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Minisforum UM780 XTX review
9:54 pm | November 30, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Minisforum UM780 XTX: 30-second review


CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840HS, 8 Cores/16 Threads, up to 5.1 GHz
Graphics: AMD Radeon™ 780M
RAM: DDR5 Dual channel, upgradable to 96GB
Storage: Dual M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD slots
Rear Ports: Dual RJ45 2.5G Ethernet, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A, USB4, Oculink, HDMI2.1, DP1.4
Front Ports: USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A, USB4, Audio Jack, Clear CMOS
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5
Audio Output: HDMI, DP, Audio Jack
Camera: None
Size: 130mmx125mmx62mm
OS installed:  Windows 11 Home (64-bit)

The Minisforum UM780 XTX is a mid-range mini PC that packs a significant punch, courtesy of its AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and AMD Radeon 780M graphics. With an affordable price-tag, it stands out for its blend of performance, connectivity, and innovative features. The addition of the OCulink interface for external graphics support, alongside its efficient cooling system, makes it a versatile machine suitable for demanding gaming, creative work, and general productivity.

We've tested out loads of the best mini PCs, and the UM780 XTX certainly catches the eye. It sports a sleek, compact design with a magnetic top cover that allows for personalisation. Its versatility extends to mounting options, including vertical and wall mounting, making it a fit for any workspace. The full-metal build aids in cooling, and its internal components are easily accessible for upgrades.

This mini PC targets gamers and creatives - making it a fair alternative to some of the best video editing laptops - highlighted by its OCulink interface that enables significant graphics enhancements via an external GPU. The heart of this machine is the AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840HS processor, boasting 8 cores and a 5.1GHz max clock speed, making it adept at handling tasks like video editing and 3D rendering. The AMD Radeon™ 780M GPU is suitable for graphic-intensive tasks, including gaming and creative applications like Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro if you're trying to figure out whether to opt for the best laptop for photo editing or a mini PC. 

DDR5 memory, along with PCIe 4.0 SSD slots, provides ultra-fast data access and storage, which is essential for handling large files in creative tasks. The cooling system, featuring liquid metal CPU material and an intelligent fan, ensures smooth operation under load, which is crucial for long gaming sessions or heavy-duty applications.

Dual 2.5G RJ45 ports offer fast, stable network connections, vital for collaborative work and online gaming. The metal casing not only enhances the mini PC's aesthetics but also plays a crucial role in heat dissipation.

The UM780 XTX excels in performance across various benchmarks, indicating its capability in office applications, graphic design, photo editing, and gaming. It effortlessly handles Adobe Photoshop tasks with RAW files from high-end cameras like the Canon EOS R5 C and Sony A7 IV. Video editing with RAW Lite footage is smooth, though additional SSD storage is recommended for large video files.

In gaming, the mini PC performs well at high framerates and can be further boosted with an external GPU through the OCulink interface. Benchmark results, including a Crystal Disk Read of 4747 and a GeekBench CPU Multi of 12139, underscore its robust capabilities.

The Minisforum UM780 XTX is an excellent choice for professionals and gamers who need a compact yet powerful machine. Its versatility, performance, and design make it suitable for a range of tasks, from office work to creative projects and gaming.

The UM780 XTX redefines the potential of mini PCs, offering a powerful, versatile, and expandable solution. Its premium price is justified by its capabilities, making it a standout choice for those who need compact power and versatility in their computing needs.

Minisforum UM780 XTX: Price & availability

MinisForum UM780 XTX Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

WIth 1TB SSD and 32GB RAM model, the Minisforum UM780 XTX positions itself as an appealing choice in the mid-range segment of high-end mini PCs. This pricing is quite competitive, especially considering the UM780 XTX's combination of an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and AMD Radeon 780M graphics, which together deliver desktop-level performance in a compact form. 

This blend of power and portability, offered at a reasonable price, makes the UM780 XTX an attractive option for a broad spectrum of users, from professional creatives to gaming enthusiasts. Available for purchase through both the Minisforum website and Amazon.

