Two minute review
Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) has been around for almost a decade now and like the MacBook Air or the Asus EEE PC901, both trailblazers in their own categories, it paved the way for a flurry of small and powerful computers. The Beelink SER Ryzen 7 3750H is probably the most powerful one available in its price range and comes with 16GB RAM and 512GB onboard storage.
Given the current global chip shortage, it represents exceptional value for money given that Dell and the other big players won’t flog you a 16GB desktop without a hefty 50% premium. Forget about internal expandability though (except for memory and storage). You will be able to drive three 4K monitors and upgrade to 64GB RAM but that’s about it.
The only downside is the fact that it features Wi-Fi 5 technology when Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6e would probably make much more sense.
Pricing and availability
The Beelink SER Ryzen 7 3750H mini PC workstation is available from Amazon for just over $475 with free delivery in the US only. Amazon may deliver to a place that excludes delivery and any extra fees that may be levied by the delivery courier on behalf of local authorities.
The front of the mini PC houses a red power button, a reset pinhole, two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5-inch audio port and a type-C USB connector.
At the rear are two HDMI ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two extra USB 3.0 ports and a barrel-type power input. No sign of a memory card reader sadly.
At 126 x 113 x 40mm, it is mightily compact (although not as compact as some Nano PCs like the Chuwi Lark Box) and made almost entirely of metal. There’s a big grill on top which from afar looks like a speaker grill and helps with cooling the components inside. The grill extends on the sides and on the back as well.
Here are the full specs of the Beelink SER Ryzen 7 3750H configuration sent to TechRadar Pro for review:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
Graphics: Vega 10
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports: 4 x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C, audio jack, 2 x HDMI, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity: Intel AC7265, 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.0
Size: 126 x 113 x 40mm (H x W x D)
Inside the Beelink SER is an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H. This is a quad-core mobile processor with eight threads and a Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics cluster. It has a 6MB cache and can run at up to 4GHz without breaking a sweat, in part because it has a relatively low heat dissipation (at least for a desktop PC).
Next to it are two 8GB memory modules (DDR4), one 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and a Wireless-AC7265 card, courtesy of Intel which does Wi-Fi 5 as well as Bluetooth 4.0. We’d expect Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for a product in this price bracket.
That’s a disappointment and fortunately one hardware upgrade that’s easy to perform. There’s also a free 2.5-inch bay to host either a SATA SSD or HDD. Accessories that came with the Beelink PC include a 57W power supply unit, two HDMI ports and a wall mounted bracket.
Performance and in use
Other than the fact that it runs on Windows 10 Pro, there’s little to say about the platform that the Beelink SER runs on. There’s no bloatware and no utilities as is often the case with better known brands. Expectations need to be adjusted when dealing with this product.
Here’s how the Beelink SER Ryzen 7 3750H performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Passmark CPU: 8423
CPU-Z: 388 (single-thread); 2013 (multi-thread)
Geekbench: 850 (single-core); 2912 (multi-core); 9441 (compute)
CrystalDiskMark: 2051MBps (read); 1651MBps (write)
Cinebench CPU: 1001
Atto: 1900MBps (read, 256mb); 1570MBps (write, 256mb)
Windows Experience Index: 6.1
The 3750H is a Ryzen 7 part but one that has a low TDP – as it targets the mobile vertical – and therefore a low base clock speed. Don’t expect any miracles. It is roughly equivalent to the Core i5-10200H, an Intel part with a slightly higher TDP (45W vs 35W) and a slightly higher base clock speed.
That didn’t prevent the Beelink SER from being moderately noisy under load with fans kicking in as soon as we hit something chunky like Sisoft Sandra or Maxon’s Cinebench. Noise is the actual physical downside of fans working extra hard to cool the processor and prevent throttling.
As for sheer performance, the Ryzen 7 competes against the Intel Core i5-8259U, a popular choice amongst smaller companies due to the presence of an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 GPU with 128 MB eDRAM. A fast storage subsystem combined with dual-channel memory configuration means that it is fast enough for most mundane tasks but not for gaming or for Photoshop.
Should I buy the Beelink SER Ryzen 7 3750H?
Buy it if:
You are looking for a capable mini PC
With an AMD Ryzen 7 APU in tow, plenty of RAM and storage, the Beelink SER is a powerful alternative to big boxes, especially if you don’t want to upgrade or add a discrete graphics card.
If you want a tiny computer that can take up to 16TB of storage
With an NVMe slot and a SATA connector, you will be able to expand the device to a staggering 16TB by swapping the existing system SSD for an 8TB one and adding a secondary 8TB SATA SSD.
Don’t buy it if:
You plan to do some heavy lifting
Forget about hardcore gaming, rendering or anything that would require sheer compute power. The 3750H is good but not that good. After all, it is a mobile APU and one that was launched almost three years ago. So keep that in mind.
You need rock solid aftersales
Beelink is not as big as a brand like Dell or Lenovo. These computing superpowers can – and do – provide extras such as next business day onsite support to sort out any potential hardware problems, something that smaller outfits such as Beelink will struggle to deliver.