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The GEEKOM A7 is a mini PC with support for up to an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of solid state storage. It’s basically the AMD equivalent of the GEEKOM Mini IT13 with an Intel Raptor Lake processor. But, having used the GEEKOM A7 quite extensively over the past month, I’ve found that it’s a high-performance but quiet little computer.

It also offers the best value for the money of any mini PC that I’ve reviewed in the past year.

The GEEKOM A7 is available from GEEKOM.com for $699 and up, or you can get a top-of-the-line model from Amazon for $849. Liliputing readers can also save $20 by using one of the coupons at the bottom of this article.

GEEKOM sent me an A7 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 GEEKOM, and the company did not modify or approve the content of this article in any way.

Design

The GEEKOM A7 exterior measures 112.4 x 112.4 x 37mm (4.43 x 4.43 x 1.46  inches) and consists of a brushed aluminium case with a detachable plastic bottom. Inside is the motherboard, and facing upwards is an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor with AMD Radeon 780M graphics, cooled by a fan.

On the other side of the motherboard and facing down, which is also accessible from the bottom of the mini PC, are two DDR5 SO-DIMM slots for memory, and a M.2 2230 NVMe slot for a WiFi card which is covered by a M.2 2280 NVMe slot for storage.  

The Ryzen 9 7940HS is a powerful processor that has 8 “Zen 4” CPU cores with support for multithreading for a total of 16 threads. The base clock is 4.0 GHz and it can boost up to 5.2 GHz. It has a configurable TDP (cTDP) of between 35 and 54 watts.

The chip also features Radeon 780M graphics with 12 cores and a frequency of 2800 MHz. Also available is AMD Ryzen AI for those that want (or even know how) to make use of it.

The GEEKOM A7 is sold as a fully configured mini PC. It comes with 32 GB of memory, and the unit GEEKOM sent me had two 16GB sticks of Crucial DDR5-5600 RAM.

Also included is 2 TB of NVMe storage provided by what appears to be an “available in China only” Acer N5000CN M.2 2280 drive. 

There’s also an Azurewave AW-XB591NF M.2 2230 wireless card with a MediaTek 7922 chip. It supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 (LMP 12.8966).

On the front of the GEEKOM A7 are two USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10 Gbit/s) ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack and an illuminated power button.

The left side has a full-sized SD slot together with fine mesh holes for ventilation. These holes are replicated on the entire right side. And unlike the GEEKOM Mini IT13, there is no Kensington Lock slot. 

The bulk of the ports are on the rear. These include, from left to right:

  • 1 x Power jack
  • 1 x USB4 Type-C Gen 3×2 (40 Gbit/s) port (above) 
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0 port (below)
  • 1 x 2.5 Gb Ethernet port
  • 1 x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10 Gbit/s) port (above)
  • 1 x USB Type-A 2.0 (480 Mbit/s) port (below)
  • 1 x USB4 Type-C port (above) with DP Alt Mode
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0 port (below)

All of the ports are annotated and testing showed they both functioned correctly and are exactly as per the published specification. However, whilst not specified, neither of the USB Type-C ports support Power Delivery.

To power the GEEKOM A7, an “Ultra Slim” FSP120-ABBU3 adapter with separate power cord is provided. This 120 W (19 V 6.32 A) power adapter is not only smaller than a typical adapter normally included with mini PCs, but is also much lighter.

Also included in the box is an HDMI cable, a small instruction booklet and a thank you card.

Access to the memory and storage is through the base of the device.

In order to remove the bottom cover, you’ll first need to remove the four rubber feet. Although they are covered in adhesive, they are also shaped to plug into their placement holes and remain there without the need for glue.

After you’ve removed those feet and the screws they protect, you’ll need to remove the plastic base to reveal a further screwed-down metal plate. 

After removing four more screws, you’ll want to carefully lift this plate up, since the main WiFi aerial is attached to it by black tape, which holds it in position. The final attachment point is the plastic base, so it’s safe to lift the sticky tape, and doing that will provide sufficient slack to the WiFi cable to allow the metal plate to be removed and the plastic base to rest horizontally.

UEFI (BIOS)

To access the UEFI (BIOS), immediately after powering on the mini PC you can use either the “Esc” or “Del” keys to enter directly into the UEFI (BIOS). Or you can use the “F7” key to access “Boot Menu” and then select the appropriate option.

