|Intel NUC 11 Pro NUC11PAHi5 Panther Canyon Desktop Mini PC，Intel Core i5-1135G7 4-Core, 2.4–4.2 GHz Turbo, Kingston 16GB DDR4 RAM, Kingston 512GB PCIe SSD, 28W Intel® Iris Xe Graphics, Win 11 Pro|
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|Micro Firewall Appliance, Mini PC, VPN, Router PC, Intel Core I7 1165G7, HUNSN RJ07, AES-NI, 6 x Intel 2.5GbE I225-V LAN, COM, HDMI, Sim Slot, Barebone, NO RAM, NO Storage, NO System|
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|Dell Mini PC OptiPlex 7040 Micro Computer Desktop,i7 6700T Quad Core 2.8GHz,32GB DDR4 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD,AX210 Built-in WiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2 HDMI Windows 10 Pro,Wireless Keyboard & Mouse (Renewed)|
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|KAMRUI AMD 3.3GHz Mini PC, Windows 10 Pro Micro Desktop Computers,8GB RAM 128GB M.2 2280 SSD, Radeon Vega 3 Support 4K DP + HDMI Dual Screen Small Form Factor for Home Theater/Office,Remote Teaching|
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Overview & Customer Review
I’ve been using NUC’s since 2014 when I first became aware of them. I always get the ‘barebones’ model and add my own RAM, storage, and OS. (Incidentally, they run every version of Linux I’ve tried without issue, though I also have use them with Windows without issue.) Thus, I’m not reviewing just this NUC 11, but the entire idea behind them, and I’m coming off years of “never a problem”, though there are things I’d change.
First, some background: When Intel introduced the NUC line, there really wasn’t much competition, as I recall, though well-known brands like ASUS started selling similar products. This has changed over the years and now the only competition I see are Chinese brands I’ve never seen before. My issue with those brands (a couple of which have many good reviews) is that one brand (Beelink) wanted someone who was having a problem that Beelink tech support might be the motherboard, and it was too late to return to Amazon, to send the box back to China, where they would fix it and send it back. Even if that works (and it seems Beelink is trying to do right), how long is it going to take for all of that to happen these days. Also, most of the NUC knock-offs are using either very low-end chips or older ones like gen 8 intel chips (3 generations old) or older AMD chips. To be fair, their prices reflect this.
1) Because Intel is making these things, they tend to use their products, which means you get high-quality parts such as one of the Intel AX2__ wifi/BT chips and Intel ethernet, etc. Also, the come with Thunderbolt, which many people won’t use but which is great to have. It’s still TB 3, but that’s not uncommon.
2) With each generation (though I skipped from buying a number of NUC 5’s to NUC 10’s and 11’s) the quality and sophistication increases.
3) I have been running a NUC 5 for 7 years without a break, except for automatic windows updates and reboots and have never had an issue – even the fan works fine and I never notice the noise from it, and I sit about 2.5 feet from it.
4) They are about as easy to get into as anything this size can be, and it’s very easy to install/replace RAM, M2 nvme drive, 2.5 inch SATA drive (if you get the “tall” version), etc.
5) While I think the NUC 10’s are OK, those chips aren’t nearly as nice as the 11-gen chips and I find that while they use 4-core chips, those chips perform better than the 6-core 10-gen chips. If you’re debating a less-expensive 10-gen version, I’d suggest you try to get the 11-gen instead.
1) I really have no cons about the device. The later generations are obviously much more upscale than the earlier ones, and I have only had one of these fail and that was a 2014 model that I configured for someone who I think didn’t take decent care of it. (Every year or so I use compressed air to clean any lingering stuff from the fan.
BAD NEWS ABOUT AVAILABILITY:
I am including this because if you like this form factor, and don’t want an older system, you should buy now. The reason is that it appears that IBM is abandoning the ‘little box’ form factor, both for barebones and fully-kitted, and moving upscale to larger, much more expensive systems. It seems that the NUC line has never been profitable, but was part of Intel’s attempt (as with motherboards) to try selling to consumers. Starting with the 10-gen (I think) they are now selling a more expensive ‘paperback book’ model (it’s roughly the shape of a paperback book) and a much more expensive gaming system that will take a full-sized graphics card.
I mention that because I do not see any “little box” NUC using a 12-gen CPU. These are still on sale but once they’re gone that may be the end because Intel just doesn’t make any money and apparently neither did the other well-known vendors that tried selling competitors as most of them have dropped out.
I purchased the barebone unit because I wanted to choose the brand of RAM and mSATA drive. I ended up purchasing 2x Micron Crucial 8 GB and an INDMEM 256 GB SSD. Like others have reported, after setup the unit that arrived would not POST or boot with both SODIMM slots populated. A quick swap test revealed that slot0 would recognize the RAM but slot1 would not. HUNSN was quick to respond to my messages and with the details I provided they had a replacement unit on its way the next day.
The replacement unit works like a charm! I boot to Proxmox VE 7.1. From there I configured two VMs: the first VM runs pfSense 2.6 with 8 GB RAM and the ETH0 and ETH1 NICs assigned via PCIe pass through. The second VM is an Ubuntu 20.04 container with 6 GB RAM that shares ETH3 with Proxmox, and runs TP-Link’s Omada Software Controller to manage my switches and WAPs. That leaves me with a spare NIC to do something with someday if I can think of anything that needs a dedicated NIC.
So far this configuration is working flawlessly and supports my 40+ network devices. I haven’t yet made any formal measurements of throughput but with video streams running to several TVs and the typical background traffic on my network, Proxmox shows the overall CPU utilization to be around 10% and the HUNSN appliance is barely warm to the touch. I should mention the rest of my network hardware is just 1 GbE stuff.
