PCs still represent most of the company’s product lineup. But recently AYANEO has begun to branch out into the mini PC space, first with the inexpensive, AM01 mini PC with a classic Mac-inspired design and more recently with the AM02 and its game console-inspired design and higher-performance hardware.

In particular, the AM02 delivers powerful performance thanks to an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor. But the computer also runs quietly thanks to AYANEO’s system management software and a newly designed cooling system that uses four copper heat pipes.

And there is also a small touch-screen on the top of the mini PC that can not only be configured to show key performance information, but also allows the dynamic setting of power limit parameters.

The AYANEO AM02 is available for purchase for $481 and up through Indiegogo InDemand. The starting price is for a barebones configuration, but it doesn’t cost much more to purchase a fully configured system: a model with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and Windows 11 Home starts at $531.

AYANEO sent me an AM02 to test. This mini PC was provided to Liliputing for free, with no requirement that the computer be returned upon completion of the review. This review is not sponsored by AYANEO, and the company did not modify or approve the content of this article in any way.


First let’s start by looking at the hardware itself. The AM02 measures 146 x 134 x 53 mm (5.74 x 5.28 x 2.09 inches) and consists of an all-plastic rectangular case.

The top of the case features a 4” multi-functional touch screen that I’ll cover in more detail below. On the left is a big red button and on the right is an illuminated on/off button.

The case is stylistically designed to pay tribute to classic gaming consoles from the 1980s and 1990s. It includes a front cover which pops up when the red button is pressed. Instead of revealing a slot for Nintendo cartridges though, lifting the cover grants access to the following ports:

  • 1 x USB4 port (with support for 40 Gbit/s data, DisplayPort Alt Mode and USB Power Delivery)
  • 2 x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2×1 ports (10 Gbit/s)
  • 1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack

The rest of the computer’s ports are located on the rear of the device. These include:

  • 2 x USB Type-A 2.0 ports (480 Mbit/s) ports
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0 port
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8168/8111 )
  • 1 x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (Intel I226-V)
  • 1 x Kensington Lock slot
  • 1 x USB Type-C port (for power only)

Inside the case is the motherboard that has an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor, featuring:

  • 8 x Zen 4 CPU cores with 3.8 GHz base and 5.1 GHz max boost frequencies and hyperthreading for a total of 16 threads
  • Radeon 780M integrated graphics with 12 RDNA 3 GPU cores and a max frequency of 2700 MHz
  • AMD Ryzen AI neural processing unit with up to 10 TOPS AI performance.

The cooling system features four copper heat pipes that cover the processor, and a large fan which is positioned on top of the heat pipes.

On the other side of the motherboard there are two slots for DDR5 memory which can support a maximum speed of 5600 MHz. The review unit came with two sticks of ADATA 16 GB RAM for a total of 32 GB memory.

There is also an M.2 2280 slot for PCIe NVMe storage which supports Gen 4 running at x4 PCIe lanes. In the review unit this was populated with a Phison 1 TB drive.

Underneath the storage drive is an M.2 2230 slot for an Intel WiFi 6E AX210 160 MHz card that also provides Bluetooth 5.3 (LMP 12.13719).

The AM02 is powered through the rear USB-C port which connects to an included 100 W GaN Fast Charger. The charger also has a USB Type-A port which can additionally provide up to 30 watts of power.

Each external side of the charger includes some game-styled pictograms and a dot-matrix printed slogan of “Real gamers know games”. The design is actually rather unobtrusive, especially considering that the adapter might well be plugged in somewhere out of sight or with other plugs either side.

Also included in the box is an HDMI cable, two miniature screwdrivers, a small packet of screws, a triangular plastic pry opening tool and a user manual.

Pre-installed Software

Now let’s look at what software is pre-loaded. If you purchase a barebones model you’ll need to bring your own operating system. But if you buy a model with memory and storage, it comes with Windows 11 pre-installed and activated.

However it is Windows 11 Home version 22H2 build 22621.819 rather than Windows 11 Pro as often seen on other mini PCs.

Also installed is AMD Software Adrenalin version 23.12.1.