The UEFI (BIOS) is actually extremely limited. Of interest is a “FAN Mode” option on the first screen whose default is “Normal Mode” which can be optionally toggled to “Quiet Mode” or “Performance Mode”. The associated description states “Performance Mode with high performance and high FAN speed; Quiet Mode brings low performance and low FAN speed; Normal mode is the balance point”.

How it performs

The GEEKOM A7 came with Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 OS build 22631.2861 pre-installed, which I upgraded to OS build 22631.3155 for testing. I shrank the Windows partition down to 1 TB so I could also install Ubuntu. Initially I installed Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS (Jammy) but later I also installed alongside it the daily build of Ubuntu 24.04 (Noble) for reasons listed under “Issues” below.

All the testing was performed using “Normal Mode” in the UEFI (BIOS), and with the power mode set to “High performance” on Windows, or with the CPU Scaling Governor set to “performance” on Ubuntu.

I first tested the ports and wireless capabilities, and they all worked as expected, with the exception of Bluetooth on Ubuntu –  see “Issues” below.

I started performance testing by using Crystal Dew World’s CrystalDiskMark to measure performance on Windows and a script using the “fio” or “flexible I/O tester command” to verify it on Ubuntu. The results were good as according to the specs for this drive, it is only slated as achieving sequential read speeds of up to 5000 MB/s and write speeds of up to 4400 MB/s.

Windows CrystalDiskMark
M.2 2280 NVMeRead (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
Seq1M Q8T14911.464692.42
Seq1M Q1T14528.004713.17
RND4K Q32T1707.52466.48
RND4K Q1T167.30228.70
Ubuntu fio
M.2 2280 NVMeRead (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
Seq1M Q8T148024162
Seq1M Q1T143614604
RND4K Q32T1867819
RND4K Q1T173.0239

For the SD card reader, I tested using an UHS-II card on Windows. For sequential reads I got a speed of 197.10 MB/s and for sequential writes I got 170.03 MB/s which are both fairly typical speeds for top end mini PCs although a USB attached card read can achieve nearly the theoretical maximum speeds of 312 MB/s.

Now for the other performance benchmarks. I’ve included the results from my reviews of the Simply NUC Onyx NUC13OXv9 and the GEEKOM Mini IT13 in the results table to offer a comparison with several other mini PCs I’ve tested recently that have high-end specs. Both of these computers have Intel Core i9-13900H processors, although as the benchmark results show, a lot of things can affect the performance of that processor.

On Windows I ran:

  • 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)
Windows
GEEKOM
A7
Simply NUC Onyx
NUC13OXv9
GEEKOM
Mini IT13
Default
(PL1=45 & PL2=60)
Default
(PL1=45 & PL2=54)
Default
(PL1=35 & PL2=80)
PerformanceTest
PassMark Rating7781.75651.25649.8
CPU Mark31410.629862.625578.6
2D Graphics Mark972.2942.3593.5
3D Graphics Mark7088.43967.13760.5
Memory Mark3366.63733.43998.3
Disk Mark43651.722823.138218.3
3DMark
Night Raid Score307912220719680
Graphics score372232495922142
CPU score155581366912075
Fire Strike Score788060505414
Graphics score851964525833
Physics score261652721023646
Combined score301922982010
Procyon
Office Productivity score762479478251
Word score849076647578
Excel score828281478616
PowerPoint score754081538545
Outlook score532777258366
CINEBENCH R23
CPU (Multi Core)158241506313089
CPU (Single Core)176520482048
CINEBENCH 2024
CPU (Multi Core)899827699
CPU (Single Core)106121121
Geekbench 6.2.1
Single-Core Score261228302846
Multi-Core Score132701249912077
OpenCL Score332401729816253
Unigine Heaven 4.0
FPS80.666.860.2
Score203116831515

On Ubuntu I only ran the following benchmarks:

  • PassMark Software’s PerformanceTest (CPU and memory)
  • Primate Labs’s Geekbench (CPU)
  • Unigine’s Heaven (graphics)
  • Thomas Kaiser’s “sbc-bench” (server performance)
Ubuntu
GEEKOM
A7
Simply NUC Onyx
NUC13OXv9
GEEKOM
Mini IT13
Default
(PL1=45 & PL2=60)
Default
(PL1=45 & PL2=54)
Default
(PL1=35 & PL2=80)
PerformanceTest 11.0
CPU Mark302023035125518
Memory Mark338037314020
Geekbench 6.2.1
Single-Core Score249427772765
Multi-Core Score126251234011787
Unigine Heaven 4.0
FPS80.361.354.8
Score202215451380

The “sbc-bench” results can be viewed online at http://sprunge.us/Xhdrny.

