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  • Mini computer or laptop, or something else?
  • happybiker
    Member

    We need to replace our PC which is about 8years old, a mate of mine built it up for me ages ago, the case is pretty big and after upgrading from W7 to W10, and since reverting to 7 it’s never been the same again, keeps crashing and it’s very slow…

    Looking at something that takes up less room, my wife is WFH and needs to run Citrix so it doesn’t even need to have Office but would probably be used for homework etc for my son. I have a Chromebook which he uses for that.

    Looking at something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beelink-i3-5005U-Processor-Expandable-Graphics/dp/B07P45G3WH is the i3 processor up to playing Windows Flight Simulator?
    Laptops: https://ao.com/product/x512faej1401tbun-asus-laptop-silver-75373-251.aspx
    Or a Huawei MateBook D 15 which is well priced for the spec, probably at the upper end of our budget.

    Any ideas as I’m well out of my depth here?

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Subscriber

    If you’ve already got a monitor and don’t need it to be mobile then the NUCs are pretty good, like that Beelink. I like the build quality and components that go into the genuine NUCs e.g. https://simplynuc.co.uk/nuc-products/ (the top few are pricy, but they start at £300). What’s quite neat about these is that a lot of them can be inserted behind your monitor so you just have a display/keyboard/mouse.

    happybiker
    Member

    Ok, what are NUC’s? I was looking here earlier but they seem a bit more spendy https://www.vjmcomputers.co.uk/product-category/intel-nuc-core-i5-mini-pcs/.
    Any thoughts on i3 vs i5 for my needs, is there a massive differ?

    hols2
    Member

    NUC = Next Unit of Computing.

    They are very small factor PCs. I have a couple, they’re a bit spendy, but you really appreciate the small size once you get used to having one. More powerful than a laptop, much smaller than a full-size desktop.

    Drawback is that they aren’t very upgradable. Good for office stuff, but gamers aren’t going to be interested because you can’t upgrade the graphics. Same with the CPU, generally soldered to the motherboard.

    mattyfez
    Member

    Any thoughts on i3 vs i5 for my needs, is there a massive differ?

    Depends on what generation they are, a newer i3 is about as good as an older i5 from a few generations ago. Watch out for retailers using old model Intel CPUs in pre-built systems as it’s a bit of a scam to keep their costs down.

    Also the newer AMD chips seem to offer a lot more bang for buck than Intel, currently.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Subscriber

    Depending on how small you need, something like this might be small enough

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324175123046

    I bought one last year, but with 8gb RAM, and put a second SSD in it for storage.

    It’s pretty quiet and plenty quick enough for general browsing/office etc and it runs my work Citrix desktop fine.

    There’s probably a newer version available for sensible money now.

    happybiker
    Member

    The main thing is to have something that takes up less space than the breeze block I currently have which is why these appeal to me!
    Not overly fussed about the graphics although my son is keen to get Flight Simulator, not sure if it’ll be asking a bit much of it?

    mattyfez
    Member

    NUC type machines can be very competent office/media centers, but for gaming it’s pretty much a no-no. Flight sims can be very demanding: https://www.kitguru.net/gaming/matthew-wilson/microsoft-flight-simulator-2020-gets-minimum-recommended-and-ideal-pc-system-requirements/

    A NUC is unlikely to meet even the minimum specification, and ‘minimum specifications’ should generally be disregarded as they don’t make for a great experience.

    happybiker
    Member

    Ok thanks for explaining that, guess he’ll have to wait for it to come out on Xbox and which makes the choice a bit easier.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Subscriber

    NUC = Next Unit of Computing.

    They are very small factor PCs. I have a couple, they’re a bit spendy, but you really appreciate the small size once you get used to having one. More powerful than a laptop, much smaller than a full-size desktop.

    Isnt that what the mini mac is which has been around for the best part of 10 years?

    I’ve just bought a Dell Inspiron 3471 small desktop from the outlet store – i5, 8GB RAM 256GB SSD/1TB HDD. Seems to do what it should. Moto G7 Plus next to it for size comparison

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2j4TbRx]20200523_185141[/url] by davetheblade, on Flickr

    CraigW
    Member

    Or look at the Shuttle XPC cubes. Maybe not quite as mini, but smaller than most desktop towers.
    They can be built up into quite powerful machines. Most have space for a decent graphics card, if you want to use it for gaming. Though could get expensive, if you want to play the latest games.

    happybiker
    Member

    That Dell is much more compact than my current pc, thinking of mounting it under the desk or in the desk out if sight.

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