April 1, 2023

Morefine is a Chinese manufacturer that has been making compact PCs for many years. The performance of the compact Mini PCs has been improved continuously through new developments. Morefine now markets its top model that is based on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX under the name S500+. The recently reviewed Minisforum EliteMini HX90 also featured this processor and offered a great performance. With this knowledge, we set out to run benchmarks with high expectations. The small Morefine delivers an excellent performance as well, which you won’t want to miss in everyday use after having tried it for a short time.

The very high operating speed makes the Morefine S500+ interesting, and at the same time, the system is also suitable for CPU-intensive tasks. Just like Minisforum, Morefine also follows the same path by selling the S500+ as a barebone as well as a preconfigured system with RAM and SSD storage. You currently have to pay $779 for the S500+ without SSD and RAM. Our review sample with 32 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD costs $1,099. However, the top of the line is reached at $1,225. With that, the Morefine S500+ also comes with 64 GB of RAM as well as a 1 TB SSD. There are also alternative CPU configurations, and they can be found on the S500+’s packaging. The less powerful model based on the AMD Ryzen 3 5300U starts at $499, including shipping to Germany and taxes.

The hardware is housed in a very compact case that measures 149 x 145 x 40 millimeters. This makes the Morefine S500+ considerably more compact than the Minisforum EliteMini HX90. However, Intel’s NUC 10 Mini PCs are even more compact in terms of dimensions.

The Morefine S500+ is delivered in a sturdy box with all the accessories needed to get the PC up and running quickly. The relatively large power supply is a bit flatter than that of the EliteMini HX90, but it also lacks a USB-C connector. In addition, the package includes a mounting plate to attach the device to a display (Vesa mount). Internally, the device can be equipped with two additional storage drives. Consequently, a total of three storage units can be installed in the small PC.

Unlike Minisforum, Morefine houses the hardware in an aluminum case, which looks sturdy and has a very high-quality feel. However, the surface is adorned with a plastic layer, which is reminiscent of piano lacquer after removing the protective film. Due to the disadvantageous properties (micro scratches), we aren’t especially fond of these finishes. Nevertheless, the manufacturer seems to have done its homework very well here. Even after several days of intensive use, we haven’t detected any micro scratches yet. These often appear right after removing the protective film. These scratches become noticeable even faster when the device is also frequently cleaned from dust.

Morefine has chosen a very flat solution for the cooling construction, which also facilitates the low build height. We only measure a bit over four centimeters including the support feet. Therefore, the cooling system is somewhat reminiscent of a laptop solution, and it makes use of a small fan.

The interior can be accessed very quickly. However, you should know that the top and bottom sides can be individually removed. The top side is only secured with two small screws, and after removing them, you can access the built-in SSD as well as the RAM. An additional storage drive in the 2.5-inch format can be installed here as well. The bottom is secured with four screws that are located directly underneath the glued-on feet. The cooling unit is located underneath the bottom cover as well as another place to fit an M.2 SSD.

In terms of external ports, the Morefine S500+ provides several options for external peripherals. We counted a total of six USB-A ports and one USB Type-C one. However, the USB ports on the back are exclusively USB 2.0 ports. This isn’t quite up to date, unfortunately. We would’ve expected at least USB 3.0 speed here. Nevertheless, you can safely connect your input devices here. You can choose between HDMI, DisplayPort, or USB Type-C when it comes to image output. In total, the Morefine S500+ can support three displays at the same time. Sadly, this model doesn’t have a Thunderbolt interface, either.

The Morefine S500+ was provided to us with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX. This octa-core processor offers enough computing power, and the PC’s potential is actually not being fully exploited if only office tasks are to be performed. But having a certain amount of performance headroom is very reassuring. Moreover, our test sample is equipped with 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. Therefore, you’re well taken care of for the time being, and you don’t run the risk of needing to upgrade quickly. Morefine doesn’t explicitly classify the S500+ as a gaming PC, which is completely understandable, since the iGPU in the Ryzen 9 5900HX can only be recommended for gaming to a limited extent. 

The built-in AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX originated in the mobile field and is otherwise only found in laptops. Morefine makes use of this SoC because of its low heat development and still very high performance. The processor is part of the Cezanne series family and is based on the Zen3 architecture. A total of up to 16 threads can be processed simultaneously, which makes the SoC ideally suited for multithread tasks. In a performance comparison, the Morefine S500+ falls slightly behind the Minisforum EliteMini HX90. This is due to the former’s slightly inferior cooling unit, which quickly reaches its limit under load with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX.

