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Sapphire Edge HD3 Mini PC review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £284
inc VAT

It’s good for a mini-PC, but it’s underpowered by any other standard; worth buying if you’re really struggling for space


1.65GHz AMD E-450, 4GB RAM, N/A display

The HD3 is the successor to the Sapphire Edge HD2, a mini computer that we awarded three stars to last year.

It’s a sleek-looking mini-PC that’s powered by an AMD E-450 processor. It doesn’t come with an operating system, but that makes it a good option for open-source software enthusiasts. It doesn’t have a built-in optical disc drive either, so you must use an external drive or install your operating system using a USB drive.

We opted for the latter option, but this didn’t resolve the issue of the PC’s hardware drivers, which are supplied on a disc in the box instead of a USB stick, which would’ve been much more convenient.

Our attempt to install Windows 7 left us without drivers for the USB3 ports, the Wi-Fi chipset or the Gigabit Ethernet LAN chipset. In other words, it lacks any means of getting the PC online to download the drivers.

Sapphire Edge HD3 Mini PC front
The front USB3 ports are handy, but Windows 7 doesn’t support them natively, so you’ll need to install the provided drivers.

You can work round this by using an external DVD drive, using a natively supported wireless dongle to get online or by using another computer to copy the drivers from the disc to a USB drive, but it’s still a fair bit of hassle. We’d have preferred to have at least one networking component installed that Windows 7 natively recognises.

However, once we’d got everything set up (and downloaded the graphics drivers for the E-450’s on-chip AMD Radeon HD 6320 using a handy auto-detection tool on AMD’s website) the PC ran Windows 7 smoothly and without a hitch.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD E-450
Processor external bus 200MHz (HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x8.25
Processor clock speed 1.65GHz
Processor socket Socket FT1
Memory 4
Memory type PC3-10666
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Sapphire EDGE-FT1M1 E450
Motherboard chipset AMD A45 FCH


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/2
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n

Internal Expansion

Case mini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free) N/A
PCI-E x16 slots (free) N/A

Hard Disk

Interface SATA2
Total storage capacity 298GB


Graphics card(s) AMD Radeon HD 6320
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA


Sound Realtek ALC662
Sound outputs 3.5mm stereo line out, 3.5mm mic in
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) none


Screen model N/A
Native resolution N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Keyboard N/A
Mouse N/A


Software included none
Operating system none
Operating system restore option none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £284

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