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GEEKOM Mini IT13 review: the first Mini PC with 13th gen Intel Core i9 inside

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GEEKOM are back with an updated version of its Mini PC with the Mini IT13. The 13 represents the generation of Intel Core processor inside it. This time around they are the first to include the 13th generation Intel Core i9 inside a Mini PC, and we were tasked to give it a look.

Below are the full specifications of this thing. I have bolded my configuration where relevant.

GEEKOM Mini IT13 (13th Gen Intel Core i9/i7/i5)

Dimensions

Size 117 x 112 x 45.6 mm (49.2 mm incl rubber feet)

Weight

652 g

CPU

13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H (14 Cores, 20T, 24 MB Cache, up to 5.40 GHz)
13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H (14 Cores, 20T, 24 MB Cache, up to 5.00 GHz)
13th Gen Intel Core i5-13500H (12 Cores, 16T, 24 MB Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)

Graphics

Intel Iris Xe Graphics 96 EU (i9/i7) 80 EU (i5)

Memory

16 or 32 GB Dual-channel DDR4-3200 SODIMM, supports up to 64 GB

Storage

1 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD, 512 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB
1 x M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot, expandable up to 1 TB
1 x 2.5″ SATA HDD (7mm) slot, expandable up to 2 TB

Operating System

Windows 11 Pro

Bluetooth

Bluetooth® v5.2

Ethernet

Intel® 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps RJ45 Ethernet

Wireless LAN

Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211

Kensington Lock

Yes

Adapter

19V, 6.32A

I/O Ports

3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
1 x USB 2.0 port
2 x USB4 ports
1 x SD card reader
1 x Speaker (3.5mm jack)
1 x 2.5 GbE LAN port
2 x HDMI 2.0 ports
1 x Power connector
1 x Power button

Price

$899

Although this i9-13900H variant I am reviewing has an MSRP of $899, as of writing they have decreased the price to just $789, although if you read on you will discover even more (time limited) discounts with a special coupon code.

geekom mini it13

The packaging has not changed between the Mini IT12 and Mini IT13, so it exerts the same premium feel as you pull the top of the box off to reveal the Mini PC sitting inside a foam-cushioned interior. Once you have the PC out, and the foam is removed you are greeted with a Thank You envelope, below that and after removing the cardboard “shelf” you can find the other components such as the power lead, HDMI cable, VESA mount plate with a bag of screws, and the instruction manual.

What’s In The Box

  • 1 x Mini IT13 Mini PC
  • 1 x VESA Mount
  • 1 x Power Adapter
  • 1 x HDMI Cable
  • 1 x User Manual
  • 1 x Thank You Card

Strange Omissions

GEEKOM left out the carry bag again, which is a bit of a shame for first-time buyers, and as you may have noticed from the specs, GEEKOM once again omitted the mini DisplayPort and replaced it with an additional HDMI 2.0 port. Despite the Intel Core i9-13900H fully supporting HDMI 2.1a (as well as DisplayPort 1.4a) and DDR5 memory, these options are absent from the Mini IT13, which could have given it a an additional speed boost.

With memory being cheap right now, I feel this could have given the Mini IT13 an important edge if we consider its weak point being graphically intensive gaming. A DisplayPort option was replaced with a second substandard HDMI port. I reached out to my contact for comment and was told that these omissions were a cost-cutting measure, as was the case with the Mini IT12.

geekom mini it13

Design

The Mini IT13 design has not changed at all from the Mini IT12. It is actually the same weight, and retains a good heft to it, while not being heavy, it isn’t light either. It definitely gives off a premium and balanced feel to it. All the edges and corners except for the bottom edges of the Mini PC are rounded, so it is comfortable to hold and move around.

Although the Mini IT13 also includes two USB4 ports (Type C) unfortunately they are still located on the back of the Mini PC. I can only imagine this decision was made to make the front of the Mini IT13 look more uniform with its ports, however having the option for Type C and USB on the front of the Mini IT11 is what made it great. The Mini PC still includes three USB3 Gen 3.2 ports, and confusingly, one USB 2.0 port.

geekom mini it13

As far as looks go, this is unchanged from the Mini IT12, it is a fully metallic blue/gray exterior, it’s not a fingerprint magnet. It also looks like aluminum, but it actually isn’t; it’s a plastic shell that covers a metal frame. It doesn’t feel cheap and isn’t flimsy either, and even when the base is removed it remains sturdy.

Accessing the Mini IT13 is unchanged from the previous generations, it’s as easy as unscrewing the bottom plate with the four Philips head screws located in the center of each rubber foot, a small hobby screwdriver is enough for the job (helpfully, the screws do not come loose from the backplate so you won’t lose them either) but you may want to use a flat-head screwdriver to prise the plate free taking care not to damage the ribbon, which is long enough to allow you to set both sides of the Mini PC flat on a surface. It’s purpose is for a connector for a full-sized SSD that can be added to a sled located on the backplate.

As you can see from the above images which can be enlarged when clicked on, there is ample room to manage the SODIMMs and Lexar 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, so you can swap it out for something else if you want. The Mini IT13 includes an option to add a second NVMe SSD, as long as it is only 42mm long.

The backplate only fits back on one way, this is to ensure that the NVMe is always connected to the heat spreader.

