Geekom Mini IT11: review in two minutes
A global operation based in Taiwan, Geekom makes a wide range of computer products, including a small but impressive range of mini PCs.
We recently covered the MiniAir 11, and now we're looking at its more capable sibling, the Mini IT11. In the Geekom naming convention, the 11 in this product refers to the use of 11th generation Intel silicon.
What sets the Mini IT11 apart is that it's not one of the dirt-cheap NUC designs we've seen coming from China and Taiwan, it's much more like official Intel products in terms of specs and build quality.
Using a hybrid metal and plastic construction, Geekcom has created a small case that can be i3, i5, or, as in the case of the review hardware, uses an i7-class mobile processor. Even with the highest-spec CPU, fan noise is negligible, and it's packed with external ports.
Out of the box, it comes with a VESA mounting plate, allowing it to create an all-in-one system when attached to a monitor, and short HDMI cables are included to make this type of installation aseado.
In addition to the external power supply, Geekcom has also put a soft cloth bag with the Mini IT11, ideal for those who want to carry the system and want to keep it intact.
The machine comes with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed, though it's possible to run many versions of Linux on that platform for those who prefer.
Often a problem with NUC-sized machines is that they're not easy to upgrade, but the Mini IT11 has a lot of potential in this regard, even without PCIe slots.
There are two available DDR4 SODIMM memory slots that could be used to increase internal RAM to 32GB, and the single M.2 2280 NVMe slot that has a default 500GB SSD could be replaced with a faster, higher-capacity drive.
Additional storage expansion comes in the form of a 2,5-inch drive bay for a SATA HDD or SSD, allowing the full potential of this system to be explored.
With the ability to drive two or more monitors and with available USB 4.0 ports, the Mini IT11 is packed with features ideal for designers and researchers who need more power and performance than a standard PC.
The only caveat here is that the slightly less powerful Core-i5 models of this design are cheaper and offer almost as impressive a user experience.
There are NUC models that cost half of this, but they tend to use a lower platform, have more limitations in terms of USB and how much memory they accept, and do not offer all the features of this.
For home users, the IT11 can be a bit pricey, but for business customers, the Mini IT11 isn't outrageously expensive, and the flexibility of its design ensures reuse if the job it's purchased for changes unexpectedly.
Geekom Mini IT11: Price and availability
(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
- How much is it? € 589 / € 539
- When did it come out? is available now
- Where can you get it? Widely available at major online retailers in most regions.
Geekom Mini IT11 Specifications
Here is the Geekom Mini IT11 setup submitted to TechRadar for review:
Processor: Core i7-1195G7 (4 cores, 4 threads, 12MB cache)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16 GB DDR4 RAM (expandable to 64 GB)
Storage: Intel 660p M.2 2280 512 GB NVMe SSD
Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 2x USB 4.0 Type-C (20Mbit), 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x Mini DisplayPort, 1x universal audio jack, 1x SD card reader (USB2.0)
Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi, 1 Gigabit LAN adapter, Bluetooth 5.2
Size: 117 x 112 x 45,6mm (width x depth x height)
Installed operating system: Windows 11 Pro with license
Accessories: VESA mount, 12V/3A adapter, HDMI and DisplayPort cables
Until the end of December 2022, the 16GB/512GB version of the IT11 will cost €589 with the coupon code XMIT11A(opens in a new tab), while the 32GB/1TB version will cost €709 with the code, both come with an 11th Gen Center. i7-1195 processor.
The review hardware covered here, which comes with the Core i7-1195 processor and 16GB of RAM, retails for €539 in the UK direct from https://www.geekom.co.uk/
And, from the same source, an i5-powered model costs €479.
In the widest range of NUC Mini PC designs, this is the most expensive, but considering the specs, its price isn't outrageous. Looking at other brands that have chosen the 11th generation mobile platform, the cost is very similar.
Geekom Mini IT11: Design
(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
- timeless style
- Nearly silent cooling
- Many USB ports
The Mini IT11 bears a striking resemblance to the previous MiniAir 11 from the same manufacturer and shows that its designers have fully understood the NUC concept.
This system uses an internal metal frame covered with commercial grade metallic gray reinforced plastic panels.
There's active cooling with a high vent at the rear, with air drawn in through the sides that are covered with fine metal grills.
The port layout will work for both a monitor-mounted machine and a desktop computer, with most ports permanently occupied at the rear.
