I found out about the board from some YouTube videos. An i9 laptop chip on a PC motherboard?! And for cheap! Intrigued, I looked around on AliExpress and sent away for one. The board retailed for £123, of course you need to add a tariff and shipping, bringing it to around £150.
After two weeks it arrived!. Despite the garbage bag packing, it was wrapped in some strong bubble wrap, and the box was fully intact, no issues.
Since I don’t have much in the way of PC detritus on hand, I got the machine memory & CPU cooler for the system. Anyways yes the big outstanding feature is the big copper slug that sits between the processor and the height of a normal CP cooler. It’s a laptop processor so it doesn’t run that hot so I’m not all that worried. As expected, assembly is a snap, but because of the absolute paranoia of shipping lithium ion batteries, be sure to bring your own CR2032. Just don’t ask how it made it’s way to you.
The board is very basic, 2 DDR4 slots, a single PCI-E x16 slot, a hand full of USB 2/3 built in audio, and a single LAN jack. This is not a very expandable system, but we didn’t come here for that, it’s all about the performance per $
I have to admit, one nice surprise feature of the NVMe is that it does have an activity light on the unit. Nice!
So what has been the downside? The integrated video only works on ONE level of the driver. So if you are going to use the integrated iGPU, you want to make sure you get one of those patched drivers that’ll block windows updates.
Ive read a few things about raising the thermal envelope of the system beyond the stock 45 watts for additional performance, but to be honest the stock config seems fine enough to me.
The other catch being no Hyper-V, so that also means no WSLv2 either. VMware player however works fine, as does nesting VM’s so I was able to move my VMware ESX 5.5 install and run it on the Erying no problem.
I have to say that overall I’ve been happy, especially at the price point, as a normal user it’s a fine machine, but I think the next time I’ll avoid engineering samples as I do like WSLv2/Hyper-v.