The Edge HD4 looks like all previous HD-series systems, which means it is tiny and can be placed just about anywhere. It is also a bit quieter than the HD3, although it is still not the quietest mini-PC out there.
The really big difference is the choice of CPU. Although the Celeron 847 fails to match the graphics performance of AMD APUs, the Sandy Bridge CPU cores do a pretty good job in non-graphics tests. Intel’s HD 3000 graphics are DirectX 10.1 capable, while AMD E-series APUs feature DirectX 11 graphics. Since it is very unlikely that anyone will use a mini-PC for gaming, it seems like a fair tradeoff.
The Edge HD4 is currently only available as prebuilt unit, and just like previous HD-series systems, it features a sluggish, 5400rpm hard drive. If you choose to replace it, you will void the warranty. We believe Sapphire should have provided alternatives, such as SKUs with hybrid drives, or small SSDs. It is also worth noting that the HD4 ships without an OS, which will undoubtedly put off mainstream consumers who are not tech savvy.
All in all the Edge HD4 is a pretty good rig with an interesting CPU, which makes it a very interesting alternative to Atom and Brazos based systems. The power consumption is low, it is quieter than other HD-series systems and in some benchmarks, it is noticeably faster.