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Old 18 February 2021, 09:09   #1
Foebane
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Would WinUAE run well on a Mini PC?

At the moment, I have an Intel Core i3-8100 with 8Gb of DDR4 RAM and a Samsung SSD, but am considering a "Mini PC" for my next PC, as I don't plan to upgrade, don't plan on getting any modern games and it would be cheaper.

I've seen Mini PCs like the ones on Amazon here, but am wondering if they're too underpowered.

What kind of spec does WinUAE need to run well these days? And does that spec increase every few years?
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Old 18 February 2021, 19:50   #2
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Surely someone knows the specification that WinUAE runs fine at?

Maybe it's the graphics card that matters? I don't HAVE a graphics card, I use the on-board Intel UHD 630 graphics of the i3-8100.
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Old 18 February 2021, 20:53   #3
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Quick research reveals:
core is-8100 is 2x faster then Core i5-5257U
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare...100/2504vs3103

BUT, considering that Raspberry Pi can emulate Amiga pretty good, and Intel CPUs are faster than ARM. I would say that you should be fine.

I have core i7-2600, which is somewhere between those CPUs, I have no problem running Amiga.
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Old 18 February 2021, 21:49   #4
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Those mini PCs can run emulation just fine. Not much different from regular PCs. I remember watching multiple reviews on youtube.

[ Show youtube player ]

I was thinking to test Intel Computer stick with WinUAE, but never managed to test it when I had extra one.If we get more of the, I will test it.
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Old 19 February 2021, 07:41   #5
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I was thinking to test Intel Computer stick with WinUAE, but never managed to test it when I had extra one.If we get more of the, I will test it.

I have one of the first models of Intel Compute Stick (STCK1A32WFC). WinUAE performance is comparable to AmiBerry on RPi4.
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Old 19 February 2021, 10:57   #6
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I wouldn't go as far as a compute stick, but I'm talking about for general PC use. I mean, I look at my current PC tower and am shocked at how such a small amount of tech inside the box can end up with acres of space inside. Yes, I know I should be adding graphics cards and other PCI items, but as of now, my current PC has no additional cards, as I use the onboard sound and integrated graphics (have used the former for years and years now), and for light gaming and emulation, they're fine.

But if the same functionality can be squeezed into such small boxes for the same price or cheaper, then it would add to the portability. I've already seen evidence that people seem to prefer Mini PCs to laptops, and I'd be one of them as I despise laptops, with their limited hardware, prone to overheating, and are so easily damaged, and what's more, I would rather provide my own monitor/mouse/keyboard.

I mean, if smartphones have so much power in such small spaces, then why not PCs?
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Old 19 February 2021, 11:10   #7
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I can't say I have seen people preffering mini PCs to laptops. Nobody lugs monitors and keyboards with them to take to school or on a plane

You'd probably be better off getting one of them refurb mini-ITX office computers (Dell or whatever), they are much more powerful than mini PCs and take little space as well.
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Old 19 February 2021, 12:05   #8
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Why should a mini-ITX board be much more powerful than a mini PC? There are so many Intel NUCs available for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Unit_of_Computing

It is more or less just a decision on your needs. Overall power, price, size, power consumption, noise emission, connections, configuration, ...
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Old 19 February 2021, 12:19   #9
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You'd probably be better off getting one of them refurb mini-ITX office computers (Dell or whatever), they are much more powerful than mini PCs and take little space as well.
Evidence?
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Old 19 February 2021, 12:33   #10
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@Foebane Evidence is in your own link in the OP. Compare these two for example: https://versus.com/en/intel-celeron-...l-core-i5-2400

@daxb: obviously I meant price vs performance in similar ranges. Yes, you can find very powerful mini PCs, they will cost you arm and leg though.
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Old 19 February 2021, 12:42   #11
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@Foebane Evidence is in your own link in the OP. Compare these two for example: https://versus.com/en/intel-celeron-...l-core-i5-2400
I was using that link to show people what I was talking about generally, I wasn't seriously considering NUCs slower than my current i3-8100! I know the Celeron is a big step backwards!

I know you get what you pay for, but I wonder about the longevity of NUCs, how likely are they to break down?

Last edited by Foebane; 19 February 2021 at 14:12.
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Old 19 February 2021, 12:58   #12
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I was using that link to show people what I was talking about generally, I wasn't seriously considering NUCs slower than my current i3-8100! I know the Celeron is a big step backwards!
It's not the point, I just went for the first example from the top of the page. But generally the rule is the same: if you pick a NUC in some price range, there should be equivalent mini-ITX which beats it performance wise.

Electronic parts like these rarely "break", and if, it's most likely to happen during the first few weeks. Which is why I recommend buying refurbs: paradoxically they might be safer because they've been already burnt-in.

