Intel’s Alder Lake-N processors are low-cost, low-power chips that are basically what you get if you combine the Efficiency cores from the company’s 12th-gen Alder Lake-U processors with Intel UHD graphics, while leaving out any Performance cores.
Compared with previous-gen Celeron and Pentium chips based on Intel’s Atom architecture, the new processors should deliver significant CPU and graphics performance gains while operating at similar power levels. The first mini PCs powered by Alder Lake-N chips have started to arrive, and I recently spotted a new model sporting a previously unannounced Intel Processor N95.
Several sellers on AliExpress are taking orders for a mini PC with an Intel Processor N95 chip. Prices range from $190 for a barebones model with no memory, storage, or operating system to $348 for a version with 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Windows 10 or Windows 11 pre-installed and activated.
Each model features a SODIMM slot for DDR4 memory, PCIe 3.0 M.2 2280 and M.2 2242 slots for up to two SSDs, a copper fan for cooling, support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2, and a selection of ports that includes:
- 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports
- 1 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet port (Intel i225V)
- 4 x USB 3.2 Type-A ports
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
- 1 x 12V/4A DC power input
The little computer measures 113mm x 106mm x 42mm (4.4″ x 4.2″ x 1.7″) and weighs 240 grams (8.5 ounces) and comes with a bracket that can be used to mount the system to a wall or display.
What really makes this mini PC stand out though, is its processor. Intel didn’t reveal any specs for the Intel Processor N95 when introducing its Alder Lake-N lineup earlier this month, although leaked benchmarks for the chip did start to show up in December. But the Intel Processor N95 chip was recently added to Intel’s website, and these mini PCs appear to be among the first devices to feature the chip.
The chip is a 15-watt processor with 4 Gracemont CPU cores that support frequencies up to 3.4 GHz, Intel UHD graphics with 16 execution units and support for speeds up to 1.2 2GHz, and 6MB of cache.
Officially the processor only supports up to 16GB of DDR4, DDR5, or LPDDR5 memory, but PC makers have been shipping mini PCs with more RAM than Intel’s budget chips officially support for years.