Ace Magician recently contacted us about looking at one of its mini PCs. If this is the first you’ve heard of Ace Magician, then you’re not alone. I was also unfamiliar with the brand. However, I was intrigued about checking out its products. I’ve spent the last month with the AD15 mini PC that Ace Magician was kind enough to send out for review, and I must admit, I’m very impressed.
- CPU: Intel i5-12450H
- Memory: 16GB DDR4
- Storage: 512GB M.2 2280 with an additional 2.5-inch expansion slot
- Graphics: Intel UHD
- Ports: 2 HDMI, 4 USB Type-A, 1 USB Type-C, 1 gigabit Ethernet, 1 3.5mm audio jack
- Networking: Wi-Fi 5, gigabit Ethernet, and Bluetooth 4.2
The Ace Magician AD15 Mini PC promises a powerful computer in a miniature form factor. Given the above specs, it delivers on this promise along with plenty of ways to expand. For starters, there are several ports for connecting additional hard drives, accessories, and up to three monitors.
Additionally, the AD15 Mini PC is easy to open up with only two screws holding the outer panel in place. Once inside of the AD15, you’ll find access to the hard drive and RAM slots making it easy to upgrade the memory and storage. It almost seems rare these days for the memory and storage modules to not be soldered in and I was thrilled by how easy it is to open up the AD15 and upgrade it.
My only criticism would be that I wish the AD15 also had an SD card slot. I do a lot of photography and it’s always a bonus when the computer has an SD card slot built in. Fortunately, with all of these USB ports, Ace Magician makes it easy to add an external card reader.
Looking at the specs on paper, the Ace Magician AD15 is certainly not a gaming PC, but it’s also no slouch when it comes to everyday use. The i5-12450H is a high-powered mobile chip and 16GB of RAM is plenty for most computing needs. I was able to create documents and edit images in Photoshop with ease, and it should be enough power for some light video editing as well.
From the benchmarks, it’s clear that the Intel i5-12450H CPU has plenty of horsepower. Furthermore, it doesn’t use a lot of power and the AD15 stays relatively quiet while under load since this chip was originally designed to be used in laptops.
While the AD15 isn’t really built for gaming due to its reliance on the integrated Intel UHD graphics, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I tested out some smaller titles, such as Fall Guys and Overcooked 2, and was more than pleased with the performance. However, the Ace Magician AD15 will struggle to run many triple-A titles with these specs. I tried out Apex Legends and it ran at 20-45 FPS using low settings. It wasn’t unplayable at these frame rates, but it certainly wouldn’t be ideal if you’re a competitive gamer.
Another thing holding back the performance of the AD15 are the hard drive speeds. Despite using an M.2 slot, the AD15 is restricted to SATA III speeds. That results in read and write times of 600 Mbps or slower. In comparison, most M.2 NVME drives these days will have write speeds of 1500 Mbps or more. In the end, the hard drive speed won’t matter much for creating documents, doing homework, or completing most everyday computing tasks. Still, it’s important to know about this bottleneck and to understand the limits of the hardware of the AD15 when purchasing.
Long story short, the AD15 isn’t a gaming PC, but it works great for casual and indie games. You’ll want to look into cloud gaming using services such as Xbox Game Pass or NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW if you’re interested in running triple-A games with it.
If you’re looking for a daily workhorse machine for working remotely or doing homework, you can’t go wrong with the Ace Magician AD15 Mini PC. It has plenty of horsepower for all but the most demanding tasks, and it’s easily upgradeable if you need more memory or storage. Additionally, the ability to run three monitors at once combined with all of the available ports makes it a very versatile machine.
The only thing I wouldn’t recommend the AD15 for is a triple-A gaming rig. Besides that, it would make a great upgrade or replacement for an old bulky computer. Just be aware that you’ll need to supply your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
The AD15 Mini PC can be purchased from Ace Magician’s website or from Amazon. As an added bonus, Ace Magician has provided us with a coupon code for an additional 5% off when purchasing through Amazon. Just enter D7W2A3CT at checkout and you’ll be happy to know this code stacks with any other discount.