The definitive Steam Machine (until Valve says otherwise)

The definitive Steam Machine (until Valve says otherwise)

Minisforum sent me two machines to review and I started with the EM780. There's a link up here for that video. At the end of that video, I teased I'd be trying out it's bigger brother. And it's this. The Minisforum Neptune Series HX100G.

Pick up your 64 gig model using this affiliate link. There are a handful of 32 gb models left, as well!

Specs & I/O

It's bigger, it's meaner, and it's an absolute gaming monster. This device has a Ryzen 7 7840HS processor with 8 cores, 16 threads. A base clock of 3.8 GHz and boost up to 5.1GHz. This is the Zen 3+ architecture and it includes an integrated Radeon 780M graphics… but who cares about that when you've got the AMD Radeon RX 6600M graphics card with 8GB of VRAM. It's also got 32 gigs of system RAM, though ChimeraOS reports 30.61 gb available. Mine also came with a 1TB 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD and an unpopulated slot for expansion.

The rear IO on this thing is exceptional, including two HDMI ports, two USB C 4.0 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a single Gen 1 port, and 2.5 Gig ethernet. The front also features another Gen1 port, a headphone jack, microphone jack, a USB C 3.2 gen 1 port and a power button. So we're not wanting for ports here, though I wish it were standard practice to label ports because I had to look all this up.

For connectivity, we have Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 built in… and in the box we have an HDMI cable, the upright base vertical stand and mounting bracket, we have the screws, documentation, power cable, and this absolute chonker of a power adapter.

Thankfully, I've got ample space behind the computer where this is going to live in my media console. So all this is great on paper… but what about the software?

Now, originally it came with Windows 11 on it, but after running a few games to benchmark it, we quickly exorcised the Windows demon. So let's dive into these benchmarks, shall we?


Keep in mind, I'm playing all these games on my ol' Sony Trinitron WEGA at 720p. This is the highest progressive resolution that this display supports and this is my primary use-case for playing games on this device. So that's how I'll be testing these games.

Now, we've got Control running on Windows at a comfortable 100 FPS. Playing it on ChimeraOS, the games more likely to run at around 90-ish FPS. Either way, an eminently playable experience.

Next up, Doom Eternal. A highly optimized title. On Windows we saw the game running about 420 FPS on average. Linux was running in the 390 FPS range. I hypothesize that with highly optimized games we're likely to see the greatest difference between Linux and Windows performance since less optimized games will rely more on Windows system calls and Proton is more efficient than Windows.

Okay, here we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider. On Windows we got an average of 161 FPS. Unfortunately, no matter what I tried on Linux, I couldn't get this benchmark to complete.

Well, that's not entirely true. I left it for about an hour thinking it needed to compile shaders or something… the whole time it was doing this. That actually, somehow, miraculously, ended up producing these results… but I don't think an average of 8 FPS is a real benchmark. I even tried forcing the game to run through the Windows client, but it failed to launch. If you have any advice on how to get this working, let me know.

Then I tried God of War. Here, the results were clearly in favor of Proton. On Windows, the game was running around 90 FPS. Meanwhile, on Linux, God of War was hovering around 110 FPS for most of my time with it.

And finally, we have BioShock Infinite. Mostly because I just love this game. Both Windows and Linux saw a pretty wide range of readings. On Windows, I saw as low as 124 FPS and as high as 410 FPS, hovering around 300 most often. On Linux, I saw lows of 310, highs in 500's, and averaging around 360 FPS. Thanks to everyone in the comments who recommended trying the Windows build through Proton rather than the "native" version of BioShock: Infinite. The "native" build is literally just a proprietary Wine-like wrapper and it had significantly worse performance... so this suggestion made a huge difference.

So as you can see, it's kind of a mixed bag. Doom Eternal and Control worked better on Windows while God of War and BioShock Infinite had a better experience on Linux.

But realistically, it's wasteful to have a game run at 300 FPS so your experience can only be improved by using an OS like Chimera over Windows which gives you finer control—especially with a gamepad in the 10-foot experience.


Let's touch on emulation for a minute. I didn't cover emulation in the EM780 video and that was a glaring oversight. Here, though? We're going to talk about it.

First, all the classics work. NES, SNES, Genesis, all the way up through PS2, GameCube, and even original Xbox. Xenia and RPCS3 didn't work out of the box, but I think those are both just a configuration issues that I didn't have time to sort out.

But what about the modern stuff? Well, Ryujinx should work, and yet it doesn't. I mean. It works on my Steam Deck, and this thing is markedly more powerful. Yet I all I get is this black screen.

I went and re-dumped my prod.keys, yet that didn't work. Truthfully, I have more experience with Yuzu so if you have any ideas on how to get Ryujinx working? Leave 'em down below!


Now, I have a lot of nice things to say about the HX100G. Especially for my use case. I mean, it's going to be living here in my office gaming console playing games at a max of 720p.

But there are a few things I want to mention. Things you might want to consider. The first thing to note is that there's a seeming limited supply of this things. It's sold out on their website as of writing, though there are still 19 left on Amazon and there's a $220-off coupon for this model right now! Actually, it's for the 64 GB of RAM version.

There is a barebones model you can get and add your own RAM and SSDs. But that leads me to my next gripe: besides RAM and storage, there isn't much else to upgrade with this thing.

And finally, this power brick is huge. Like… almost unreasonably big. Thankfully you can tuck it behind your TV or desk. But it's just massive. It's also proprietary. I've never seen another connector like this. So if this dies, I'm not sure how or where you'd source a replacement.


So, the HX100G is an excellent little device. 32 Gigs of RAM, the RX 6600M graphics card, an excellent boost clock, and great performance. If you can't tell, I'm a big fan of this. I mean, look at this proud, vertical profile. You've gotta love how it stands. It can also lay flat.

For the price? Well, it's not cheap. I know, you could build a comparable machine for a similar price. But what you're paying for is all this power in the form factor. And I mean, this size and this design? Slap ChimeraOS on there and it's basically a consolized PC. Until Valve comes out with a Consolized Deck, this is the next best thing!

Anyway, there's a lot to love and not much to complain about. If you want to pick one up for yourself, you can use the affiliate links below!

Thanks to Minisforum for sending me this to review. And I'll see you next time.

-- Chapters --
00:00 Introduction
00:27 HX100G Hardware Overview
01:55 Connectivity
02:30 Software
03:11 Control - Linux vs. Windows
03:24 Doom Eternal - Linux vs. Windows
03:55 Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Linux vs. Windows
05:01 God of War - Linux vs. Windows
05:14 Bioshock: Infinite - Linux vs. Windows
06:18 Emulation
07:21 Gotchas & Issues
09:06 Conclusion