Tips for choosing the best mini PC

Tips for choosing the best mini PC
Tips for choosing the best mini PC

There are many good brands of mini PCs that you can find in the market and just like desktop PCs, mini PCs are used for various things, such as getting work done, editing, even playing games. So, choose the best mini PC that suits your needs.

Mini PCs come with a wide selection of processors, from AMD, core i5, to core i7. Of course, the higher the specification, the more expensive it will be. If you are still unsure about buying a mini PC, read my article below!

About how the mini PC works

Mini PC is a computer CPU that is small in size, but has almost the same uses as a computer CPU. To use it, you need to connect the mini PC to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. Then the mini PC can be operated like a desktop PC.

The difference is, the mini PC is smaller so it is more practical for mobility. Compared to desktop PCs, the mini PC's power consumption is also small. Even so, the price range of mini PCs varies greatly.

There are mini PCs at low prices, some are expensive. This depends on the RAM, processor, storage system used, and so on. Generally, the more expensive the mini PC is, the higher the specifications. You can also upgrade the kit in it, such as RAM and internal storage as needed.

Tips for choosing the best mini PC when you want to buy it

Before choosing a mini PC, first understand a few things, such as the type of mini PC, operating system, processor, RAM, and others. Well, each of these important points I will explain in detail here about the mini PC.

Choose the type of mini PC that suits your needs

When viewed from the completeness of the kit, there are two types of mini PCs, namely ready to go and barebones. Of course, each type of mini PC has its own advantages.

1. Ready-to-go: more practical and can be used immediately, ready-to-go mini PCs have a complete kit and can be used directly without having to be assembled first.

Starting from the casing, motherboard, processor, RAM, to the hard drive are included in the purchase package. This type is suitable if you are looking for a practical product. For those of you who want to use a PC with a new impression, choose the type that is ready-to-go.

2. Barebones: high flexibility at a more affordable price, the barebones type only has a case, motherboard, and processor in the purchase package. This means you have to buy and install RAM and hard disk (internal storage) separately.

The advantage is, you can choose the type and capacity of RAM and hard disk according to your needs. The price is also cheaper than the ready to go type. Mini PCs of this type are generally in demand by users who want to replace their PCs by reusing their old components.

Especially if you used a kit from an old PC and didn't buy new RAM and internal storage. That way, data and programs stored both in RAM and internal storage can still be accessed.

View the types of mini PC operating systems available

Many mini PC products already provide an operating system (OS), such as Linux, Windows, Android, or OS X. Android OS has a system similar to Android smartphones, so you can also install applications available on the Play Store.

There is also the OS X operating system that is specifically used on Apple products. OS X is great for those of you who will process images and videos. Next there is the Windows operating system which is widely used on computer devices. Windows OS is ideal for those of you who use a mini PC for office work. Then, there is the Linux OS which is often used by programmers.

Choose a mini PC with an operating system and features that you are familiar with to make it easier and more practical to use. However, there are also products that don't come with an OS so you need to install it yourself. If the mini PC does not provide an OS, check the type of OS that the mini PC is compatible with.

Also check the important specifications that affect the performance of the mini PC

At least, there are three things that will affect the performance of the mini PC, namely the processor, RAM, and internal storage. Of course the specifications of the mini PC you choose must match your needs.

1. Processor: the main key that affects the performance of a mini PC, the processor is arguably the brain of a PC so that it affects its performance. Several types of processors in mini PCs are AMD, M1, Apple M1, and Intel. Of the three types, Intel Celeron and Intel Core are most often installed in mini PCs.

Intel Celeron processors are usually used for low-end PCs. One type is Intel J4125. Processors are more affordable, save electricity, cool, and don't break easily. However, the Intel Celeron is not suitable for running heavy applications or games.

If you want an Intel processor with more powerful performance, Intel Core is the right choice. Intel Core naming consists of the letter "i" followed by a number, such as i3, i5, and i7. The higher the number, the higher the specifications and performance. Intel Core i5 and i7 are typically used for heavy data processing, such as video editing or playing AAA games.

