Chinese mini PC maker MINISFORUM has released a dizzying array of compact computers in recent years, with most designed for use as productivity, gaming, or other general purpose home or office use.

But the new MINISFORUM MS-01 is the company’s first system that it’s calling a “Mini WorkStation” class computer. It’s got a slightly larger chassis, but a whole heck of a lot of extra features. The MS-01 is available now from MINISFORUM for $549 and up, making it considerably cheaper than mini workstations from Lenovo, HP, Zotac, and other companies.

The starting price for the MS-01 is for a barebones configuration, allowing you to bring your own memory and storage. But there are four pricing/configuration options available at launch:

  • Intel Core i9-12900H barebones for $549
  • Intel Core i9-13900H barebones for $679
  • Intel Core i9-12900H/32GB/1TB for $699
  • Intel Core i9-13900H/32GB/1TB for $829

The official spec sheet also suggests lower-priced models with Core i5-12450H chips could be on the way in the future.

Each version of the compact workstation measures 196 x 189 x 48mm (7.7″ x 7.4″ x 1.9″), making it small by desktop workstation standards, but larger than most of MINISFORUMs other computers. But the company makes good use of that extra space to give customers a lot of flexibility when it comes to networking, connectivity, and expansion features.

Ports include:

  • 2 x 10 GbE Ethernet
  • 2 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 2 x USB4 (40 Gbps with DisplayPort Alt mode)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio

The computer also supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 and features a PCIe x16 slot that MINISFORUM says can be used for additional M.2, network, or USB capabilities… or for a PCIe 4.0 x8 half-height graphics card. The MS-01 supports up to an NVIDIA RTX A2000 discrete GPU.

The computer has a fan active cooling, and MINISFORUM says it offers enough cooling power to allow stable performance at up to 80 watts, which should be plenty for the built-in processor plus memory and storage. But I’d worry about a graphics card, so if you really want higher-performance graphics, you might be better off pairing this system with an external graphics dock that has its own cooling system.

While there’s no support for a spinning hard drive, the system supports up to three SSDs:

  • 1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe Gen 4 x4)
  • 1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • 1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe Gen 3 x2)

You could also use that PCIe Gen 4 port for an optional U.2 NVMe SSD.

There are also two SODIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR5-5200 memory, but MINISFORUM notes that only non-ECC memory is supported, which seems like an odd choice for a workstation PC meant for professional use.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,536 other subscribers

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Not a Workstation at all.
    Don’t know what kind of workstations you have seen in you life but:
    No GPU
    No thunderbolt
    is not a Workstation. 🤷🏿‍♀️

    However this can be a nice little VM/LXC/docker/K8 testing unit

    1. USB4 is Thunderbolt 3 compatible. Even Dell sells mini-tower PC’s with 1 entry-level Quadro GPU and calls it a “workstation”. Everyone has a different take on what exactly a “workstation” is, so your requirements may exceed this unit. At least this one gives you something of a choice.

  2. I’m dying for something affordable with dual 10GbE, what a breath of fresh air, simply more than I’m looking to pay though

    Waiting extremely patiently..