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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > ASRock > ASRock Beebox N3000/B 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5 Good little PC
Pros: Low power...kill-o-watt meter reads 7-10 watts.
Completely Silent.
Easily Runs linux (I have ubuntu installed)
Is fully capable to handle HD movie streaming, Music, web surfing, emailing...etc.
Cons: PC runs at 100% cpu usage for anything it does.
GMAIL is too heavy of a web application for it to run smoothly. (so far all other sites work fine.)
CAN'T USE SATA 2.5in drive!
Other Thoughts: I decided to give this a try because it is fan less and low powered. This way I can leave the PC have it download/play music without me ever hearing a fan run. I thought that I would get a 2.5in SATA drive since it is cheaper than mSATA, but DO NOT DO THIS!! The case needs 1/8 in more space to fit the cable and the drive. I tried to gently force it into position, since it won't easily fit. I believe this may have damaged the cable, which has a special power connector on it. ("non standard cable") In the end I HAD to purchase a mSATA SSD, which has been working perfectly.

I am disappointed that gmail is so sluggish. Using Chrome web browser, I can see the keys lag a bit when typing. This doesn't happen for the desktop applications. My solution is to use thunderbird for email and install Jitsi for a messenger application.

Overall I would say the computer has met my expectations and I plan to use it as my primary computer. Games/programming etc will be left for my more powerful box.
Reviewed By:N/A,8/27/2015 6:53:42 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 day to 1 week.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > ECS (EliteGroup) > ECS Liva X 2GB/32GB Mini PC

Rating + 2Rating + 2Rating + 2Rating + 2Rating + 2 Impossible to assemble
Pros: Incredibly small. Probably very slick, I don't know (see below).
Cons: Does not come assembled. Bluetooth and Wifi antennas attach using microscopic brass clips. Cannot get them to attach (can barely see them!).
Reviewed By:N/A,8/27/2015 4:01:58 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product less than 1 day.
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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > ECS (EliteGroup) > ECS Liva X 2GB/32GB Mini PC

Rating + 2Rating + 2Rating + 2Rating + 2Rating + 2 Impossible to assemble
Pros: Incredibly small. Probably very slick, I don't know (see below).
Cons: Does not come assembled. Bluetooth and Wifi antennas attach using microscopic brass clips. Cannot get them to attach (can barely see them!).
Reviewed By:N/A,8/27/2015 3:26:31 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product less than 1 day.
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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > ECS (EliteGroup) > Black ECS LIVA 64GB 2GB DDR3L RAM installed 64GB eMMC Storage

Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4 Awesome little box that rus Linux
Pros: Very compact!
Not only is it fanless but unlike other NUC and SFF PC's, it runs cool.
The case is warm to the touch and not boiling hot like my NUC.
Runs Linux Mint 17.2 With only a single BIOS tweak. (See notes in other thoughts)
Powered from a standard MicroUSB plug meaning you can use this with any USB charger or power supply provided it is rated for 3 amps. It's easy to power in an automobile or from a battery/solar setup. This also means replacing a bad or damaged power supply is very easy.
Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card and antennas not installed by default. This gives the user the freedom to leave it out of the system if they don't need it or are using a USB Wi-Fi/Bt or 3rd party card.

More than enough power for most tasks including programming work, email, web browsing/development, music, and video playback. It's first use was recovering a bad 20GB ATA disk for a customer using ddrescue. Did the job and didn't break a sweat.
Cons: One egg was knocked off because of the port configuration.

Only two USB ports? Plan on buying a USB hub if you use more than two USB devices.

It's 2015, ditch the VGA port. If VGA is so important, then let the customer use an HDMI to VGA adapter. This would make room for a second HDMI port and/or more USB ports.

Ideally, this unit should have a USB 3 port on the front, four USB ports on the back and two HDMI ports. I'd even let the existing two rear USB ports slide if there was one more on the front.

