ASRock NUCBOX-155H Mini PC Review

Intel's Meteor Lake H lands on our test bench, and the results are both good and bad. Join us as we investigate the ASRock NUCBOX-155H Mini PC.

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Updated
Manufacturer: ASRock
5 minutes & 32 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 91%
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The Bottom Line

The NUCBOX-155H packs in a ton of high-end connectivity, along with generational performance gains in both integrated graphics and multi-core workloads.

Pros

  • + Multi-thread and graphics performance
  • + 2.5Gbe LAN
  • + Quality build
  • + Thunderbolt 4/USB4

Cons

  • - Priced a little high

Should you buy it?

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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Intel's Meteor Lake lineup of CPUs was launched late last year but has slowly started making its way into the latest notebooks, Mini PCs, and even gaming notebooks. We landed our first system with these new CPUs, the NUCBOX-155H from ASRock.

Specifications for this Mini PC start with the new Intel Meteor Lake H platform and the Core Ultra 7 155H. This CPU features six performance cores and eight efficient cores alongside two low-power efficient cores, giving us a total of twenty-two threads overall. Base clocks come in at 900MHz for the e-cores and 1.4GHz for the P-cores, while boost clocks ramp up to 3.8GHz and 4.8GHz, respectively. This is a DDR5 system offering two SO-DIMM slots with a peak capacity of 96GB.

The expansion includes both SATA and NVMe for storage and a Key E m.2 for Wi-Fi. From the factory, an AX211 is installed. Further connectivity includes dual 2.5Gbe LAN controllers, which are i226 variants from Intel, alongside a single Thunderbolt 4/USB4, four USB 3.2 Gen 2, and dual HDMI 2.1.

The pricing of the ASRock NUCBOX-155H barebone comes in at $699.

Buy at Amazon

ASRock NUC BOX-1165G7

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$620.72$620.76$606.16
* Prices last scanned on 5/20/2024 at 7:40 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Overview

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The 155H was delivered in its retail packaging.

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The scope of delivery includes the power adapter up top, followed by the VESA plate and hardware. We also have reading materials and the SATA cable.

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The NUCBOX includes several ports up front, including a 3.5mm headphone jack, one USB-A, and two USB-C, one of which operates as USB4.

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The sides of the unit are both open to vent the system.

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Rear I/O includes power input far left, followed by dual USB 3.2, dual HDMI 2.1, and dual 2.5GBE LAN.

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Internally, the lid of the machine houses the 2.5" drive tray while acting as a heatsink for the NVMe and SO-DIMM slots. The hardware itself gives us both SO-DIMM slots at the bottom, supporting 5600MHz sticks and both NVMe slots above, one of which supports 2242 drives while the other uses standard 2280 drives.

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The testing setup includes some help from Patriot Memory. They sent over a set of 32GB DDR5 SO-DIMM and a 4TB VP4300 Lite to help us get this machine running.

BIOS/UEFI and Software

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The BIOS is quite basic for the 155H; this includes the main screen, which offers hardware information, and the advanced menu, which offers a bit of configuration. Options here include CPU and chipset configuration along with NVMe and USB. The hardware monitor offers a fan speed setting for users wanting to tune the included fan. It also monitors CPU and MB temperatures. The Boot options include three options that can be configured alongside options for boot logo, num-lock, and timeout.

Software

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We do not often find software included with a Mini PC, especially if the machine doesn't have RGB lighting, which we need to contend with. For the 155H, ASRock has built its AI Guru software on models from the Intel OpenVINO toolkit. Models include everything from Face Recognition to object Detection and Image Inpainting.

System/CPU Benchmarks

Cinebench

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that Intel and AMD have relied on to highlight their newest platforms during unveilings. The benchmark has two tests: a single-core workload utilizing one thread or 1T and a multi-threaded test using all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

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Getting into testing, the 155H offered up a single core score of 1747, while the multi-thread landed at 14202.

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Landing our first run-through of 2024 on the 155H, we picked up 104 single-core and 788 multi-cores.

BAPCo CrossMark

CrossMark™ is an easy-to-run native cross-platform benchmark that uses real-world application models to measure overall system performance and responsiveness. CrossMark™ supports devices running Windows, iOS, and macOS platforms.

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CrossMark landed at 1503 overall, the best workload being creativity at 1749.

