Unboxing Beelink MINI S12
The mini PC Beelink MINI S12 comes in a basic but well protected cardboard box. Inside we find the small protected computer with its contents, manual, 2x HDMI cable, VESA bracket and charger 12V 3A (36 W).
The Beelink MINI S12 mini computer has a classic Intel NUC-inspired design with a roughened top area. On the front we have a status LED next to the power button, internal BIOS reset button, audio in/out jack and two USB 3.2 Type-A ports (10Gbps). On the rear we find two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, 2x HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, Kengsinton lock and for power supply we have a round DC port.
Inside this PC we find the M.2 2230 Wifi 5 + BT 4.2 adapter (Intel AC 3165) with two internal antennas, we also have installed a 256GB M.2 NVMe 2280 disk and for RAM we have one SODIMM DDR4 slots up to 2666 MHz.
- RAM: 8/16 GB DDR4 2666MHz max / 1x SODIMM.
- Storage: 128/256 GB 1x M.2 NVMe 2280 / 1x SATA 3 2.5″.
- Network: Wifi 5 + BT 4.2 (M.2 2230 Intel AC 3165) / 1x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek)
System and performance
Environment and user experience
We turn on the Beelink MINI S12 pressing the front power button, in a few seconds we get to the Windows 11 64bit that is activated when connecting to the internet. We have all the drivers installed correctly and we update it without problems with the Windows Update system. We found that the hardware moves without slowdowns in a basic use of conventional desktop, it is possible to load many tabs without slowdowns. A PC perfectly suitable for office, multimedia and design apps with medium load.
- OS Version installed: Windows 11 Pro 64bit installed .
- Software pre-installed: None.
- Tutorials: Control the micro PC with your Smartphone / Install Windows 11 / Migrate Windows to SSD
Networks, Storage, RAM and Ports
In the PC connectivity section Beelink MINI S12 PC has a Wifi 5 + BT 4.2 (Intel AC 3165) wireless adapter and a Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek). The results in speed are quite good and we have a correct range.
- Network performance: Two internal Wifi antennas / Range 42 dBm / Link 5G 433 Mbps / Bluetooth OK.
We tested the storage speed of the M.2 NVMe 3x 2280 disk installed by default and observed that it behaves normally. For the performance tests we have one SODIMM with 8 GB of RAM DDR4 2666 MHz with Single Channel configuration.
- USB ports: 4x USB 3.2 (10 Gbps)
- Micro PC tutorials: Install Windows 11 / Migrate Windows to a SSD / Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks
Processor, performance and thermal
The new Beelink MINI S12 integrates the Intel N95 (Alder Lake-N) processor manufactured in 10 nm (Intel 7). It has four cores and four threads that moves up to 3.2 GHz. In the graphics section we have an Intel UHD Graphics GPU up to 750 MHz with 16 EU (the N100 has 24EU). This chip has a power consumption of only 15 W TDP and the performance results are much better than those of its smaller siblings. The GPU performance, however, is limited for multimedia and light gaming use. This computer is suitable for browsing, multimedia playback with KODI, office applications, editing applications and very light 3D games.
Beelink MINI S12 Benchmarks
We conducted several performance tests with the Beelink MINI S12, the performance is in line with these Celeron type processors manufactured in 10 nm, although it is a slight improvement over the previous Intel N5059. The installed Intel UHD Graphics GPU, which as we can see is limited for use with simple games.s.
This small PC offers good thermal response, the system keeps the temperatures controlled with its variable RPM fan and emits very little noise, at rest it is almost inaudible and in games it is audible but does not raise much more noise. This processor with its 10 nm is efficient and should not worry us in this aspect.
- Power consumption: Off 0.9W / Idle 8W / Basic use 12W / Maximum 18W.
- Thermal: Idle 40ºC / Basic use 42ºC / Maximum 71ºC / CPU 3.2 GHz max / Performance up to 100%.
- Gaming performance: LoL 69ºC / CPU 3.2 GHz on average.
- Noise: 39 dBA Max / Variable RPM / NO Semi-passive.
We performed our performance test on games on the Beelink MINI S12, we have some results are in line with this type of GPU integrated into the Ryzen, the Intel UHD Graphics GPU with 16EU is suitable for games in 1080p or 720p quality depending on the 3D load, it is not suitable for heavy AAA games with many 3D elements. As for emulators at most we are left with some simple Wii, PS2 and similar games, we can’t handle demanding 3D emulators.