Like Minisforum, Morefine also offers different settings in the BIOS (10-, 15-, 25-, 35-, 45-, and 54 watts) when it comes to the SoC’s TDP. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is used with 45 watts by default. However, the SoC can also be run with 54 watts. We performed all benchmarks with the increased TDP to enable a better comparison with the EliteMini HX90 from Minisforum.

Due to the marginally worse but still very good performance of the SoC in the Morefine S500+, its performance can keep up with an Intel Core i5-11600K. The latter, however, requires a lot more energy (125-watt TDP), which once again clearly sets the performance of the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX apart here.

For further comparisons and benchmarks, please refer to our CPU Benchmarks article.

During our first load test, which we simulate with the Cinebench R15 multi-loop, we can clearly see that the compact design and the small cooling unit can still handle the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX well. At the same time, however, the higher TDP can’t be kept constant, which is reflected in a lower average score. With 1,892 points, the Morefine S500+ ranks just ahead of the Minisforum EliteMini HM90 that is based on the AMD Ryzen 9 4900H. Minisforum shows what can be achieved by implementing a better cooling system with the EliteMini HX90. You can expect a good 10% more performance in the long run.

The synthetic benchmarks make a good job of reflecting the subjective impression of the system’s performance. At all times, the system works quickly and without long waiting times. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is perfectly suited for demanding applications, and the SoC doesn’t run out of breath quickly even when running multiple tasks at the same time, which is also thanks to the ample RAM. However, the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 can’t compensate for a dedicated graphics card as can be seen in the render tests. The Intel Ghost Canyon NUC and the Zotac Magnus One are clearly ahead here.

In terms of the latencies measured, the Morefine S500+ performs slightly worse compared to the Minisforum EliteMini HX90. Nonetheless, there were no noticeable drawbacks when playing 4K content. The iGPU was loaded by about 30%, and the latencies only increased slightly after Prime95 was launched.

Morefine is generous and packs a 1 TB SSD in our test system. This corresponds to the top configuration that is offered in the in the manufacturer’s store. The SSD is made by ADATA and uses the NVMe protocol for lightning-fast data transfers. The SSD achieved very good rates in sequential reading and writing of data in our test. However, the 4K read performance was a bit disappointing at only 27 MB/s. We expected a much better result here. For comparison: The Kingston SSD in the Minisforum EliteMini HX90 achieved 54 MB/s here.

If you find the 1 TB of storage space insufficient, you can still fit two additional mass storage drives in the Morefine S500+. There’s another M.2 slot and a free 2.5-inch slot for this. The right mounting equipment as well as the connection cables are included in the box. However, the maximum height of 7 millimeters should be taken into account for the 2.5-inch unit.

As we mentioned before, there’s no dedicated graphics card in the Morefine S500+, which conversely means that the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 serves as the integrated graphics unit of the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX. We’re already familiar with what can be expected from the iGPU, since the model isn’t an unknown one, and it already has a few years under its belt. With the innovations of the SoC, AMD has also slightly improved the performance of the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 as well. Nevertheless, it’s still the old Vega architecture at its core.

The Morefine’s iGPU can use 4 GB of RAM in gaming mode, which can be activated in the BIOS. This value can also be adjusted by the user, though. A maximum of 16 GB is possible, provided that the installed RAM is sufficient. This option is also available with the competition. Nevertheless, the Minisforum EliteMini HX90 only gets 2 GB of RAM for the iGPU due to the lower amount of RAM. There is a small advantage to the slightly larger allocated RAM, as many games deliver higher frame rates at medium presets. Still, you can’t expect too much from the iGPU. Compared to a modern dedicated graphics card, the iGPU has to admit defeat.

Speaking of dedicated graphics cards: Desktop GPUs can also be used via the M.2 interface with a suitable adapter. The only drawback here is the PCIe x4 speed. Nonetheless, an external desktop GPU should still deliver better frame rates over the four PCIe lanes compared to the iGPU. Since we haven’t received a suitable adapter so far, we can’t make any concrete statements regarding performance here.

So, if you want to buy the Morefine S500+, you should know that the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8’s performance is only sufficient for a limited amount of games or for those that aren’t very demanding. An improvement in 3D performance should accompany the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX, because Navi is supposed to replace Vega in the iGPU for the first time here. But this is only pure speculation at the moment.

You can find more benchmarks based on the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 here.

Morefine installs a compact cooling unit with a small fan in its S500+. It sucks in fresh air from the side and then blows it out of the case again through the side. In our opinion, the cooling unit is a bit overstrained with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, something that is also reflected in the slightly worse performance compared to the competition. The performance of the SoC can’t be maintained as stably as is the case with the Minisforum EliteMini HX90, for example.

