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GEEKOM Mini IT13: Full Review of the Smallest i9 Desktop

Geekom Mini IT13

GEEKOM Mini IT13: Full Review of the Smallest i9 Desktop

Key Points

  • The GEEKOM Mini IT13 is an ultra-small form factor PC with powerful hardware inside, including a 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of DDR4, and an M.2 SSD.
  • The Mini IT13 comes in three different models with varying levels of power and price, all featuring a 13th-generation Intel Core series processor.
  • The design of the Mini IT13 is compact and versatile, with the ability to be mounted to a monitor or wall.
  • The Mini IT13 offers a good number of ports and connectivity options, including USB-A ports, HDMI ports, USB Type-C or Thunderbolt ports, and an SD card reader.
  • The Mini IT13 is not suitable for high-performance gaming, but it is great for 4K media streaming and other less demanding games.

The GEEKOM Mini IT13 is an impressive ultra-small form factor PC, part of the ever-growing trend to make desktops smaller and smaller. While it looks bland, it packs some surprisingly powerful hardware inside, like a 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of DDR4, and an M.2 SSD.

If you’ve always wanted a space-saving PC, but also to hold out for something with some real desktop levels of performance, then this might be just what you’ve been waiting for. Can compact PCs like the Mini IT13 hold a candle to a full-size gaming PC? Or are they more on par with laptops? Why would you even want one of these systems anyway?

We managed to get our hands on this neat little desktop, so we’re putting it through its paces and diving into all the features, specs, and pros and cons. By the end, you’ll know if this computer is worth paying attention to or if it is just a disappointment. Let’s get started!

GEEKOM Mini IT13: Best Deal Today

GEEKOM Mini IT13: Overview

Release Date and Price

The GEEKOM Mini IT13 launched in late 2023, providing an improvement over the previous generations, the IT12 and the IT11. As the name implies, it now packs the 13th generation of Intel CPUs. Depending on your configuration and which model you want, you can pick one of these up for between $500 to $900.

Different Models

The GEEKOM Mini IT13 comes in three different flavors, depending on how much power you want and how much money you can spend. All come with a 13th-generation Intel Core series processor. At the bottom of the ladder, you’ll find the i5-13500H model, with a count of 12 cores and 16 threads. Moving up from that, you’ll find the i7-13700H model, with 14 cores and 20 threads. And then at the top of the totem pole is the i9-13900H model, also packing 14 cores and 20 threads.

Best Intel Graphics
GEEKOM Mini IT13 (Intel i9-13900H)
$849.00
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
  • Windows 11 Pro
  • 8K UHD and 4-screen support
  • WiFi-6E, Bluetooth 5.2
  • 13th Gen Intel i9-13900H processor (up to 5.40 GHz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 07:05 pm GMT

If your budget doesn’t allow for the Mini IT13, you can save some money and pick one up from the previous generations. The IT12 and the IT11 are both still solid contenders. GEEKOM also makes compact PCs with Ryzen processors if you prefer to go the AMD route. For testing purposes, we picked up the Mini IT13 with the Intel Core i9 CPU. Let’s run through the specs, then explore each feature’s details with a fine-toothed comb.

Specifications

FeatureSpec
Size117mm x 112mm x 49.2mm
Weight652g (around 1.5 pounds)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Pro
CPU Options13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H (14 Cores, 20 Threads, 24MB Cache, up to 5.40 GHz)
13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H (14 Cores, 20 Threads, 24MB Cache, up to 5.00 GHz)
13th Gen Intel Core i5-13500H (12 Cores, 16 Threads, 18MB Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)
TDP45W
RAM TypeDual-channel DDR4-3200 SODIMM
Max. RAMSupports up to 64GB
Storage Options1 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD (up to 2TB)
1 x M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot (up to 1TB)
1 x 2.5″ SATA HDD (7mm) slot (up to 2TB)
GPUIntel Iris Xe graphics compatible
BluetoothBluetooth v5.2
Wireless LANIntel Wi-Fi 6E AX211
Ethernet2.5GBe Intel

GEEKOM Mini IT13: Review

Even though this system packs some serious punch, you wouldn’t think so from looking at it. It is just a plain and unassuming light blue box, with little hint of what is inside. If you like your PC to scream to the world about what it is — this isn’t it. Instead, it’s for someone who wants to stow it somewhere on their desk, under their monitor, or behind their TV.

