Minisforum Venus UM773 Lite review: a very balanced mini PC – CCM

With the Venus UM773 Lite, Minisforum has created a particularly balanced mini PC that is equipped with a very good latest generation AMD processor and a wide selection of interfaces and is suitable for many purposes.

Despite its youth – the company was founded in 2018 – Minisforum has already built a strong reputation in the mini PC market, its specialty. Like its compatriots Beelink and Geekom, the Chinese manufacturer has strived to develop a wide range of miniature computers to meet different needs, always maintaining a balance between features, quality and price. And it is precisely this search for the best compromise that has attracted fans of small machines. Especially since the manufacturer doesn’t just produce serious mini PCs: Minisforum is also characterized by its speed in integrating the new available components; particularly the latest generations of Intel and AMD processors, and by its ability to offer gaming-oriented models with true dedicated graphics circuits, which is still rare in this sector. Proof that the brand wants to go fast and far and appeal to as many users as possible.

Minisforum Venus UM773 Lite review a very balanced mini PC

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The Venus UM773 Lite that we are testing here perfectly reflects the spirit of the manufacturer. Located in the mid-range and at a reasonable price, this minicomputer aims to cover classic needs (office automation, layout, photo editing, music creation, video editing, development, etc.) and allow you to have the fun of playing a few games without trying with real ones Compete with gaming PCs that are significantly more expensive. A machine that can do almost everything, for those looking for a good level of performance with reduced volume, for example to replace a large, old-fashioned tower. And that finds its place just as well in the office as it does in the living room or bedroom.

Minisforum Venus UM773 Lite: CCM’s opinion

  • Very good overall performance
  • Very good graphics functions
  • Numerous interfaces, with Wi-Fi 6 and USB 4
  • Expandable RAM and storage
  • Ultra-compact format
  • Energy efficient
  • Windows 11 Pro preinstalled without unnecessary software
  • All plastic housing
  • Inconvenient opening

Venus UM773 Lite: a clever design…or not!

On a physical level, the Venus UM773 Lite fully deserves its name as a mini PC because it is compact, its square case measuring just 12.8 cm on the side and 4.8 cm in height. And without being the smallest of its kind, it fits perfectly in the hand, especially since it weighs just 630 g. Dimensions and weight allow for easy placement and transportation, even if it is not intended to replace a laptop PC. Even better, you can not only position it flat on the desk, but also vertically, thanks to a standard mount, or even attach it to the back of a screen using a Vesa adapter, also included.

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On the aesthetic level, Minisforum tried originality. Not in the design of the case, which remains classic and wise, not to say banal, with its ribbed top. But in the choice of color. In addition to black, which couldn’t be more neutral, the Venus UM773 Lite is also available in pink, in a clearly girly version that always leaves an impression. Not really subtle, but this soft and bright color should find its mark!

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Venus UM773 Lite: exemplary connectivity

The Venus UM773 Lite also surprises, especially with its connectivity. So on the front, in addition to the main switch and a tiny reset button – which could be somewhere else given the frequency of use… – we find USB-C ports, one in USB 4.0, the other in USB 3.0 and a combo audio jack ( Microphone input and headphone line output) in stereo mini jack. The back is also well equipped with a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port, two HDMI 2.0 outputs and four USB-A sockets; two USB 3.2 Gen-2 and two USB 2.0 as well as a 19V port for external power supply. Thus, it is a very complete range that allows the connection of all types of fast or slow peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc.) but also allows the simultaneous control of three screens via the HDMI sockets and USB 4.0. Note that with the USB 4.0 port you can reach a maximum speed of 40 Gbit/s (even 5 GB/s), which speeds up file transfers but also power a device (Power Delivery function) at up to 15 W allows (5V and 3A). There’s nothing to complain about with these choices, they clearly demonstrate the balance of the device, although we would have liked to have at least one UBB-A port on the front to make it easier to connect a USB stick. Finally, to finish the interfaces, we would like to point out that the Venus UM773 Lite has Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 modules, which brings it perfectly up to date and makes it compatible with many external devices and with very high speed. wireless.