The GEEKOM A7 results represent some of the best I’ve seen from any mini PC that I’ve tested.

One slight hiccup during testing was that PerformanceTest version 11.0 would not complete as the 3D Graphics GPU Compute test failed to run. Switching to PerformanceTest 10.2 solved this problem and I did not see any noticeable difference between any of the individual test scores between versions.

Browser performance on Windows gave no issues playing videos up to 4K 60FPS in YouTube on both Edge and Chrome. Ubuntu, however, gave somewhat inconsistent results.

Initially both Firefox and Chrome played videos at 4K 60FPS in YouTube with good results with only the occasional frame being dropped. But these results could not be replicated. Further testing resulted in either Firefox or Chrome being worse than before. However, when trying to play 8K 30FPS, both operating systems and browsers played without issue.

Finally at 8K 60FPS, both Edge and Chrome on Windows dropped frames but were overall better than playing videos at this resolution on Ubuntu.

Networking

Unfortunately both the Ethernet and WiFi performance on Windows was underwhelming when compared to Ubuntu. 

Windows
EthernetWiFi 2.4 GHzWiFi 5.0 GHz
Download2.14 Gbits/sec155 Mbits/sec395 Mbits/sec
Upload2.34 Gbits/sec152 Mbits/sec690 Mbits/sec
Ubuntu
EthernetWiFi 2.4 GHzWiFi 5.0 GHz
Download2.35 Gbits/sec156 Mbits/sec1.25 Gbits/sec
Upload2.35 Gbits/sec150 Mbits/sec1.30 Gbits/sec

For some reason, I constantly got a slightly slower Ethernet download speed for Windows. And WiFi upload speeds were nearly two times faster in Ubuntu than Windows, while download speeds were nearly four times faster in Ubuntu. 

Having said that, the Ubuntu speeds were the fastest I’ve seen from any mini PC to I’ve tested to date. 

Thermals & Noise

Despite being actively cooled, the GEEKOM A7 is very quiet.

Even though the CPU temperature does climb to a maximum of 95°C under heavy load, the fan only increases from 33.0 dBA at idle to 44.5 dBA whilst running a combined stress and FurMark test on Ubuntu. 

As a result of the high temperature, the CPU does thermal throttle, dropping down to an average of 3680 MHz.

Power consumption

Power consumption was measured as follows:

Powered off (shutdown) – 0.7 W
UEFI (BIOS) – 10.2 W
GRUB menu – 20.7 W (if left in GRUB the power increases due to an increase in the fan speed)
Idle – 4.5. W (Windows) and 5.1W (Ubuntu)
CPU stressed – Max 92.6 W, average 73.5 W (Windows “Cinebench” + “FurMark”)
CPU stressed – Max 88.9 W, average 73.4 W (Ubuntu “stress” + “FurMark”)

Gaming

The AMD Radeon 780M integrated GPU is so powerful that it’s become popular with handheld gaming PC makers. So I wanted to see what kind of gaming performance this iGPU delivered in a mini PC like the GEEKOM A7.

I tried a handful of AAA games.

Game1080p with defaults ofFPS1080p with defaults ofFPS
SOTTRLow57High42
Horizon Zero DawnFavour Performance48Favour Quality37
COD MW IIPerformance124Visual Quality101

Obviously further tweaking is necessary to lower some of the settings in SOTTR and Horizon Zero Dawn to hit the magic “60 FPS”.

Because the GEEKOM A7 has a USB4 port with support for 40 Gbps data transfer speeds, you can also connect an external graphics dock. To test this I connected my self-made version, which consists of a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 housed in a ADT-Link K43SG and connects via a JEYI ASM2464 USB4 M.2 NVMe Enclosure and USB4 cable.

The Host and Device speeds of just over 3600 MiB/s are very good and confirm that the USB4 port is functioning at its best capabilities with the eGPU.

Running SOTTR using 1080p high defaults like before, showed the average FPS increase from 42 to 85 FPS which is in-line with the performance expected from this eGPU combination and also given the game is now GPU bound.

