5 Recommended Mini PCs as Server PCs

The selection of a Mini PC as a Server Computer has various advantages, although in performance it is usually not as good as a Server Computer in general, which has high specifications and is more flexible to upgrade.

The various advantages of the Mini PC, such as cheaper purchasing costs, saving electricity, using minimal storage space, to more practical maintenance make Mini PCs an alternative choice.

However, there is a main requirement for using a Mini PC as a substitute for a “Server Computer”, namely a service (service) that is run according to the capacity and specifications of the Mini PC used.

Here are five recommendations for Mini PCs that you can use as Server Computers:

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 4 – Photo: raspberrypi.org

The Raspberry Pi or commonly called Raspi is a single-board circuit (SBC) computer that can be installed on various operating systems such as Raspbian, Windows 10 IoT, Windows 10 with ARM architecture and several other operating systems.

Like a computer in general, the Raspberry Pi can run most services designed for servers such as XAMPP.

For example, the Raspberry Pi 4 has fairly high specifications, namely a Quad Core processor, up to 4 GB of RAM and OpenGL ES 3.0. In addition, it has embedded WiFi 2.4 and 5 GHz and Bluetooth.

The port on the Raspberry Pi 4 is also fairly complete because it has 4 USB Ports, 2 micro-HDMI Ports that can play 4K resolution videos, Micro SD Ports, MIPI DSI and CSI.

The price of the Raspberry Pi 4 in the marketplace is around Rp. 800 rb.

For information, the operating system and BIOS of the Raspberry Pi are stored on the Micro SD card. The configuration that needs to be done before using it is to deploy (install) the operating system for the Raspberry Pi via a computer using a Micro SD and an application to deploy it.

After that, plug the installed Micro SD card into the Micro SD port on the Raspberry Pi, then connect the adapter and other output devices. At this point the Raspberry Pi is ready to use.

Compute Stick

Intel Compute Stick – Foto: intel.co.id

Similar to the Raspberry Pi, the Compute Stick is a single computer that is smaller than the Raspberry Pi. Shaped like a flash disk with an HDMI connector head.

Compute Stick has various processor and memory specifications with integrated storage and can be upgraded with a Micro SD card. The Compute Stick operating system is usually preinstalled like Windows 10, so you only need to install the apps you need.

More value from the Compute Stick other than those mentioned above is the boot time (initial loading of operating systems such as Windows) which is quite fast because it uses flash memory-based internal storage with a specially designed default operating system.

The most widely available Compute Stick in the market is the Intel Compute Stick with prices ranging from Rp. 1 million.

Lenovo Micro Desktop

Lenovo Micro Desktop – Foto: lenovo.com

This Lenovo computer has a physical size that is several times smaller than a desktop computer but has the same capabilities.

Using Lenovo Micro Desktop is better than using Raspberry Pi or Compute Stick in terms of performance and capabilities. Lenovo Micro Desktop uses a processor and RAM designed for computers with multitasking capabilities and has a large hard disk storage starting from 1 TB.

Lenovo Micro Desktop has a complete port like a desktop computer such as HDMI, Display Port, Ethernet, Microphone and Headphone.

The drawback of Lenovo Desktop is that it takes a longer boot time than the Compute Stick because it still uses a conventional magnetic disk drive. To speed up boot time and improve performance, you can replace the default hard disk with an SSD.

NAS Drive

Synology DS419slim NAS – photo: nascompares.com

This type of server is more devoted to shared data storage in one network. NAS Drives have more storage capacity in terabytes and there may be more than one hard drive.

By using a NAS Drive, you can share data with your team to work on projects together.

Currently, the use of NAS Drive is slowly becoming obsolete as the availability of cloud storage that can also be shared and has a much wider scope of sharing such as Google Drive or OneDrive.

Intel NUC

Intel NUC Mini PC – photo: intel.co.id

Like the Lenovo Micro Desktop but smaller in size, this Intel computer has many advantages.

Intel NUC is designed by Intel to be ready for use in a variety of needs. Customizable components and support for 4K graphics are some of its advantages.

For server needs, Intel NUC is also available in the form of a NUC Board (without a casing) with a soldered processor so the placement is more flexible.

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