  • Score: 5/5

Minisforum UM780 XTX: Design & build

MinisForum UM780 XTX Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Minisforum UM780 XTX boasts a sleek, compact design with a magnetic top cover that enables you to personalise the top with engraved plates. It's a nifty purely antithetic feature that certainly has appeal, especially if you couple this with the XTOOLS P2 or a similar high-end laser engraver. 

When it comes to mounting options, this mini PC offers a good amount of versatility, including vertical and wall mounting, fitting neatly into any workspace or desktop. The overall design is slick and high-end with a distinctive design; while not ultra-compact compared with some Mini PCs, it encases an impressive amount of power and expansion options. 

When it comes to connectivity, this is where the Minisforum UM780 XTX really stands out, with two Type A and one Type C USB on the front alongside the audio out and CMOS reset. All the main connectors have a good choice of video-out options with HDMI, DPI, and USB 4 alongside two network sockets and two USB Type-A.

With a full metal build that helps to keep things cool when under pressure and the ability to quickly access the inner workings through the top with simple tools and one slightly fiddly to remove and attach cable, this Mini PC offers great performance out of the box, but is designed to be upgradable if you feel the need.  

  • Design: 4.5/5

Minisforum UM780 XTX: Features

MinisForum UM780 XTX Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Minisforum UM780 XTX is designed to cater to gaming enthusiasts, creative professionals or anyone looking for a Mini PC that has a bit of power. One of its standout features is the OCulink interface, which allows users to connect an external graphics card, significantly boosting the system's graphical capabilities. This makes it a flexible solution for users who may need extra graphical power for high-end gaming or GPU-accelerated tasks such as Premiere Pro (or any of the best Adobe Premiere Pro alternatives for that matter). 

At the heart of the UM780 XTX is the AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840HS processor, which boasts 8 cores and 16 threads, with a maximum clock speed reaching an impressive 5.1GHz. This high-performance CPU ensures that the system can handle demanding applications, multitasking, and advanced gaming scenarios with ease. The processor's speed and efficiency are particularly beneficial for tasks that require significant computational power, such as video editing, 3D rendering, and running complex simulations.

Complementing the powerful CPU is the AMD Radeon™ 780M GPU. With its maximum frequency reaching 2700 MHz, it offers substantial graphics processing power. This GPU is well-suited for creative tasks like photo editing in Photoshop, video editing in Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, and using the best graphic design software.

Throughout, it provides smooth rendering and quick previewing capabilities. Essentially, paired with any of the best video editing monitors or the best monitors for graphic design, you'll be an unstoppable creative force. When it comes to gaming, the GPUs are able to handle the latest titles with the option to add an external GPU if you need a little more graphics processing power. 

Inside is the dual-channel DDR5 memory support, which, when combined with the system's two M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD slots, provides exceptionally fast data access and storage speeds, again a feature for both gaming and creative tasks. This configuration is ideal for professionals who deal with large files and require quick data transfer rates, such as video editors working with 4K RAW high-resolution footage or graphic designers handling large design files.

The Minisforum UM780 XTX also boasts an advanced cooling system to maintain optimal performance. The CPU is made of liquid metal material, and the system includes a high-silence intelligent cooling fan. This setup ensures that even under heavy workloads, the device operates smoothly and without overheating. Effective heat dissipation is crucial for maintaining the longevity of the components and ensuring stable performance during extended gaming sessions or while running resource-intensive applications.

Additionally, the dual 2.5G RJ45 ports provide versatile connectivity options, enabling fast data transfer and a stable network connection. This feature is particularly useful for collaborative work environments where quick file sharing and stable internet connections are essential. It also benefits gamers who require a high-speed, lag-free online gaming experience.

Finally, the Minisforum UM780 XTX metal casing not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but also plays a crucial role in heat dissipation, further enhancing the system's cooling efficiency. The durable build quality also means that it's highly portable, making it a great onsite solution for video plugged into an electric power generator or easy to transport for network gaming.

