What's the best tiny computer?
April 25, 2016 11:20 AM   Subscribe

What are your suggestions for the best tiny PC kit that I can run Windows on? I'm talking about ones that are under 8" square.

I had an Intel NUC 6i5SYK that was working pretty well for me until the video stopped working entirely. Upon calling Intel tech support they almost immediately offered a replacement/refund without doing any actual troubleshooting, so I'm thinking this is a common problem and maybe it wouldn't be the best idea just to get a replacement.

I loved the tininess of the NUC, and although I play games sometimes, the main thing I was using the NUC for was as a Plex server. But it's nice to have the additional benefit of having a Windows PC that I can play some silly games on attached.

As a side effect of the return I have DDR4 RAM and an M.2 SSD that also need a new home, so the ability to use this hardware in a new system is a plus.
posted by that girl to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Mac Mini
posted by humboldt32 at 11:34 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Either Mac mini (with Boot Camp to run Windows) or Cirrus7. You could probably reuse some of those pieces in a Cirrus7.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:53 AM on April 25, 2016

If you're suspicious of the reliability of the NUC, you could try the Gigabyte BRIX which is basically the same form factor. Until Apple updates them, the Mac Mini would be a step down from the processing power of the NUC6 line. They also don't, I think, support m.2 drives (they may even have soldered in storage like the rest of Apple's machines do now).
posted by dis_integration at 11:58 AM on April 25, 2016

You might also look at the HP Pavilion Mini line. I would keep exchanging that NUC until you get a good one. They'll eventually work out their production issues.
posted by cnc at 1:01 PM on April 25, 2016

The I6 NUC's use mobile Skylake CPU'S and there are indeed unresolved issues. I'd be wary of anything with a mobile Skylake chip until the issue is resolved.

Lenovo makes a very small mini desktop as part of its ThinkCenter line.
posted by justcorbly at 1:21 PM on April 25, 2016

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