And there is the AYANEO system management software called AYASpace 2.0 (version This includes some dependent software packages: Fakerinput (version 0.1.0) from Ryochan7, UsbDk Runtime Libraries (version 1.0.22) from Red Hat and RivaTuner Statistics Server (version 7.3.4) from Unwinder.

AYASpace 2.0

I must admit, when I first saw that a program called “Fakerinput” was installed I was wary to say the least. However this is just a driver to interact with virtual keyboards, physical keyboards, controllers and relative/absolute mouse movements, and is used to overcome issues with games that use anti-cheat protection.

The AYASpace 2.0 can also be downloaded from AYANEO’s website and installed manually for anyone purchasing the barebones model.


Initially I updated all the software to the latest versions, including Windows 11 Home to version 23H2 build 22631.3374 and AMD Software Adrenalin to version 24.3.1.

I also uninstalled AYASpace 2.0 so I could look at the “raw” performance by running with the default settings of PL1=45 W, PL2=54 W, Tau=5 seconds and Tjmax=89 °C.

I started performance testing by using Crystal Dew World’s CrystalDiskMark to measure storage performance:

Windows Storage
Read (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
CrystalDiskMark M.2 2280 NVMe
Seq1M Q8T15096.434434.60
Seq1M Q1T12609.664414.06
RND4K Q32T1728.45400.19
RND4K Q1T176.67280.46

The NVMe drive uses Phsion’s PS5021-E21T controller which is capable of sequential read of up to 5000 MB/s and sequential write of up to 4500 MB/s so the results achieved were very good.

I then ran the following benchmarks:

  • PassMark Software’s PerformanceTest (general performance)
  • UL’s 3DMark (CPU and graphics) and Procyon (office productivity)
  • Maxon’s Cinebench (CPU)
  • Primate Labs’s Geekbench (CPU and graphics)
  • Unigine’s Heaven (graphics)

I’ve included the results from my review of the GEEKOM A7 as this uses the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor which is a slightly more powerful processor than the Ryzen 7 7840HS processor in the AYANEO AM02, at least on paper.

In my testing though, the AYANEO AM02 actually scores higher in some benchmarks.

AM02 (Ryzen  7840HS)
A7 (Ryzen 9 7940HS)
(PL1=45 & PL2=54)
(PL1=45 & PL2=60)
PassMark Rating7161.57781.7
CPU Mark29983.331410.6
2D Graphics Mark957.7972.2
3D Graphics Mark7260.47088.4
Memory Mark3415.33366.6
Disk Mark18229.643651.7
Night Raid Score3077230791
Graphics score3746737223
CPU score1529015558
Fire Strike Score79027880
Graphics score85568519
Physics score2628226165
Combined score30143019
Office Productivity score75227624
Word score78978490
Excel score82418282
PowerPoint score77367540
Outlook score53785327
CPU (Multi Core)1592615824
CPU (Single Core)17411765
CPU (Multi Core)886899
CPU (Single Core)105106
Geekbench 6.2.1
Single-Core Score26212612
Multi-Core Score1302313270
OpenCL Score3313433240
Unigine Heaven 4.0

As usual, benchmarks alone do not tell the full story. In particular, the impact of AM02’s cooling systems looks like it allows the processor to run at higher frequencies and/or for slightly longer, resulting in the AM02 Ryzen 7 being neck-and-neck with the A7 Ryzen 9 for performance.

Often marketing departments overstep the mark when reporting what their mini PC is capable of. They typically quote benchmark results that are simply unobtainable. However, in this case, AYANEO’s claims of a Cinebench R23 Multi Core score of 15991 and Single Core score of 1773 are similar to the results I obtained.

They also claim a 3DMark Time Spy score of 3241 with a GPU score of 2890 and CPU score of 10438. As can be seen, again my scores were very similar with a Time Spy score of 3414, a GPU score of 3053 and CPU score of 10391. Very impressive.

AYASpace 2.0

The most striking feature of the AM02, aside from its retro-inspired design, is the small screen on top of the mini PC.

For this to function properly, i.e. be populated with meaningful information, AYANEO’s system management software called AYASpace 2.0, needs to be both installed and running, at least in background. So given that I’d previously removed it in order to perform benchmarks, I needed to download the latest version which was and then install it.

