MSI Cubi 5 10M Comet Lake Mini-PC
Peter Donnell / 10 months ago
In light of our usual benchmark suite, I decided to give this more of their day-to-day usage test instead. While the CPU is powerful for this form factor, it’s certainly still more underpowered than it’s full desktop equivalents. It wouldn’t really be a fair comparison sitting at the bottom of every benchmark chart. Pitting it against flagship gaming PCs… I think that would be doing an injustice to the system and wouldn’t really highlight what it excels at.
When it comes to regular usage operating system, the system feels fast and responsive, with no noticeable lag from the built-in memory. Programs load swiftly, including things like Photoshop, which can often lag on systems with slower storage or memory, but not here. It was fairly adept at running some Photoshop actions as well, a lot of the processing we do for our reviews involves running scripts to resize and compress images, and again the processor handled these tasks easily.
For office use, you’re really not going to run into any hindrance here. We typically use Google Docs quite extensively, and the system is packing more than enough performance punch to run what is basically a web browser. I can’t see you having issues with similar things like Microsoft Office, which can be more resource-intensive.
As for multimedia, the latest Intel processor can really pull its own weight. Running my plex server through this system worked perfectly, I do keep my files on a remote NAS, fast WI-Fi and land options here meant that was never an issue. Even if you just wanted to play files directly using something like VLC, the processor is decent enough to do some quick transcoding tasks in real-time, even on higher resolution files. The Cubi 5 is hiding just under the TV, spotted it yet?
When it comes to gaming the processor isn’t going to run the latest AAA titles, but less demanding indie games, and even retro games that are emulated or otherwise, will run absolutely fine. If like me you have this as a remote PC in the living room or even in the spare room, and you have a main gaming PC elsewhere, you could always use it for Steam in-home streaming of your games from one PC to the other. This can be quite practical for gaming on the big screen in the living room and it means you don’t have to move the entire big PC to that location.
Overall though, the system does exactly what it is intended for, fulfilling all the usual practical applications and taking more than enough boxes for multimedia and entertainment. While the fans inside it are audible when the CPU is taxed, they’re still remarkably quiet and unlikely to ever be a distraction. Plus, in most scenarios, the fan is on silent.