First time to buy a Mini PC- need advice please | PCSPECIALIST

First time to buy a Mini PC- need advice please

kioralaura

Member
Hi, I'm looking to replace my very old PC, and a mini pc looks good, but I'm no expert, and have never bought a PC using a company like PCSpecialist before.

I use my PC mainly for Microsoft Excel, Word, powerpoint, but also use paint net, acrobat reader, some downloaded games, and general internet searching, facebook, etc.

Is a Mini good to run for about 12-14 hours a day, sometimes just left idle, or would this be an issue, and if so, what sort of an issue?

I hope someone can be kind and advise me, thanks :)

This is the spec I've selected so far:

Case
CiT MTX-007B Mini ITX Case 180W
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i5 Six Core Processor i5-9400 (2.9GHz) 9MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME H310i PLUS R2.0: Mini-ITX, LGA1151, USB 3.1, SATA 6GBs
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 2400MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
Integrated Intel® HD Graphics
1st Storage Drive
1TB PCS 2.5" SSD, SATA 6 Gb (520MB/R, 470MB/W)
Memory Card Reader
USB 3.0 EXTERNAL SD/MICRO SD CARD READER
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf European Power Cable
Processor Cooling
STANDARD CPU COOLER
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB/Thunderbolt Options
2 x USB 3.0 PORTS + 4 x USB 2.0 PORTS AS STANDARD
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Google Chrome™
 

Nursemorph

Author Level
For your uses a mini-pc should be fine as it is a relatively low end system so heat will be minimal.

If you let us know a budget, we can look into it as an AMD system may be better. Also, what sort of games when you say "downloaded games"? Are we talking things like Bejewelled (a basic match-3 game) or more complex games? Just trying to decide the level of graphics as to whether integrated graphics is fine or not
 

kioralaura

Member
For your uses a mini-pc should be fine as it is a relatively low end system so heat will be minimal.

If you let us know a budget, we can look into it as an AMD system may be better. Also, what sort of games when you say "downloaded games"? Are we talking things like Bejewelled (a basic match-3 game) or more complex games? Just trying to decide the level of graphics as to whether integrated graphics is fine or not
thanks for your reply Nursemorph. My top budget would be about £575, but that's pushing it a bit to be honest.

Regards gaming, I'm not playing Call of Duty and the likes, more the 3 match games, or scrabble, simple stuff really :D

What would be the price difference or performance difference with AMD rather than Intel 6 core?

Also, been looking at my spec with my husband, and we would appreciate clarification on which option gives the best response time (ie, least lag and waiting while it thinks!) is if we select one of these options:

  1. 1Tb SSD storage + 8 RAM
  2. 500Gb SSD + 8 RAM
  3. 500Gb SSD + 4 RAM
My current PC is old, and only has 4 RAM, and although it has 500Gb hard drive storage, it takes forever to load anything - I have time to almost make a cup of tea while I wait. Is this down to the RAM size, the hard drive storage space, or just simply the age of the technology? I have had it for about 9 years, when it was upgraded from our internet cafe PC, originally bought in 2008. I don't store many files on the PC because whenever I try to do so, the whole system seems to slow down evern more.

Also it takes forever to load Google Chrome (my preferred browser). Again, is this the age of the PC? Our internet is not fast here in France, but it works fine on our laptop, no real delays there.

Sorry to add to my original question, but hope you can help. Much appreciated.
 

Nursemorph

Author Level
The slowness would be a combination...however, the main culprit would be the hard drive. It's not the size of it but a combination of the technology of it and the fact that Windows slows down over time so needs a periodic reinstall. At a guess I would suspect you just have a SATA drive in your PC which would explain the slowness....as an example, in my Xbox there is a slow SATA drive and one particular game I play takes about 2 minutes to go from first clicking on it to getting to a point where I can drive whatever car I am in.....on my desktop, which has an M2 SSD (basically the next generation of SSD), the same scenario takes about 30 seconds! And then there's the time opening menus etc...Xbox takes a few seconds or more, PC it's almost instant
 

kioralaura

Member
The slowness would be a combination...however, the main culprit would be the hard drive. It's not the size of it but a combination of the technology of it and the fact that Windows slows down over time so needs a periodic reinstall. At a guess I would suspect you just have a SATA drive in your PC which would explain the slowness....as an example, in my Xbox there is a slow SATA drive and one particular game I play takes about 2 minutes to go from first clicking on it to getting to a point where I can drive whatever car I am in.....on my desktop, which has an M2 SSD (basically the next generation of SSD), the same scenario takes about 30 seconds! And then there's the time opening menus etc...Xbox takes a few seconds or more, PC it's almost instant
thank you again, so would 4 RAM be sufficient, or would 8 RAM make a real difference in performance, and what about the size of the SSD storage? I currently use an external hard drive to keep most of my files and backup on, so as not to slow down my PC, but it's a real pain to work with!
 

Nursemorph

Author Level
For your uses, 4GB RAM would probably be fine.....however, I'd put in 8GB to make sure and to give some room if your uses change in future.

As to hard drive size, that is entirely your choice and what can be afforded.
 

Nursemorph

Author Level
Regarding the AMD alternative, I wasn';t ignoring that or anything...I tried to do an AMD spec and couldn't get close to your budget...hadn't said anything as was thinking of ways to bring the cost down. Maybe someone else could manage it but, to me, it seems mini AMD systems at your budget level are much more expensive than Intel ones. @SpyderTracks or @Scott Any thoughts on this as I am out of my element with mini systems
 

Nursemorph

Author Level
One thing I would mention: As you are replacing a system, you could transfer your Windows licence across (assuming your old system will no longer be used), install Windows yourself and save the best part of £80 or so
 

kioralaura

Member
One thing I would mention: As you are replacing a system, you could transfer your Windows licence across (assuming your old system will no longer be used), install Windows yourself and save the best part of £80 or so
My windows is 7, so as that is no longer available, I'd rather start with new windows 10 than mess about, but thanks for the thought.
 

Nursemorph

Author Level
I think this is still valid:


So, assuming it still works, upgrade to Windows 10...then:


Then:

 
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