Mini PCs Redux

It’s been not quite two years since I bought a mini PC to play with. That one continues to work just fine as an internal server on my home network. Unfortunately, it’s starting to feel a bit slow running Ubuntu, and since I continue to be fascinated by the ultra small PC form factor, I figured it was time to look at maybe getting an upgrade.

There are a lot of manufacturers of these devices now, and they can vary in price from less than $200 to devices like the Minisforum Neptune HX90G a power tool with discrete graphics, 32Gig of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, for >1000 $US.

As much fun as that would be, I ended up with something a bit more reasonable. The ludicrously named “KAMRUI Mini PC with Windows 11 Pro, Intel Celeron N5105(up to 2.9GHz) Mini Desktop Computers, 8GB RAM/256GB M.2 SSD Micro Computer Support 4K UHD, 2.4G/5.0G Wi-Fi, LAN for Business Home Education“. If nothing else, that gets the point across. Here’s a product shot:

The thing that appealed to me about this one is that it’s basically the same price as the previous one I bought, with more RAM, a bigger SSD, and a significantly faster processor.

After several days of playing with it, I can honestly say I’m totally happy with how it performs. Originally I had a bit of trouble with the somewhat dubious Windows 11 version it came with, but since I already knew I was going to run linux on it, this wasn’t a big deal. If you decide to get one, and intend to run Win11, watch out for the Windows Update cycle. YMMV, but in my case it hung badly enough that I couldn’t even reset the PC.

Regardless, running linux it’s great. I don’t have benchmarks, but it’s very significantly faster than the old one, even to the point that I can do some low spec Steam gaming on it. Woo hoo!

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