As of this writing:
Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card not supported in Linux out of the box. You need a beta driver and some command line knowledge to get it working. Since I don't need Wi-Fi or Bt, I didnt bother installing it. A good alternative is to use a Wi-Fi card that is supported out of the box or a USB dongle.
Other Thoughts: It's easy to get the latest Linux distros up and running. Installing Linux Mint 17.2 took only a few minutes once I sorted out the GRUB issue.

There are a few things to follow in order to get Linux installed:
1. Make sure you use a recent 64 bit Linux distro.

2. Use the black USB 2.0 port when booting. The Linux kernel for your distro might not be able to boot from the USB 3 (Blue) port on the back.

3. From Windows, use Rufus to make your bootable USB drive from an ISO and make sure you select "GPT partition scheme for EFI", everything else stays the same. The Liva is EFI all the way and doesn't boot legacy MBR formatted disks. This is what most people don't understand and is why they can't boot Linux from USB. Other bootable USB utilities like UNetbootin and Easy USB from pendrivelinux DO NOT support GPT. Using Linux or OSX, use the built in disk utilities (e.g. gparted) to make bootable GPT drives.

4. Turn off secure boot in the BIOS. When I first attempted to install Mint 17.2, GRUB failed to install when trying to install a signed version of GRUB. Once I turned off secure boot, GRUB installed and I was up and running. BUT this could have just been a problem with my distro. I would try to install with secure boot on and only turn it off if it fails to install GRUB.
Reviewed By:N/A,8/27/2015 11:09:25 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 day to 1 week.
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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > GIGABYTE > GIGABYTE GB-BXi3H-5010 (rev. 1.0) 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics 5500 Black BRIX / Ultra Compact PC kit

Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4 Update On Brix
Pros: Simple, Reliable
Cons: Under-powered for more demanding applications
Other Thoughts: I have worked both with the NUC and the BRIX from Gigabyte and, with this gen (based on Intel's 5th gen procs), I prefer the NUCs from Intel over the BRIX for a number of reasons.

After putting each together I noticed the construction and layout of the internal components of the NUC is done a little smarter than the BRIX. The hard drive cage on the cap of the NUC has a really nice, slide-in, so the hard drive just snaps into place like a hot swap external drive. The brix on the other hand uses a proprietary SATA connector which feels flimsy and must be jimmied into place.

BRIX of the latest gen use MSATA versus the more recent M.2 standard that the NUCs use. Its not a big deal either way but I prefer to use the latest standard.

The big thing for me is the CPUs that these units use. If you look at the BRIX line compared to the NUCs, you will notice that similar systems use slightly different model CPUs. Notice that an i7 brix will use a different CPU than an i7 NUC. The NUC's i7 is actually a better proc than the one BRIX uses. Its not a huge difference, but when you compare both units and them being a similar price point, the NUC wins out. Its like Intel saved the better procs for their own units :)
Reviewed By:N/A,8/27/2015 6:37:40 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product more than 1 year.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No
Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > Intel > Intel BOXNUC5I7RYH 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel Iris Graphics 6100 Aluminum and Plastic Black NUC Kit (Rock Canyon)

Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5 Powerful Little Unit
Pros: Compact, Powerful, Easy Setup, Can Play Games
Cons: None, so far.
Other Thoughts: I have worked both with the NUC and the BRIX from Gigabyte and, with this gen (based on Intel's 5th gen procs), I prefer the NUCs from Intel over the BRIX for a number of reasons.

After putting each together I noticed the construction and layout of the internal components of the NUC is done a little smarter than the BRIX. The hard drive cage on the cap of the NUC has a really nice, slide-in, so the hard drive just snaps into place like a hot swap external drive. The brix on the other hand uses a proprietary SATA connector which feels flimsy and must be jimmied into place.

BRIX of the latest gen use MSATA versus the more recent M.2 standard that the NUCs use. Its not a big deal either way but I prefer to use the latest standard.

