Ten Things About Mini PCs You Should Consider Before Buying
Computers are getting smaller. If you&rsquo,re ter the market for a fresh desktop PC, it makes sense to consider the fresh line of mini PCs overheen a giant tower. But bijzonder from their serious power te a klein package, there are a few things you should know.
Spil a latest convert to the world of mini PCs, I often mocked thesis little devices spil something which would never hold up to the computing power I needed. And that wasgoed true for several years. But the latest strides ter technology have made mij realize that the things that make mini PCs puny What Makes Mini PCs so Petite? And, the Best Mini PCs You Can Buy Today What Makes Mini PCs so Petite? And, the Best Mini PCs You Can Buy Today A fresh generation of mini PCs is making its way into our homes and offices now. Read More don&rsquo,t make them any less powerful.
That said, there are still some switches, improvements and trade-offs that you should be aware of before buying one.
Barebones vs. Ready To Go
Typically, you will find several variants of any mini PC you look at, like the Intel NUC What’s a NUC and Why Would You Want One? What’s a NUC and Why Would You Want One? NUCs can best be described spil barebones, petite form-factor PCs — and they’re pretty awesome under the right circumstances. Read More &mdash, the most popular choice. But read the finer details before you buy. Mini PCs come ter two flavors: Barebones and Ready To Go.
A barebones kolenkit includes the case, the motherboard and the processor. You will need to buy and install the hard drive and RAM separately. Typically, thesis are far cheaper than Ready To Go units. If you want to reuse old rekentuig parts or buy specific parts, the barebones system is the way to go. The Intel NUC5i5RYK ($340) would be my pick.
A Ready To Go kleefstof also includes the hard drive and RAM, spil well spil an operating system of your choice. This type of mini PC is ready to be used spil soon spil you take it out of the opbergruimte. The Ready To Go mini PC is ideal for anyone who wants to embark afresh. With Intel NUCs, you&rsquo,ll mostly get thesis from third-party vendors like this.
Both types of units come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, and other such parts pre-installed.
No Keyboard, Mouse, or Monitor
When you buy a mini PC, you only get the mini PC, nothing else. You will need to buy a keyboard and mouse, a monitor to hook it up to, and speakers to get sound. Of course, those are the basic peripherals you will need, but you can go wild and get much more.
Again, you can reuse your old monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers spil long spil they are compatible with the mini PC.
For monitors: The mini PC only has a mini-HDMI output, so your monitor will need an HDMI port. Also, check if your mini PC comes with a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable, otherwise you&rsquo,ll need to buy that. If your monitor doesn&rsquo,t have an HDMI port, you&rsquo,ll need an HDMI-to-DVI converter. If that sounds like gibberish, here&rsquo,s a quick explanation of movie ports Movie Cables Explained: Difference Inbetween VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports Movie Cables Explained: Difference Inbetween VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports There are so many movie cables out there and it can get confusing. VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort — what’s the difference and why do they even matter? Read More .
Also, if you are buying a fresh one, look for a VESA-compatible monitor, te case you want to climb on your mini PC on your monitor ter the future.
For keyboards and mice: You can&rsquo,t use an old keyboard or mouse with a PS/Two port. Mini PCs only support USB-based or Bluetooth-based keyboards and mice. If you are buying fresh, I would suggest buying a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse since that slijpmachine up a USB port on your unit. For recommendations, check out some of the best wireless keyboards 12 of the Best Wireless All-in-One Keyboards for Mac and PC 12 of the Best Wireless All-in-One Keyboards for Mac and PC Wireless all-in-one keyboards turn a boring living slagroom rekentuig into an titillating huis theater PC. Which one is best for you? Read More .
What You Can Upgrade and What You Can&rsquo,t
Unlike a tower PC, the number of things you can upgrade te a mini PC are severely limited. The smaller size means that the motherboard does not have spil many slots for different parts, strafgevangenis is there any physical slagroom available to getraind them. Te fact, if you open up a mini PC, you&rsquo,ll find it is ideally packed with no slagroom for anything more.
