I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

A forum for video games, new & retro, on consoles, computers, handheld & mobile. Also for tech talk, things like PC parts, phones etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Calavera
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:41 am

I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Calavera »

I'm pretty sure I asked about this in the past. I searched for the thread but couldn't find it so I'll just start a new one.

A family member of mine is finally willing to ditch the old Phenom II X4 965 machine. They have their computer hooked up in the living room to a TV and don't really do much on it besides web browsing so I recommended a mini PC. I looked around a bit on Newegg but what I saw seemed kind of expensive for the power.

It needs to be at least as powerful as the Phenom II X4 965, hopefully more powerful since it is a CPU from 2009! They don't really do any gaming but they still have a Wii hooked up and use it from time to time. The image of course doesn't look very good on a modern 58" TV so I would like the new PC to at least be able to run Wii games in Dolphin at 1080p. I don't think that is too crazy of a requirement to ask for since a nearly 10 year old GPU is able to accomplish that.

So I'm looking for some recommendations on a Mini-PC that will meet those requirements. I really have no idea what something with those capabilities will cost. The cheaper the better obviously. I would say I'd like to stay around the $500 range but any recommendations are welcome.

I know I ask for PC and PC parts recommendations on here a lot and I appreciate you guys always coming through. I just hope I'm not getting too annoying with all the asking!
Image

User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 19934
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

This mini PC is close to your price range ($549 for the Ryzen 7 5899H version) and can run PS3 games and play 4k video:

https://store.minisforum.com/collection ... 4331446517



I'll look for some of the other mini PCs later because there are probably some cheaper ones that might be good enough as well.

The old thread is here, and features some cheaper options:

https://www.bg.blueguerilla.org/viewtop ... 884#p54884
Calavera wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 2:49 pm I know I ask for PC and PC parts recommendations on here a lot and I appreciate you guys always coming through. I just hope I'm not getting too annoying with all the asking!
It's fine. "thumbsup

User avatar
ian
Null Dream Team
Posts: 2813
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:36 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by ian »

I'd do what melancholy suggests in the old thread. go with a nuc, or a clone like a gigabyte shitting Brix etc.

At your budget, you could get a nice bare bones mini and populate it with enough Ram and storage to be a nice little unit.
If I should Die Hard Arcade before I Alan Wake.
PREY the Lords of Lore my Soul Calibur to Take
-Two Interactive.

User avatar
Stormwatch
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:41 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Stormwatch »

Maybe you're starting this whole thing from the wrong premise. That still sounds perfectly fine for general use, so WHY would a mini PC be a discernible improvement? The size alone? Do you intend to move it around often, so that's an issue?
Image

User avatar
melancholy
Global Mod
Posts: 1881
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:32 am
Location: Indiana

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by melancholy »

I’m kinda with Stormwatch on this. Yeah, it’s old, but if all they do is surf the web, why buy them some expensive gaming PC? You really think they are going to go through the trouble of pairing Wiimotes with Dolphin and configuring it all to work on their TV? $500 is a lot of money to have someone sink into functionality if they won’t use it. I understand the smaller form factor for a TV computer, and I imagine that hulking thing is a power hog compared to new PC’s. So why not just get a used Intel NUC off Ebay for $150? Skip the gaming power and get something that’s the size of a Roku, barely sips electricity in standby, does everything they currently do with the speed of a modern computer with an M.2 drive, and saves them $300.

