Mini PC advice | PCSPECIALIST

Mini PC advice

Hi,

I'm looking to get a new home PC for the living room that will largely be used to surf the internet, watch media and all that standard stuff.

Requirements:

- Need to sit horizontally and be relatively small / slim
- Not *too* loud, i.e. no fans making you feel like a plane is taking off

As such, been looking at the mini pcs (unless there are other options on here too) but am torn between the various options - NUC, Mini PC and the fanless build.

Across all 3, it seems like I can get a decent i5, 16GB and a 1TB SSD for £650-700 with perhaps the mini PC offering most bang for buck in terms of spec (??).

Any advice on pros vs cons and how to make the decision?
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
Will it, or might it in the future, be used for gaming?

And what sort of budget area are you looking at? Just for the PC or also for a monitor + KB + M?
 
No, it's never going to be gaming.

No monitor required (the TV will be the monitor) and don't need a keyboard or mouse either.

Budget is around the £650...
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
You don't really need much in the way of powerful hardware then. Even 16gb RAM is more than you really need.

The only other thing is whether you might use the device as a Plex media server and need to transcode HD video in real time, in which case you'll want a very good CPU. But assumung not...

Maybe the fanless PC then:

Case
Akasa Euler TX Thin Mini ITX Fanless Aluminium Case - Silent!
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i5 Six Core Processor i5-9400 (2.9GHz) 9MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® H310T R2.0: (Mini-ITX, DDR4, USB 3.1, 6Gb/s)
Memory (RAM)
8GB Corsair 2133MHz SODIMM DDR4 (1 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
INTEL® HD GRAPHICS (CPU Dependant) - 1.7GB Max DDR4 Video RAM - DirectX® 12
1st Storage Drive
240GB ADATA SU630 2.5" SSD, SATA 6 Gb (520MB/R, 450MB/W)

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/intel-silent-pc/dEbtHWx03Q/

It's not much more than the NUC:
The Fanless PC has a more powerful CPU and the components are replaceable / removable. i.e. if the motherboard dies in 2 years through sheer bad luck, you could replace it for ~£50. If the mobo dies out of warranty for the NUC, it's probably time for a new NUC.

Alternatively one of the mini PCs in the CiT MTX case:
There are fans. They're probably not too loud for you (ultimately subjective I guess) and the spec is £80 cheaper (though you'll need a wifi adapter?)

If the fanless one's within your budget, and you're happy paying a bit of a premium for guaranteed quiet, then I think that's the best fit.
 
Hey,

Thanks for the recommendations.

I know it's over-specced for what it is but if I'm spending 500-600 then may as well add another 50 quid or so for the extra RAM / whatever.

I forgot to mention that I don't need a copy of Windows so I basically bump up the spec to what I would've paid with Windows added.

Sounds like NUC is definitely out.

So a toss up between the cheaper mini PC (with added M2 drive) or the more expensive fanless one.

I've currently got a Recoil II (i7, 32GB RAM) as my work laptop and the fans can get quite loud when it gets going. Do you know if the mini PC would be equivalent? (though I doubt the mini PC would be worked anywhere near as hard).
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
It shouldn't be anywhere near as loud as it will have a larger fan that can spin more slowly and doesn't have as much heat to get rid of on account of not running a CPU and a beefy GPU together.

In terms of the extra RAM "only" adding £50, if that's RAM you just don't need then then even if it looks like a bargain it might well still be £50 too much :)
 
Thanks..

I'm guessing from the pictures that the mini PC is fine lying flat as well as stood vertically.

Is there any downside to using a WiFi adapter as opposed to a built-in one?

If not and the fan from the mini PC isn't that problematic, there's probably no real reason to spend the extra money on the fanless?
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
As long as the air vents aren't obstructed I guess

Not really other than it using a USB port and being a thing that sticks out from the box. If that's not an issue, then no problem.

Guaranteed silence I guess. Depends how sensitive you are to these things. I'd go with the fanless but I even quite quiet noises bother me once I hear them. If you don't really mind so much, sure, save the cash
 
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