We have innovation in CPU technology to thank for this. With manufacturing processes getting ever smaller, the Intel Core i9 13th-generation is down to a 10-nanometer production node. We were at 45+ nanometers just a few years ago. All this means is that we can now pack even more transistors into a tiny space.

The result is a desktop with tons of computing power that doesn’t have a huge footprint or power requirements. The biggest drawback is that you can’t add a graphics card like you can in a conventional desktop. It’s one of the only downsides to being so tiny.

So, if you want to game on your computer, this one might not cut it. If you’re looking for something to enjoy 4K media — streaming from your favorite platforms, or from your own homemade PLEX or other media server — then the Mini IT13 is the perfect choice for the job.

Geekom Mini IT13 design
The Mini IT13 sports a simple design with a blue metallic finish.

Design

While we did say that this is just a boring blue box, there is actually a very clever design at work under the hood. The placement of ports, mounts, and ventilation is the result of meticulous engineering to make this thing as versatile as possible.

You can mount it to a monitor or the wall using the Vesa mount on the bottom of the case. Plus, it comes with a mounting bracket to help you out. If you don’t feel like mounting it, the IT13 looks fine sitting on a desk, or slots neatly behind your monitor.

It measures roughly 5 inches on each side, so it can just about fit in the palm of your hand. Weight is also something to compliment on this PC, at around a pound and a half. The included power adapter adds a bit of weight, but nothing noticeable.

Geekom Mini IT13 in palm of hand
The Mini IT13 is small and light enough to fit in your hand.

Ports and Connectivity

The GEEKOM Mini IT13 is ready for networking however you choose, whether wirelessly or with an Ethernet cable. The IT13 sports both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth. So, you’ll have no trouble linking up with the rest of your network.

One thing that you think you would lose out on when you scale down your computer size is physical ports. And you are right to an extent — many full-size desktops will have anywhere from six to ten USB A ports, along with HDMI and Display Port connectivity on the GPU. 

You do lose some of these options when scaling down, but the IT13 still has more ports than you would expect. Compared to alternatives like the Mac Mini or iMac, you get way more ports. Your USB A ports are placed on the front and back of the IT13. There is also an SD card reader on the side. But the bulk of options are on the back, where you’ll find two HDMI 2.0 ports, two USB Type-C or Thunderbolt ports, and a 2.5G Ethernet port.

Geekom Mini IT13 ports
The Mini IT13 has most of its ports at the back, but you also get an SD card reader on the side and two USB A ports in the front.

Processor

The star of the show is the 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor. You can get the IT13 in an i5 or i7, but if you want to go all out, then you’ll want the i9. That’s what our test model is, and boy is it impressive. With its 14 cores and 20 threads, and boasting a turbo boost clock speed of up to 5.40 GHz, this CPU has all the ingredients of the ultimate multitasking setup.

It won’t choke on apps that require heavy tasks, such as anything to do with rendering media or video files. But what stands out the most is its energy efficiency. Despite its high performance, the processor only draws 45 watts of power.

Intel i5-13500H
GEEKOM Mini IT13 (Intel i5-13500H)
$559.99
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
  • 8K UHD and 4-screen support
  • WiFi-6E, Bluetooth 5.2
  • 13th Gen Intel i5-13500H processor (up to 4.70 GHz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 01:00 am GMT

Graphics performance is excellent, but not when it comes to gaming. The integrated GPU is too weak to provide great performance at high settings for most newer games. But low-setting gameplay or less demanding titles run absolutely fine. It won’t replace a full gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card, but it is good for passing the time on more casual games.

Like almost every desktop in this category, the Intel NUC, and the GEEKOM AS 6, this system has a noisy fan. When you’re not doing much, it is relatively quiet. But once you start tasking the CPU, the fan will kick into high gear.

Even though this CPU is more efficient than previous generations, it still gets hot. And the tiny case only gives you so much space for cooling. As a result, the fan needs to spin at higher RPMs — and higher volume — to keep the system from overheating.

RAM and Storage

What good is a souped-up processor if you don’t have enough RAM to keep up? RAM usually won’t bottleneck a CPU, but in the case of the i9, it is quite a mismatch. As a result, you get a whopping 32GB of RAM to start you off. For 99% of tasks, you won’t come close to maxing this out, but for the occasional work that demands all of your RAM, you’re going to be glad you have this much.

If 32GB is not enough, you can still upgrade it to double, topping out at 64GB. Our one complaint is that this isn’t DDR5, but DDR4. This isn’t a huge drawback since lower memory speed won’t be very noticeable.