  • Features: 4.5/5

Minisforum UM780 XTX: Performance

MinisForum UM780 XTX Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Crystal Disk Read: 4747
Crystal Disk Write: 3842
GeekBench CPU Single: 2460
GeekBench CPU Multi: 12139
GeekBench Compute: 33198
PC Mark: 7310
CineBench CPU Multi: 1691
CineBench CPU Single: 1722
Fire Strike Overall: 7719
Fire Strike Graphics: 8377
Fire Strike Physics: 28203
Fire Strike Combined: 2883
Time Spy Overall: 3130
Time Spy Graphics: 2798
Time Spy CPU: 9565
Wild Life: 16725
Windows Experience: 8.2

The performance of the Minisforum UM780 XTX is exceptional, reflecting the quality of the build and hardware specifications. In office environments, this mini PC excels, easily keeping pace with the demands of various software suites. Its swift processing capabilities ensure that applications like Microsoft Office run seamlessly, and you can switch between Word, Excel and other applications without any lag or slowdown. As a space-saving alternative to the best business laptops (and certainly the best business computers), this mini PC is easily ready for business.  

When it comes to more demanding tasks like graphic design and photo editing, the UM780 XTX demonstrates that extra level of power. Yes, you will want the best monitor for photo editing for best results. But we found testing with Adobe Photoshop, particularly with RAW image files from high-resolution cameras like the Canon EOS R5 C and Sony A7 IV, the mini PC handles the enhancement of these images singularly and in batch well. 

The mini PC's performance extends impressively to video editing as well. Working with RAW Lite footage from the Canon EOS R5 C, the UM780 XTX manages the data-intensive task with relative ease. However, it's worth noting that the built-in storage capacity can fill up quickly when dealing with such high-level video files. Fortunately, the USB Type-C port enables a large SSD storage platform to be attached while maintaining superb transfer speeds.

Gaming on the UM780 XTX is also a good experience, with most games running smoothly at decent framerates, thanks to the combined power of the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and AMD Radeon 780M GPU. 

The integration of the OCulink interface, which allows the connection of an external GPU, helps boost gaming and video rendering. By plugging in an external GPU, you can run games at higher framerates and resolutions. 

  • Performance: 4/5

Should you buy the Minisforum UM780 XTX?

The Minisforum UM780 XTX stands out as a high-performance mini PC suitable for a wide range of applications. From everyday office tasks to graphic-intensive gaming and professional creative work, it offers a level of versatility and power that is rare in compact PC solutions. Not only that, but you can fully customise the look and style of this Mini PC with the addition of the magnetic engraved top plate! 

Whether it's seamless multitasking, handling large RAW image files, editing high-resolution video, or enjoying high-end gaming, the UM780 XTX consistently delivers top-notch performance.

 Its blend of high-performance components, expandable memory and storage, and versatile connectivity make it a top contender in its class. However, its price point and design might limit its appeal to a niche market of enthusiasts and professionals.

  • Value: High-end performance at a reasonable price. (4.5/5)
  • Design: Compact, stylish with a customizable top cover. (4/5)
  • Features: Advanced technology, expandable, with innovative connectivity. (4.5/5)
  • Performance: Stellar in both professional and gaming use. (4.5/5)
  • Total: Powerful, versatile mini PC for diverse applications. (4.5/5)

MinisForum UM780 XTX Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Apple announces its App Store Award winners for 2023
9:21 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

As is tradition around this time of the year, Apple announced its App Store Award winners for 2023. There are nine categories ranging from iPhone and iPad apps and games of the year alongside winners for Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Apple Arcade apps. Apple also crowned generative AI as its Trend of the Year. It’s inspiring to see the ways developers continue to build incredible apps and games that are redefining the world around us. This year’s winners represent the limitless potential of developers to bring their visions to life, creating apps and games with remarkable ingenuity,...

