Feeds

Buyer's Guide: Mini Desktop PCs

The Pros and Cons of tiny PCs

The essential guide to IT transformation

When it comes to memory you have to look long and hard to find a system with less than 2GB of Ram and many PCs come with 4GB which is very generous indeed. Bear in mind that Windows 7 Home's 32-bit editions can't use more than 3GB of memory, so don't shell out for a lot more than that unless you also spec up your machine with 64-bit Windows 7.

Mini Desktop PCs

Having a dual-core processor makes a big difference to the performance available to you

Storage is cheap, and you're likely to be offered mini PCs with plenty of hard drive capacity. How much you need will depend on what kind of use you plan to put the machine to. A web-centric nettop, for example, won't require anywhere near as much storage as a device you plan to connect to your telly for video playback. Even a media centre system can get away with a small amount of storage if it'll be simply streaming content off network-connected storage.

Bigger, larger, faster - 7200rpm vs 5400rpm or 4600rpm, for instance - hard drives also generate more heat in use which will, in turn, put more strain on the machine's cooling system. The PC will be able to cope, but it might make more noise in the process - and you don't want that to interfere with your listening or viewing pleasure.

If you accept that a small and quiet Mini PC has limitations then the choice of CPU becomes less important than you might think. We regard a dual-core Intel or AMD CPU to be desirable in any circumstances and essential if you’re running Windows 7. ®

Next: Acer Aspire X5900

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?