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How to Choose a Mini PC

Now if you want to buy a computer, you basically have two choices, buy a desktop host for performance, and a laptop for portability. However, there are still some compromises between the two. The mini host we are going to talk about today can have both portability and performance to meet the needs of specific users.

What is a mini PC?

As the name suggests, the mini host is small, like a book or a router, saving space. Its initial application scenario is HTPC (Home Theater Computer), which can serve as a living room entertainment, resource sharing, and expansion of TV functions. Because the barriers to installation and use are relatively high, after the TV box became popular, its sense of existence was weakened a lot. However, in the past two years, its performance advantages have become more prominent, and the scope of use has also gone out of the living room, with more application scenarios.

However, despite the fact that these mini-computers are mainly portable, they are also quite good in performance and expandability. Some of them carry desktop-level processors, and their performance is not weaker than that of a large chassis. However, this type of host is not without its shortcomings, and its limited internal space limits its performance. Heat dissipation is a major problem. In order to save space and reduce noise, some mini-hosts also use fanless cooling designs. Further limit the performance of the play.

Therefore, although mini computers are good, they are not used by everyone. The following are common usage scenarios:

1. Light office scenes For some lightweight offices, such as text and simple image processing, the performance requirements are not high. Like ordinary large cases, they take up a lot of office space, and notebooks have small screens. , The problem of poor keyboard feel is not suitable for people who sit in the office and work. Because of this, the mini host has a place, which not only saves a considerable amount of space, but also facilitates users to take it to the conference room for display or take home to work at any time;

2. Family scene. On the one hand, the home can be used as the HTPC in the living room as we said earlier, and it can outperform the TV box in terms of audio-visual decoding and expansion functions. In addition, there are many mini consoles that are not bad in appearance. Whether they are placed in the living room or the room, they can be regarded as a good decoration. If you don't want to see it, it is also very easy to hide.

In fact, there is not much difference between mini computer options and ordinary computers. We only need to pay extra attention to the two dimensions of volume and scalability. There is nothing to say about appearance and size, just choose as needed, but for scalability, pay more attention to the interface of the fuselage, such as whether there is a Thunderbolt interface that supports external graphics cards, whether it supports multi-screen output, whether it is desktop-level The processor, these all determine the potential that this machine can ultimately play. If you are not satisfied with a lightweight office, it is best to pay attention to these elements.

Which one to choose?


Mac Mini

Mac Mini is the lowest-priced product in the Mac family. Its appearance also fully reflects Apple's design philosophy. It has an extremely simple look and feel, but it also has quite good scalability. There are two USB 3 ports on the back, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a network cable port, and 4 USB-C ports. It also supports Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort and USB 3.1 Gen2 protocols, and can support up to 3 displays at the same time.

Last year, the Mac Mini launched the latest 2020 model. Compared with the 2018 model, the processor has not changed. It is Intel's eighth-generation Core processor, using Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics, TDP is 65W, of which the SSD is welded to the motherboard, only The memory can be upgraded by itself. In terms of size, this machine is 19.7 cm long and wide, 3.6 cm thick, and weighs 1.3 kg. It is quite convenient to walk around in a bag.

On the whole, in addition to the higher price, the Mac Mini is a relatively balanced device. If you are interested in this machine, you may wish to consider waiting for the release of the Mac Mini equipped with Apple Silicon in September, and then consider placing an order.


Intel NUC

The full name of Intel NUC is "Next Unit of Computing", which can be understood as a new type of computer structure. According to different performances, they are Bean Canyon, Crimson Canyon, Frost Canyon and Hades Canyon (Skeleton Canyon). Its size is also small, the size of Bean Canyon is 117x112x51mm, and the high-end version of Pluto Canyon is slightly larger, 221x142x39mm, which also only takes up very little space.

In terms of configuration, NUC uses a notebook processor, of which Crimson Canyon is equivalent to an upgraded version of Bean Canyon, carrying a low-end discrete graphics card, which can meet ordinary office needs. The Canyon of Hades is obviously much more powerful. It uses the 8th generation i7 processor, 65W TDP, and the graphics card is the Radeon RX Vega M specially built by AMD. According to the test, the performance is comparable to the GTX1060. Basically, it needs to edit videos or run some large games. , It can easily do the job.

As for scalability, NUC is also quite good. After all, Intel made it by itself, and Thunderbolt interfaces are bound to be available, plus some common card slots and interfaces are relatively complete. If it is Pluto Canyon, the interface will be richer.

One thing to pay attention to when buying this machine is that it does not include the system, memory and hard disk. These need to be installed later, and there is a certain threshold for hands-on. But overall, Intel NUC is also a pretty good mini host, and the 3-year warranty policy can relieve you of some worries.


Realan NUC Series

The Realan NUC series is also the main portable mini computer. According to the different configuration, there are a variety of models to choose from.

Take the NUC-P1 and V6-i5K72D4U products as examples. As a technology company that has been working on mini PCs for more than ten years, the new P1 product that will be announced will be as effective as Intel’s official NUC, and even achieve it. Beyond.

Realan Mini Computer NUC V6 is the most popular one sold by Realan Technology. It can be equipped with a Core i3/i5/i7 processor, integrated intel HD Graphics 620 graphics card, and supports MDP/HDMI dual display. In terms of interfaces, M.2 SSD and SATA interfaces are reserved, 3*USB3.0 and 1*USB3.1, Type-C interface (support positive and negative insertion), can support custom personalized customization, chassis optional, highly customized , LOGO and hole customization.

It directly brings practicality and value-for-money experience to business office and home life. On the whole,  Realan Technology NUC V6 has very good expansion and user-friendly design. It is worth it for those who need a mini pocket computer for office work. try

On the whole, the characteristics of the mini host may not yet be accepted by mainstream consumer groups. But it is suitable for those who already have the main machine, and at the same time want to have a portable device to facilitate their mobile office or entertainment needs. For small and medium-sized enterprises, it is also a good choice to replace traditional mainframes with minicomputers, which can save space and purchase costs.

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