Gangs of Sherwood review – I sherwoodn’t recommend it
8:30 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Consoles & PC Gadgets Gaming | Tags: | Comments: Off
Review Information

Platform reviewed: PS5
Available: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Release date: November 27, 2023 

Gangs of Sherwood is a steampunk twist on the tale of Robin Hood that pits Robin and his grimdark Merry Men against the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and his army of identical thugs, many of whom seem to go by the name Gerald. As a Robin Hood game, it shakes things up, too: It steals from the time-rich and gives only poor experiences. 

Visually speaking, Gangs of Sherwood is a feast; the concept art in the loading screens and the design of every location is a fantastic twist on the classic tale. The steampunk style works brilliantly mashed together with the medieval setting, and wandering around the muddy and mechanic streets of Locksley while being bombarded by artillery is an unforgettable experience. You can navigate these places by yourself or in a group of four, with each player taking over the mantle of Robin of Locksley, Little John, Friar Tuck, or Maid Marion.

Unfortunately, a good-looking game can only go so far. Gangs of Sherwood fails to deliver any thrilling fights or explosive skills that action brawlers like itself usually promise. Despite only having three acts, which last a maximum of five hours, this steampunk fantasy can seem like it goes on for an eternity. 

Having to face up against the same group of bad guys, comprised of several goons and one big knight with a shield, over and over again can seem like a medieval version of Ground Hog Day. There’s also no reprieve to be found in the three side missions as the repetition carries on. One quest sees you stand in a large courtyard and shoot a gigantic mechanical bull over and over again as the same bad guys that plagued the main acts aimlessly chase you across the open space as you dodge the bull's incoming attacks. 

A walk in the park 

Two characters attacking a mechanical lion

(Image credit: Nacon)

My first encounter with Gangs of Sherwood earlier this year in the preview was slightly unimpressive. However, as I only saw a small snippet, there was still a ray of hope that the entire game wouldn’t just revolve around similar fights and enemies, which I had seen in my first hands-on. Unfortunately, these hopes ran up short once I finally got to play the rest of the action game.

Playing Gangs of Sherwood was painfully straightforward; I started on the standard difficulty setting and quickly upgraded to the hardest in an effort to find some joy in the heat of battle. Sadly, the more challenging option failed to paper over some mediocre and repetitive combat and didn’t even make the game feel much more difficult.  

Best Bit

Character shooting arrows at enemies

(Image credit: Nacon)

There are some interesting environmental kills in Gangs of Sherwood. One of my favorites is dropping a beehive onto an unsuspecting goon’s head.  

Gangs of Sherwood doesn’t have to be challenging to be enjoyable, but it does have to be interesting. After the first few fights, I quickly figured out the pattern of every following combat encounter. Not only was the threat easy to assess and counter, but the bigger, seemingly more dangerous opponents were predictable without fault. This predictability sucked any joy or danger out of the action game immediately, and I soon felt like I was simply going through the motions to reach the end of the game.

The matter wasn’t helped by the fact that almost every enemy encounter revolves around the same three fights. With limited enemy classes, every other combat sequence is like deja vu as you continually come up against similar groups of opponents. Once you get to the later stages, Gangs of Sherwood resorts to throwing every enemy at you at once instead of trying to switch up the combat. The most interesting encounter I had was with the main boss in the second Act, in which one enemy heals the main fighter periodically. Still, unfortunately, even that became monotonous as every move was evenly spaced out, which made it simple to predict and quick to defeat. 

The easy fights were made worse by Rebel Instinct, which acts as an ultimate ability for every character as it slowly charges as you deal damage, resulting in a powerful final attack. It can be so powerful that I began to feel bad for attacking opponents with a neverending volley of supercharged arrows. eviscerating them in no time at all. 

One is a lonely number 

Three characters attacking a knight with a shield

(Image credit: Nacon)

My time in Gangs of Sherwood was a dismal experience and claims that co-op would make it more enjoyable is hard to believe. I only played a few parts of co-op, but from what I saw, it wasn’t all that different; it felt like separate characters fighting their own battles in the same area instead of an authentic cooperative experience that would encourage players to gang up on enemies together. 