- Setting: High quality / 1080p resolution / No VSync / Play emulators with RetoArch.
* On models with integrated Intel HD GPU on low and 720p resolution.
With this computer it is possible to play titles like LoL with a good frame rate, in more demanding games like Fornite with the graphics settings in performance mode is not very playable, as for Diablo immortal we stay at 20/27fps. If we are interested especially in the Gaming section is better to go for a PC with a dedicated GPU and we will have a much smoother experience.
Video and audio tests
In the video playback section, the Beelink MINI S12 mini PC has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics GPU that features a VPU with hardware decoding support for HEVC and VP9 codecs and we do not have support for the modern AV1 video codec. In this processor has support for 10bit color and also has native HDR support. This PC is perfectly valid as a multimedia system to use KODI, IPTV or to use it with PLEX.
- Video outputs: 2x HDMI 2.1 / HDR / Adjust image quality in our TV.
- Audio outputs: HDMI up to 7.1 / Stereo audio jack.
- Tutorials: 4K videos with HEVC, VP9 / Install KODI with add-ons / Auto refresh rate / Multichannel audio on Windows
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK (SW)|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDR||Frameskip (SW)|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||Frameskip (SW)|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s|
- * The maximum bit rate depends on the internal storage, usb port, Ethernet or the limitations with our SAMBA Network.
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have some frameskip in very heavy files.
|Native||Dolby 5.1 – Plus / DTS 5.1 – Master Audio|
|Core||Dolby HD – Atmos / DTS HR – X|
- Native – Supports the format directly in our AV receiver or similar / More info.
- Core – Only the 5.1 core of the format is played so we go to the Dolby or DTS base system / More info.
- PCM – Only stereo downmixing from DD or DTS.
We conduct tests on the Beelink MINI S12 micro PC with the most popular streaming services we pass some test for Youtube, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and others with their native apps or using the most compatible browser. You can consult our guides where we explain in detail all the best known streaming services, how to configure them and what requirements are necessary to see content in FullHD or 4K quality.
- Performance: Has hardware acceleration for VP9 4K codec on Youtube.
- Tutorial: Install Addons in KODI in a simple way / LibreELEC for PC
|Streaming service||Video / Audio|
|Youtube||4K (2160p) / 5.1|
|Netflix||4K (2160p) / 5.1 / Netflix guide for PC|
|HBO Max||FullHD (1080p) / Estéreo / HBO Max guide for PC|
|Disney+||FullHD (1080p) / 5.1 / Disney+ guide for PC|
|Prime Video||FullHD (1080p) / 5.1 / Prime Video guide for PC|
|Apple TV+||4K (2160p) / 5.1 / Apple TV+ Guide|
|DAZN||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080i) / Stereo|
Are you sure AV1 decocde is not supported?
According to the QuickSync Wikipage the QSV implementation for Alder Lake should be able to decode AV1 up to 10bit.
This is not an Intel Xe GPU/VPU (Core processors), this is an Intel HD Graphics GPU/VPU (N processors).
Have a similar one with N95 and it definitively have hardware acceleration for AV1 10Bit as announced from Intel.
Use it with Libreelec for AV1, no issues in 4K 10Bit 60FPS.
Thank you for confirming!
My device is currently on the way, looking forward to get my hands on it.. 🙂
Do you do any transcoding? If so, can you elaborate a bit on your experiences?
Just encoding for my Archive, no live transcoding. Using Fastflix and qsvencc this Little Unit can encode 1080p h265 with 70fps in Hardware.
In windows AV1 don’t work by default… you can see the youtube capture, go to VP9.
Also checked with DXVAChecker, I will check again with the N100.
True, not possible jet under windows even with AV1 codec purchased in the store and current Intel driver in Kodi. Under Linux / Libreelec no problems. But the question was whether the N95 can basically hardware acceleration for AV1. It definitely can.
Very strange behaviour.
I will check more with the N100.
So it´s a drivers issue and the question is whether Intel will sumbit an update later?
I have the Mini S12 Pro here (N100) and Youtube is also only played with VP9.