Test/Review Mini-PC Acemagic S1 N97: +57% performance!

The Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC equipped with the 12th generation Intel Alder Lake-N97 processor is an evolution of the N95 version, which we previously tested. This new iteration promises increased power and efficiency.

One of the peculiarities of the S1 lies in its customizable LCD screen and RGB lighting, adding an aesthetic touch while offering practical information such as the operating status, time, or system temperature. Its magnetic opening facilitates upgrades, where users can easily add an M.2 SSD or replace the RAM memory.

The promo code MINIPCS1 allows you to benefit, in addition to the available €100 coupon, from a 12% discount on the price of the Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC by visiting this Amazon page.

Main features of the Acemagic S1 N97 version:
– Operating system: Windows 11 Pro
– Processor: Intel Alder Lake-N97
– Processor speed: 3.6 GHz
– Number of cores: 4
– RAM: 16 GB DDR4
– SSD: 512 GB NVMe
– GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 4K UHD Triple Display
– Network connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2
– Number of HDMI ports: 2 (4k@60Hz)
– Number of USB 2.0 ports: 2
– Number of USB 3.0 ports: 2
– Audio: 3.5mm jack
– Dimensions L x L x H: 14 x 14 x 4.5 centimeters

Note: the promo code MINIPCS1 allows you to benefit, in addition to the available €100 coupon, from a 12% discount on the price of the Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC by visiting this Amazon page.

Our tests of the Acemagic S1 mini PC began by initializing it and updating it with all the required Windows updates. We used a WiFi 6 connection for internet access.

For performance testing, an AutoHotKey script was used to automatically and repeatedly run four popular benchmarks:

  • CrystalDiskMark 8, which measures SSD speeds.
  • Cinebench R23, which evaluates system performance on single and multicore rendering tasks.
  • PCMark 10, which examines the device’s performance in various professional and personal use cases.
  • 3DMark Time Spy, which tests performance in 3D gaming.

We used the HWiNFO64 tool to record system sensor data during each benchmark, resetting the values before each new series of tests.

These benchmarks were run in a loop over a 24-hour period, with a one-minute break before each test. Screenshots were automatically taken at the end of each test, showing both the benchmark results and system sensor data.

As the system may perform background tasks during benchmark execution, some scores may be negatively impacted. The selected results are those that present the best scores, provided they are reproducible over multiple iterations.

To evaluate power consumption, we continuously measured the power consumed at the outlet throughout the duration of the tests using a separate device.

The CrystalDiskMark 8 benchmark is a key tool for evaluating SSD performance. It focuses on data transfer speeds, essential for determining the responsiveness and efficiency of a system when accessing and writing files.

The Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC has interesting read and write speeds. For large files (SEQ1M Q8T1), the read and write speeds are 1782.40 MB/s and 1711.87 MB/s, respectively. These speeds indicate that the SSD is on par with a basic NVMe SSD, although significantly superior to SATA-3 SSDs and offering decent performance for fast data transfers.

For small files (RND4K Q1T1), the read and write speeds are 50.05 MB/s and 133.40 MB/s. These results suggest satisfactory performance for operations involving numerous small files.

These performances position the Acemagic S1 as a viable choice for graphic work and 4K media playback, where data transfer speed and fluidity are important.

The Cinebench R23 benchmark evaluates CPU performance in 3D rendering scenarios, measuring the CPU’s ability to handle intensive tasks. It tests performance for both single-core and multicore tasks, crucial for understanding multitasking capabilities and individual CPU performance.

For the Acemagic S1 N97, the scores obtained are as follows:

  • Multi-core: 2975 points, which is on the lower side. This indicates that the mini PC can handle basic 3D rendering tasks, but may not be suitable for heavy or professional 3D tasks.
  • Single-core: 987 points, which is also on the lower side, revealing that the processor can handle common tasks, but may not be the fastest for applications requiring high single-core processing power.

However, note that these performances are an improvement compared to the N95 version of the Acemagic S1, with nearly 11% improvement in multi-core performance (measured at 2686 points for the S1 N95).

