Unlike most mini-PC systems, Sapphire’s Edge HD4 is powered by Intel’s Celeron 847, so it should be faster than similar systems based on Atom chips. Intel’s dual-core Celeron 847 CPU is clocked at 1.1GHz.
Since the embebed graphics relies solely on system memory, the decision to go for 4GB of system memory is a good idea.
In case you missed it, the Celeron 847 is actually the first ULV budget CPU based on Sandy Bridge architecture. It has 2MB of L3 cache and does not support Hyper-Threading or Turbo Boost. It has a 17W TDP, supports dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory and comes with an integrated DirectX 10 graphics controller that runs at 350MHz (800MHz Turbo).
A quick note on Futuremark benchmarks: 3DMark 11, 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06 and PCMark 7 are compatible with Windows 8 when using the latest SystemInfo component. These benchmarks prompt you to install new SystemInfo updates or you can download and install SystemInfo yourself from the Futuremark website.
3DMark 06 shows us that Intel's HD 3000 graphics are not on par with AMD APUs. Even the ancient ION2 is better.
However, in PCMark 07 the Edge HD4 takes a clear lead against other mini-PCs that we had a chance to test. We ran the computation test several times and the score was always superior to what we saw on othe systems. In terms of sheer CPU power, the dual-core Celeron 847 is certainly faster than AMD's E-450, as well as the 1.8GHz D525 Atom. As we noted earlier, the main disadvantage of the Celeron 847 is its lacklustre GPU performance, but it more than makes up for it thanks to impressive CPU scores.
Cinebench R11.5 pretty much confirms our previous tests and Sapphire’s Edge HD4 with its Celeron 847 CPU ends up faster than Edge HD 3 with E-450 as well as the Sapphire Edge HD2 with Intel Atom D525+ION2 combo. Once again we see that the GPU is the weakest link. It is one of the slowest GPUs we had a chance to come across in mini-PCs.
The results we saw earlier mostly depend on the choice of HDD storage. The Edge HD4 clearly steams ahead of the ZBox Nano XS AD11 Plue E-450 APU which uses 64GB mSATA SSD, but in some tests it lags behind by a wide margin. Of course, nothing stops the user from going for a speedier 7200rpm 2.5-inch HDD, or even a hybrid drive or SSD and get some impressive numbers on that side as well.
We used the Edge HD4 for some casual browsing, media playback and even some office work while it remained connected to a 1080p TV. It handled everything that we threw at it with ease.