Feeds

Buyer's Guide: Mini Desktop PCs

The Pros and Cons of tiny PCs

High performance access to file storage

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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.