GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

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FlyingPenguin
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GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:16 am

The first tiny PC for a reasonable price ($199) that I can actually see doing something with. Could be a nice replacement for my bulkier small form factor media center PCs. I'd love to see a version with passive cooling. I think a tall finned heat sink on top would probably do the job. I'd worry about the life expectancy of that little fan when I run my media center PCs 24/7.

It runs Win10, has an Intel Celeron J4115 quad-core, 6GB of ram, 128GB eMMC, and even an M.2 SSD expansion slot.

They do a full teardown and it's fascinating how they used a stacked PC board design. They also show it running some bench marks and emulator games.

Might pick one up and play around with it for that price.

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:21 am

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby Executioner » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:30 am

How soon will you get one to test?

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby Losbot » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:12 am

Impressive little box.
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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:41 pm

Trying to find some info on this CPU, and I found another slightly larger unit, with 8GB Ram, and IMPLIES (need to check manufacturer specs) a real SSD and not eMMC for $240 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083LXPNJS

I think I like the fan design better - looks like a stock laptop fan, and it's already available and reviewed by actual purchasers.

Might be a better option for my media center PC than taking a chance on an Indiegogo project.
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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:39 pm

Oh heck, down the rabbit hole some more and I can get a comparable Intel NUC for $328, and you get an Intel warranty and support, plus Win 10 Pro instead of Home. Probably the better way to go since that BMAX B2 Plus doesn't support power on after power failure.

Sigh. For $155 I am so tempted to play with that thing.
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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:57 pm

DEEP rabbit hole I dug for myself today. Since I really need this extra HTPC, and the location isn't ideal for one of the USFF Dells I normally use (ideally I want the PC completely hidden behind a 48" HDTV), I took a really deep dive.

After reading a hell of a lot of reviews I figured that devices with this processor would be rather iffy on 1080p in certain situations. It all depends on the video codec and whether the CPU supports hardware decoding for it. It can be hit and miss.

Being a fond member of the "more power is better" club, and after a lot of research on forums from people who actually are using the hardware for HTPCs, I decided that the latest series Intel NUCs (NUC8) is the best option because they support hardware decoding for a massive number of codecs, and is well supported by popular media center type players like MediaPortal, which I'll be using.

I pulled the trigger on a Core i3 NUC: NUC8i3BEH. I bought the basic kit (no RAM or HDD) for $305. Ram for this is cheap ($40 for 8GB) and I have a compatible NVMe SSD on the shelf, and I have some spare Win10 Pro licenses.

Sigh... part of me still wants that $155 mini cube just to play with it....
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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby normalicy » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:19 pm

I'm conveniently in the market for a micro PC for HTPC usage.

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby Losbot » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:59 pm

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:09 am

I use a Dell version of that Lenovo form factor for my HTPCs, but this one is going to go behind the patio BBQ TV, and everything has to hide behind the TV. It's already rather crowded back there with a wireless access point and Comcast X1 box.
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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby psypher » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:40 am

I used to be into having multiple HTPCs, but I got away from that years ago. I have one full blown HTPC that's in a case whose form factor matches other AV media equipment so looks great in my AV rack. This one is in the basement theater. It runs Kodi and allows me to handle any format, native resolutions without downgrading and utilize GPU decoding when needed. For the rest of the TVs in my house, I utilize Plex to stream to Roku Ultra devices which are anywhere from $50-$90 depending on sales. I use this ReliaMount Roku Ultra Mount them to the back of the TVSs. The Roku also has the advantage that it's UI and access to lots of free content as well as NetFlix, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Disney+ makes it's it considerably family friendly. While Plex does have a fee, they do continue to offer a lifetime subscription.

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:44 pm

I stubbornly hang on to individual HTPCs. Heck, all four of the ones I'm running at home are running Win7 Windows Media Center. All 7+ year old small form factor Dells running Core i5s. It still works (now that I've hacked them to use a 3rd party channel guide). We're used to them and they're reliable. Three of them have cable card tuners so I can record programs on them. The Xfinity X1 box is nice, but I still love my MCEs - especially the 30 second skip button.

Going to run MediaPortal on this NUC because installing Win7 on a NUC (or any modern hardware) is very problematic, and there's no driver support. I've used MediaPortal on my laptop when I travel, and it's skinned to look like Media Center.

We watch Netflix and Prime on the X1 Xfinity box. You can't beat that for convenience, it doesn't use my bandwidth, and it supports voice search. I never allow any of my TVs to connect to the Internet for security reasons.
A mask is not a political statement.
It's an IQ test.
It's a compassion test.
It's a decency test.
It's a social responsibility test.

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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby Losbot » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:00 pm

psypher wrote:While Plex does have a fee, they do continue to offer a lifetime subscription.


I bought the lifetime a long time ago during a $90 special. I did it to support them but you really don't have to pay for it. You can use it for free. I have a few friends that use the free version and they share their stuff with me & vice versa.
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Re: GAMING ON THE smallest 4K MINI PC

Postby FlyingPenguin » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:02 pm

This is what I wound up using: https://www.amazon.com/Intel-NUC-Mainst ... 07GX4X4PW/
You can also buy them already loaded with 8GB of RAM and an NVME 128GB SSD for $500

Nice little PC. I'm used to expecting sluggish performance out of older generation Core i3's, but most of those have been dual core with no multi-threading. This is 2 cores with multi-hreading and a respectable 3GHz clock (3.6 boost). Feels very snappy. Can't hardly hear the fan even when under load.
A mask is not a political statement.
It's an IQ test.
It's a compassion test.
It's a decency test.
It's a social responsibility test.

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