What mini-pc to consider? A slightly backwards approach...

safado

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Aug 21, 2020
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I'm looking to pickup a smaller form factor mini-pc to use for primarily generic desktop workloads. My main requirements are the ability to drive a minimum of 2x 4k monitors (ideally 3) and run a NVME drive(s). Normally those are pretty simple requirements and could be met by any number of systems out there.

Where it gets slightly more difficult is I hate buying and being limited by a platform. I have no intention right now of doing anything more with this platform than simple office/consulting work. But I want the flexibility that someday this could be a mild gaming system, or a small proxmox environment, or esxi host or any other countless future tech projects.

So I'm kind of approaching it backwards and saying if I want to spend between $500-1k on a mini-pc that will provide me that flexibility, what solutions should I be looking at and what processors specifically? I definitely want to stay in the smaller form factor/mini-pc arena but am open to anything beyond that.

Thanks for the recommendations!!
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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Why do you need to spend $500-1k$ for office\consulting desktop duty? I've gotten mini-PCS for 100-200$ barebones to ready-to-run, with the 7500T CPU, which is more than enough for desktop\office\consulting type work. At 200$ you get one with 256-500GB SSD or NVME, 16GB and WiFi built-in.

I don't see how you would ever turn any mini-pc into a gaming PC when they can't fit a video card, but maybe I'm missing something ?
 

safado

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Aug 21, 2020
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No you’re not. I don’t know—huge personal flaw I guess—where I want something to be able to do everything and that’s just impossible here.

So any specific business class mini pcs that are solid would be nice. Optiplex 3070 vs Thinkcentre tiny I don’t know this broad segment well enough to pick “the best”.
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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I think the Lenovo units have been good, also the more recent HP's.

If you get a used system, getting the higher end seems to be a small premium but is usually worth it.

Also, pre-Alder Lake (12th gen Intel) the AMD Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series systems from HP were very good, and Lenovo good as well.
 

safado

Member
Aug 21, 2020
33
5
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I think the Lenovo units have been good, also the more recent HP's.

If you get a used system, getting the higher end seems to be a small premium but is usually worth it.

Also, pre-Alder Lake (12th gen Intel) the AMD Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series systems from HP were very good, and Lenovo good as well.
Thanks Patrick—found some very helpful reviews of yours and a few posts here and have a 9th Gen HP and an 11th Gen Lenovo on the way. Appreciate the help!!
 
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