Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-passive?

Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

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cloneman
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 9:48 am

Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-passive?

Post by cloneman » Tue May 24, 2016 12:52 am

I forget if I've ranted about this here before, but it seems to be coming up over and over again. Prebuilt mini pcs are just so expensive and unattractive.

I recently had the opportunity to play with some Mac Minis. The thing is real sleeper. Sure, it has a fan, but afaik it's off on light loads, and it's as whisper quiet as the macbooks when its on. Granted, I've never owned a nuc. I'm working under the assumption that it's louder than a Mac Mini just because I havent heard anyone call it a quiet device. It's also expensive considering the mac mini is almost the same price.

I'd love a semi-passive mini pc. I can tolerate the fact that fully passive mini PCs are still expensive, rare, and for some reason, european, but what about silence oriented mini PCs, and semi-passive? I see a whole lot of Atoms and Celerons :roll:

The entire quiet PC industry has made leaps toward semi-passive and silence oriented (think laptops, Video Cards, new hybrid PSUs) but for some reason the Mini PC industry is stagnating. Heck, we have Core M fanless laptops but no Core M Fanless mini PCs!

It would be really nice for Intel or someone else to release a semi-passive NUC or Compute Stick product, and advertise it as such. In the current market situation, the best value purchase for a mini pc is still a old laptop (perhaps with a broken display) that has a known-functioning fan control software (dell, lenovo to name a couple)

edh
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Location: UK

Re: Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-pass

Post by edh » Tue May 24, 2016 1:14 am

What exactly do you consider a mini PC? How small does it have to be?

There are tonnes of fanless NUCs and passive MiniITX is possible. There are many solutions but are you just talking about prebuilt systems?

cloneman
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 9:48 am

Re: Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-pass

Post by cloneman » Tue May 24, 2016 2:17 am

I'm mostly talking about prebuilt systems. I'm aware of mini-itx and fanless nuc cases. The NUC problem comes down to cost. If it was semi-passive out of the box I'd accept it, but if I have to purchase an additional accessory for it, I might as well do my own mini-itx build.

edh
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Location: UK

Re: Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-pass

Post by edh » Tue May 24, 2016 3:13 am

cloneman wrote:If it was semi-passive out of the box I'd accept it, but if I have to purchase an additional accessory for it
What accessory to you mean? NUC units are largely fanless anyway so why would you want to add a fan?

If you want something silent, build it yourself. We have to realise that while quiet computing is now more mainstream, mass market products are going to be less likely to meet our exacting needs. I don't blame them, they have a business to run.

xan_user
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Re: Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-pass

Post by xan_user » Tue May 24, 2016 6:26 am


Abula
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Re: Mini PC Makers asleep at the wheel? Where's my semi-pass

Post by Abula » Tue May 24, 2016 6:51 am

cloneman wrote:I'm mostly talking about prebuilt systems. I'm aware of mini-itx and fanless nuc cases. The NUC problem comes down to cost. If it was semi-passive out of the box I'd accept it, but if I have to purchase an additional accessory for it, I might as well do my own mini-itx build.
The Nuk and alikes have a clear advantage that to some might or not matter, their size, no mini itx build will ever end up as small, and to have access to certain CPUs that are not sold to install but they are soldier to their mobos, its a different market, and one that appeals to a lot. There are a lot 3rd party case makers like Akasa, HDDPlexx and Steacom, to mention some that do custom fanless cases for them, so if you want the small factor and their special cpus, then you gotta go that route, else as you said you can build your own, but it will be bigger and not with those cpus, would that matter.... only you can decide.

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