In its current state, AYASpace 2.0 provides three modes: AYASpace, Assistant and Desk Overlay.

The first mode is called AYASpace, and it’s a fullscreen overlay that allows you to control the following areas:

  • Choose what information is displayed on the small screen, which is called the “subscreen.”
  • Adjust performance by dynamically changing the power level and fan settings.
  • Display a screen overlay showing the FPS and other key metrics about the CPU, GPU etc.
  • Adjust some basic networking controls.
  • Control how the management software looks, runs and updates, and change the wallpaper.

There is also an account function for users that choose to set up an account through the AYANEO website.

The software also lets you monitor frame rates in video games, thanks to integration with the RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS) utility, which runs in the background.

Sometimes the FPS values displayed by the AYASpace application can be out of sync with the figures reported by games themselves as can be seen in the above screen capture. In this case, the in-game FPS counter (top left) shows the current FPS as 31 whereas AYASpace (bottom) shows it as 37. However the RTSS FPS value (top right) shows 33 and is also out of sync with the in-game FPS.

The performance overlay can be tailored by changing what information is shown, and in what style.

It can also be moved around the screen.

The second AYASpace 2.0 mode is called Assistant, and it consists of a quarter-screen vertical panel displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.

There are four sub menus that allow you to:

  • Monitor and adjust performance features, including the monitoring overlay together with the fan settings.
  • Adjust hardware settings by increasing or decreasing volume or brightness, and toggling WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Use shortcuts to perform actions such as closing a game or turning the subscreen on or off.
  • Switch to the AYASpace mode or run updates. This menu also includes some Windows system options like Task Manager and Device Manager.

Finally the third mode, Desk Overlay puts a small overlay on the screen to show the current temperature and dial representations of usage, for each of the CPU, GPU and RAM.

Whilst the ability to change the default wallpaper is already available through “Windows Personalisation”, AYASpace 2.0 also includes some alternative choices:

But like the default wallpaper, there are a few that probably won’t appeal to everyone.

The AM02 default subscreen display shows an overall snapshot of the system.

Tapping “TDP” on the screen brings up a secondary screen that allows the selection of a different power profile.

Swiping the main screen left brings up a configurable date and time screen.

Finally swiping left again provides a touch volume setting together with the ability to turn off the subscreen.

Power and Temperature

It is worth looking at the power consumption and internal temperatures together in order to understand the effect of running in “raw” performance mode (as mentioned earlier when using the default values for PL1/PL2) compared to using AYASpace 2.0 and limiting the power by selecting one of the presets.

I stressed the system when measuring the power consumption “from the wall” using a meter and temperatures using HWiNFO64 software. The workload consisted of running Cinebench R23 in a ten minute loop along with running FurMark at full-screen.

Firstly, for “raw” performance (i.e. PL1=45 W, PL2=54 W and Tau=5 seconds), power consumption to the mini PC rose immediately to 102.2 watts before dropping to around 87.5 watts after exhausting the “Tau” period.

The fan noise was also loud, measuring around 48.1 dBA. However, each time R23 finished a cycle, the GPU was able to make use of the newly available extra power resulting in a short period when then total power usage increased to around 88.5 watts and the fan became even louder at 49.1 dBA.

Each boost burst resulted in a GPU temperature spike with the highest measuring 86.0°C. There was also a corresponding CPU temperature trough.

Overall the CPU temperature was continually climbing and just before the end of the ten minute period, it had reached 88.0°C and the average frame rate for FurMark was 29 FPS.

In comparison, using the AYASpace 2.0 setting of “Extreme” for performance (or “AAA Game” as it appears on the subscreen), limits the TDP to just 28 watts and by default, the TDP boost is turned off (so effectively PL1=28 W, PL2=28 W and Tau=0 seconds).

For reference, the default settings for “Balanced” (or “Classic Game”) drop PL1/2 to 15 watts and for “Saving Power” (or “Retro Game”) they are even lower at 8 watts.

