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Chinese PC maker CWWK’s “Magic Computer” is one of the strangest mini PCs I’ve seen in a while. Basically it’s a single-board computer with an Intel Alder Lake-N processor and enough ports and connectors to make it a pretty versatile system for networking, media, storage, or other applications.

But that little board is attached to the bottom of a heat sink and lifted off the ground by a stands on two sides, leaving the bottom of the board exposed to the elements. This is great if you want a passively cooled system, but it offers little protection for the board itself. It also makes one of the Magic Computer’s most distinctive features look… a little odd.

Along one side of the mainboard there’s a PCIe x8 socket that allows you to attach a 10 GbE network card, storage, or other add-ons. But that board will stick out from the side of the computer rather than fitting inside the case (such as it is). So you might also need to put some sort of stand under any expansion cards you connect to keep it from falling off.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that while this is an x8 socket, the computer only actually supports PCIe 3.0 x4 signals from this port.

Other features include an M.2 2280 socket for a PCIe 3.0 x1 NVMe SSD, a single SODIMM slot with support for DDR 4800, 5200 or 5600 MT/s memory, dual SATA 3.0 connectors for 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch drives, and a set of ports that includes:

  • 2 x HDMI 1.4
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x USB Type-C
  • 4 x USB 2/0 Type-A
  • 2 x 2.5 GbE LAN (Intel i226-V)
  • 1 x microSD card reader

The Magic Computer has an aluminum design and a copper thermal block for passive cooling, but there are also headers on the board that can be used to attach a fan if you want additional cooling power. Other pins support USB 2.0, COM, and TPM functions.

The system comes in black, blue, or green color options, comes with a 12V-19V DC power supply. Its mainboard measures 140 x 90mm (5.5″ x 3.5″), and the whole computer measures 144 x 100 x 48mm (5.7″ x 3.9″ x 1.9″) without any expansion boards connected, but things can get a bit unwieldy if you start hooking up hard drives, network cards, or other gear.

It’s available from CWWK’s AliExpress store, with starting prices ranging from $214 to $320 depending on the processor:

Those starting prices are for barebones models with no memory, storage, or operating system. But you can also add up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage to your cart if you don’t want to bring your own.

According to the product descriptions, CWWK may also offer models with Intel N95 and N97 processor options in the future, but I haven’t found any models with those processors yet.

Update: ServeTheHome reviewed the CWWK Magic Computer in December and found it to offer strong performance, a versatile set of useful ports, and overall decent bang-for-the-buck compared with similarly-sized, inexpensive, low-power computers. The PCIe slot is definitely awkwardly positioned though, but there are ways to make it work.

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  1. It’s a good idea for heat dissipation but not for dust which can also infiltrate laterally and still settle on the PCB.

    1. I dig the minimalism concept, but not keen on exposed electronics. I think from manufacturer’s pov, is a good idea cuz it really saves on costs — you might think its just the saved material or footprint size, but no, think about shipping cost as well. Also these days, plenty of people are capable of 3D printing out their own cases for expansion boards, what would be nice — is offer supplies of rubber feet just the right height, that attach to mounting holes.

      1. Whoops romeo, I meant to say dust can be regularly cleaned, fully sealed electronics are really a very recent phenomenon. Electronics are to dust as regolith is to the moon.

  2. This bridge form factor is kind of silly considering the purpose of having a smaller pc.

    1. I disagree. Waste not want not, shipping both to and returns, warehouse space, none of this is cheap. Manufacturers are dealing with razor thin margins, but I do agree this company kinda leaves you hanging — no board holding. (a pun on hand holding). A bit more support would be needed for the concept to work.

  3. It’s a good thing the PCIe slot is just facing off the side of the computer, with no structural support to offer the card whatsoever. Without such a bold and innovative feature, this computer might have looked strange /s

  4. Pls allow me to ask:
    How would they use 32GB of RAM with the Alder Lake config, which is specc’ed for 16GB RAM max in the official Intel specs?
    Curious, Schnap

    1. I’m successfully running 32 GiB of RAM in a CWWK N305 system, despite Intel staying it should only support 16. Memtest showed it all works fine. I also stuffed 64 GiB in a Lenovo M60q Chromebox that’s only supposed to support 32, also works great. I can’t tell you why, but in my experience it works ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    2. Curiously it is enforced in Intel NUCs and even there only higher end DDR frequencies. Also no one compared to Zima board.