BMAX B1 Plus Mini PC Performance Review

Intel's NUC category has introduced a entirely form factor to personal computers already years ago. This highly integrated and obviously small form factor computers offer an interesting set of capabilities and performance at a very interesting price point. There is a wide range of CPU, RAM and internal storage available. Some of them are extremely cheap, at the cost at outdate processor, similar to Raspberry Pi's



The BMAX B1 is such an candidate, it offers okay performance for office and light internet surfing. It has somehow limited capabilities when it comes to video playback. Full review can be found on techradar.com, it currently sells at USD 119.99 on AliExpress.

I fully agree with the verdict from techradar.com, and this mini PC is definitely only an option for light tasks, and has quite some limitations on multitasking due to the 4 GB RAM.

Improved Version: BMAX B1 Plus

The BMAX B1 Plus the successor of the BMAX B1 (without Plus). It got an upgrade in both CPU and RAM compared to the BMAX B1. Price wise, it sells currently at USD 135.90, for the 64 GB Version. 

While the BMAX B1 features the Intel Celeron J3060 at 2.4Ghz with included Intel HD Graphics 400, the Plus version includes the Intel Celeron N3350 at 2.48Ghz and Integrated Intel HD Graphics 500. Both CPU's are only dual core capable. One mayor difference is RAM, the plus version has 6 GB of RAM (non upgradeable) compared to only 4GB of the non plus version.

 

BMAX B1

BMAX B1 Plus

CPU

 

 

  Model

Intel Celeron J3060

Intel Celeron N3060

  Available Since

Q1’16

Q3’16

  Frequency (max)

2.4 Ghz

2.48 Ghz

  CPU Mark

662

1153

Graphics

Intel HD Graphics 400

Intel HD Graphics 600

RAM

4 GB

6 GB

Storage

64 GB

64 GB

Extension

m.2 Slot

m.2 Slot

You could go with a 128 eMMC version, but I would rather add an M2 SSD like the PNY CS900 500GB M.2 SATA III Internal Solid State Drive. Both versions have a small fan, which is not audible even after under high load. The device gets warm but not hot at least in the tests I did.

Initial Boot & Performance

I hooked the device up with my ShadowCast and recorded the following video which shows a the very first boot and gives a pretty good impression on the capabilities of the system, including screenshots of the system configuration and installed applications.

The video captures the system on its very first start, some key moments are linked in the video, including: Windows Setup, System Configuration and CPU Utilization, Youtube HD, FHD and 4K Test, CrystalDiskMark, and Windows Updates.



Performance Test: eMMC vs SSD

I did run a round of tests for the internal hard disk and the M2.SSD as well, please see the results below.
Multiple users report a very slow computer on the first start or hours since Windows runs a couple of updates. Based on the speeds reported, this could definitely an issue immediately after start, how-ever the installed windows version was reasonably new and only a few updates were required.


There is a significant theoretical speed increase with the M2.SSD, how, ever this had no big impact in the following use cases:

Use case

Internal eMMC

M2.SSD

Boot to Desktop

28s

28.25s

Boot to CPU < 10%

50s

62s

Edge cold start

7s

9.1s

CNN.com cold start

17.3s

21.7s


Surprisingly, the M2.SSD made the whole system slower. I assume this was because of moving the whole Windows partition to the new drive and some configuration changes.

BIOS

Please refer to the below Video in which I captured all the BIOS configurations available. There are some basic configuration options available. Interestingly I features a TPM 2.0 chip, which means it would be compatible with Windows 11...


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