So when running Cinebench R23 and FurMark with “Extreme” performance, the temperatures for both the CPU and GPU remained extremely stable at 63.1°C and 62.8°C respectively. The impact on FurMark was surprisingly minimal with the average frame rate dropping only slightly to 26 FPS. Obviously this resulted in a much lower power draw of only around 56.5 watts on average with the fan only emitting 38.6 dBA and so was relatively quiet.

Other key power consumption scenarios were measured as follows:

  • Powered off (shutdown) – 2.5 W
  • UEFI (BIOS) – 15.9 W
  • Idle – 10.6 W (Windows without AYASpace 2.0)
  • Idle – 12.4 W (Windows with AYASpace 2.0)
  • Gaming (CPU & GPU stressed) – GTA V averaged 87 W (Windows without AYASpace 2.0)
  • Gaming (CPU & GPU stressed) – GTA V averaged 57 W (Windows with AYASpace 2.0)


To further demonstrate the “FPS cost” of running a cooler and quieter AM02, I looked at the performance whilst gaming on Shadow of the Tomb Raider (SOTTR) and Counter-Strike 2 (CS2).

Running the SOTTR in-built benchmark using the default PL levels (or “raw” performance) resulted in an average FPS of 42.

Repeating the benchmark using the AYASpace “Extreme” preset, the average FPS dropped to 39. This drop was similar to the impact seen when running under load with Cinebench R23 and FurMark.

Unfortunately CS2 does not have an in-built benchmark so it is not possible to measure the actual “FPS cost”. However based solely on perception, and assuming there is a loss, it doesn’t seem to be noticeable.

When pottering around the streets in “raw” performance mode, I averaged 92 FPS and my current frame rate when I took the screenshot was 86 FPS.

Then taking the same route but in “Extreme” performance mode and again taking a screenshot at around the same point, my frame rate was 87 FPS.

Of course, these observations aren’t exactly scientific, so maybe of more interest are the stats for both the CPU and GPU when gaming on CS2. During both “power” scenarios, the CPU was running around 25% utilised but the GPU usage was nearly maxed out at over 90%. However, for the much higher power consumption, the GPU temperature was around 84°C compared to only around 62°C when the power was limited.

Initially by just looking at the power settings provided by AYASpace 2.0, you might think a PL of only 28 watts would be too low and render the mini PC underpowered by desktop computer standards. However the mini PC is surprisingly responsive and seemingly unaffected, whilst being correspondingly much quieter. And by using the simplicity offered by AYASpace 2.0 you could quite easily further tune the PL to a value more suitable to whatever game you were playing.

One other point to consider is the AM02 includes a 40 Gbps USB4 port. You could always add an external GPU for better gaming performance given SOTTR shows it is 100% bound by the iGPU.

Linux (Ubuntu)

For this review I’ve concentrated on using Windows for testing. Primarily this is because the AYASpace 2.0 software that controls the subscreen does not have a Linux port.

The result is that while the subscreen is active when running Ubuntu, it doesn’t show any relevant data. For example the clock display starts from the Unix epoch (00:00:00 UTC 1 January 1970). Perhaps it is possible to control the screen from Linux using third-party tools, however I’ve not explored that possibility.

I did install Ubuntu 22.04.4 on the AM02 and checked that all the usual suspect areas of concern like audio, Bluetooth and WiFi were working, and indeed that was the case.

I also wondered how far I’d get using “Wine” to install AYASpace 2.0 but it failed when running the UsbDk runtime libraries installer.

Given there is no RTSS port to Linux and most users rely on Mangohud instead, I’m not expecting a Linux version of AYASpace 2.0 anytime soon. Unless of course AYANEO can get Valve interested in porting the software for SteamOS.


The AYANEO AM02 mini PC features two LAN ports for wired networking, one of which is 2.5 GbE. It also supports WiFi 6 wireless networks. And network throughput is pretty close to the top speeds you’d expect from that hardware.

As a side note, while I was working on this review, Microsoft issued guidance suggesting that users measuring network performance on Windows PCs should use ntttcp rather than older versions of iperf3, although updating iperf3 to the latest version also resolves issues that are present with older versions.

So I used both iperf 3.16 and ntccp for testing, and the results are impressive (and fairly consistent between the two tools).