2. RAM: affects data processing performance when running applications, mini PCs come with varying RAM capacities, ranging from 2 GB, 4 GB, 6 GB, 8 GB, and above. Sami recommends a mini PC with 4GB RAM and above.

4 GB of RAM is capable of running a 64-bit operating system and is used to complete office work. You can run light document processing and photo editing applications.

For heavier data computing purposes, choose a mini PC with 8 GB of RAM and above. A Mini PC with 8 GB of RAM can be used for editing more complex and detailed photos to rendering HD quality videos. If you subscribe to the full service Adobe Creative Cloud, a mini PC with 8 GB of RAM is a must-have.

8 GB of RAM can also play AAA class games with a resolution that must be configured to a lower level. If you are looking for a mini PC for playing games, it is recommended to use a mini PC with 16 GB RAM. Unfortunately, ready-to-use mini PCs with 16 GB of RAM are still hard to find. You can opt for a barebones mini PC and upgrade the RAM yourself.

A PC with 16 GB of RAM can also be used to run heavier applications, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects. With large RAM, you can also operate 3D design or modeling software such as CAD with 4K quality video rendering.

3. Internal storage: It is important to store data, Internal storage is an important part to store data. The mini PC's internal storage capacity also varies, such as 32 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and so on. Usually the larger the storage capacity of the mini PC, the more expensive the price.

If you choose a mini PC with small internal storage, you can use additional portable storage. For example, external hard disk or cloud system storage.

For light daily needs, a mini PC with 32–128 GB of internal storage is considered sufficient. This capacity is suitable for storing working documents from MS Office and the like.

However, if you also want to store photos and videos, we recommend choosing a mini PC with 256 GB of internal storage. As for those of you who work as designers and video editors, choose a mini PC with 512 GB or 1 TB of storage.

See also other features that support mini PC performance

In addition to specifications, there are other supporting features that affect the performance of the mini PC. Some of these important things, such as the cooling system, connection ports, and VESA mounts.

1. Cooling system: keep the mini PC machine cool, its small size makes the mini PC more risky when it overheats. Overheat makes the mini PC's performance not optimal so it is important to check the cooling system.

This cooling system, such as fans, ventilation holes, or a combination of both. There is also a type of casing material that is able to suppress excessive temperatures. Having said that, don't forget to check it out too.

2. Connection port: Connecting the mini PC with other devices, another aspect to pay attention to is the mini PC connectivity. The Mini PC you choose should have a USB port either USB-A or USB-C, or as needed.

In addition, there are other types of important ports, namely HDMI, audio jack, LAN, and microSD card reader. Therefore, choose a mini PC with connection port compatibility according to the device you are using.

3. VESA Stand: It's easier to mount the mini PC to the wall or the back of the monitor, do you want to mount the mini PC to the back of the screen or to the wall?

If so, check the VESA (Video Electronic Standard Association) installation. If there is a VESA mount, the mini PC can be connected with a bracket that also has the VESA standard. That way, attaching the mini PC to the back of the screen or wall becomes easier.

Consider opting for an upgradeable mini PC

Like any other computer or desktop, many mini PC products are upgradeable. Mini PCs of this type can add or upgrade critical components, such as RAM, internal storage, or graphics cards.

There are also mini PC types with kits sold separately. You can also choose the CPU, RAM and system storage you want. In this case, you need to check the slots and compatibility between the add-on kit and the mini PC.


For example, say you intend to buy an Intel Core i3 mini PC. If you want to upgrade to a Core i7, you'll need to solder the slots. However, doing so may void any warranty that applies to your Intel mini PC.

Conclusion

There are various types and specifications of mini PCs that you can find in the market. After reading the guide on how to choose the best mini PC, I hope you don't make the wrong choice when you want to buy a mini PC.
 
Whether it's for gaming or work, make sure the mini PC has specifications that suit your needs. Also, double check for compatibility and practicality when carrying. That way, your activities are helped with a mini PC.
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