Notebookcheck
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

DFI GHF51 Single-Board Computer Hands-On

The DFI GHF51 is a well-built single-board computer for enterprise use that offers a decent amount of features. The cornerstone of the board is the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC, a capable little chip that is stable and powerful enough for long-term industrial use. However, some shortcomings should be noted as it may be too limited for some applications.
Sam Medley, Daniel R Deakin, 🇳🇱 🇫🇷 ...

DFI is a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer that specializes in industrial-grade computer hardware and embedded systems. The company has almost 40 years of experience. DFI has leveraged that history to produce the GHF51, a tiny credit-card-sized single-board computer (SBC).

Upon first glance, the GHF51 is reminiscent of the Raspberry Pi. However, the GHF51 has a trick up its sleeve: Ryzen. Rather than the typical ARM or Intel Atom CPUs seen on tiny SBCs, DFI has opted for AMD's Ryzen Embedded platform. The Ryzen Embedded R1000 APU boasts two cores, four threads, and Radeon Vega graphics. How does the tiny computer hold up against other heavy hitters in the SBC world? Let's take a look.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Especially English native speakers welcome!

English-Chinese-Translator - Details here

DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
Processor
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G 2 x 2.4 - 3.3 GHz, Zen
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3 - 512 MB, Core: 1000 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz, DDR4
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR4-2400 / PC4-19200
Mainboard
AMD Promontory/Bixby FCH
Soundcard
AMD Raven/Renoir/VanGogh/Cezanne - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
Networking
Broadcom BCM4356 802.11ac 2x2:2 (876 Mbps) (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Weight
290 g ( = 10.23 oz / 0.64 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

Case and Connectivity

The GHF51 is tiny and is roughly the size of the popular Raspberry Pi. Because of that, it is made to fit into small spaces without much fuss. DFI ships the GHF51 as a DIY kit; included in the package are the small 1.8-inch board, a large fin array heatsink, four standoffs, and plenty of accessory cables. While the board is as small as a credit card, the heatsink adds quite a bit of heft. After installing the standoffs and the heatsink, the unit stands at 4.75 cm (~1.875 in). 

Port selection is adequate but may be lacking for some. There are two micro HDMI 1.4 ports, a full-sized Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) Type-C port. Users that need to connect more than a single peripheral (say, a mouse and a keyboard at the same time) will need a USB hub. There is a power terminal that requires users to screw in wires from their own power adapter; there isn't a "plug-and-play" option. DFI sells a compatible power supply for an extra charge.

The GHF51 has one mini PCIe slot. DFI shipped a Wi-Fi card with this unit that required a bracket (also included) to fit into this slot. Wi-Fi connections worked well. While not the speediest connection, it was nonetheless reliable with no dropped connections over a 15-meter distance from my router.

Performance, Emissions, and Heat

The GHF51 can be specced with one of a handful of AMD Ryzen Embedded APUs. The Ryzen Embedded 1505G in our unit is a low-power dual-core CPU with four threads (via SMT). The 1505G has a base frequency of 2.4 GHz with a boost to 3.3 GHz and is rated at 12 Watts.

The GHF51 is designed specifically for industrial and enterprise use. In that regard, the plucky 1505G performs well. It offers a good balance between adequate computing prowess and low power draw. It manages to best Intel's Celeron J4000 series chips in most benchmarks. The Intel Core i3-8145U used in the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano IoT, a popular option for enterprise use, handily beats the GHF51, albeit with a higher power draw and a significantly larger case.

The GHF51 is limited in a few key areas. Primarily among these is storage; our unit is equipped with only 32 GB of eMMC storage. While this may be enough for specified use, there is no easy way to expand it. DFI also sells units with 16 or 64 GB. 

Another drawback is the RAM. DFI sells the GHF51 with either 4 or 8 GB of single-channel DDR4 RAM. While this is enough to run Windows 10 IoT Enterprise (included) adequately, some users may find it limiting.

Considering the GHF51's intended purpose, the RAM and storage should be sufficient for specified use.