Gangs of Sherwood is ultimately let down by its lackluster fights and repetitive action

Gangs of Sherwood could be a fun experience with the right group of friends, but that’s not the mark of a great game. Almost everything can be improved with the right people around, and this is especially true in gaming. Oftentimes, subpar games are made better by co-op as you experience less of the game and more of your friend's hilarious antics. 

Furthermore, a co-op game that only works in multiplayer and not single-player despite having the option to play alone, isn’t a fantastic sign. If a title promises multiple ways to experience it, whether by yourself or in a group, it should deliver on that and not simply bank on players sticking with co-op. 

Gangs of Sherwood is ultimately let down by its lackluster fights and repetitive action. With almost nothing else to do other than practice moves, fight the same enemies, or walk around the beautiful yet empty base of operations, it’s not something I’d recommend if you’re looking for something new to play with friends or by yourself. While the artistic style and locations in this action game are something to be marveled at and are genuinely quite impressive, this alone isn’t enough to save Gangs of Sherwood from mediocrity. 


accessibility menu

(Image credit: Nacon)

Gangs of Sherwood also unfortunately fails to deliver any meaningful accessibility options. Other than controlling sound levels, you can change the brightness, motion blur, and language. Otherwise, there are no other options to be found. This was unhelpful for me since, while there are subtitles, there is no way of changing the size, meaning that I could barely read them.

How we reviewed 

It took me around five hours to finish the main story of Gangs of Sherwood and another two hours to complete the three extra missions. While I encountered no major bugs with the PS5 version, there were a few issues with characters clipping through walls during cutscenes, or occasionally, enemies would just stay still as if they had already given up the fight. 

If you’re looking for some fantastic co-op games then be sure to check out the best multiplayer PC games as well as the best online multiplayer Switch games.

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: a stylish DAC and headphone amp that’s as portable as a hip flask
7:24 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Gadgets Hi-Fi | Tags: | Comments: Off

iFi xDSD Gryphon: Two-minute review

The iFi xDSD Gryphon represents a new area of flexibility for the company. iFi is one of the front-runners where audio products like this are concerned and has been for some time. This xDSD Gryphon wants to widen the operability and relevance of its DAC and headphone amp range by offering wireless, as well as wired, connectivity in a package small and light enough to be considered portable. And it’s only gone and pulled it off. The xDSD Gryphon ain’t cheap, but the way it performs justifies the outlay all day long. 

Huge flexibility where connectivity and digital audio content is concerned, a completely confident and convincing sonic attitude, and a user interface that only just stops short of ‘impenetrable’ are what makes this iFi, the product it is. If you want something that’s capable of doing the audio business whether at home or in the wild, it’s almost a no-brainer.   

‘Almost’ because it’s not without competition from the best portable DACs on the market. A lot of it is from in-house, admittedly – but the xDSD Gryphon is going up against the Chord Electronics Mojo 2, which is a massively capable device in its own right. Hear them both, and then make your mind up. 

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: Price and release date

The iFi xDSD Gryphon next to a phone and heardphones

(Image credit: Future)
  • Release date: December 2021
  • Price: $599 / £599 / AU$899

The iFi xDSD Gryphon went on sale a couple of years ago, and in that time its reputation has grown in line with its asking price. As of the time of writing, it’ll set you back $599 / £599 / AU$899, which puts it up against some very well-regarded alternatives from companies as credible as Astell & Kern, Audiolab and Chord Electronics.

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: Features

The iFi xDSD Gryphon on a stool

(Image credit: Future)
  • Burr-Brown DAC
  • Extensive compatibility
  • Wired and wireless connectivity

iFi is not messing around where the feature-set of the xDSD Gryphon is concerned. The serious business is taken care of by a Burr-Brown chipset with enormous headroom and compatibility with a huge number of different digital audio file types. Use the USB-C input and it can handle PCM files up to 32bit/768kHz, DSD512 and DXD768 – and it can fully unpack MQA files too. The digital coaxial input is good up to 24bit/192kHz.   