Issues

The key issue identified during testing was that Bluetooth did not work out of the box on Ubuntu. First I checked whether the Linux firmware release was 20240312 or later as this is the first release that includes the firmware for the MediaTek 7922 wireless chip used in the GEEKOM A7.

However, in the case of Ubuntu, the firmware has already been backported for the 22.04.4 release jammy-updates package so it is not necessary to download from the kernel firmware repository. There may be similar solutions for other Linux distros. 

Initially, rather than debugging the Bluetooth issue, I took the typical route of upgrading the kernel as this often works for new devices. I first upgraded the kernel to the latest mainline version that was compatible with 22.04.4 LTS. However this made no difference. So I then installed the daily build of Ubuntu 24.04 (Noble) and, as Bluetooth still didn’t work, I then upgraded its kernel to the latest mainline kernel that Canonical had cleanly compiled, which at the time was v6.8-rc6. Unfortunately again Bluetooth still didn’t work.

So I then diagnosed that the issue was due to the product ID not being recognised for this particular card attached to the USB bus. It actually only requires a very simple patch to the relevant module which can be installed using DKMS to get working Bluetooth. Alternatively you can build your own kernel and include the patch. I’ve upstreamed the patch to the mainline kernel so that only a temporary workaround is required.

Price

The GEEKOM A7 unit featured in this review is a top tier model with a Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage. It has a list price of $849. 

There’s also a $699 model that features a Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and 1TB of storage.

The GEEKOM A7 is available from Amazon or the GEEKOM website, and Liliputing readers can save $20 (or £20) with the following coupons:

Verdict

The GEEKOM A7 is a nice-looking, powerful, and quiet little computer that’s reasonably priced when compared with the competition.

But there are a few things to know before you buy one:

  • There’s only a single M.2 2280 slot for solid state storage. Theoretically you could replace the WiFi card with an M.2 2230 NVMe SSD now that they’re more readily available, but speed would be limited as it can only use a single PCIe lane.
  • Accessing the motherboard is tricky due to the awkwardly placed WiFi antenna, which makes replacing or upgrading the memory and storage harder than it needs to be.
  • There’s no VESA mount included, which makes it difficult to mount the GEEKOM A7.

With its small power adapter and small physical footprint, the GEEKOM A7 is a true “mini”. It is also good value for money given the performance, port offerings and three-year warranty. I’d like to thank GEEKOM for providing the review unit.

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  1. One more piece of data for those interested in this machine: I contacted GEEKOM asking whether it supported ECC and the answer was negative, as expected.

    I also asked whether they would sell it with 64GB RAM and a 4TB SSD instead of the 32GB and 2TB being offered, but the answer was also negative — and they added a somewhat nasty observation about my trying to install them myself to the effect that it would “affect my warranty”. Not nice… :-/

  2. Thanks for the great review, and specially the power consumption numbers, much appreciated.

    I see Ubuntu has slightly higher power consumption than Windows, specially on idle; usually it’s the other way around, do that’s curious.

    When you were measuring, what external devices had you connected to it (eg, HDMI cable with the monitor turned on or off, 2.5 or 1 Gbps Ethernet, USB keyboard/mouse, etc) and was WiFi connected/disconnected?

    Also, according to AMD the Ryzen 7940HS can support ECC RAM as long as the motherboard vendor doesn’t try to save a few pennies by omitting the physical copper traces between the CPU and the RAM; do you know whether that’s the case with this machine?

    TIA!

    1. I’m assuming the Ubuntu higher consumption is linked to the fan, and the idle load is triggering the fan curve which may be lower than other devices. But I agree, it is unusual given the norm is the other way around. When measuring power usage I normally have just the basic minimum connected, essentially LAN, USB (to KVM), HDMI (monitor on) and power adapter connected to a plug-in power meter connected to a UPS.

      The specs for AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS (https://www.amd.com/en/product/13036) says “ECC Support: No” and I don’t have any ECC memory to test this regardless. Note, this is different to the RAM supporting on-die ECC which is not the same as ECC RAM.

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful response.

        Thanks for the additional info re: power measurement conditions.

        You are right re: the plain 7940HS not having ECC support, I messed up and checked the 7940HS Pro instead, which does have it: https://www.amd.com/en/product/13466, and sure thing, I’m aware that DDR5 has mandatory on-die ECC, but as far as I’ve heard, it’s there only to bring the much higher error rate of DDR5 up to par with the older/less dense/slower DDR4 (so it doesn’t really count as additional safety).