The big thing for me is the CPUs that these units use. If you look at the BRIX line compared to the NUCs, you will notice that similar systems use slightly different model CPUs. Notice that an i7 brix will use a different CPU than an i7 NUC. The NUC's i7 is actually a better proc than the one BRIX uses. Its not a huge difference, but when you compare both units and them being a similar price point, the NUC wins out. Its like Intel saved the better procs for their own units :)
Reviewed By:N/A,8/27/2015 6:35:49 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No
Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > GIGABYTE > GIGABYTE GB-BXi3-4010 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics 4400 Integrated by CPU Black Mini-PC Barebone

Rating + 1Rating + 1Rating + 1Rating + 1Rating + 1 Do not buy this mini PC
Pros: Small!
Cons: I was bought this one but it was not working and then I replacement service by Gigabyte.
After 3 month later, it was shutdown again again,
I asked it repair service but I could not because Gigabite web side was not working.
I visited Gigabyte office in City of Industry.
Gigabyte sent me same problem mini PC.
I visited Gigabyte office again and then they sent me same problem mini PC.
Gigabyte repair service is really no good!
I will visit Gigabyte office one more time!!!!
Gigabyte RMA# USA-1580099
Manufacturer Response:Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at newegg-support@gigabyteusa.com with the case number 126340 in the e-mail subject line. We will provide personalized service and analysis to help solve your issue ASAP. If the matter is urgent, please send us your contact number, and we will contact you.

GIGABYTE VIP Support Team

Reviewed By:N/A,8/26/2015 7:22:24 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 month to 1 year.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > ECS (EliteGroup) > Black ECS LIVA 2GB DDR3L RAM installed 32GB eMMC Storage

Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5 Fast, easy and convenient
Pros: Very easy set-up, quiet and snappy unit. Runs Windows 8.1 efficiently. Form factor small enough to be used as a dedicated server.
Cons: The unit comes with one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port only - a powered external USB hub is in order.
Other Thoughts: The unit has been working flawlessly with Windows 8.1. Excellent unit to consider as a server, a second PC for the kids, or as a dedicated monitoring station.
Reviewed By:N/A,8/26/2015 11:52:32 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product less than 1 day.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > ASRock > ASRock Beebox N3000/B 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4 A fine fanless PC
Pros: This system has a small form factor, is completely silent, and decently powered. It can handle videos through Kodi without any delay (it's just as fast playing video and skipping forward as my 4ghz gaming pc!)
Cons: The 2.5" HD installation is messy to the point of impossibility. There just isn't enough room. The SATA cables need to somehow sneak behind the RAM slots, but they are neither long enough, nor flexible enough. I ended up going with mSATA, and would recommend it.

Biggest con that I saw: There are no USB 2.0 ports, all USB 3.0 This made Windows 7 installation impossible for me because the installation media contains no USB 3.0 drivers. I tried loading the drivers onto a Windows 7 ISO (on a thumb drive) with the DISM commands, and it failed (no mouse and keyboard). I tried using the ASRock tool to patch the ISO and burn a disk with the USB 3.0 drivers, that failed in the same way. I tried using a recent version of Ubuntu, and that failed to boot entirely.

Eventually I gave up and tried Windows 10, and it installed just fine. I guess make sure that the OS you want to install supports the hardware, or get ready to become an expert in customizing that OS.
Other Thoughts: I picked this up to replace a Foxconn NT-A3800 AMD system I was using as a HTPC, and it's worlds better. High bitrate videos (~10gb) that chugged on the Foxconn run perfectly smoothly on the Beebox N3000. When I finally shut down the old system, and heard all the fans in the living room stop, it was music to my ears.

The OS install was tricky until I switched to Windows 10, and after that it was a breeze.

The system is decently fast, but no speed demon. Browsers take a few seconds to open up, and there's some delay when switching tabs or launching new programs, but I'm fine with that. It's a tiny computer that can run a full version of Windows with no fans, and a very low power draw, so I'm more than happy!

If you've got the RAM sitting around, and an mSATA card, I'd highly recommend this computer!
Manufacturer Response:Dear Valued ASRock Customer

Thank you for purchase and review.
Due to Windows 7 does not built-in USB drivers for Intel 100 and N3000 series, the USB patch is required to recognizing USB keyboard and mouse.
Please visit link below for the guide.