So while you would normally buy a Core i3 CPU now and upgrade to Core i7 Decoding Intel’s Laptop Processor List [Technology Explained] Decoding Intel’s Laptop Processor List [Technology Explained] The modern rekentuig processor has always bot a elaborate chunk of technology, and that shows no signs of switching. Such complexity brings a challenge to companies such spil Intel. Making superb products is one thing. Read More straks, that&rsquo,s not the case with mini PCs. The CPU can&rsquo,t be upgraded. Well, that&rsquo,s not entirely true &mdash, you could technically upgrade it if you&rsquo,re up for a bit of soldering, but that voids your warranty and no manufacturer recommends it. Besides, ter case you do want to upgrade, it would make sense to just buy the next version of the barebones plak, transfer the parts you can, and sell your old mini PC online.
What parts can you upgrade or transfer? Plain. The RAM and the hard drive.
Laptop RAM, Not Desktop RAM
I feel a special mention needs to be made here that mini PCs support only laptop RAM and not desktop RAM. Laptop RAM is smaller than desktop RAM and typically costs slightly more &mdash, the price difference isn&rsquo,t gigantic however.
Also, before you buy RAM for your mini PC, check how many DIMM slots it has. Most mini PCs come with two slots, but there are some which support only a single slot (read terms you need to know when buying RAM 8 Terms You Need to Know When Buying Pc RAM 8 Terms You Need to Know When Buying Laptop RAM While RAM tends to be fairly effortless to find and install, tracking down RAM compatible with your system can prove to be a bit more challenging than a casual user may be expecting. Read More ). You don&rsquo,t want to be stuck with three RAM catapults and no place to getraind one of them. For the typical two-slot config, 8GB of Kingston HyperX Influence is sufficient for most folks.
Ter fact, make sure you know how much RAM you truly need How Much RAM Do You Truly Need? How Much RAM Do You Truly Need? RAM is like brief term memory. The more you multitask, the more you need. Find out how much your pc has, how to get the most out of it, or how to get more. Read More , so you don&rsquo,t overspend.
Hard Drives: M.Two vs Two.Five&Prime,
Mini PCs typically support one of two sizes for hard drives: M.Two and Two.5-inch. The M.Two is only flash storage, while the Two.5-inch format permits for plasticity inbetween an SSD and traditional HDD. It&rsquo,s significant that you know which one you are buying.
M.Two is the fresh version of what wasgoed earlier called &ldquo,mSATA&rdquo,. Thesis SSDs are a bit longer and narrower than a standard SSD. Te fact, they look a lotsbestemming like RAM plunges. M.Two is typically a bit swifter than a standard SSD. The preferred choice is the 250GB Samsung EVO 850 ($100).
Two.5-inch drives are cheaper and available te larger capacities than M.Two. A Two.5-inch SSD is quicker than a Two.5-inch HDD, but an HDD usually offers more storage capacity than an SSD. Go with an SSD Five Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD Five Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD The world of huis computing is moving towards solid state drives for storage. Should you buy one? Read More if you want speed and capacity. Pick an HDD when capacity is what matters, not speed. I would again recommend the 250GB Samsung EVO 850 ($100), spil well spil the 1TB Seagate Hybrid ($76).
CPUs: Intel vs. AMD
Let&rsquo,s go back to the part you can&rsquo,t upgrade lightly: the processor. On the desktop vuurlijn, Intel&rsquo,s fresh line-up of processors Intel Core M: What’s so Fine About the Processor? Intel Core M: What’s so Superb About the Processor? The Intel Core M is the most hyped processor te years, and with good reason: it’s at the heart of a fresh revolution te laptops. Read More is remarkably superior to AMD&rsquo,s latest offerings. Even ter the laptop world, Intel CPUs typically consume lower power and thus give you better battery life. But things are different ter the world of mini PCs.