Under full load, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX reaches a maximum of 90.6 °C (~195 °F), although the iGPU was significantly cooler at only 62 °C (~144 °F). The TDP of 54 watts, which we used for all tests, is also worth mentioning. Due to the iGPU’s comparatively low temperature, it’s not surprising that the 3D performance isn’t worse after the stress test than compared to a cold boot. The result of the 3DMark11 benchmark shows this, and it only fluctuates within the range of tolerance by a few points.

The Morefine S500+ is reminiscent of a gaming laptop when it comes to the registered noise levels, because the Mini PC is clearly audible under load at a maximum of 41.6 dB(A). This level reflects the worst-case scenario, but the relatively high-frequency fan noise isn’t exactly pleasant for extended periods of time. The device is also audible in idle usage, although we only measured 33.1 dB(A) here. The fan speed is well regulated, and it adapts quickly to the conditions without constantly revving up.

The BIOS allows you to manually adjust the fan speed and the corresponding CPU temperature thresholds a bit. However, we left the default settings unchanged for this review.

Mini PCs can usually score with very good results when it comes to energy consumption. The Morefine S500+ is no exception, because our review sample has a significant advantage compared to systems with dedicated graphics cards. Surprisingly, the power consumption of the Morefine S500+ is slightly higher than that of the Minisforum EliteMini HX90, despite the SoC not always being able to deliver its full performance. With 72 watts in the CPU stress test and 58 watts in the 3D stress test, respectively, the rates are still low when you factor in the performance of the entire system.

The 120-watt power supply provides enough energy, and it still has some headroom, should two additional mass storage drives be added to the Morefine S500+.

In the configuration that we reviewed, the Morefine S500+ with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is a real workhorse, and it easily masters everyday office tasks. The very modern processor offers eight cores and is therefore ideally suited for multithreaded applications. With an increased TDP, the SoC performed well in the test, although its performance isn’t quite top level due to the somewhat smaller cooling system. However, there shouldn’t be any noticeable performance drops in everyday use. With the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, the SoC offers an iGPU that’s still based on the Vega architecture and already has a few years under its belt. Nevertheless, small but detailed improvements have steadily increased its graphics performance slightly in order to still be able to compete with Intel’s Iris Xe iGPUs. This has been successful so far, and the 3D performance is, as expected, on par with what the iGPU is capable of. You can definitely enjoy playing a few games with the small PC.

As a point of criticism we would mention the built-in cooling unit, which doesn’t have more space available because of the compact design. As a result, noise increases audibly under load. In addition, the ports included aren’t in line with what you can expect in 2022. Many USB ports are good and we praise them, but offering only USB 2.0 speeds for four ports just doesn’t make sense to us. Thunderbolt is and remains a problem for AMD systems. The two network interfaces are good, which are definitely an advantage in corporate networks. However, one network port is usually enough for home use.

The Morefine S500+ is a very compact and at the same time very powerful Mini PC that is based on the modern AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, which can even handle many games.

So, who belongs to the target group of the Morefine S500+? Being a small and compact work PC, this computing powerhouse is suitable as an office PC in small companies as well as for home office tasks. The iGPU found in the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX offers enough 3D power to play games smoothly if you need some distraction in between. Nevertheless, the Morefine S500+ certainly isn’t a dedicated gaming PC. However, this isn’t the target group at all, either. The PC is also suitable as a small media PC for the living room, because the system is even more frugal and quieter with a reduced TDP. 

When it comes to looks, the device doesn’t offer any noteworthy highlights. But this doesn’t have to be the case, either, because the straightforward and compact design looks good, and the high-quality materials make a good impression, both in terms of looks and feel. However, the highly glossy, piano lacquer-like top of the case is something worth reconsidering. It might still look good on a new device, but scratches will quickly find their way into the smooth surface over time.

There aren’t many alternatives in this compact class, if we also consider performance. The recently reviewed Minisforum EliteMini HX90 comes closest to the Morefine S500+. In terms of price, however, the Morefine S500+ is about 150 Euros (~$170) more expensive. With the Zotac ZBOX Magnus, there’s an equal opponent that includes a dedicated graphics card, but it’s considerably more expensive at at least 1,450 Euros (~$1,645) in the barebone version.

At the time of writing, the barebone version of the Morefine S500+ is available in the manufacturer’s own online store starting at $779. Our test sample is available for $1,099 at the time of testing. Cheaper versions of the Morefine S500+ equipped with the AMD Ryzen 3 5300UAMD Ryzen 5 5500U, and the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U are also available.

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