Mini PC to replace iMac 27" | PCSPECIALIST

Mini PC to replace iMac 27"

Hi - we have an old mac in the kitchen that needs replacing.

Space is limited but I prefer the idea of a min PC over an AIO so that we can upgrade as we go. We want to mount the PC on the back of the screen.

We have about £500 to spend on the mini PC that will be used for browsing managing the photo album and basic word processing etc.

No idea if we should go for intel or AMD or intel NUC and would welcome any guidance.

Thank you!
 

TonyCarter

Bright Spark
This is where I'd normally recommend a nice new Apple M1 MacMini...but while it's fast and you're used to MacOS, it's a throwaway machine that you'd have to buy in the config you're happy to live with for 5 years (I have Intel & M1 Mac Minis, along with an old cheese grater MacPro, and various generations of white plastic & alu iMacs).

However, the Mini-PCs are very good value, if limited in their upgrade options, but in one of these what else other than RAM and SSD would you even plan to upgrade...the next upgrade would be a faster APU (CPU/GPU on same board/chip).

With that in mind, I've been using a 2 year old Intel NUC with a 4-core 8th Gen i5 as a media centre connected to a 27" TV - but I've also got a wireless keyboard/trackpad so that it can be used for web browsing and emails, etc. It's not shown any sign of slow-down or issues and it's on everyday. It isn't used for downloading any apps/programs (only streaming), so there's also not much chance of getting filled with malware, so there's not happening on it that's likely to cause issues.

At the same pricepoint as I paid (£500 all-in) you'll get a faster machine than I got at the time, so I suggest either:
or
...would suffice.

The only consideration on both of those is whether you need 6/8 cores, or whether you could drop to a lower processor to offset the cost of faster/more RAM/SSD (4gbx2400mhz to 8gbx2666mhz and 256gb to 512gb)?

If that's the case, you could go for one of these, but change the RAM and SSD to 2666mhz 8gb and 512gb respectively...

Just don't expect to be able to do any heavy gaming sessions in the kitchen though ;)

Personally, I'm in the AMD camp at the moment, due to being fed up of Intel's games over the last few years. In actual usage, you probably won't notice any difference between them.
 
This is where I'd normally recommend a nice new Apple M1 MacMini...but while it's fast and you're used to MacOS, it's a throwaway machine that you'd have to buy in the config you're happy to live with for 5 years (I have Intel & M1 Mac Minis, along with an old cheese grater MacPro, and various generations of white plastic & alu iMacs).

However, the Mini-PCs are very good value, if limited in their upgrade options, but in one of these what else other than RAM and SSD would you even plan to upgrade...the next upgrade would be a faster APU (CPU/GPU on same board/chip).

With that in mind, I've been using a 2 year old Intel NUC with a 4-core 8th Gen i5 as a media centre connected to a 27" TV - but I've also got a wireless keyboard/trackpad so that it can be used for web browsing and emails, etc. It's not shown any sign of slow-down or issues and it's on everyday. It isn't used for downloading any apps/programs (only streaming), so there's also not much chance of getting filled with malware, so there's not happening on it that's likely to cause issues.

At the same pricepoint as I paid (£500 all-in) you'll get a faster machine than I got at the time, so I suggest either:
or
...would suffice.

The only consideration on both of those is whether you need 6/8 cores, or whether you could drop to a lower processor to offset the cost of faster/more RAM/SSD (4gbx2400mhz to 8gbx2666mhz and 256gb to 512gb)?

If that's the case, you could go for one of these, but change the RAM and SSD to 2666mhz 8gb and 512gb respectively...

Just don't expect to be able to do any heavy gaming sessions in the kitchen though ;)

Personally, I'm in the AMD camp at the moment, due to being fed up of Intel's games over the last few years. In actual usage, you probably won't notice any difference between them.
Excellent, thanks @TonyCarter . The kids both have dedicated gaming laptops and an xbox so this should escape anything other than a bit of roblox.
 

DarTon

Bronze Level Poster
I'd reject the Intel solutions unless a Thunderbolt port is necessary.

Taking a rather arbitrary (but still indicative) CPU benchmark, Passmark, the processing capabilities are the four solutions @TonyCarter outlined are as follows:
Intel Core i3-10110: 2 cores, 4 threads, single core score 2309, multi-core score 4034
Intel Core i5-10210U: 4 cores, 8 threads, single core score 2268, multi-core score 6492
AMD Ryzen 4500U: 6 cores, 6 threads, single core score 2470, multi-core score 11243
AMD Ryzen 4700U: 8 cores, 8 threads, single core score 2574, multi-core score 13781
[Apple M1: 8 cores, 8 threads, single core score 3759, multi-core score 15131]

You don't need huge processing power for web browsing, word processing and looking at photos but still the i3-10110 is very underpowered. This is 25% less multi-core capabiity that a typical i5 desktop processor from 2014!

The AMDs are really way ahead so if you can afford to get one it's a bit of a no-brainer.

Of course the Apple M1 destroys all of them ... just look at that single core score.
 
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