Small But Mighty: The Chillblast 'Work and Play' Micro PC

  September 9, 2021

Small But Mighty: The Chillblast 'Work and Play' Micro PC

Chillblast has bolstered its well-established Work and Play line of micro-systems with three new models, each of which offers greatly enhanced performance compared to the other units in our range.

Powered by AMD Ryzen processors, the WAP Ultimate micro-systems benefit from very capable onboard Radeon graphics, as well as a level of flexibility and expandability not seen before in a WAP system. Each of the three units shares the same outer shell, so let us look at that, first of all.

The WAP Exterior

On the leading edge, you will find three high-speed USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, LEDs for power and HDD access, two jacks for a microphone and headphones respectively, plus the power button.

Image of the front of the Chillblast Work and Play system

Rotate the system by 180 degrees to its rear and you will find dual HDMI outputs supporting 4K, a power jack for the 5A, 12V, AC adaptor, a Gigabit Ethernet port, plus two USB 2.0 ports for your input peripherals and any other legacy devices.

Image of the rear side of the Chillblast Work and Play system

The other two sides of the device are vented for superior cooling, and there is a Kensington slot should you need to lock these down, making them ideal for schools and offices.

Image of one of the vented sides of the Chillblast Work and Play system

The Inside

Opening up the device is as simple as removing four screws on the underside, hidden beneath the rubber feet.

With the back cover off you will find a 2.5” SSD mount for conventional SATA hard drives or SSDs, two SO-DIMM slots supporting a maximum of 32GB density DIMMs (64GB total), an M.2 NVME SSD slot and a built-in Intel Wireless-AC 3165 mini Wi-Fi card providing networking as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

Top-down photo of the inside of the Chillblast Work and Play system
Close up of the base-plate of the Chillblast Work and Play system

Its modular nature gives the WAP ultimate unparalleled flexibility for a micro PC, as you can upgrade its capabilities as your needs evolve.

Close up of part of the internal components in the Chillblast Work and Play system

The Range

The WAP Ultimate comes in three flavours.

The entry-level unit is a fully integrated system that comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM, a 64GB SSD and Windows 10 Pro 64 bit for £269.99 inc VAT. The two more powerful units ship with configurable specifications and can be tailored to suit your needs.

Here is a breakdown of their features and benefits:

WAP Ultimate AMD 3020E 64GB Micro SystemWAP Ultimate AMD 2500U Micro SystemWAP Ultimate AMD 3500U Micro System
CPUAMD 3020E CPUAMD Ryzen 2500U CPUAMD Ryzen 3500U CPU
Cores / Threads2/24/84/8
Clock Speed1.2 – 2.6GHz2.0 – 3.6GHz2.1 – 3.7GHz
Graphics3 Core Radeon Graphics @ 1GHz8 Core Radeon Vega 8 Graphics @ 1.1GHz8 Core Radeon Vega 8 Graphics @ 1.2GHz
RAM4GB (64GB Max)Configurable (64GB Max)Configurable (64GB Max)
Storage64GB (M.2 + SATA ports for upgrades)Configurable (M.2 + SATA ports for upgrades)Configurable (M.2 + SATA ports for upgrades)
OSWindows 10 Pro 64 BitConfigurableConfigurable

As the Ryzen processors are relatively less commonplace than their Intel-embedded counterparts, we have run each variant through its paces in the World’s most commonplace benchmark of indicative performance – Passmark. You can run this simple test free of charge on any PC and it gives you a broad idea of both processor and video card capabilities.

WAP Testing

Chillblast WAP Ultimate Ryzen 3500U / 8GB DC / 64GB FORESEEChillblast WAP Ultimate Ryzen 3500U / 4GB SC / 64GB FORESEEChillblast WAP Ultimate Ryzen 2500U / 8GB DC / 64GB FORESEEChillblast WAP Ultimate Ryzen 2500U / 4GB SC / 64GB FORESEEChillblast WAP Ultimate AMD 3020U / 8GB DC / 64GB FORESEEChillblast WAP Ultimate AMD 3020U / 4GB SC / 64GB FORESEEWAP Lite / Intel N3060 / 4GB / 64GB EMMCASUS PN50 4300UWAP / Intel J4115  4GB / 64GB EMMC
CPU Mark7963.27317.27359.46662.92702.42665.15957715.62162.5
2D Graphics Mark475.5414.1451.9373.9303.4222.183.5429.171
3D Graphics Mark16491013.61548.3971925.6539.8245.9893.2233.6
Memory Mark1938.71427.91913.71371.91596.21224.8595.71407672.2
Disk Mark3273.23291.13265.43289.63192.93185.5951.83242.51476.7

As you can see, a big benefit in performance can be had by using the dual-channel (DC) memory in any of the WAP Ultimate models. This is because the advanced on-die memory controller of AMD Ryzen processors particularly benefits from high memory bandwidth. You will notice that the 2500U variant is actually faster than even the 3500U model if the former is equipped with dual-channel memory, while the latter is equipped with only single-channel.

What is clear is that the WAP Ultimate delivers performance at another level compared to previous Intel embedded WAPs and provides a competent desktop level of performance for everyday tasks. We also compared the WAP 3500U to the similar competing Asus PN 4300U which it is considerably faster than, particularly in the graphics department.


The WAP Ultimate’s comparison to Intel’s ubiquitous Next Unit of Computing is inevitable – both are configurable, barebone systems that are small enough to VESA mount on the back of a screen, yet offer advanced features and performance.

Where the WAP Ultimate maintains a clear lead over the NUC is in its GPU capabilities. With a couple of exceptions, NUCs use Intel’s “HD Graphics” processors which are only suitable for the most basic of 3D work and fail to accelerate image processing and other intensive tasks to a notable degree. The Integrated graphics on the WAP Ultimate range – in particular the Ryzen 5 variants – is fast enough to play Fortnite with decent performance at FHD resolution.

Where to Buy:

Chillblast WAP “Work and Play” Ultimate AMD 3500U Micro System

Chillblast WAP “Work and Play” Ultimate AMD 2500U Micro System

Chillblast WAP “Work and Play” Ultimate AMD 3020E 64GB Micro System


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