The A8-4555M is a low voltage processor designed with mobile gear in mind, so it has a TDP of just 19W. Power consumption is pretty low as according to our measurements the VS8 consumed up to 38W under full load. This is a few watts more than the HD4, but all in all the results are very impressive, since it offers more performance as well.
The Edge VS8 comes with a new look and it’s a bit more flashy than previous HD-series systems. It is still tiny and can be placed just about anywhere. It is also much quieter than the Edge HD3 and a bit quieter than the HD4, and is among the quietest mini-PCs out there.
The really big difference is the choice of CPU. The A8-4555M matches the CPU performance of the Celeron 847 used in Edge HD4, but its graphics performance is second to none. The Radeon HD 7600G is DirectX 11 capable and it allows for light gaming at low resolutions.
In terms of storage, it could be better. 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. The Edge VS8 is available as prebuilt unit and a barebones rig, so we will soon run a few tests with an SSD, just to check out what it is really capable of.
It is also worth noting that the VS8 ships without an OS, which will undoubtedly put off mainstream consumers who are not tech savvy. Other shortcomings include the awkward placement of both USB 3.0 ports and the sharp desktop stand. The desktop stand could have been a bit better. Sharp metal and rubberized plastic don’t mix and in case you are careless you will scratch the sides. What really bothers us is the fact that we are talking about minor details that could easily be addressed at little to no cost.
All in all the Edge VS8 is very good mini PC with a speedy CPU and killer GPU. It is more than just another alternative to Atom and Brazos based systems, in terms of performance it is in a league of its own. In spite of that, the power consumption is low, it is quieter than other HD-series systems and at €379 it isn’t too expensive, either. In barebone flavour it costs €299, which means you could put together an SSD system for about €450.