      2. One more thing: would you be able to re-measure power consumption with the HDMI monitor connected but turned off, ditto the LAN (unplugged or turned off at the other end)?

        I ask because my use case for this machine is headless (it’s basically used for telemetry recording — where it spends 99% of its time on idle — plus occasional data crunching which is when the Ryzen APU would be really put through its paces), and the LAN is only turned on during the day (the whole switch along other devices are turned off at night, because power consumption is critical and it’s a remote setup running on batteries charged by solar panels).

        TIA!

        1. Okay, for Ubuntu 22.04.4 fully upgraded, latest HWE kernel (6.5.0-26-generic) with my BT patch as DKMS module, and then with WiFi off (radio off), BT off (service stopped), power set to powersave, no GDM (default multi-user.target), HDMI attached (monitor off) and LAN connected (for SSH), idle power consumption is 3.8 W (bounces between 3.6 and 4.0 W).

          Unplugging the Ethernet cable and idle power consumption drops to 3.4 W (bounces between 3.2 and 3.6 W).

          So to summarise, as I add functionality, power consumption increases (doh):

          Unpluged Ethernet cable, power consumption is 3.4 W (3.2-3.6)
          Plug Ethernet cable in, power consumption is 3.8 W (3.4-4.0)
          Turn monitor on, power consumption is 5.8 W (5.6-6.0)
          SSH to device, no change in power consumption 5.8 W (5.6-6.0)
          Start GDM, power consumption is 5.3 W (5.2-5.4)
          Exit SSH, no change in power consumption 5.3 W (5.2-5.4)
          Login on console, power consumption is 5.4 W (5.2-5.6)
          Restart BT, no change in power consumption 5.4 W (5.2-5.6)
          Restart WiFi, wider range in power consumption 5.4 W (5.1-5.7)

          1. Wow! Thank you very much for the greatly detailed answer! I wouldn’t be able to get a better answer even if I had the machine in front of me and did it myself! Really impressive, I’m blown away! 👍👍👍

            I just sent you a modest PayPal donation as thank-you, and when I buy this machine (which looks very probable due to that excellent 3.4W fully disconnected idle consumption) I will definitely use the Amazon link here.

            Thanks again!

  3. ok, what computer is best for ecololog man?
    index is similar top500 speed-eficient / power
    I use wyse 5070
    please wrote better choice

  4. Thanks for the review! This looks great but on paper the AOOSTAR GEM10 or 12 have a better spec (3 M.2 slots and an Oculink)

    Would you be able to review that one as well? Especially with Linux applied?

  5. I don’t have bluetooth on my new Chuwi Larkbox X, and I’m a casual linux user, but I’ve managed to upgrade to the mainline latest linux kernel. That didn’t help.

    Now I want to see if the issue is the same as you had. I have no idea where to even start.

    1. If you can “pastebin” the output from “lsusb” I can check if it is the same issue. Otherwise you might be in for the long haul as first, you should install a few different Linux distros and test to see if any of them work. Also make sure you have the latest firmware installed on each, with the simplest way of just downloading the latest from the Linux firmware git. Then, if you are non-technical, you’ve probably already just used “Google” or similar to find out how to do that, so now try searching for your device, WiFi/BT card & chip and each of the Linux distro you’ve tried, to see if anyone else either has the problem or even solved it. Finally, if you can’t get it working and search results aren’t showing anything, ask Chuwi’s support channel. If you get nothing useful back, post a question to the device’s support forum. Then post on your favourite Linux distro’s support forum. Then, rinse and repeat by posting on your second/third … nth favourite Linux forum. Wait a little each time to see if anyone replies, and if all else fails, get a Bluetooth USB dongle.

      1. You helped me!

        Firmware was the thing.

        I couldn’t find out which specific blob I needed from git.kernel, so I ended up downloading the entire tree and replacing my existing stuff.

        I now have bluetooth. Thanks!

  6. There’s clearly a spot for a second m.2 interface on that motherboard. If one could find another way to add a boot device, it could potentially run two NVME in a mirrored configuration.

    1. To me it only looks like there is space for a M.2 SATA (NGFF) 2242 drive as the socket (which needs to be added) is only “B key” looking at the board traces.

      1. I wonder whether Geekom could have left that 2nd M.2 empty on purpose, eg for stability/thermal reasons…