User avatar
Stormwatch
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:41 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Stormwatch »

melancholy wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:47 pm with the speed of a modern computer with an M.2 drive
Check these tests, in practice M2's advantage over SATA is quite small.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt_iJTrzOus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3AMz-xZ2VM

So here's a low cost upgrade path: add a cheap SSD, max out the RAM, and of course install Linux. :orazz:
Image

User avatar
Calavera
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:41 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Calavera »

melancholy wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:47 pm You really think they are going to go through the trouble of pairing Wiimotes with Dolphin and configuring it all to work on their TV? $
I don't know if you've used Dolphin with real Wiimotes lately but all you do after opening it is press 1+2 on the Wiimote and it connects. It is extremely simple. I would set it up so all they had to do is open Dolphin press 1+2 and click the game they want. So yes I do think they would do that.
melancholy wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:47 pm500 is a lot of money to have someone sink into functionality if they won’t use it. I understand the smaller form factor for a TV computer, and I imagine that hulking thing is a power hog compared to new PC’s. So why not just get a used Intel NUC off Ebay for $150? Skip the gaming power and get something that’s the size of a Roku, barely sips electricity in standby, does everything they currently do with the speed of a modern computer with an M.2 drive, and saves them $300.
That is true. I honestly didn't think a mini-pc with the graphical power of a nearly decade old video card would be more than around $300. If I can get an Intel NUC that is equal to or greater than the power of their current PC I'll do that no problem and forget the more powerful video card. I'll have a look around on Ebay and see what I can find.
Image

User avatar
Calavera
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:41 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Calavera »

Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 3:08 pm This mini PC is close to your price range ($549 for the Ryzen 7 5899H version) and can run PS3 games and play 4k video:

https://store.minisforum.com/collection ... 4331446517
That actually looks like a pretty decent deal. I looked into it and the Ryzen 7 4800U is apparently pretty decent at playing Wii at 1080p. That system configured with the 4800U 16GB ram and a 512gb SSD is $419. But configured with a 4800U no ram or SSD it is $110 cheaper coming in at $309(with free shipping!). I've already got an SSD to use and 16GB of DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM can be had for $50. So that would be $359 total, not bad. $360 isn't that bad of a price considering this will last them for years and years to come.

I'll still take a look at the NUCs though but this one looks pretty decent so far.
Image

User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 19934
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

You can get this one with the 4800U bare for $289.

https://store.minisforum.com/products/m ... 0884117665



And here's ETA Prime's video of the other one with the 5625U APU. It runs PS3 & Switch.


User avatar
Calavera
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:41 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Calavera »

Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:39 pm You can get this one with the 4800U bare for $289.

https://store.minisforum.com/products/m ... 0884117665
Funny you mention that one because that is the other one I was considering. One reason is because it is in stock at their US warehouse so it wouldn't take forever to get here from overseas. It is also $40 cheaper and looking at the specs of both I don't really see a difference between the two.

The UM560/UM580 is $419 with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 and the Elitemini HM80 is $379 with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB M.2. So the only difference I really see is the SSD size. Is that the only difference or am I missing something?

If they are the same power than I'll get the Elitemini.
Image

User avatar
melancholy
Global Mod
Posts: 1881
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:32 am
Location: Indiana

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by melancholy »

Calavera wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:36 pm
Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:39 pm You can get this one with the 4800U bare for $289.

https://store.minisforum.com/products/m ... 0884117665
Funny you mention that one because that is the other one I was considering. One reason is because it is in stock at their US warehouse so it wouldn't take forever to get here from overseas. It is also $40 cheaper and looking at the specs of both I don't really see a difference between the two.

The UM560/UM580 is $419 with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 and the Elitemini HM80 is $379 with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB M.2. So the only difference I really see is the SSD size. Is that the only difference or am I missing something?

If they are the same power than I'll get the Elitemini.
It looks like the biggest differences is in the ports. The UM560 has more USB-C ports with faster data rates than the single USB-C port on the HM80. It also has 2 HDMI vs the 1 HDMI/1DisplayPort of the HM80. In other words, nothing really important for what your using it for.

User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 19934
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

The UM560 is prettier, but as mel said, besides the ports there's not much difference.

User avatar
Calavera
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:41 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Calavera »

I ended up going with the Elitemini HM80 It came yesterday. I've got it hooked up and I'm very impressed with it. So much better than that old Phenom system in it's old beat up case. It seems to be totally silent and the performance is great.
Image

User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 19934
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: I need a bit more PC advice. Mini-PC

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

Nice. You can now make an ETA Prime style video about it.

Post Reply