Regardless of the type or size of the file you’re interested in, though, you have plenty of options as to how to best deliver it to your headphones via its balanced 4.4mm or unbalanced 3.5mm analogue outputs.. Its ‘Xspace’ setting, for instance, strives to give the biggest soundstage possible. ‘XbassII’, I hardly need say, increases low-frequency presence and substance – and can be further assisted by a physical ‘bass and/or presence’ switch on the chassis. Content delivered digitally can also be breathed on by one of three digital filters: ‘standard’, ‘bit-perfect’ and ‘GTO’ (which stands for ‘Gibbs Transient Optimised’). The xDSD Gryphon can also be adjusted to best respond to the sort of headphones you’re using – high-sensitivity in-ear monitors, for example, can sometimes introduce hiss, so there’s an ‘IEmatch’ switch on the bottom of the chassis to help deal with that.

Wireless connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 5.1, and there’s codec compatibility from SBC and AAC to aptX (HD, Adaptive and Low Latency), HWA and LDAC. So you should be able to find something to best suit your needs. All the most significant (and noisiest) circuitry – amplification, Bluetooth and digital-to-analogue conversion – is kept isolated in order to minimise cross-talk and other sonic gremlins. 

Power comes from a battery, of course – it’s a portable device, after all, and anyway it’s a cleaner and more efficient way to drive electrical equipment than noisy, dirty old mains power. The iFi has a 3600mAH lithium-ion battery that’s good for around eight hours before it needs recharging. From ‘flat’ to ‘full’ should take a couple of hours. 

Peripheral features extend to a quite generous selection of high-quality (although admittedly quite short) connecting cables. If your needs aren’t met by USB-C / USB-C, USB-C / Lightning or USB-C / USB-A cables, then what exactly are you attempting to attach?

Features score: 5 / 5

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: Design

The iFi xDSD Gryphon

(Image credit: Future)
  • 19 x 75 x 123mm (HxWxD)
  • 215g
  • Unhelpful user interface

This isn’t the first iFi product with a strong suggestion of the hip flask about it, and I strongly doubt it will be the last. At 19 x 75 x 123mm (HxWxD) its proportions are most definitely hip-flask-y, and it’s halfway between being truly pocket-sized and more suitable for desktop use. 

If you do decide to take it out and about, though, its 215g weight is no kind of burden. A lot of that is down to its aluminium construction – its ridged and contoured design is quite interesting and tactile – and is broken only by the little mirrored strip on the top surface. There’s a crisp, bright white OLED display beneath it, which makes it easy to understand what the xDSD Gryphon is up to.

Getting it to the stage where it’s doing what you want it to is more trouble than it really should be, mind you. iFi has plenty of previous where unintelligible user interfaces are concerned, and the Gryphon is just the latest example of the company’s commitment to end-user confusion.

A push/turn control in the centre of the fascia takes care of volume, power and menu navigation. Nearby there’s a ‘settings’ button - it turns ‘Xspace’ and ‘Xbass II’ on or off if you use quick presses, while a longer press summons the on-screen menu. Here’s where you can select your preferred digital filter, set a maximum volume level and adjust screen brightness. An adjacent button handles input selection and Bluetooth pairing. There are also those balanced 4.4mm and unbalanced 3.5mm headphone outputs on the fascia, as well as five vanishingly small LEDs. One of them is embedded into the push/turn dial, and shines in one of five different colours (to indicate volume level) or flashes (indicating the Gryphon is muted). One reveals whether or not ‘Xbass II” and/or ‘Xspace’ is switched on. One reveals the input that’s in use (and so can shine in one of four different colours), and one reveals the audio format of the digital file currently on board (so shines in one of seven different colours, two of which are so similar as to be indistinguishable). All clear? Of course it bloody isn’t.