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Another small originality of the Venus UM773 Lite is the arrangement of its ventilation slots, all located on the sides but asymmetrically. So the slots on the front and left are responsible for introducing cool air into the case, while the slots on the right and back are responsible for dissipating the hot air transferred from the cooling system inside thanks to a large fan. And as we could see, the whole thing turns out to be as discreet as it is efficient: the heat is dissipated well and apart from an audible starting noise, the fan cannot be heard at all during normal operation, even when not in operation. For slightly more intensive treatments, we bring it processor to its limits. A remarkable solution that is very useful in everyday life for those who like to work in peace.

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Venus UM773 Lite: a latest generation Ryzen processor

However, the processor is not a starving, low-consumption model like those found in very affordable PCs limited to office automation. On the contrary, Minisforum has chosen to equip the Venus UM773 Lite with a Ryzen 7 7735HS, a recent and powerful chip that AMD presented at the beginning of the year. Manufactured in 6nm technology, this Ryzen is based on a Zen3+ architecture (Rembrandt) and operates at frequencies from 3.2 to 4.75 GHz with an adjustable thermal envelope from 35 to 54 W. Above all, the Ryzen 7 7735HS has 8 physical and 16 logical cores (threads in Anglo-Saxon literature) use 16 MB of level 3 cache, which on paper promises very good performance, like the other models of the 7xxx series such as the excellent Ryzen 7 7840HS. with which the Beelink GTR7 7840HS is equipped (see our test).

Minisforum Venus UM773 Lite review a very balanced mini PC

Like the other chips in this family, it integrates a graphics section (GPU) in addition to the main processor (CPU), in this case a Radeon 680M. A 12-core circuit in RDNA 2 technology, less powerful in 3D than the 780M in RDNA of the Ryzen 7 7840HS and identical to that of the Ryzen 7 6800H, but more than sufficient for classic display and not too demanding games is. Here too, Minisforum placed emphasis on balance in order to remain constant in the middle range. AMD’s promise is to offer more performance than the Iris Xe section of Intel chips, which we have already verified on other references in the series.

Venus UM773 Lite: expandable, but not easy

On the RAM side, the Venus UM773 Lite uses dual-channel DDR5-4800, the latest generation of fast RAM: a plus point that it owes to the Ryzen 7 7735HS. The amount varies between 16 and 64 GB depending on the configuration chosen, Minisforum even offers a barebones version without RAM or storage – so you can complete it yourself. The storage is based on a dedicated SSD in the M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe 2.5 inch.

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However, if the Venus UM773 Lite is indeed upgradeable, upgrading is less easy than other mini PCs. To open the case and access the interior, you must remove the base plate by unscrewing it. To do this you will need to remove the four small rubber pads that hide the screws. Not very smart, even if Minisforum provides additional pads… Once the machine is opened, you still have to remove a heatsink to get to the NVMe slot – luckily not for the RAM banks! And to install a SATA drive, you need to use a small adapter that comes standard with the other accessories. Of course, nothing complicated, but we are far from the simplicity of operation with models from Geekom or Beelink, for example.

At this point we would like to point out that, unlike other mini PCs, the case of the Venus UM773 Lite is made entirely of plastic and has no metal structure inside. In principle, nothing serious – this is also the case with many entry-level and mid-range laptops – especially since the whole thing is well made, but you shouldn’t expect exceptional durability over the long term.

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Venus UM773 Lite: impressive performance

Apart from these reservations, the Venus UM773 Lite shows its qualities very quickly. As soon as the PC is switched on and after the conventional Microsoft updates – always long at the beginning, on every PC – you are faced with a ready-to-use Windows 11 Pro and, above all, completely without the usual unnecessary software. An excellent habit of Chinese mini PC manufacturers who ship their computers with a clean system, without antivirus programs and other commercial apps in the test that are sometimes difficult to remove. Apart from a short burst of sound at startup, the Venus UM773 Lite quickly surprises with its truly remarkable silence. Proof that Minisforum has correctly sized and adjusted its cooling system.

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The Venus UM773 Lite has passed the test of classic benchmarks and does what it promises with very respectable results: 6578 points in total under Passmark, of which 25284 points for the processor, 2131 points in single-core and 10091 points in multi-core for the CPU and 27983 points for the GPU under Geekbench and 1569 points in single-core and 121682 points in multi-core under Cinebench. A really interesting assessment, which shows in particular that the Ryzen 7 7735HS has enough performance and, on the AMD side, is at the level of a Ryzen 7 5800, a Ryzen 7 Pro 7840U or a Ryzen 6900HX and a Core i9-11900KF or one ranks Core i5-13400 on the Intel side and even above an M1 Max or an M2 Pro at Apple. More than flattering for a mini PC!