Cinebench R20: CPU (Single Core) | CPU (Multi Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Single 64Bit | CPU Multi 64Bit
Blender 2.79: BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
Geekbench 5.3: 64 Bit Single-Core Score | 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Average of class Desktop
  (156 - 632, n=21, last 2 years)
403 Points ∼100% +66%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
243 Points ∼60%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
243 Points ∼60% 0%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
161 Points ∼40% -34%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
156 Points ∼39% -36%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Average of class Desktop
  (304 - 5847, n=21, last 2 years)
1947 Points ∼100% +227%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
596 Points ∼31%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
596 Points ∼31% 0%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
590 Points ∼30% -1%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
304 Points ∼16% -49%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Average of class Desktop
  (71.1 - 256, n=24, last 2 years)
161 Points ∼100% +65%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel Core i5-8265U
148 Points ∼92% +52%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT
Intel Core i3-8145U
139 Points ∼86% +43%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
97.3 Points ∼60%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
97.3 Points ∼60% 0%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
75.3 Points ∼47% -23%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
71.1 Points ∼44% -27%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Desktop
  (221 - 2397, n=25, last 2 years)
787 Points ∼100% +198%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel Core i5-8265U
524 Points ∼67% +98%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT
Intel Core i3-8145U
353 Points ∼45% +34%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
264 Points ∼34%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
264 Points ∼34% 0%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
263 (207.57min - 262.65max) Points ∼33% 0%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
243 (199.13min - 242.53max) Points ∼31% -8%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
2391 Seconds * ∼100% -39%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
2380 Seconds * ∼100% -38%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
1725 Seconds * ∼72%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
1725 Seconds * ∼72% -0%
Average of class Desktop
  (197 - 2391, n=21, last 2 years)
917 Seconds * ∼38% +47%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Average of class Desktop
  (2215 - 6328, n=21, last 2 years)
4172 MIPS ∼100% +67%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
2505 MIPS ∼60%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
2505 MIPS ∼60% 0%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
2361 MIPS ∼57% -6%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
2215 MIPS ∼53% -12%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
Average of class Desktop
  (6931 - 61738, n=21, last 2 years)
23394 MIPS ∼100% +238%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
8098 MIPS ∼35% +17%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
7494 MIPS ∼32% +8%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
6931 MIPS ∼30%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
6931 MIPS ∼30% 0%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Average of class Desktop
  (388 - 1784, n=21, last 2 years)
1095 Points ∼100% +79%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
612 Points ∼56%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
612 Points ∼56% 0%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
435 Points ∼40% -29%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
388 Points ∼35% -37%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average of class Desktop
  (1353 - 10709, n=21, last 2 years)
4241 Points ∼100% +213%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
1410 Points ∼33% +4%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
1394 Points ∼33% +3%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
1353 Points ∼32%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
1353 Points ∼32% 0%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Average of class Desktop
  (0.65 - 19.3, n=21, last 2 years)
6.23 fps ∼100% +858%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
1.49 fps ∼24% +129%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
1.46 fps ∼23% +125%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
0.65 fps ∼10%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
0.65 fps ∼10% 0%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
367 s * ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
367 s * ∼100% -0%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel Celeron J4115
150 s * ∼41% +59%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
124 s * ∼34% +66%
Average of class Desktop
  (41.7 - 367, n=19, last 2 years)
88.9 s * ∼24% +76%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
GMK NucBox K1
Intel Celeron J4125
1.577 sec * ∼100% -45%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
1.09 sec * ∼69%
Average AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
 
1.09 sec * ∼69% -0%
Average of class Desktop
  (0.4891 - 1.885, n=19, last 2 years)
0.856 sec * ∼54% +21%

* ... smaller is better

DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
 
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT
Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
GMK NucBox K1
HIKVision C100 NGFF SSD 128GB
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
128 GB eMMC Flash
Global Average -3
 

Average of class Desktop
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
533%
965%
134%
-35%
873%
609%
Write 4K
32.94
87.17
165%
130
295%
77.14
134%
26.02
-21%
117 (12.9 - 1107, n=1253)
255%
114 (26 - 245, n=19, last 2 years)
246%
Read 4K
23.98
36.03
50%
45.61
90%
20.12
-16%
16.33
-32%
45.5 (7.44 - 3738, n=1252)
90%
43.6 (16.3 - 80.4, n=19, last 2 years)
82%
Write 4K Q32T1
37.11
207.8
460%
365.3
884%
123.5
233%
28.76
-23%
348 (15.2 - 1707, n=1255)
838%
316 (28.8 - 715, n=19, last 2 years)
752%
Read 4K Q32T1
75.98
149.5
97%
350.2
361%
70.91
-7%
17.41
-77%
384 (17.4 - 1580, n=1255)
405%
332 (17.4 - 783, n=19, last 2 years)
337%
Write Seq Q32T1
98.58
1895.5
1823%
2985.9
2929%
445.9
352%
58.96
-40%
1483 (59 - 5623, n=1255)
1404%
1316 (59 - 5065, n=19, last 2 years)
1235%
Read Seq Q32T1
261.5
2268.4
767%
3564.9
1263%
550.2
110%
218.8
-16%
2282 (141 - 9006, n=1255)
773%
1803 (219 - 6884, n=19, last 2 years)
589%
Write 4K Q8T8
36.61
207.7
467%
368.7
907%
818 (4.69 - 2665, n=123)
2134%
417 (36.6 - 1115, n=8, last 2 years)
1039%
Read 4K Q8T8
72.23
383.3
431%
789.7
993%
858 (31.7 - 2298, n=123)
1088%
501 (72.2 - 790, n=8, last 2 years)
594%
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

