Mini PCs act as the perfect solution for so many tasks. Let it be powering a simple workstation at your office or home, riding the back of a display for digital signage, or running a server for various tasks. They are small, thus they don’t take nearly as much space as a full desktop, and they don’t consume as much energy either. Today, we get to discuss a powerful one, with a quad-core Intel i5-8259U processor and a descent balance of specs. This is the GEEKOM IT8 Intel Core i5 Mini PC with Windows 11 (Model GM08i5T).
We mention the model number specifically since there are multiple variations of this mini PC. You can choose between 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB or 512GB for the included SSD, or no SSD/drive at all. In our situation, we are making use of the flagship, which includes 16GB of DDR4 and a 512GB PCIe Gen.3 NVMe SSD (both Kingston in brand).
Like most mini PCs, this one is fully configurable when it comes to both the SSD and DDR4 SODIMM RAM. The M.2 slot is capable of both SATA and NVMe, so you can choose between the two if you bought the model that doesn’t come with a drive. Clearly, NVMe is going to give you an incredible boost in transfer capabilities, so it all comes down to budget.
We found it pleasing to know that GEEKOM included an NVMe in this model. Many of these companies offer the M.2 that supports either format but includes a SATA, forcing you to have to upgrade to NVMe on your own. Thanks to the price of NVMe finally falling a little, we are likely to see this become a little more common finally. This Kingston model (OM8PDP3512B-AI1) is an entry-level NVMe, but it is still much faster than SATA alternatives.
The RAM is upgradable to 32GB. There are two slot positions with the first one filled with a single 16GB chip, making it easy to max it out by simply matching it with another Kingston of the same model (you don’t have to replace the one that’s in there unless you prefer to go with another brand or series). The model of the stick that was in ours was “CBD32D4S2D8MR-16”.
In addition to the M.2 slot, the mini PC also offers a SATA connection for 2.5″ SSD or HDD models. This has become a common option for those looking for additional storage for these small little systems. The company says you can use this to expand with up to 2TB, although you can likely go beyond that.
Let’s take a look at some of the additional specs that come with this model. You get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (generally, combined within the same chip), as well as a wired Ethernet port. So you can go both wired or wireless. There is no Wi-Fi 6 support, unfortunately.
Thanks to Bluetooth support, you can make use of BT accessories, like mice, keyboards, gaming controllers, writing tablets, and more.
One thing that is worth pointing out is the company’s mention of “Quiet Fan” in the specs. Taking a look at some of these images, you can see why.
There is no lack of ventilation in this system. Air can move around so freely within this model, with the typical release on the back and also both sides featuring mesh grills. We’ve spent time with a similar mini PC (the Beelink GK35) spec-wise and this is one feature it failed at. The Beelink is a great model but it can get pretty loud when its fans are working hard. We didn’t find the GEEKOM IT8 to suffer from this. It is noticeably quieter during heavy operations.
It does claim to support up to 4 displays with up to 4K@60 resolution. However, we would normally advise against running any mini PC with 4x4K displays as this would really tax its hardware to the point that you’d really notice the slowdown. Keep in mind that you don’t have a separate dedicated graphics card like you would a normal desktop system.
We did, however, test it against 3 displays (1x 4K, and 2x 1080p) to see how it affected resources. There was some noticeable strain, but nothing that would get in the way of operation. You likely wouldn’t be using a mini PC for intense video editing or gaming anyway. So for basic tasks, you could easily do multiple displays. If using it for digital signage, you can likely get away with the 4x4K.
Look at the ports on the back, you have an HDMI 2.0, an mDP (Mini DisplayPort), and a USB Type-C with graphics (DP) support. This covers three monitors directly and you can daisy to a fourth using the mDP or USB-C ports on the back, assuming you have compatible displays for this.
You also have two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for accessories and external storage devices, supporting strong transfer speeds.
The front side contains an additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, as well as an additional USB Type-C port (*data only). All USB ports (both Type-A and Type-C) support up to 10Gbps transfer speeds.
You also get your typical headset connection (headset, headphones, or microphone can be used with this port).
There is a standard SD card slot on the side. Nothing special here, so we would advise against using it for expanded storage and simply as a slot for transferring files back and forth between your other devices (ie, DSLR cameras).
On the other side of the PC is a standard Kingston-style security lock connection for using a laptop lock in case you need to secure it if using it in public (ie, digital signage at a convention or large office building where there is a lot of traffic).
It does come with an HDMI cable, as well as a VESA mount to easily attach it to the back of a display or anywhere else that allows for standard VESA mounting. There is also a felt draw-string bag to store the system or accessories in. Useful if you travel with it from show to show for digital signage vs using it in a static install at home or in your office.
This is a great mini PC for those looking to invest in something a bit more powerful than an entry-level (mini PC) model. This system comes with a decent amount of muscle that allows for multiple displays, multi-tasking, and wiggle room for upgrades. If you plan for a lot of multitasking, you should consider upgrading to 32GB of RAM, but beyond that, it functions great. The inclusion of an NVMe in this version of the PC is a nice touch. As mentioned, it is an entry-level NVMe, but this is more than enough for a mini PC model.
We like the fact that it is quieter than some of the other models we have come across using the same processor and similar configuration (RAM, NVMe, etc). The others, including the example we used above can get distractingly loud, thus is it nice to escape the noise.
The price point mostly seems to be consistent with other models. The lack of Wi-Fi 6 support is a little unfortunate, but this may only affect a minimal amount of users seeking it.
It would be a great option for a personal media server as well, running something like Plex to serve your favorite media content.
| Our Rating|| Average Price*|
$439 – $549
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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