Notebookcheck Logo

Minisforum reveals MS-A1 high-end mini PC with up a Ryzen 7 8700G, 96 GB of memory, and OCuLink support

Teaser
Minisforum recently unveiled the MS-A1 at Computex 2024, featuring up to an 8-core Ryzen 7 8700G APU, up to 96 GB of DDR5 memory and OCuLink support. Its Intel-based sibling, the MS-01, was launched in late 2023, and rocked an i9-13900H and up to 64 GB of memory, but did not feature OCuLink support. For AMD fans, the MS-A1 sure is a welcome addition to Minisforum's family of mini PCs.

In December of last year, Minisforum lifted the curtains off its MS-01 high-end mini PC, boasting up to an Intel i9-13900H and Iris Xe (G7) integrated graphics. Unfortunately, however, neither did it have the option for an AMD version, nor did it ship with an OCuLink port which would've allowed for substantially faster eGPU connections. With the recently unveiled MS-A1, which is essentially an AMD-powered alternative to the MS-01, Minisforum has seemingly addressed the above qualms.

Launched at Computex 2024, the Minisforum MS-A1 will certainly please fans of Team Red, thanks to its 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 8700G 'Phoenix' APU packed with Zen 4/RDNA 3 goodness. Lower-tier versions with a Ryzen 5 8600G, or a Ryzen 5 7600 'Raphael' will also be on offer. The highest-end R7 8700G beats out the MS-01's 14-core Intel i9 13900H by a small margin, which is to be expected since the 8700G is a desktop-class chip while the i9 13900H is a mobile variant.

Further, the system can support up to 96 GB of memory, thanks to the dual SODIMM memory slots with unspecified speeds - considerably more than the MS-01's maximum memory support of 'only' 64 GB. But the biggest win reveals itself when we turn our attention to the graphics side of things, where the integrated RDNA 3-based Radeon 780M (12 CUs) completely sweeps the floor with the Iris Xe G7 (96 EU) graphics piggybacked on the i9 13900H.

The MS-A1 gets impressive specifications, with the highlight being the inclusion of an OCuLink port and up to 96 GB of memory. (Source: PC Watch)
The MS-A1 gets impressive specifications, with the highlight being the inclusion of an OCuLink port and up to 96 GB of memory. (Source: PC Watch)

For workloads where the Radeon 780M's admirable graphics grunt won't suffice, the MS-A1, like most other recent mini PCs, features an OCuLink connector which allows for eGPU connections with a significantly lower performance hit when compared to Thunderbolt 4, thanks to the former's PCIe 4.0 x4 lanes with much higher transfer speeds (5 GB/s vs 8 GB/s). 

Coming to connectivity options, the MS-A1, similar to its Intel-based sibling, gets a healthy list of ports including 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 2.1, 1x Type-C (Power Delivery, DisplayPort), 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 2.0, and an audio combo jack. Unlike the MS-01 however, 10 G ethernet is suspiciously absent, so customers will have to contend with a single 2.5 G ethernet port.

There is no word on pricing or availability yet, but we can expect more details in the coming weeks. However, given that the MS-01 typically retails for around ~$549, it would be safe to say that the MS-A1 will most likely be priced similarly.

Price comparison

Read all 4 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 06 > Minisforum reveals MS-A1 high-end mini PC with up a Ryzen 7 8700G, 96 GB of memory, and OCuLink support
Sambit Saha, 2024-06-14 (Update: 2024-06-17)