GPU

While not the main draw of the GHF51, the Ryzen Embedded APUs all share the same decent integrated GPU: the Radeon RX Vega 3. While certainly not a graphical powerhouse, the Vega 3 iGPU is on par with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 used in most Intel computers. The Vega 3 beats the Intel UHD Graphics 600 used in Celeron systems (and other low-powered Intel devices) by a wide margin.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (433 - 50587, n=26, last 2 years)
11490 Points ∼100% +1077%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1183 Points ∼10% +21%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
  (726 - 1522, n=13)
1118 Points ∼10% +15%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
976 Points ∼8%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
863 Points ∼8% -12%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron J4115
453 Points ∼4% -54%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron J4125
433 Points ∼4% -56%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (14600 - 435092, n=9, last 2 years)
78284 Points ∼100% +114%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
  (25789 - 54893, n=9)
40981 Points ∼52% +12%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
36561 Points ∼47%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron J4115
16551 Points ∼21% -55%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron J4125
14600 Points ∼19% -60%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (3366 - 182888, n=21, last 2 years)
29263 Points ∼100% +314%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
9590 Points ∼33% +36%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
  (5005 - 12278, n=13)
8263 Points ∼28% +17%
DFI GHF51-BN-43R15
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G
7068 Points ∼24%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
6971 Points ∼24% -1%
Chuwi LarkBox 4K Mini PC
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron J4115
3882 Points ∼13% -45%
GMK NucBox K1
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron J4125
3366 Points ∼12% -52%

System Noise and Thermal Management

One of the main draws of the GHF51 is its fanless design. The unit ships with a massive heatsink that sits on top of the AMD APU. Since it is fanless, the unit is completely silent while in operation. I also did not notice coil whine. 

Despite its lack of fans, the GHF51 does not get unbearably hot. Under full synthetic load (Prime95 and FurMark for 1 hour), the APU stays rock solid at 2.4 GHz for the first 10 minutes as its temperature slowly ramps up to 100 °C. Once it hits this threshold, the CPU heavily throttles to 1.4 GHz, but temperatures stay at 98-99 °C. The heat sink gets painfully hot to the touch, measuring 65-70 °C. 

Placing only the CPU under load sees better results. The chip keeps a perfectly constant 2.4 GHz clock, though temperatures rise to 81 °C. Otherwise, the system is completely stable. 

In sum, as long as the Vega 3 GPU isn't taxed, the GHF51 should be able to endure computationally stressful loads for long periods of time.

Prime95 Stress Test
Prime95 Stress Test
Prime95 and FurMark Stress Test
Prime95 and FurMark Stress Test

Verdict

The DFI GHF51 is an interesting device. While at first glance it looks to be a significantly more powerful Raspberry Pi, its target market is not the same as the Pi's. Hobbyists may be enticed by the available AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 family, but the limited port selection and high price tag (~US$333 for this review unit) will turn most off.

That's fine, as the GHF51 isn't intended for general consumers. This is a tiny SBC meant for industrial and enterprise use. Think robotics on an assembly line, Internet-of-Things applications, and other highly specific use cases. Professionals looking for a compact device to manage enterprise-level tasks will want to keep the GHF51 in mind. 

They'll also want to keep its shortcomings in mind as well. The high temperatures recorded over stress tests cause a bit of concern, especially for continuous use. Also, the slow and small eMMC storage drive may limit some uses, particularly when high levels of data reads and writes are needed. Still, the GHF51 is a solid little computer designed for highly specific uses.

Considering its high computational power relative to other credit card-sized SBCs, the GHF51 offers a lot in its tiny package. 

The DFI GHF51 can be purchased directly from DFI. Prices range from $293 to $378, depending on the APU selected.

Disclaimer: The author of this review received the DFI GHF51 single-board computer free of charge for the purpose of testing.

Read all 1 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1119 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > DFI GHF51 Single-Board Computer Hands-On
Sam Medley, 2020-12-28 (Update: 2020-12-28)