Mini PCs use the same processors spil laptops. However, since battery life isn&rsquo,t a concern, low power consumption takes a backseat. And recently, AMD&rsquo,s Radeon-powered laptop processors have stepped it up te the graphics department, out-performing Intel&rsquo,s offerings te the same price.
Naturally, you can&rsquo,t buy an Intel NUC with an AMD processor. But several third-party manufacturers use AMD processors, which suggest better spectacle for gaming and pic processing, like with the Gigabyte Brix. Ter fact, if you project to use a mini PC spil an HTPC for your TV, several experts recommend going with AMD overheen Intel.
Gaming is a Bad Idea
While AMD&rsquo,s processors might be better than Intel&rsquo,s when it comes to gaming, the world of mini PCs is still not excellent for a gamer. Even powerful mini PCs don&rsquo,t run the latest games very well. If you&rsquo,re an avid gamer, I&rsquo,d suggest you avoid a mini PC spil the practice just won&rsquo,t be good enough to justify the investment. If you&rsquo,re a casual gamer and aren&rsquo,t picky about getting the highest graphics settings available, then sure, a mini PC will get the job done.
Check If It Has Windows &, Consider Linux
Barebones PCs, because of their nature, don&rsquo,t come with Windows or Linux or any operating system pre-installed. After all, there is no hard drive, right?
But even with non-barebones mini PCs, you will find that some come with an operating system and some don&rsquo,t. You need to check that before you purchase. The voorwerp&rsquo,s description will state clearly whether it &ldquo,supports Windows&rdquo, or &ldquo,comes with Windows&rdquo,. Spil a thumb rule, the word &ldquo,Supports&rdquo, means that it can work, but isn&rsquo,t pre-installed.
Also, know that if you want to get the free Windows Ten upgrade on your fresh mini PC and it doesn&rsquo,t come pre-installed, it&rsquo,s not spil ordinary spil installing Windows Ten Is Your Pc Compatible with Windows Ten &, Can You Upgrade? Is Your Pc Compatible with Windows Ten &, Can You Upgrade? Windows Ten is coming, possibly spil soon spil July. Are you anxious to upgrade and will your system be eligible? Te brief, if your rekentuig runs Windows 8, it should also run Windows Ten. But. Read More directly. You will very first need to install Windows 7/8/8.1, depending on which one you have with the original key, and then upgrade to Windows Ten.
Check Size and Option to Climb on
One of the coolest parts about the mini PC is that its petite size makes it volmaakt to climb on behind your monitor or TV, hidden away discreetly. However, online buyer reviews have several people with 20-20 hindsight suggesting that you check the size of the mini PC before you buy it.
Mini PCs come ter different sizes and the amount of space available inbetween your TV and your wall might not permit for it. Similarly, the mounting plate behind monitors won&rsquo,t getraind every single size. Grab a measuring gauze and check before you buy &mdash, you don&rsquo,t want to regret this straks.
The magic words you are looking for are &ldquo,VESA compatible&rdquo, &mdash, both on your monitor and on your silent mini PC Five Silent Fanless Mini PCs That Will Save You Money Five Silent Fanless Mini PCs That Will Save You Money Miniaturization proceeds to shrink the size of the average PC. What once required several rooms can now getraind ter your pocket. There’s a fresh category, fanless Mini PCs, that’s becoming popular. Read More .
Is It Wise to Wait?
One question everyone has when they are switching their PC: Should I wait, is there something better coming along? Well, when it comes to technology, there is always something better coming along. For example, the upcoming Intel Skylake 6th gen processors are better, the Valve Steam Gaming Boxes will up your gaming quotient.
Like with any rekentuig or mobile technology, if you are willing to wait more than a month, you will always find a better overeenkomst. The question truly becomes how long you are willing to wait. If you can wait a month, wait it out. If you need it sooner than that, buy it now and leave behind about the regret factor.
Recommend a Mini PC!
I have bot using an Intel NUC and absolutely love it. I also got a chance to play around with a Gigabyte Brix spil well spil the HP Stream Mini. Which mini PC would you recommend for someone looking to buy?