Beelink GT-R: a Ryzen-powered mini PC wrapped in a beautiful chassis
The Beelink GT-R is one of the newest mini PCs from Chinese manufacturer Beelink, a company known for making tiny Windows desktops and TV set boxes running Android. The GT-R is a competent small office desktop that also excels as a home theatre PC. However, the are some drawbacks to the machine.
The most striking component of the GT-R is its well-made and beautiful magnesium case. The device is compact, though not as small as some NUCs from Intel. The GT-R takes up about a third of the room as a full-sized desktop keyboard. The case itself is entirely metal, except for the top panel, which is covered in glass. This glass is a fingerprint magnet, though.
Despite its small size, the GT-R has quite a few ports. There are two USB-A and a single USB-C port on the front. The back holds four more USB-A ports, three display connections (2x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort), and two Gigabit LAN ports.
The GT-R is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 3550H mobile CPU. The quad-core multithreaded CPU is coupled with Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics, giving the GT-R decent gaming chops, albeit at 720p/Medium-High settings. The PC can push games to FHD (1920x1080), but settings will have to be turned down for smooth gameplay, even in lighter titles like Rocket League.
There are a few sticking points. For one, the GT-R has a fingerprint reader embedded into its top panel, but the scanner on our unit was faulty and registered multiple phantom swipes. Also, the fans are extremely loud under load and have an annoying and high-pitched whine. However, these fans do keep the internal components cool.
Most interestingly, the GT-R’s BIOS includes an option to “overclock” the CPU by increasing the wattage to the chip from its stock 35 W to 54 W. Users can also reduce the wattage down to 12 W if desired. Increased wattage does result in a slight bump in CPU performance, noted in CPU-centered benchmarks like Cinebench. However, it increases heat output and actually diminishes performance in some games due to thermal management issues.
All said, the Beelink GT-R is a nice looking mini PC that has enough power for streaming and light gaming that it makes for a fine home theatre PC.