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Mini-PC Buying Guide for 2019

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Mini-PC Buying Guide for 2019 Pin It


These features are particularly important when buying a Mini-PC

5.1. Processor and power

The processor (CPU) is the computing unit of a computer . The higher its clock frequency, the faster it can process commands. For games and compute-intensive graphics programs to work fine, we recommend a mini-PC with at least two gigahertz (GHz) or a dual or quad-core processor. Popular CPU types are Intel Atom, Intel Core i5, Intel Pentium and AMD A8.

Attention: For the professional use of very computer-intensive programs such as Adobe Photoshop, the processing power of the current Mini-PCs is usually not enough. The better choice for this is a desktop PC with at least 3.6 gigahertz.

5.2. hard disk

Many Mini PCs use Solid State Drives (SSD) instead of Hard Disk Drives (HDD)as their storage media compared to desktop PCs . SSDs work with a different storage method without moving parts. This makes them more compact, lighter and more robust. In addition, they allow shorter access times and work quieter.

Since all the files are stored on the hard drive, you should not choose the capacity too small, especially if you have a lot to film or photograph and store their works on the computer.

Currently, the range of hard disk capacity is up to three terabytes (TB). For normal users, however, 500 gigabytes (GB) or 1 terabyte is usually sufficient. Store your data in the cloud, even a 32GB SSD is enough, such as the CSL Narrow Box ULTRA HD installed.

5.3. random access memory

The currently available mini-PCs have RAM between two to 16 gigabytes . The more complex and computationally intensive the applications they use, the larger the memory should be.

Two to four gigabytes are enough if you only use the computer for writing texts, surfing the internet and occasionally watching movies or listening to music. However, if you would like to use it for gaming or for editing photo, graphics and video, you should choose a device with eight to 16 gigabytes of RAM.

5.4. operating system

You can choose between mini-PCs with different operating systems , such as Android, Linux, Windows 10 or older Windows versions or the MacOS from Apple. Each operating system has its advantages and disadvantages, so there is no general recommendation here. If in doubt, choose a mini PC with the operating system that you are already familiar with.

5.5. domestic equipments

The mini PC box with an optical drive for reading and writing to CD, DVD or Blu Ray is almost a thing of the past. By installing such drives, the device dimensions and weight become larger. Many computer users now also store their data in the cloud or on external media and drives.

5.6. connections

If you want to use your Mini-PC for more than just surfing the Internet, it should have at least these ports :

  • USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 for connecting keyboards, mice and external hard drives
  • HDMI for connection to a TV or as a fast interface for connection to the monitor
  • LAN port for connecting to a network or the Internet if you do not want to use Wi-Fi
  • WLAN module for connection to the Internet or other devices such as the smartphone
  • possibly Bluetooth for connecting to wireless devices such as speakers, headphones, smartphones
  • possibly memory card slot for reading SD cards
  • Connections for connection to a microphone, speaker or headphones

6. Well-known manufacturers and brands of mini-computers

  • Lenovo
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • Apple
  • Acer
  • MSI
  • Asus
  • HP

If you want to buy a mini PC, you will find great dealsfor example at Conrad, in MediaMarkt, at Saturn, at Aldi or in the numerous online shops. It does not necessarily have to be the Mini PC test winner, because the best mini PC in the test may not be well suited for your purposes. Therefore restrict models in the test also with regard to your requirements.

The manufacturers bring out new brands or revised models and the costs for older devices fall then. The Esprimo Q556 from Fujitsu, the OptiPlex 3040 MFF from Dell and the ThinkCentre M700 Tiny from Lenovo achieved good to medium good results in the test . For example, the Asus VivoMini UN45H and the Trekstor MiniPC W2 were rated as adequate.

7. These questions may interest those who want to buy a mini PC in 2019

7.1. Can I play World of Warcraft (WoW) with a Mini-PC?

This only works if the mini PC meets the minimum requirements for WoW. Currently, according to the manufacturer at least one RAM with 2 GB of RAM and a hard disk space of 45 GB needed to play the game with pleasure. In addition, at least one Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 or AMD Phenom II X3 720 as an AMD Radeon HD 5670 processor or graphics card, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 440 or an Intel HD Graphics 5000 should be installed.

7.2. Is every Mini-PC fanless?

Most current models have no fan and are therefore very quiet.

7.3. Which mini PC is suitable for connection to 4K monitors?

It depends on which graphics chip and which monitor connector are present on the Mini-PC. Only digital connections such as HDMI or DisplayPort can transmit 4K signals to the monitor due to a high transmission rate. If there is only one VGA or DVI connection on the Mini PC, the transfer rate is not sufficient.

As a graphics card, for example, an Intel from the sixth generation, such as Intel Skylake or Core-i-6000 are suitable. Also cards of the series Radion RX 500 or GeForce GT / GTX 1000 fulfill this purpose. Current devices that meet the requirements are the CSL Intel NUC Core i7-7567U and the ZBox EN860.

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