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Anyone know anything about Mini PCs?
kos
Germany
2226 posts
Well living overseas is starting to cause support headaches for my parent's PCs and I would also like to have a very low power one running back in Aus to play with remotely from over here.

So I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with Mini PCs / Nettops / whatever you want to call them?

More specifically can anyone recommend cheap ones that they know are reliable (low power fanless designs would be highly desirable) or give advice on how Intel's Atom chips fare with regular Windows use?
01:22am 18/09/12 Permalink
system
Internet
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01:22am 18/09/12 Permalink
TiT
Brisbane, Queensland
5115 posts
i dont recommend buying atom chipset they are too slow. but you can buy mini-itx motherboards that run, i3 and i5 intels.
09:05am 18/09/12 Permalink
unclebobsticle
Sunshine Coast, Queensland
164 posts
Agree with TiT, I have 2 atoms and both are terribly slow, Asus EeePC and an Intel D525MW, Using the Asus EeePC just for a web browsing PC and the Intel is only being used as a burning box running Mint also hosts my Mp3 collection :P
11:51am 18/09/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20636 posts
Well living overseas is starting to cause support headaches for my parent's PCs
If I moved overseas and people here were ringing me up asking me how to fix their stuff, I'd change my number and move house. What a bunch of selfish pricks, expecting you to fix their PC from across the globe. wtf?

The slowest thing in my EEEBox isn't the Atom chipset, it's the hard drive. I dunno what you clowns are on about.
11:56am 18/09/12 Permalink
Jim
UK
13085 posts
maybe to kos, parents are a bit different than just random people - he might also have access to technology like telephone and internet which help people and computers communicate more easily when you live on the other side of the planet from them
12:04pm 18/09/12 Permalink
IVY_MiKe
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
1262 posts
Small (ish, there are smaller, but this is approximately the same area/displacement as a shoebox) low power and its not gutless.

You want a HP Microserver (Go for the N40 Model, they sell for around $250-300.)

If you want media playback you'll need a low profile video card. I might suggest the nVidia 430GT or 530GT.
(The nVidia cheapies seem better setup than the ATi gear in this price point IMO, I use ATi's in my gaming desktop tho)
12:31pm 18/09/12 Permalink
unclebobsticle
Sunshine Coast, Queensland
165 posts
1st generation atom, 1 gig of memory max and HDD is the fastest piece of hardware in the PC is 2 x corsair F60 SSD's, only because I upgraded to F240's.Try running Darktable/digicam or any photo editing software on it. Cmon compared to any i3 i5 i7 its slow as balls.
Alot of retirees on the cost here take photos and they all use some type of photo editing software.... if it be apature, photoshop or what ever. Hence I pointed out atoms are bad for this situation.
I myself love my atom for what it does but for kos prolly not the best idea.
If it was just for browsing (facebook/social networks) it would be f*****g amazing.
12:34pm 18/09/12 Permalink
tspec
Melbourne, Victoria
3635 posts
Definitely avoid atom and look towards i3/i5. You can get decent prebuilt solutions these days, Intel announced a couple just a few days ago, they look alright definitely suitable for parents. Personally I'd want Thunderbolt and Ethernet, not one or the other, plus USB3 would have been nice.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2012/09/13/intel-nuc-mini-pc-review-first-look/

http://users.victor.edu.au/~gumby/NUC1.jpg
01:16pm 18/09/12 Permalink
Jim
UK
13087 posts
it wasn't clear to me from the OP exactly what he wanted the minipc for, but I didn't get the impression it was to replace his parents pc cos he said "and I would also like to have a very low power one running back in Aus to play with remotely from over here." and his power requirements seemed to suggest he wouldn't be attempting anything remotely cpu-intensive

But anyway, I'm using a zotac zbox ID33BR as a media centre, it's got an atom D525 I think, with an ion GPU. It runs windows just fine and would easily do photoediting software which is going to be mostly memory-intensive for parents resizing/cropping pics or whatever. it's probably out-dated now

it has a fan though, but is super-quiet
01:25pm 18/09/12 Permalink
Eorl
Brisbane, Queensland
7519 posts
On the topic of media centres, has anyone used WDTV? Seems to be a much cheaper route then building my own micro-atx, though I'm a bit lost if its possible to stream media from my desktops HDD to the WDTV. I'm hoping it would be similar to using the PS3 as a media server and just having Serviio relay the files.
01:35pm 18/09/12 Permalink
thermite
Brisbane, Queensland
10243 posts
Eorl there was a thread recently which touched on that http://www.ausgamers.com/forums/general/thread.php/3238101
01:53pm 18/09/12 Permalink
Eorl
Brisbane, Queensland
7520 posts
Ah thanks Thermite, knew a thread was around somewhere!
01:54pm 18/09/12 Permalink
Jim
UK
13088 posts
the wdtv can map your windows share if that's what you mean eorl
02:03pm 18/09/12 Permalink
HERMITech
Brisbane, Queensland
7977 posts
You know, there is something strangely disturbing about "kids" deciding on what "toy" to buy their parents :)

Son: "They won't need that, they can just have the dull, boring slow one"
Sister: "Yes, we can save a bit by not getting more than 2gb ram"
Mother & Father "But kids, Jonnies parents have got a overclocked i7 with 2x intel 240gb S520 and 12gb of ram"

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...