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Of course, processor benchmark results aren’t everything: other components also need to be taken into account, particularly RAM and storage, and most importantly, performance in real-world applications. But also everyday tasks that are carried out with office software, such as: B. editing with creative applications (audio, photo, video) confirm the performance of the Ryzen 7 7735HS. Above all, the Venus UM773 Lite is smooth and responsive on Windows: boot time is short, the software opens quickly and you switch smoothly from one application to another without feeling any slowdown, even when the ets storage is filled with dozens of active applications is tabs in a web browser.

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The other good surprise is that the results of the video games are not ridiculous. For example, we recorded an average of 58 FPS with Doom Eternal, in Full HD with all details, 62 FPS with Rocket League, still in Full HD, 83 FPS in Forza Horizon 5 with less details and 72 FPS in GTA 5, very respectable! Logically, the performance in more demanding and/or less well-optimized games is much more modest: We only recorded 39 FPS in Elden Ring and 37 FPS in Cyberpunk 2077, still in Full HD, but with the lowest details. Obviously, the 680M GPU integrated into the Ryzen 7 7735HS is significantly inferior to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3xxx and 4xxx. However, it is hardly less powerful than the 780M that the Ryzen 7 7840HS is equipped with, without competing with the “real” latest gaming PCs, the Venus UM773 Lite allows you to play many games in very suitable conditions. This should be enough for many casual gamers who don’t want to spend huge amounts of money on elite and notoriously power-hungry configurations. For the rest, it proves that ZAMD has done a really good job with its Ryzen 7xxx, which are clearly the first “all-in-one” chips with integrated GPU, which need not be embarrassed in the face of “discrete” solutions on dedicated graphics cards.

Venus UM773 Lite: an energy efficient PC

In this context, we would like to point out that the solution chosen by Minisforum to cool Venus – based on liquid metal – is quite effective, even though we have noticed processor temperature peaks around 80 °C in extreme situations. This is higher than other systems used in mini PCs, but not worrying. The energy management is quite remarkable. The Venus UM773 Lite consumes between 10 and 20 W in office use (with a word processing program or a web browser), 40 to 50 W during intensive use and peak values ​​between 70 and 80 W when the processor is under heavy load. And in idle mode it is content with just one 7 W. A good result for the electricity bill, which again indicates a controlled design.

On the communications side, there is nothing to report about the network and wireless interfaces: the speeds in both Ethernet and WiFi are excellent, and the Venus UM773 Lite easily recognized the various Bluetooth peripherals that we used (keyboard, mouse, headphones, etc .). Speaker).

Venus UM773 Lite: an excellent mini PC

Ultimately, the Venus UM773 Lite fulfills its contract perfectly. Compact, quiet, energy efficient, powerful and very well equipped in terms of connectivity, it easily replaces a classic desktop PC, both for basic tasks (office, web, video playback, etc.) and for other applications. sophisticated, demanding, fairly heavy processing (graphics creation and image editing, video editing, audio mixing, programming and virtualization, etc.). And when it doesn’t compete with real gaming PCs, it’s enough to comfortably play many titles, including action games. We particularly appreciated the performance of the latest generation processor as well as the variety of ports, which largely meet most needs, especially when using two screens. Its only real flaw lies in its development possibilities, which suffer from a somewhat delicate opening that requires several manipulations: nothing prohibitive, but we have seen much better in the world of mini PCs! If you are tempted, we also recommend that you order the Venus UM773 Lite straight away in the desired configuration in terms of RAM and storage, leaving the barebones version for do-it-yourselfers and regular customers.

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As is often the case with Chinese mini PCs, the price of the Venus UM773 Lite varies greatly depending on the retailer and current, very frequent promotions. On the official Minisforum website it is currently offered for 409 euros in the barebones version, for 509 euros in the 16GB-512GB configuration and for 549 euros in the 32GB-1TB configuration, which is the most interesting in terms of the equipment/price ratio. But it can also be found at many online retailers such as Amazon or Cdiscount. Regardless, the Venus UM773 Lite appears to be one of the best mini PCs around. And it perfectly illustrates the remarkable progress AMD has made with its Ryzen 7xxx series!