What are you thoughts on NUC or "mini pcs"?

I have been looking into my options for downgrading from a bulky tower for some time and I know they were nowhere near capable just 5 years ago for what I needed but they seem to be a lot better now. I was looking at some benchmarks and other tests and I am really impressed with what I can get for my money.

I have no experience with using one nor know anyone who does so I am curious if someone here knows about them and what their thoughts are? I don’t want to jump he gun and buy one only to later regret it.

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I love the 1L (USFF) mini PC from Dell, HP and Lenovo. I replaced my Microserver Gen 10 with a Lenovo 8th gen i5, and it’s more than enough for me and only idles at 8w. I have esxi running with multiple VMs.

Alot of people on Homelab are moving to 1L PC’s.

Join the wagon :relieved:

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+1 @Ben
I also love the mini, micro and nano PCs from Lenovo and others. Currently, I’m using these two: ThinkCenter M73 and ThinkCentre M715q. Both has 16GB RAM and RAID 0. One is i7 and the other AMD. Got them off eBay 2 years ago for ~ $150 each.

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Good info. Been wanting to look at something like this, myself.

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Welcome to our tech community! :handshake:

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Wish I could run raid. My Lenovo is the cheaper one with only 1 m.2 slot. The other m.2 is blank. :sob:

Here is a pretty cool 1L PC

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I have the Minisforum HX90.

It has a beast of a Ryzen 9 CPU which handles everything I throw at it no problem. No GPU but the onboard GPU does just fine!

Nice! How much was it? Can The igpu play* Skyrim?

I started to look into these more in late 2021. I have had my eye on the Minisforum X500 with the Ryzen 3 4350G. The reason being is that I wanted to set up an entertainment console with my TV. Based on what I read it is a good option.

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That’s pretty cool! Also Impressive little GPU. :eyes:

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Yeah, I’d love a 1L PC that can play games from >2018 sitting on my desk. My main PC rig is great (too big) but all the games I play are older titles, so I don’t really use get to its full potential. And I have no time to pick up any new games with the kids. :+1::grin:

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I love the mini PC – I recently replaced a Dell R610 with a Lenovo M900, and my power bill went down as a result. This is my ESXi server, and while the M900 is a much smaller and less capable machine overall, my VMs run faster because of the much-faster-per-core and much newer CPU. Sure it has less RAM (32GB vs 192GB), but that just means I have to be more selective about what I run on it. For me this was a no-brainer.

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Agreed. I’d rather take a lower bill and kick the jet engine to the curb. That’s why I sold my Microserver, couldn’t stand the large fan when I put the smallest load on the cpu.

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HI, @unixdude Welcome to our community. Great to have you! In case any of you don’t know, he has a bit more than a M900. :slight_smile: You can see some of his setup here:

Yes, the mini PCs are so power efficient! I don’t need more than two of them so I will probably not replace mine in years to come.

With 32GB vs 192GB, you may consider using ZRAM. 8GB of memory setup as ZRAM would bring your memory total to at LEAST 40GB.

But more importantly, would handle running out of memory/swapping with less of a performance hit.

Thanks, you have a great community and I’m glad to be here. I will likely add a second mini PC at some point, but for now I’m doing fine with 1 (even though, yes, its RAM is maxed out). It just limits the experimentation I can do.

I love your ZRAM idea, and will look into that. Right now I use my Synology NAS for VM storage (other than my UniFi Controller and Pi-Hole, both of which need to be on local storage), and my only local storage is a single Samsung EVO 850 250GB SATA SSD. I really should add a m.2 drive to it.

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This is a good middle ground option. For anyone wanting to save a bit but not a bottom barrel experience. You can run a decent amount of things on it and I find Fedora pairs nice with it. I set one up for a friend of mine.

Thanks, everyone for sharing your thoughts and some recommendations on them.

I feel like moving forward, mini PCs will become a staple for offices be they corporate or home based.

I do have another question - What would you say is the best option right now for under $700?

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Beelink SER4 is probably the best you can get for the money. It was $719 but it is currently $699. You can check out the specs on it and see if it fits your needs. It is a solid option.

Beelink is a good company. I would also look at minis forum mini PCs, those are pretty popular.
But to be honest, those mini PCs from HP/Dell are hard to beat for the price :slight_smile:

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