05:14pm 18/09/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20640 posts
maybe to kos, parents are a bit different than just random people - he might also have access to technology like telephone and internet which help people and computers communicate more easily when you live on the other side of the planet from them

But to expect someone on the other side of the planet to fix your problems is stupid and selfish and the typical bulls*** guilt trip style of things that family would be expected to pull. Oh but we're different, we're family, we shouldn't have to pay someone to fix our f***ups because we're family, we're special.

I'm not saying you shouldn't help family but when it requires you to actually have to buy hardware to remotely operate their stuff, or to spend ages on the phone troubleshooting their issues I think it's quite selfish of them to expect him to go out of his way just because "lol family lol".

I had the same s*** with my dad when he was alive. He'd constantly f*** up his computer because he either wouldn't listen to me because "I'm the dad I know best" or he'd randomly delete stuff "because I wanted more memory". After the 10th time I just gave up and told him to f*** off and I'm not fixing it anymore if he's going to keep breaking it because he didn't listen to a word I said.
05:22pm 18/09/12 Permalink
parabol
Brisbane, Queensland
7248 posts
Another 1st-gen Atom here (EeeBox B202). No problem with light browsing or basic document manipulation. Forget HD video.

The current EeeBoxes have newer dual-core Atoms, NVIDIA graphics and USB3 ports, etc. Much beefier and should handle family-related activities including HD video just fine.

The small form factor is the main attraction. They are so thin and tiny. Much thinner than any mini-itx builds I've ever seen. Mine is tucked behind my monitor at work, using s***-all space.
05:23pm 18/09/12 Permalink
kos
Germany
2230 posts
Oops, sorry for the confusion and not being clear about what I actually want! I was just hoping for some general information cause I've never really looked at this form factor or these kinds of CPUs but yeah I am looking for:

- One for my parents that will handle browsing, word processing and some very basic photo editing/scanning and other basic Windows use. For this one a completely pre-built little system that could easily be sent back to the manufacturer under warranty would be ideal.

- One for myself to leave running, preferably the lowest power/noise (fanless) design possible while still being able to run full Linux or Win 7 if I want to put that on it, remote access, web browsing, and possibly torrenting.

I know that it's always going to be a trade-off between power consumption/heat and performance, but I get the impression that the Atom-based systems will probably do the job here for the basic needs.

Edit: For my parents I'm currently looking at the ASUS EB1503-B008E, I can get an open box from Newegg for $225 off.
06:00pm 18/09/12 Permalink
IVY_MiKe
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
1263 posts
I've NEVER been a fan of AMD CPUs, but the AMD Turion s**** all over any/all of the Intel Atoms best I can figure.

Depending on what you want it for kos, I'd seriously recommend one as a 'small PC'.
I've got mine running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 as a filer atm, and it motors along.

They can be had for as little as $220 at the right time of year (for about 8-12 months both the N36L and N40L (only difference was the newer CPU on the N40, and it was packaged with 2Gb of ECC Ram (it will take non-ECC too))featured fairly extensively on OzBargain) but at the moment I can only find this after a quick look on Static Ice
09:14pm 18/09/12 Permalink
koopz
Brisbane, Queensland
9711 posts
But to expect someone on the other side of the planet to fix your problems is stupid and selfish and the typical bulls*** guilt trip style of things that family would be expected to pull. Oh but we're different, we're family, we shouldn't have to pay someone to fix our f***ups because we're family, we're special.


your Dad is your project..
10:39pm 18/09/12 Permalink
kos
Germany
2232 posts
So much rage about family tech support! :) I'm not guilt tripped into doing it, I do it because I want to help, seems like the least I can do considering I was completely dependant on them financially for over half my life so far... :P

And as I said in my previous post, I'm actually hoping this will make it easier for them to deal with problems on their own (for example by being able to simply send the unit back to the manufacturer under warranty if it stops working).

Their current PC (a big hulking old XP machine that uses a lot of power) is getting very long in the tooth so something that is easier to maintain and also consumes significantly less power is ideal.


Thanks for the info so far everyone, those HP Microservers definitely look cool, I'm seriously considering getting one for myself over here as a home server/NAS.
10:50pm 18/09/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20647 posts
your Dad is your project..

sure, know someone who can talk to the dead?
12:20am 19/09/12 Permalink
kos
Germany
2234 posts
12:23am 19/09/12 Permalink
John
Queensland
1 posts
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02:58pm 17/02/13 Permalink
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