Those waiting for the release of AMD’s Zen4-based Phoenix APU for desktops may want to rethink their expectations. Minisforum has released the UM790 XTX, a new system powered by an AMD Ryzen 7040 APU. Although not the first Minisforum product to use this CPU, it does have one notable distinction: a greater 70W TDP (Thermal Design Power).
The AMD Ryzen 7040 “Phoenix” APUs are an excellent choice for compact computing devices including laptops, tablets, and handsets. The thermal design power (TDP) of these APUs typically falls between 7W to 54W, but Minisforum has the APU completely unrestricted within their forthcoming UM790 XTX Mini PC.
The Minisforum UM790 XTX Mini PC is also constructed entirely of metal, but its case is slightly thicker than its competitors for more efficient cooling. UM790 XTX Mini PCs have more robust exhaust vents on the back and a slick selection of I/O that includes two USB4 ports, four USB 3.2 Gen2 connectors, one HDMI port, one DisplayPort, two 2.5 GbE ports, and compatibility for 65-100 PD (Power Delivery).
The APU itself is the most significant improvement. The Minisforum UM790 Pro supports AMD’s Ryzen 9 7940HS APUs up to 65W of power, while the UM790 XTX increases this to 70W, making it the first Mini PC to provide this TDP configuration.
Since the power requirements of the AMD Ryzen 7040 “Phoenix” APUs might be restrictive for small form factor PC designs, the additional wattage should greatly improve CPU and GPU performance. Minisforum employs liquid metal TIM over the APU and the most recent cooling design, Cold Wave 2.1, which features a big blower-style fan that releases air from the chassis.
The chassis’s top can also be personalized with illuminated faceplates in any number of RGB colours. Minisforum provides four pre-installed faceplates, but users can also choose and create their own.
An Oculink port, employing an M.2 interface, has been added to the back I/O, making it possible to plug in a dGPU with a similarly constructed module. Minisforum is actively working with its own designs and hopes to produce a dGPU alternative for the UM790 XTX shortly, but for now, there aren’t very many options that make advantage of the Oculink port other than the GPD G1, which costs a lot of money. The Pro version now sells for $519 USD, so we should expect a significant price increase when this product launches.