Mini PC for HTPC recommendations?

scrappymouse

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
124
Hello All,
Just like the Title suggests looking for a mini PC for the following use case. I currently have a desktop connected to my 4K 55" TV, I'd like to replace it with a mini PC to save room in my entertainment center. I want something that is cable of 4K and preferably HDMI 2.0, I'll have a wireless keyboard/mouse connected to it, so windows OS is a must, I don't do any gaming on it, and basically use it for web-browsing when my other "gaming"(I put it in quotes because it's old, built 8 years ago), but I do need to not struggle with 4k output to the TV. Willing to consider all options, but looking for the best budget one, that will actually handle the job.
Thanks in advance.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,290
Hello All,
Just like the Title suggests looking for a mini PC for the following use case. I currently have a desktop connected to my 4K 55" TV, I'd like to replace it with a mini PC to save room in my entertainment center. I want something that is cable of 4K and preferably HDMI 2.0, I'll have a wireless keyboard/mouse connected to it, so windows OS is a must, I don't do any gaming on it, and basically use it for web-browsing when my other "gaming"(I put it in quotes because it's old, built 8 years ago), but I do need to not struggle with 4k output to the TV. Willing to consider all options, but looking for the best budget one, that will actually handle the job.
Thanks in advance.

Buy this barebones system, once they release the Zen 2 Renoir revision.

https://www.amazon.com/ASRock-System-DESKMINI-A300W-Max-32GB/dp/B07QSCCRC9

Expect that shortly after we get retail availability of Zen 2 APU. I would recommend a 6-core 4600G

Intel is not releasing an Ice Lake SFF sytsem, so you're going to have to wait For Tiger LAke in 2021. Until then, you can massively overpay ffor a NUC with outdated hardware.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc/mini-pcs.html

That entry-level model would cost you twice as much as build your own
 
Last edited:

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
4,596
Yeah, that deskmini is probably what I should have gotten instead of trying to build it myself. Would've saved me time and a lot of money.

There's also the HP Elitedesk 705 if you wan't something built, but have to look for reviews to see what kind of noise and heat you have to deal with.
 

scrappymouse

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
124

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,712
This looks promising, do you know of any systems that currently have the ze2 in them? what I'm finding is everyone saying they only exist in OEM and i'm willing to go that route if necessary...but I can't even find OEM systems for sale with the zen 2 in them.
These don't really exist yet for consumers, to my knowledge. AMD is having trouble keeping up with demand with their limited supply capacity.
 

scrappymouse

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
124
These don't really exist yet for consumers, to my knowledge. AMD is having trouble keeping up with demand with their limited supply capacity.
I"m wondering how to order them even for businesses, I work for a Tier I ISP and trying to find a way to go through my supply chain to get my grubby little hands on one lol, but I haven't seen them available there as well. But I'm not the primary supply person, so they may know of tricks that I don't....oh well. Guess i'll have to wait like everyone else.
 

scrappymouse

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
124

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,290
That SSD might be a bit overkill, but you can't get much lower price on m.2.

Looks good, I was just encouraging folks to wait if you wanted a Zen 2 upgrade path (that chipset i from the 300-series, so probably no upgrade path to 4000).

Right now is a terrible time to buy a powerful APU on both sides (Intel still won't sell you an Ice Lake NUC, and the Tiger Lake NUC is a year-out). But of the two, AMD Zen 2 is a lot closer to release.
 
Last edited:

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,712
Intel is not releasing an Ice Lake SFF sytsem, so you're going to have to wait For Tiger LAke in 2021. Until then, you can massively overpay ffor a NUC with outdated hardware.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc/mini-pcs.html

That entry-level model would cost you twice as much as build your own
Looking back at the requirements, a newer Ryzen system really isn't needed; an older Ryzen APU might also not be desirable, as AMDs GPU block that ships on their APUs isn't as up to date nor as widely supported. A bit of AMD lagging behind Intel in hardware and software support, somehow.

Of course, the better argument would be for the cheapest solution, since all of these CPUs can handle desktop use.
 

scrappymouse

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
124
Looking back at the requirements, a newer Ryzen system really isn't needed; an older Ryzen APU might also not be desirable, as AMDs GPU block that ships on their APUs isn't as up to date nor as widely supported. A bit of AMD lagging behind Intel in hardware and software support, somehow.

Of course, the better argument would be for the cheapest solution, since all of these CPUs can handle desktop use.
I know they can handle desktop use, i'm more concerned with their ability to handle 4k ouptut to a 55" TV.

It's been a LONG while since i've built a new PC...to give you a reference....here are my specs for my current 'gaming' pc

My system
Sabertooth 990fx
Phenom x6 1100t cpu
4x8(32gb)Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz ram 10-10-10-27
Xfx Radeon 6950 2gb version
Zalman 9700 cpu cooler.
1tb WD black adition HDD
256gb samsung 830 SSD
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
4,596
I know they can handle desktop use, i'm more concerned with their ability to handle 4k ouptut to a 55" TV.

It's been a LONG while since i've built a new PC...to give you a reference....here are my specs for my current 'gaming' pc

My system
Sabertooth 990fx
Phenom x6 1100t cpu
4x8(32gb)Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz ram 10-10-10-27
Xfx Radeon 6950 2gb version
Zalman 9700 cpu cooler.
1tb WD black adition HDD
256gb samsung 830 SSD
Output to 4k should be no problem with any zen apus, and most modern intel graphics. Decoding 4k video, I'm not so sure of. I guess it probably depends on the codec, too.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,290
I've heard AMD;s decoder has issues with VP9 acceleration (YouTube, mostly). Eeverthing else should playback fine.
 

scrappymouse

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
124
I've heard AMD;s decoder has issues with VP9 acceleration (YouTube, mostly). Eeverthing else should playback fine.
I think this was issues that have now been fixed in the Zen 2 processors coming out, but we'll see. In addition they used to have issues with playready 3.0(required for netflix) but I believe they have finally fixed that now as well. But that's all hearsay until we get our hands on one
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,712
I've heard AMD;s decoder has issues with VP9 acceleration (YouTube, mostly). Eeverthing else should playback fine.
They're still using the Vega GPU block in their APUs instead of moving them to Navi. Kind of infuriating really, given that the ancient GPUs Intel ships with their current CPUs is more up to date software and support wise.
 

Verge

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 27, 2001
Messages
6,619
Top