PCMark 10 is a benchmark that evaluates a computer’s overall performance in typical use cases such as application startup, video conferencing, web browsing, productivity, and digital content creation.

The Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC achieved an overall score of 3492 points on PCMark 10. This indicates a correct performance, positioning the device as capable of efficiently handling common daily and professional tasks.

Here are the scores by category:
– Essentials: 7521 points, indicating very good performance for essential tasks like application startup, video conferencing, and web browsing.
– Productivity: 5116 points, also a good score for tasks such as word processing and spreadsheets.
– Digital Content Creation: 3004 points, showing reasonable capacity for tasks such as photo editing, video editing, and 3D visualization, but not powerful enough for very demanding content creation tasks.

Here too, the performance improvement is notable compared to the S1 N95 version, with almost +12%.

These scores show that the Acemagic S1 mini PC is well-suited for a variety of uses, from office work to media consumption, and can even handle light content creation tasks. It is suitable for users needing a versatile machine for productivity and multimedia applications.

The 3DMark Time Spy benchmark is a benchmark for evaluating graphics performance, especially for 3D gaming and DirectX 12 applications. This test is essential for understanding how a computer will handle complex graphic loads.

For the Acemagic S1 N97, the obtained score is as follows:
– Overall score: 551 points
– Graphics score: 485 points
– CPU score: 2504 points

This overall score of 551 points is higher than the 352 points of the N95 version of the mini PC, with +57% in performance. However, this value still does not allow the N97 version to run recent AAA games. Therefore, it will have to settle for less demanding games or older games.

Energy consumption is an important factor when evaluating a mini PC, influencing both ecological impact and operating costs. The power consumption was measured directly at the outlet throughout the test period using a specialized device.

Under normal usage in Windows, the system consumes 10W, which is typical for a mini PC, but with additional consumption due to the front display, a device that draws power from these 10W.

During benchmark sessions, where the system is pushed to its performance limits, the low power consumption impresses with only 20W.

Overall, this version of the Acemagic S1 demonstrates exemplary energy management, which is beneficial for prolonged and intensive use.

Noise management and thermal regulation are crucial aspects for the comfort of use and the longevity of a mini PC. The Acemagic S1 N97 excels in both of these areas.

In terms of noise, the mini PC is nearly inaudible, with only a slight breeze perceived only when approaching the device’s ear during benchmark periods. This acoustic discretion is particularly appreciated for a quiet work environment or for use in a living room, where computer noise can be a nuisance.

Thermally, the HWiNFO64 software shows that the mini PC does not experience thermal throttling, even when subjected to heavy loads during the benchmarks. The absence of thermal throttling means that the processor maintains optimal performance without reducing its clock speed in response to high temperatures. The maximum temperature reached for the processor, of only 68°C, remains in a safe range, which is a positive indication of the quality of the mini PC’s cooling system.

The Acemagic S1 N97 offers silent and reliable operation with effective thermal management, making it ideal for demanding users needing a discreet and stable machine capable of maintaining consistent performance over long periods of use.

The Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC stands out as a significant evolution compared to the N95 version, offering up to 57% more performance. This substantial improvement translates into a significant gain for multimedia and professional applications.

The design of the Acemagic S1 N97 effectively combines performance gain and silence. The system is almost inaudible, even under load, making it a discreet companion for any work or home environment. Users demanding in terms of noise will appreciate it.

However, it’s important to note the limitations of this model. Recent video games and resource-intensive 3D digital content creation are not the strong points of the Acemagic S1 N97. The graphics performance does not meet the requirements of the latest AAA titles or advanced 3D rendering tasks.

Thus, the Acemagic S1 N97 presents itself as a judicious choice for those looking for a compact, powerful, and silent mini PC for everyday use, office tasks, and multimedia. It is perfectly suited for these applications, while offering pleasant ease of use thanks to its low noise level and thermal efficiency.

The promo code MINIPCS1 allows you to benefit, in addition to the available €100 coupon, from a 12% discount on the price of the Acemagic S1 N97 mini PC by visiting this Amazon page.

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