Usage

geekom mini it13

On first boot, you are prompted to complete the setup of Windows 11 Pro, meaning you do not have to fork out for a license, which is nice. After the setup is completed, I am happy to report that the Mini IT13 does not come with any bloatware installed. It ships with Windows 11 22H2, so the updates were relatively minimal.

Oddly enough Windows Security gave an alert, which ended up being because the Memory integrity setting was disabled. Once opening and locating it on the Core Isolation page, I enabled it and restarted, which gave an all clear on the Windows Security app.

Just like with the Mini IT12, it’s physically possible to directly attach four screens to the Mini IT13 using the two full HDMI ports along with the two USB4 ports if you wanted. Regarding connectivity, there’s no change from the previous generation: There’s a single USB 2.0 port, a 3.2 gen 2 port along with a barrel port for power on the back. Around the front it’s the same as with the Mini IT12, there are two USB 3.2 gen 2 ports and a port for a 3.5mm headphone jack.

As you can see from the images above, you can affix a Kensington lock on one side and insert an SD adapter for a micro SD card on the left side of the Mini IT13.

Benchmarks

With that out of the way, and because people like that sort of thing, I ran some benchmarks and compared it to my main PC which I built in 2019. The Mini IT13 is running Windows 11 Professional 22H2 build 22621.2283 after updates, and the latest Intel Graphics driver according to the Intel ARC Control app is v31.0.101.4575 (July 2023) running check update returns no results, even though I know there are newer WHQL drivers available.

My (now retired) Main PC consisted of the following:

  • Intel Core i9-9900K (stock)
  • Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI (BIOS revision F12)
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 G.Skill Ripjaws (16-18-18-38) dual channel
  • Samsung 980 1TB NVMe
  • KFA2 RTX 2070 SUPER (Nvidia driver 527.37)
  • Windows 10 22H2 build 19045.2311

For the benchmarks, I used 3DMark, PCMark 10, Geekbench, and Cinebench. 3DMark Time Spy tests gaming capability with DX12 graphics performance. PCMark tests are a mix of CPU and real-world productivity tests, such as using an office suite, web browsing, light photo/video editing, and making conference calls. Cinebench stresses the entire CPU as it is a multi-threaded rendering test. Finally, Geekbench is a synthetic benchmark that is great for a quick look at the potential performance across a wide range of workloads.

GEEKOM Mini IT13
Core i9-13900H
GEEKOM Mini IT12
Core i7-1260P
Selfbuild
Core i9-9990K
3DMark (Time Spy) 1,926 1,740 9,995
PCMark 10
Extended test
5,730
5,485
5,629
5,218
6,619
8,853
Geekbench Single
Multicore
Compute (OpenCL)
1,691
11,086
18,621
1,739
8,628
17,277
1,300
8,186
99,450
Cinebench Single
Multicore
1,646
11,507

1,671
8,162

1250
11,711

I also tested the SSD’s capability using AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark.

AS SSD CrystalDiskMark

Despite running all of the above benchmark tests, the Mini IT13 did not get hot to the touch and there were no annoying noises coming from the single fan that cools the unit.

geekom mini it13

Conclusion

I’ve said it time and time again, I love these Mini PCs, although they simply aren’t gaming PCs, you will not be able to enjoy graphically intensive games on them. For that you need a dGPU along the lines of the mobile Nvidia 3060 or better. It absolutely is suited as an office workstation, or perhaps a good solution for a student with limited living space with the ability to pack this away after every use. This thing isn’t taking up much room, you can even screw it to the back of a screen if it has VESA support with the included mount plate.

In a world that is apparently too stingy for phone manufacturers to include a power lead and charger for their flagship phones, GEEKOM has provided all of the cables and tools necessary to get started straight away, along with a Windows 11 Pro license and a clear guide with instructions on how to access the internals.

When it comes to Mini PCs, the market is saturated which crap, so you really have to be on the lookout and study the specs properly. One trick I have seen often are Mini PCs utilizing old tech, sometimes two generations behind.

The Mini IT13 also returns the cheaper i5 entry point which was absent in the Mini IT12 offering, and only costs $499 without discounts. Then there’s also the very capable i7 model with expanded memory and storage costing $190 more. The decision ultimately comes down to what you’re willing to pay for the options you need. This Mini PC will let you connect to four displays, whereas cheaper solutions will be limited to two screens.

geekom mini it13

Assuming you’ve made it this far, yes at $789, the Mini IT13 is a hard sell if we consider that they again cut corners to not offer the fully supported HDMI 2.1a and DDR5 memory on the 13th gen Intel processor. Then there’s also the odd decision to include a USB 2.0 port, which for me, all adds up to it costing a point. It’s still great though. Aside from not being able to seriously game on it, it’s still a very powerful machine inside a tiny frame.

What’s more, GEEKOM has partnered with Neowin on a promotion that lets you save $40 off the price of all models of the Mini IT13 when you enter the NEOWINIT13 coupon code upon checkout. This brings down the i9 option to just $749. You can save an additional $10 if you sign up for their newsletter as well.

Our stories may contain affiliate links for products/apps where Neowin is paid an affiliate fee if you complete a purchase via those links.

Pros

Great build quality
Directly Connect up to 4 screens
Modern USB options
SD Card reader option

Cons

No HDMI 2.1a
No DDR5 memory
Antiquated USB 2.0 port

 

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