The RAM requirements of the Omada software controller are less than I had expected, so I am considering paring its VM down to 2 GB RAM and setting up a third VM with 4 GB RAM to which I’ll migrate my HomeAssistant instance.
Overall, great bang for the buck and it nicely replaces the Linksys EA7500 router which our network has outgrown.
Dell OptiPlex 7040 micro computer is a portable high performance mini pc, dell mini desktop computer with design of tool-less and simple removeable side panel to service and expand with ease. Equip powerful Intel Quad Core i7-6700T 2.8 GHz Turbo 3.6 GHz and integrated Intel HD 530 graphic, make this dell optiplex micro computer possible to connect dual monitor for boost your multi-tasking. Moreover, dell optiplex mini pc comes with 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD to store important files and applications, support more faster Boot speed and faster storage rates. Furthermore ,rich interfaces on the dell micro pc easily connect mouse, keyboard, hard disk and other devices like TV,monitor,printer etc. suitable for both work from home and business computing.
We bought this mini PC to give as a gift to our niece for doing a good job at school. She likes casual gaming, and this mini PC was my choice to introduce her to PC gaming. If you are reading this review to verify if this mini PC can game, with proper settings and adjustments, it can play modern games with decent frame rates. If you would like to know more about this mini PC, then continue reading.
When I found this mini PC, it has a big discount coupon, and at $490 at time of purchase, it was one of the best deals I see. Another thing that caught my attention was the slimmer profile compared to other mini PCs. The brushed aluminum finish was also an eye catcher. The product arrived in a slim black box with minimal branding. It was well packaged and during unboxing, I was very impressed how premium this product is. Inside the box are the mini PC, power adapter, HDMI cable, user manual, and VESA mounting bracket. This mini PC is very slim, so I decided to open it up and look at upgrade options. The memory and m.2 SSD are easily replaceable/upgradeable, but there are no other expansion slots for additional storage, hence the reason why it is so slim. The initial setup was quick and easy, I was into Windows 11 desktop in just a couple of minutes. There were several Windows updates which took a while, and during the process, the cooling fan stayed very quiet. I even have to check the vents to make sure there is air coming out. I manually downloaded and installed the AMD Adrenalin software so that it can optimize the game settings based on its capacity. The 3 games that I tested are Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Destiny 2. I did let the Adrenalin software do the optimized configurations, but I did make some minor adjustments in game like lowering the gaming resolution to 720p and lowering some details to get more decent frame rates. If you don’t mind about the details and aesthetics of the games, this mini PC can play modern games just fine. The Ryzen 7 APU in this system is doing a good job. For office productivity, it’s a no brainer, this mini PC is capable of any office tasks you can throw at it. I tried opening multiple apps at the same time, while also browsing the internet and playing some video, and this mini PC didn’t show any sign of difficulty.
For creative works, this mini PC is a beast. I installed DaVinci Resolve to test the performance while editing videos. Scrubbing the timeline is very smooth even with multi layers of videos in the timeline. It is able to export 4K videos fine, but not as fast as having a dedicated gpu. If you’re going to render/export a video, expect to wait, maybe grab some coffee and snacks, and it should be done by the time you finish your coffee. I haven’t tested yet, but based on video editing performance, I am sure this mini PC can perform better with still images creative works. My one gripe is the lack of SD card slot. If this will be used for creative works, an SD card slot is a must. But thanks to the USB-C port and a spare USB-C hub I have lying around, this wasn’t a big issue at all. The 4K videos were able to get transferred quickly from my SD card to the local storage.
I am a Linux user when doing engineering work, so I decided to test the latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS that I have installed on a spare m.2 SSD. I swapped the SSD, and it booted up fine. All the hardware were recognized. This thing flies with Linux. I might buy another one of this so that I can use this for game emulation and/or install Steam for Linux. With the current Steam support for Linux, this will be a great mini gaming console.
When it comes to form factor, I love how small and slim this mini PC is. I can easily hide this behind my monitor, or place besides some books in a bookshelf. It is so small and stealthy that it can be placed almost anywhere and it won’t be easily noticed. The size of this mini PC makes it also semi portable. I can easily put this in a small messenger bag and bring it anywhere if needed. A good addition will probably be an additional mount to have this mini PC positioned vertically on a desk, just like a small tower. But with a few modifications, like supergluing some stands, it can be done easily.
The number of USB ports on this mini PC is more than enough to connect peripherals like mouse, keyboard, and printer. A USB-C port at the back would have been nice to connect a USB C display, but the display port and HDMI used as dual display should be more than sufficient for regular users.
So far, I am very impressed with this mini PC. The Ryzen cpu is phenomenal. Build quality and aesthetics are premium. This mini PC can handle everything I throw at it (except for games in high settings). If you are a looking for an all around mini PC that has sufficient processing power, this mini PC is a good option. Highly recommendable.
I bought this Chromebox for three reasons: my desktop went kaput! and was well out of warranty period, I wanted to move off Microsoft, and I moved to dual monitors. I am completely satisfied with my purchase. The setup was quick and easy with no need for disks or upgrade hassle. You can put the unit almost anywhere. I have the unit on my desk and it hardly takes up any space. Moving to Chrome takes some getting used to, but it is pretty straightforward. I have used MS Office for many, many years and the reconfiguration of those all those files is proving easier than I expected. There are still some essential SW products that are not written for Chrome (ie., TurboTax) which I’m hoping will come along someday so I don’t have to keep hassling with MS-based computer. I am receiving a warranty extension from ASUS for providing this feedback.