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Mini PC – as small as it gets

General, Hardware

A while ago mobile phones were big and heavy. A while ago camcorders and digital cameras were big and heavy. A while ago computers were… big and heavy too! But time passed, technologies improved and devices began to get smaller, lighter and more powerful. Although big and heavy desktop computers are still in high demand due to their unbeatable computational power and virtually limitless upgrade capabilities and it is very unlikely that this form factor will vanish soon, PCs in a small form-factor are becoming more and more popular. They called it a Mini PC.

Small size with big ambition

People are often wondering which form-factor to choose when buying a new computer and ask themselves the ultimate question – “Would it fit the purpose?” The earlier versions of Mini PCs were quite limited in their computing possibilities, which was subjected to several reasons:

  • impossibility to install a powerful CPU equipped with full-size cooler risking overheating the system due to small space and high level of components integration.
  • absence of discrete video card
  • poor upgrading capabilities
  • generally lower performance of the system components due to its smaller size and low power consumption (actually, low power consumption maybe treated as an advantage) in comparison with full-sized desktops versions.

However, the situation has changed over time – Intel™ and AMD™  have released a series of the low-power versions of modern CPU’s that are powerful enough to meet the requirements of the advanced users and even gamers. Some custom models of today’s Mini PCs offer the ultimate combination of minimalistic design in a small case with the horsepower charged into it. State of the art cooling solutions, such liquid loop water-cooling, allow to implement vast variety of configurations in the space limited case. Gamers might be overly surprised that gaming versions of Mini PCs could be superior to gaming consoles, and even full-sized gaming desktops. Having one of these, gaming enthusiasts traveling to LAN events, parties or contests will enjoy having a gaming rig with incredible portability.

So, let us see the majority of the advantages of building a custom Mini PC:

  • Portable size allows to us it in the limited space available or visit LAN parties
  • Carefully selected and balanced configuration of the system components with appropriate cooling solutions in order to ensure high performance while staying cool and quiet
  • Ability to use an existing TV panel as a display without overloading limited space around with additional external display

Nikita Fedorov

I'm a marketing professional who loves to get down to the geeky details. When I'm not studying the latest components or industry news, I can be found biking, hiking or gaming.

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