Most of the snappiness and responsiveness you feel when you boot up your system or open an app comes down to your SSD. The PCIe 4.0 M.2 format is significantly faster than older SATA interfaces, and worlds faster than conventional disks. Couple that with the fact that you can install two M.2 drives and a SATA drive, and you have a storage powerhouse.

Upgrading your RAM or storage is super simple on the IT13. Loosen the four screws at the bottom, and the case opens right up. From here, you can access all your components to swap things out. From the picture below, you might notice that the RAM is SO-DIMM format, typically found on laptops. This is because there simply isn’t enough space for desktop RAM, which is much longer.

upgrading the Geekom Mini IT13
Upgrading the GEEKOM Mini IT13 is easy. Just be careful of the SATA cable when you open it. Here, you can see the SATA slot on the left, the two RAM slots, and both M.2 slots.

Software

GEEKOM preloaded Windows 11 onto the Mini IT13, which is everything you need to get up and running. If you want a little more free reign over your computer and you don’t mind getting more intimate with tech and troubleshooting, you can also load this PC up with your choice of Ubuntu or Linux distro.

GEEKOM Mini IT13: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Impressive Intel CPU
  • Super compact
  • Expandable RAM and SSD

Cons:

  • Graphics are not upgradeable
  • Expensive

GEEKOM Mini IT13: Is It a Buy?

Now that you know the inside scoop on this system’s features and specs, should you consider buying one for yourself? It might not be for everyone, but there are a few reasons to give the Mini IT13 a try.

Buy It if…

…You want to build the ultimate PLEX or media streaming server. The IT13, with its overpowered process and display output capabilities, makes it the perfect candidate for housing your media collection and enjoying it on your 4K TV. Plug it into your home theater setup, and you have a powerful unit to handle all of your playback and video files.

…You want something powerful for your office but don’t have the space. Everyone would love to haul their gaming computer into work or set it up in their home office. But your boss might not like it if you do that, and even if you work from home, your PC may take up tons of space. The IT13 is the perfect middle ground. You get all the performance you need, and it only takes up a few inches on your desk.

If you’re building any sort of project where a super compact computer is required, this system is an excellent choice. It might not be the same DIY experience you get with something like a Raspberry Pi, but it is still expandable and customizable enough to please the hobbyist crowd.

Don’t Buy It if…

…You want the most powerful gaming system. Remember how we said you can’t add a graphics card to this system? That is game over when it comes to building a powerful gaming PC. To get decent graphics quality and the most immersive gaming experience in your games, you’ll really need more GPU power than the IT13 can deliver with its integrated graphics. Sure, you can still play less demanding games, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a full-fledged gaming computer.

…You want a budget desktop computer. The Mini IT13 might be small, but its price tag is large, at least when compared to more entry-level desktop options. If you just want something to get the basic tasks done, without spending a fortune, you will be better off with a more budget-oriented pick from something like Dell or Lenovo. Ranging from $500 to $900 as of this writing, this is definitely not the cheapest desktop you can get.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the GEEKOM Mini IT13 worth it?

The GEEKOM Mini IT13 is a bargain when you compare it to more standard desktops with i9 processors. If you don’t need a GPU but still value a hefty processor, then the IT13 is absolutely worth it. However, it definitely isn’t an entry-level system, and the price reflects that.

What operating systems does the GEEKOM Mini IT13 support?

The Mini IT13 runs Windows 11 out of the box, but nothing is stopping you from loading up your favorite Linux distro to get a more customized experience.

Does the Mini IT13 have enough ports for peripherals?

Despite its small size, you still get USB 3.2, USB Type-C, HDMI 2.0 ports, a 2.5GbE LAN port, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm jack for speakers or headphones.

How much RAM can the GEEKOM Mini IT13 support

You can install up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM in the GEEKOM Mini IT13.

What type of storage options does the Mini IT13 have?

Expansion is a desirable feature in a desktop, and the small size of the Mini IT13 is not really a limiting factor. It supports multiple storage configurations, including an M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD with up to 2TB, an M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot with up to 1TB, and a 2.5″ SATA HDD slot with up to 2TB of storage space. These are the official size limits, but some users have reported that they have managed to get even larger sizes to work.

What kind of graphics performance can I expect from the Mini IT13?

The Mini IT13 uses integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. While it’s not designed for high-end gaming, thanks to the powerful CPU, it is capable of handling graphic design, everyday gaming, 4K video playback, and content creation efficiently.

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