These include the power connector from a 90W laptop power supply, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a Mini DP port, HDMI, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A port, and a 4.0 Mbit USB 20 port.
This last port seems a bit strange since the interest of USB 4.0 is surely to offer 40Mbit? But it's potentially faster than the 2 Mbit Gen 20 port, so we shouldn't complain too much.
4.0 Mbit USB 20 and 10 Mbit USB-A ports are replicated on the front along with a 3,5mm audio jack and power button.
(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
The sides don't get much use, with a Kensington security slot on the right and an SD card reader on the right.
Access to the interior of the chassis is very easy. A spudger can quickly remove the top, although there's almost nothing to see when you remove it.
More gratifying is removing the bottom via four screws that secure the rubber feet in position, as you can access the memory slots, SATA drive bay, and M.2 slot.
Over the next year, we're likely to see 2TB and 8TB M.16 modules, so the potential to expand IT11 into a media server is great if your budget stretches to those devices.
As we said about the MiniAir, there are relatively few innovations in this design, but also, but it is effective for the typical use that this machine can be put to.
Geekom Mini IT11: Features
- powerful processor and
- Good expansion options.
- improved GPU
Many NUC designs use Intel N5095 or N5105 quad-core processors that offer enough performance for general office tasks, but relatively little additional power beyond that level.
The Mini 11 uses a mobile Core-i5 or Core-i7 processor with an integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU, greatly expanding the scope of its use.
The four CPUs on offer are the Core i5-1135G7, i5-1155G7 and I7-1165G7, our review machine had the best option, a Core i7-1195G7.
From the Tiger Lake generation launched in February 2021, this processor has four cores with hyperthreading, which allows eight threads to be processed simultaneously.
The base frequency is 2,9 GHz and it can push a single core to 5 GHz for a particularly demanding single task.
Supported memory is DDR4-3200 (non-ECC) up to 64GB and is built using Intel's 10nm SuperFin process.
For such a small machine or laptop, this silicon is lightning fast, and we wonder how much more powerful it could have been if Intel had built a 5nm or 4nm as fast as AMD for retail parts in detail.
Critically, with a maximum draw of just 28W, the Mini IT11's cooling is more than enough to keep the machine from overheating without excessive fan noise or chip thermal throttling.
Along with processing power, the other standout hardware is the Iris Xe GPU, a dramatic improvement over the terrible Intel UHD graphics laptop users have suffered for many years.
In our tests, the Iris Xe was found to have twice the performance of the integrated AMD Radeon GPU and about four times that of the older Intel UHD silicon.
(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
While it falls short of the gaming threshold for a NUC, it's as good as the current graphics. Intel has Iris Plus and Pro versions that are even better, and they have become the ARC series of discrete GPUs aimed at future mobile platforms.
AMD is making more mobile Ryzen designs with RX RDNA 2 architecture GPUs, but we haven't seen any NUC designs using them yet.
If there's anything wrong with this design, it's the NVMe drive that comes pre-installed. We'll talk about its performance limitations later, but the Intel 660p NVMe drive sits at the bottom of NVMe drive performance.
This can obviously be easily overridden by the owner if they have a caddy to copy Windows to the new drive or are happy to reinstall Windows.
A word of warning about access to internal components. When the bottom is removed, a ribbon cable connects the motherboard to the SD card reader that is attached to the bottom. Pulling on this ribbon cable could easily damage it and prevent the SD card reader from working, so be careful with it.
Geekom Mini IT11: Performance
The memory slots come pre-installed with 4GB Crucial DDR3200 8 modules, but can be replaced with larger modules up to 32GB (Image credit: Mark Pickavance).
- Excellent in most jobs
- A better GPU than UHD
- Slow NVMe drive
Here's how the Geekom Mini IT11 fared in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark Wild Life: 11630; Fire Strike: 4457; Time Spy: 1627;
Cinebench R23 CPU Scores: 1527 (single core); 4616 (multicore)
GeekBench 5: 1358 (núcleo único); 4333 (multicore), 17366 (OpenCL)
CrystalDiskMark: Sequential Read: 1740MB/s; Sequential Write: 985MB/s
PC Mark 10 (test office): 4994
Windows Experience Index: 8.2
For a NUC system, the Mini IT11's performance is generally exceptional and well beyond Intel N5095/N5105 designs such as the Geekom Mini Air and BeeLink U59. It even outperforms Ryzen 5 5600U-powered machines, like the Bosgame U56, on some tasks,...