Equivalent Mac Mini PC

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by krause734, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. krause734 macrumors 6502

    krause734

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #1
  2. Jtludwig macrumors 6502

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    Mar 24, 2012
    #2
    I really like the Lenovo M900 Tiny. It works great as my Plex server.
     
  3. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #3
    Well, Dell is certainly a top producer of reliable and inexpensive computer hardware. :) Lenovo is another good name; I'm less enthusiastic about HP these days, as their reliability seems to have gone down. There are lots and lots of options out there.

    If you're looking for a small-form-factor box like the Mac Mini, you're in luck, as a wide range of options has become available in the last year or so (most of which are significantly superior in both performance and in upgradability). However, your link points to a particular type of device that has been conspicuously absent from Apple's lineup for ages: the classic "tower PC"! If you're fine with this form-factor, it is really the way to go -- it features the best price / performance ratio, the most powerful components, the most versatile drive options, and the ability to add expansion cards to adjust or improve the abilities of your machine as needed...
     
  4. bobpensik macrumors regular

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    Calgary, AB
    #4
    I've been looking at upgrade options for my 2011 Mac Mini as well, and two products have caught my attention are the Intel Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK) and the Alienware Alpha R2. Both small form factor and decent specs.
     
  5. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

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    #5
    If you are going to switch to PC, I'd build one. You can build a very capable Mini ITX for not that much, and the cases can be very small if you don't need a graphics card.
     
  6. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #6
    Gigabytes BRIX Series are out now and available to order in the UK. These have Kaby Lake processors suitable for a mac mini equivalent, i.e. Dual Core i7 2.7GHz with Intel 620 GPU that can do 4K at 60Hz.

    Not as high spec as a Skull Canyon.

    The novelty of building one soon wears off. Built enough over the years.
     
  7. Zenithal Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #7
    Is the Mini considered a NUC? Then Skull Canyon. Otherwise, I'd say building your own mini computer using a mini-ATX board and a small case would offer better value in the long run. Plus, they're very fun to build! Though I'll freely admit my definition of fun is different than most people's.
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #8
    The Mini is a "Small Form-Factor" (or "SFF") PC. Intel has also been making SFF PCs for a while now; the brand-name for their SFF line is "Next Unit of Computing", or "NUC".

    So no, Minis are not NUCs. :)
     
  9. Boyd01, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #9
    Thanks for posting this. People have been tossing these acronymns around here like crazy, and I've never seen either outside of this forum (but I don't frequent places where they might be discussed). I had guessed what SFF meant, but would never have figured out NUC. And I'm pretty sure I'll have already forgotten by next week. ;)
     
  10. Zenithal Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #10
    Ah. I thought it was like how they came up with "ultrabook" and that a laptop has to adhere to certain design protocols to be qualified as an ultrabook. Thanks for the info. Would a mini-ATX or ITX board in a small case qualify as a SFF?
     
  11. twalk, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016

    twalk macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2009
    #11
    Keep in mind that there's currently well over 7000 different SFF PCs available for sale worldwide, not counting different configurations. There's a huge amount more of them available than people think.

    That said, for US buyers, you've got some categories based on want/need (volume in liters):

    compute stick: plugs into a hdmi port
    size: < 0.1L
    comes with OS?: yes
    common cpu: Y series (not much processing power here & very expensive for what you get)
    graphics: processor graphics
    ex: Intel Compute Stick

    ultra compact: typically sold as a "barebones" kit, add memory and storage
    size: 0.4L to 0.8L or so
    comes with OS?: usually not
    common cpu: U series, nearly all of them 2 core
    graphics: almost always processor graphics
    ex: Intel NUC, Gigabyte Brix, many Zotacs

    custom SFF: typically a complete PC, just plug in
    size: 1L to 2L or so (note that the Mini is about 1.4L)
    comes with OS?: usually
    common cpu: U series
    graphics: almost always processor graphics
    ex: Mini. all of the PC manufacturers have their own version, some multiple

    mini-STX: These are built on the new mini-STX board standard, typically sold barebones with PS + case (mini-STX is the replacement for the "thin mini-itx" boards)
    size: 1.5L to 3L or so
    comes with OS?: usually not
    common cpu: T/S series (basically, full desktop processors)
    graphics: processor graphics
    ex: Deskmini 110 http://www.asrock.com/nettop/Intel/Deskmini 110 Series/

    mini-ITX: mostly for if you want a custom video card / suitable for high-end gaming
    size: 4L to 20L+
    comes with OS?: no
    common cpu: S series (there are even some xeon boards available that can take the 18/22 core chips)
    graphics: has a card slot
    ex: build it yourself thing. the case usually defines the build. check out Dan-cases for a really small gaming case (7.5L w/ full sized video card) or Fractal Node 304 (19L) for a full featured case

    There's a massive amount of selection out there. Figure out what you want first, then find what you want to buy
     
  12. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #12
    Twalk's answer above provides a lot of info; in short, SFF boxes are generally based on sizes smaller than "micro-ATX", at least as defined by the SFF wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_form_factor

    Here's a picture from that page; the motherboards from the center to the right are considered SFF sizes:

    [​IMG]
     

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