Windows 7 USB patcher guide Link: http://www.asrock.com/microsite/Win7Install/

If you have any technical inquiry or warranty question in the future, please contact us at http://www.ASRock.com/Support/tsd.asp
We will assist you shortly.

Thank you

ASRock SUPPORT
Tech Support Email: http://www.ASRock.com/Support/tsd.asp

Reviewed By:N/A,8/26/2015 9:15:00 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

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Categories > Mini-PC Barebone > MSI > MSI Cubi-003BUS Intel Broadwell U PCH-LP 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4 Solid miniPC for DIYers
Pros: - PERFORMANCE: After installing all updates, it can easily stream Youtube/Hulu/Netflix at 1080p and play lower-end games. Windows Experience Index of 5.9 CPU, 5.0 Aero graphics, and 6.5 gaming graphics. Great for productivity, web browsing, and HTPC usage, though gaming would largely be limited to casual 2D games.

- STORAGE: It offers an mSATA SSD slot AND a 2.5" HDD/SSD connector, which is uncommon for a miniPC in this class. Despite some reports, the Cubi seems to have no issue booting to the 2.5" drive without an mSATA installed. Just swap out the bottom with the included replacement to accommodate the larger drive.

- NETWORK: The included M.2 WiFi/Bluetooth card can be removed/replaced as desired and has antenna wires wrapping around the inside of the case. WiFi connectivity is excellent within a small house, but poor when going between floors and almost non-existent when going outside.

- EFFICIENCY: Offers above-average performance given that the entire PC is smaller than a cable/DSL modem and uses less than 40W of power, making it cheaper to run than a lightbulb. The CPU averages around 50C under basic use, but the case only becomes slightly warm with extended use.

- SUPPORT: The Cubi comes with a 2-year warranty, which is above-average for a barebones system like this. During a couple "test" phone calls, MSI technical support was very responsive (less than 3 minutes to get a real person on the phone), easy to understand (no thick accents or other communication issues), and very helpful/knowledgeable on the subject matter.
Cons: - SETUP: The setup instructions and user manual are extremely poor, focusing mostly on how to use Windows and system recovery software that's not included while leaving out the crucial instructions and specs. There's not much to setting the Cubi up, but it expects you know what you're doing and what hardware you need without any guidance. You can preview these materials as PDFs on MSI's website.

- DRIVERS: For those installing Windows, the Cubi is somewhat unstable until after downloading and installing the latest drivers and firmware. Out of the box, it cannot connect to Ethernet/WiFi/Bluetooth, has no audio, and has slow/stuttering video output. All the latest updates can be downloaded from MSI's website, which completely correct the issues after ~30 minutes of installing.

- BIOS: The Cubi may not boot with 2 RAM modules installed at first. Installing a single RAM module and updating the BIOS (downloaded from MSI's website) fixes the issue, but it should 'just work' out of the box. In addition, you need to go into the BIOS and change a 'fast boot' setting if you plan to install/use an OS other than Windows 8/8.1/10. This is a mild inconvenience for Windows XP/Vista/7 and Linux users.

- INPUT: The keyboard and mouse only work if plugged into the 2 rear USB ports. This is probably fine for most, but still awkward and confusing.
Other Thoughts: - SPECS: Newegg currently states the Cubi only supports 8GB of RAM, which is incorrect. It actually supports 2 x 8GB modules, for 16GB total. Check MSI's site for the real specs. Kingston is on MSI's official compatibility list - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239697.

OVERALL: Pretty impressive for a PC of its size and cost. Definitely not for gamers or non-DIYers, but it's a solid productivity and HTPC machine that's roughly equivalent to a lower-end laptop. Compared to Gigabyte's BRIX and Intel's NUC lines, this easily offers the better value, support, and expandability.
Reviewed By:N/A,8/25/2015 7:34:28 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 day to 1 week.
This user purchased this item from Newegg

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No
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