Meanwhile, the rear panel features two USB-C sockets (one for charging and one for data input), balanced and unbalanced analogue inputs and a 3.5mm digital coaxial input. There’s also the three-stage switch to select the ‘Xbass II’ tone (‘bass’, ‘presence’ or – hey! – ‘bass and presence’). It’s small, but it’s not as small as the switch on the bottom that controls the ‘IEmatch’ circuitry.

Design score: 3.5 / 5  

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: Sound quality

The iFi xDSD Gryphon being held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
  • Fast, detailed and articulate sound
  • Dynamic and precise in equal measure
  • Not impressed by inferior headphones

It makes sense to start listening to the iFi xDSD Gryphon in its most ‘pure’ state, which means filters set to ‘min’ and with ‘Xbass II’ and ‘Xspace’ switched off. Heard this way, and with content ranging from a 256kbps MP3 file of Eartheater’s Pure Smile Snake Venom to a DSD64 file of Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise incoming from an Apple MacBook Pro via USB-C, the iFi is an uncomplicated, satisfying and thoroughly entertaining listen.

Its fundamental character is one of energy and speed. It creates proper momentum at the bottom of the frequency range without sacrificing any substance or extension. It powers through bass information with pace and precision, controlling low-frequency information with absolute authority – so the low end stays in its lane, underpinning everything going on above.

It’s similarly confident and accomplished at the opposite end of the scale, too. Treble sounds have brilliance and bite, but there’s no suggestion of edginess or splashiness, even if you’re listening at volume – and the Gryphon is most certainly capable of summoning significant volume. What you get at the top end is enough substance to counteract the shine, and – just as with the rest of the frequency range, impressively high levels of detail retrieval.

In between, the midrange is handled with complete assurance. Vocalists as idiosyncratic as the two mentioned above are given complete expression, their character and attitude and emotional state made absolutely plain. There’s real articulacy to the way the iFi deals with singers of all levels of competence, and as a result they communicate in the most direct and positive fashion. 

The frequency range is properly integrated, and with its settings left well alone the Gryphon enjoys a nicely neutral and unshowy tonal character. It’s adept at creating a sensation of singularity and ‘performance’ to a recording, even if the recording itself isn’t the result of a group of musicians all playing in the same room at the same time. Dynamic range is considerable, so both harmonic variances and big changes in intensity or attack are tracked without apparent effort. And the soundstage it’s able to create inside your headphones is spacious, organised and utterly believable. 

Fiddling with filters and what-have-you can result in small differences around the edges of the DAC’s overall performance, but in truth its fundamental characteristics don’t change all that much. And this is true regardless of which of the wired or wireless inputs you use - although naturally the quality of the wireless source (and its codec compatibility) has an effect on the final sound. Of more concern to the Gryphon, it seems, is the quality of the headphones you attach to it – it can happily drive even uncooperative headphones, but it gets a bit sniffy about less capable pairs and isn’t about to disguise that fact.  

Sound quality score: 5 / 5 

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: Value

The iFi xDSD Gryphon

(Image credit: Future)
  • Getting more expensive rather than more affordable
  • Performance to back up the asking price…
  • …but not so much the appearance

Unlike plenty of rival products, the price of the iFi xDSD Gryphon has gone up, rather than down, in the time it’s been on sale. This suggests that it’s been a roaring success, sure – but it also makes it slightly less compelling than previously. That the sound it makes is worth the money is not up for question, but if you judge as much by appearances as by performance you might end up wondering what all that money has bought you…

Value score: 4 / 5

Should you buy iFi xDSD Gryphon?

The iFi xDSD Gryphon

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

iFi xDSD Gryphon review: Also consider

How I tested the iFi xDSD Gryphon

The iFi xDSD Gryphon

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested indoors and out
  • Tested with numerous file types and sizes
  • Tested with a number of different pairs of headphones

Really, that’s the whole story. I used the iFi xDSD Gryphon as a desktop DAC and headphone amp connected to a laptop, and I used it wirelessly when out and about connected to a smartphone. 