You have some warranties either way, so this really is not an important factor to consider.
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Old 19 February 2021, 14:14   #13
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It's not the point, I just went for the first example from the top of the page. But generally the rule is the same: if you pick a NUC in some price range, there should be equivalent mini-ITX which beats it performance wise.

Electronic parts like these rarely "break", and if, it's most likely to happen during the first few weeks. Which is why I recommend buying refurbs: paradoxically they might be safer because they've been already burnt-in.

You have some warranties either way, so this really is not an important factor to consider.
1. I wonder about the non-standard parts in NUCs (at least I think they are)
2. Would you buy PC refurbs yourself? I suppose you'd have no choice if they were Amigas
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Old 19 February 2021, 14:54   #14
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Non-standard parts? The whole unit is under warranty, why do you worry about that?

I've been building PCs since mid Nineties, always from second hand components. I've never had anything fail on me yet, but even if it did the savings vastly compensate for such accidents. I only used to buy monitors new as a rule, but eventually gave up on that as well. Okay, hard drives - that would be an exception I still stick to.

This year was different though: my latest PC has been built from nearly all new components. But that's because prices, shortages, & supply chains are all over the shop now, and everyone wants to make a quick buck. So, second hand prices on newer gear are crazy and not far off RRPs.
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Old 19 February 2021, 15:39   #15
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Non-standard parts? The whole unit is under warranty, why do you worry about that?
D'oh, forgot about that. Maybe pay for extended warranties, too?

Quote:
I've been building PCs since mid Nineties, always from second hand components. I've never had anything fail on me yet, but even if it did the savings vastly compensate for such accidents. I only used to buy monitors new as a rule, but eventually gave up on that as well. Okay, hard drives - that would be an exception I still stick to.
I'd only use a new HDD for backup purposes, but I am thinking of getting a M.2 PCIe SSD as my next upgrade project for my PC, I'm astounded by the speed boosts people are reporting.

Quote:
This year was different though: my latest PC has been built from nearly all new components. But that's because prices, shortages, & supply chains are all over the shop now, and everyone wants to make a quick buck. So, second hand prices on newer gear are crazy and not far off RRPs.
Isn't that down to scalpers? They're gits.
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Old 19 February 2021, 15:48   #16
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Maybe pay for extended warranties, too?
Nooo...these are not worth it really in PC world. Just stop worrying about things breaking, they won't


Quote:
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I'd only use a new HDD for backup purposes, but I am thinking of getting a M.2 PCIe SSD as my next upgrade project for my PC, I'm astounded by the speed boosts people are reporting.
SSD is a must, at least for the OS disk. But there isn't that much difference between NVMs and normal ones (though prices don't vary that much either)


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Isn't that down to scalpers? They're gits.
Yeah, well, in 2021 everyone wants to be a scalper
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Old 19 February 2021, 17:00   #17
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SSD is a must, at least for the OS disk. But there isn't that much difference between NVMs and normal ones (though prices don't vary that much either)
I've had SSDs for a few years, and I enjoyed their smaller size and faster speed, but when I heard about M.2 SSDs that are the same capacities AND screw directly onto the motherboard, I frothed at the mouth. The idea of RAM and non-volatile storage all on the same board really appeals to me, I can do away with SATA storage devices altogether and have my drive bays empty (I haven't bothered with optical disc crap for years, and in any case, they're available on USB).

There are M.2 SSDs that are SATA or NVMe, and the latter is a lot faster, and the edge connectors look physically different, as I found out an hour ago.
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Old 19 February 2021, 20:41   #18
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I have an 500GB NVM as my C: drive in my main PC and I honestly can't tell the difference from my other SATA SSD computers. Yes, it's faster, but the other ones are already very fast. So if the Windows starts 1,5 seconds faster or some program 0.2 secs, it is not as impressive as the difference between old IDE drives and SSD.

Also, they are still too expensive to act as mass storage for large collections so you'll still need an old school drive for that.
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Old 19 February 2021, 21:50   #19
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I have an 500GB NVM as my C: drive in my main PC and I honestly can't tell the difference from my other SATA SSD computers. Yes, it's faster, but the other ones are already very fast. So if the Windows starts 1,5 seconds faster or some program 0.2 secs, it is not as impressive as the difference between old IDE drives and SSD.

Also, they are still too expensive to act as mass storage for large collections so you'll still need an old school drive for that.
No I won't, I don't have any large collections, and my Steam collection is only about eight games in total.

Expensive? a 500Gb device for just over £50? Seems a relative bargain to me, considering the tech. Of course, this particular item is on a large discount, and it may go up, but hopefully I'll get it before then.

As for boot times, I noticed they seemed to be the same, but there are improvements here and there.
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