[T] Minisforum EM680 / EM780 as Potential Mainboard?

A project log for Tetent UMPC [gd0149]

Can I now make something better than a 2-in-1 laptop? Something that I can use outdoors?

kelvinakelvinA 06/15/2023 at 16:570 Comments

On researching for the previous log, there's also another Mini PC that comes in at a similar 80*80*43mm package:

Like with the Framework motherboard, I'd have to use one of the USB4 ports as an internal way to both power the device and send data to the 2 side screens (with the centered screen being connected straight to the HDMI-out port). 

The recently announced EM680 is a 6800U-powered minipc expected to be $609 (£477) for the 32GB + 1TB model, which is the savings of around £200 compared to the Framework mainboard + 3rd party RAM, storage and Type-C power adapter. 

Only 1 USB4 port would be exposed, but looking at all the x86 handhelds that have come out recently, that should still be fine. I still wish USB kept with the 3.0 / 3.1 / 3.2 naming scheme, but alas, these have 3.2 Gen 2 (10gbps) ports. Like with the T80 Pro, 2 of these ports will be exposed and one of them will be used for internals such as the dual 1G ethernet, 5G modem, Tetrinsincs and the scanner (if I can get it to fit).

The EM780 is the 7840U powered equivalent that has been mentioned here but there isn't a product page like there is for the EM680.

As I've already researched, the 7640U is about 11600K-or-better. It also seemed like the iGPU performance was halfway between the difference spanning the 6800U and 7840U. The 680M in the 6800U is 5X better than the iGPU in the N100:

6800U or the N100?

I'd imagine that the battery life for general computing would be more beneficial in this application. The performance was still i7 grade back in it's day, and stuff that would actually be taxing to the hardware of today likely would want something with a dedicated GPU anyway. 

If anything, saving the ~£300 to put towards the Pocket AI A500 (~£337) or GPD G1 (~£550) would likely see more of an experience improvement. Oh, wait, no that won't work since the T8-Pro doesn't have Thunderbolt/USB4. Pain. That stings a bit. Still though, I was designing complex models such as the #SecSavr Skyrise [gd0092] just fine on integrated graphics on Deti. It was 1080p, but I doubt Fusion 360 wouldn't be able to handle itself on QHD. Oh, and the 780M beats the A500 in synthetics anyway:

The price of the EM780 hasn't been revealed yet, though.

In terms of IO, the T8-Pro makes things much easier on my part than the EM680. I'd expect the dimensions of Tetent to be 360mm*90mm for the T8 but it might be larger for the EM680 due to the internal USB4->HDMI gear.