EthernetWiFi 2.4 GHzWiFi 5.0 GHzWiFi 6.0 GHz
ntttcpiperf3 3.16ntttcpiperf3 3.16ntttcpiperf3 3.16ntttcpiperf3 3.16
Upload2.37 Gbps2.37 Gbps371.08 Mbps369 Mbps949.46 Mbps922 Mbps1.93 Gbps1.86 Gbps
Download2.35 Gbps2.35 Gbps394.44 Mbps393 Mbps882.91 Mbps880 Mbps1.58 Mbps1.59 Gbps
EthernetWiFi 2.4 GHzWiFi 5.0 GHzWiFi 6.0 GHz
Upload2.35 Gbps2.35 Gbps352.11 Mbps349 Mbps887.77 Mbps868 Mbps1.51 Gbps1.46 Gbps
Download2.35 Gbps2.35 Gbps176.96 Mbps181 Mbps811.3 Mbps814 Mbps1.38 Gbps1.35 Gbps

If you’re curious to know how these scores compare with what you’d see using an older version of iperf3, the AM02 is the computer I used as a testing platform when writing an article about using iperf3 with Windows.


Finally a quick look at the UEFI (BIOS) shows that it is reasonably unlocked with most of the options people like to change being available. This includes “Power Configuration” such as “AC Failure” and “Wake Up by RTC” etc.

There is the ability to alter the memory frequency as well as modify the iGPU configuration by specifying a different UMA Frame buffer size.

CPU settings can also be changed like increasing the “System Configuration” from 45 W to 54 W as well as changing the default fan curve which might be useful if not using software options from within the installed OS.


It is clear from the design and advertising of the AM02 that AYANEO is targeting gamers, which makes sense for a company that’s still primarily known for making handheld gaming computers. However this, to a certain point, obscures the fact that the AM02 is a surprisingly good mini PC that could be suitable for a multitude of tasks.

Not only is the performance very good, but it has a decent set of ports and strong networking performance, allowing you to use it as a general purpose computer.

The one drawback, for me, is the door concealing the front ports. Many years ago I had a Dell tower PC with a similar door at the bottom. It was just a pain to insert USB cables.

I found the same problem when I had the AM02 turned around so that the back became the front. This made it easier to connect cables to the back of the computer, where most of the ports are. But in this position, when I tried to insert a USB Type-A cable to the front of the computer, the door made it difficult to insert a cable correctly because it’s hard to see what you’re doing, or even which side of the cable should be facing up.

That’s less likely to be an issue if the mini PC is positioned so that the door is facing forward though.

The subscreen on the top of the device, even if just left as a clock display, is also a welcome addition, and one that’s rare to find in a mini PC, even if this isn’t the only small desktop computer with a small status display.

I’d like to thank AYANEO for providing the review unit. At time of publication, the AYANEO AM02 is available through Indiegogo InDemand, with prices starting at $481 for a barebones model. The configuration featured in this review (with 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, and Windows 11 Home), sells for $699, which AYANEO says represents a 9% discount from the retail price.

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  1. Great review of a cute machine! 👍

    Its strongest point IMO is the cooling system, I agree it’s probably what’s propelling it beyond the Geekom A7 (of which I’m a happy owner) in many benchmarks, specially the graphic ones.

    OTOH the power consumption numbers are kinda scandalous, specially in idle (basically twice the GeekomA7’s! 🤪). Maybe it’s the status display?

    Anyway, the A7 also comes stronger on USB ports (2x USB-C and 3x USB3) and with the $200 Liliputing discount, also beats it on cost.

  2. I really enjoyed this review on a piece of tech that I would probably overlook or pass-on since I’m unfamiliar with the manufacturer and looks like something that would show up in my Amazon results.

  3. A great review! However Aya should seriously think about a proper Linux support, maybe even SteamOS. Like this I just can’t see myself investing in something so Windows dependant.

  4. I know at the end of the day it is just another PC but it is nice to see aesthetics options other than typical RBG or in the case of mini pc a plain cube. Regardless, I always click on the Skimlinks to support the blog every chance I get.