I listened to a huge variety of file types and sizes, I used a number of different headphones, and I listened to lots of different types of music. I investigated its various options where filters and what-have-you are concerned, and I listened to some competing products too.  

First reviewed in November 2023

Ice Universe: the Galaxy S24+ is getting 12GB of RAM, vanilla S24 is sticking to 8GB
6:33 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Leakster Ice Universe has some good news – the Samsung Galaxy S24+ will finally have an option with 12GB of RAM (the S23+ options begin and end at 8GB). However, The Cat has some bad news too – the vanilla Galaxy S24 is sticking to the 8GB, which has been the base capacity since the S20. As you may have heard, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will only use Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chips with boosted prime CPU cores, while the S24 and S24+ will use the Snapdragon in some regions and Samsung’s own Exynos 2400 in others. We’ve already seen Geekbench runs from an S24 Ultra with 8GB of RAM and with 12GB of RAM,...

Huawei nova 12 Ultra incoming with 100W charging support
5:38 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

Huawei will launch the nova 12 Ultra with 100W charging, just published certification documents reveal. The device with model number ADA-AL00U appeared on 3C, and it will be compatible with the HW-200500C00 adapter, supporting up to 20V/5A rates. The listing does not reveal much more about this new phone. Even the nova 12 Ultra moniker is not officially confirmed, it was revealed by leaksters instead. A report from earlier this month suggested the cameras will not change their sensors and will only be internally rearranged for different aesthetics. Huawei is expected to attempt a...

Realme GT5 Pro teaser video shows off new design, display specs officially detailed
4:43 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

The Realme GT5 was unveiled in August and has been on sale for a few of months. A week from now it will be joined by the Pro model of generation and Realme is leaning into teasers to drum up hype for the new flagship. First, let’s look at the teaser video for the Realme GT5 Pro. There isn’t much family resemblance – the wide, rectangular camera island of the GT5 is gone, replaced by a circular camera bump that holds a trio of cameras. This includes a 50MP periscope equipped with a Sony IMX890 sensor with 3x optical and 6x lossless zoom (the regular GT5 has no tele camera), based on an...

Meizu 21 announced with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 200MP main cam and FlymeOS 10.5
3:49 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

Meizu successfully launched its latest Android flagship smartphone with the Meizu 21 at a dedicated launch event held in China today. The device comes as a successor to last year’s Meizu 20 offering the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, a 200 MP main cam, and 80W fast charging. Meizu 21 Meizu 21 features a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The panel boasts symmetrical 1.74mm side and top bezels and cranks out up to 1,100 nits peak brightness in auto mode. Meizu is offering the phone in black, purple, green and white colors with the latter also...

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 and Fold6 to pack bigger cover and foldable displays
2:55 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 and Galaxy Z Fold6, which are more than six months away from their launch, will pack displays bigger than their predecessors. This information comes from DSCC CEO Ross Young, who said the Fold6 and Flip6 will have bigger cover and folding displays. Young claims the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 will sport a 3.9" cover display, making it 0.5" bigger than the Flip5's cover screen. Young said the exact display sizes of Fold6 and Flip6 are mentioned in the latest DSCC Foldable Report, but we don't have access to that. Samsung Galaxy Flip4 with Samsung Galaxy Z...

OnePlus 12 posts record AnTuTu score ahead of announcement
2:01 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

The latest teaser for the OnePlus 12 is here and in the form of an AnTuTu benchmark score. Armed with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 alongside 24GB RAM and 1TB storage, the upcoming OnePlus flagship delivered an overall score of 2,333,033 points - the highest AnTuTu score to date. OnePlus 12 AnTuTu scorecard Breaking down the score by category, OP 12 scored 533,566 points on the CPU test, 904,961 points in the GPU department, 538,511 points on the memory test, and 355,995 in the UX department. Apart from the phone’s flagship chipset, RAM and storage, OnePlus 12 also features a larger VC...

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