AIDA64 Memory

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The 155H's memory bandwidth was 72K read, 65K write, and 67K copy. Latency was ridiculously high at 155ns.

PCMark

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The PCMark Extended workload gave the ASRock an overall score of 6640.

UL Procyon

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Kicking off inference testing, the NPU from the 155H picked up a score of 261 in the OpenVINO testing.

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The 155H picked up an overall of 438 using the Arc GPU.

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Running that same workload on the Core Ultra 7 155H scored 84.

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The last test with Procyon was Stable Diffusion, which scored 155H 99, as seen above.

3DMark

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Moving into 3Dmark, we first hit up CPU Profile; the 155H picked up 976 in a single thread and wrapped up at 6686 at sixteen threads.

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Time Spy scored 3662 overall and had a "good" result with the Arc graphics. It is capable of 40+ FPS in Battlefield V.

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Last, we have storage testing, which landed an overall 2295 and a bandwidth of 392 MB/s.

Charts/Comparisons

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When we pull up our charts, we start with R23. The 155H pulls in 1747 single thread, which is slower than multiple 13th-gen CPUs, and the 12650H in the MiniIT12 from GEEKOM.

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Multi-thread the Core Ultra pulls back in front; we land with a 14202 multi-thread score, which easily outdoes any mobile CPU we have tested to date.

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Once again, CrossMark wasn't too kind to the NUCBOX, with the overall score landing at 1503; it's quite a way down the list for comparisons.

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Geekbench 6 CPU landed this CPU at the top of this chart due to its multi-thread score. That said, single thread is also in the top five.

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Arc graphics found on the Meteor Lake H series CPUs is a huge upgrade over anything integrated from Intel. With that we land top of the chart with a 35K OpenCL and 34K Vulkan score.

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PCMark landed at 6640 overall, again giving the nod to the Core Ultra 7, which has a 200-point advantage over the 6900HX.

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Up next, we have our two CPU Profile charts. The NUCBOX is third in the one and two-thread charts.

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Moving to higher thread counts, the 155H holds the performance crown, putting a 400-point gap on the 6900HX from AMD.

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Time Spy showed a huge jump in GPU performance with the Core Ultra 7, the Arc graphics pulling a score of 3663, which is 1000 points higher than anything else with integrated graphics.

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Price v Performance for the 155H landed middle of the pack at 94.1%, matching the 12650H Mini IT12 from GEEKOM.

Final Thoughts

The NUCBOX-155H is a well-built Mini PC, as expected from the ASRock Industrial branch. The port layout is quite good, with dual USB 3.2, HDMI, and 2.5Gbe on the rear I/O and a 3.5mm audio jack, USB-A, and USB-C on the front of the unit. Materials used are solid, with a metal chassis giving way to a small amount of plastic for aesthetics.

The performance of the 155H is good and bad, and seeing as this Mini PC form factor likely has better cooling than most notebooks were going to find this CPU in, it worries me about thinner designs. With that, the biggest gripe from me is single thread performance; as seen in our charts, the 155H has trouble pushing past the Core i7 1360p from the previous generation in Cinebench R23 and Geekbench 6, and if we take it further, it likely has something to do with the low score in Crossmark as well.

That said, not all is bad. The 155H is a beast when it comes to multi-thread performance, as noted by chart-topping results in R23 nT, Geekbench multi-core, and CPU Profile within 3Dmark. Further, integrated GPU performance is fantastic on the Core Ultra 7 thanks to the new Arc Graphics controller, reaching 35K for both OpenCL and Vulkan in Geekbench 6, while Time Spy spit out a score of 3663, over 1000 points higher than the previous best in the Ryzen 7 7735U.

Pricing on the NUCBOX-155H comes in at $699, though we did find it available at Newegg for $679.99. This puts it in strong competition within the market, especially with ASRock's own NUCBOX 1360p/D5, which offers nearly identical connectivity and a slightly better CPU by our testing, that said it does lack the Intel NPU, which is a bonus for the new NUCBOX-155H.

Performance

90%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

85%

Overall

91%

The Bottom Line

The NUCBOX-155H packs in a ton of high-end connectivity, along with generational performance gains in both integrated graphics and multi-core workloads.

TweakTown award
91%

ASRock NUC BOX-1165G7

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$620.72$620.76$606.16
* Prices last scanned on 5/20/2024 at 7:40 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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