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Thread: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

  1. #1
    OilSheikh
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    Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Is it possible to build a mini PC under £100 ?
    Has anyone here achieved this ?

    The mini PC cases seem to cost more than a standard case for some strange reason.

  2. #2
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Got any spare components you can use?

    If it doesn't need to be powerful, an AM1 APU and motherboard might be the best start.

    OFC a Windows licence leaves you with £20 for hardware, so you might be best off with something pre-assembled as a factory can bundle a free Windows on a low end machine.

    How about an HDMI stick PC?

  3. #3
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    ... OFC a Windows licence leaves you with £20 for hardware ...
    That's your big issue - if Windows isn't required it might *just* be possible if you want minimal spec. There are a few mini-itx boards with embedded CPUs that can be picked up slightly cheaper than an AM1 board and APU, e.g. ASRock board with embedded AMD C70 (dual core Ontario) APU for £33 or Gigabye board with embedded Intel Celeron N3050 (dual core Braswell) for £35. A single 2GB stick of DDR3 is around £12. That leaves you just over £50 for a case, PSU and storage. If you want absolute mini, then I don't think it's doable - a bare mini-itx case with built-in DC-DC PSU is going to cost more than that. If small form factor is acceptable, ebuyer have a mini-itx case with 300W PSU for £28, leaving you ~ £25 for a hard drive or small SSD. Tight, but possible.

    OTOH, that same £100 will buy you a new windows tablet nowadays, so I'm not sure it's a great investment of time and effort...

    EDIT: if I had £100 to spend on a PC and wanted something small right now, I'd probably get a refurbished dell off ebuyer:
    £90 gets you a celeron dual core, 4GB RAM and 160GB hard drive: http://www.ebuyer.com/760712-refurbi...-e33-4-160-w7p
    £120 gets you an E8400, 4GB RAM and a 250GB hard drive: http://www.ebuyer.com/760715-refurbi...-e84-4-250-w10
    Last edited by scaryjim; 21-12-2016 at 12:48 PM.

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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Everybody must have rushed to ebuyer, those two above are both showing out of stock.

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    I really don't care Dashers's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Without any other requirements being defined. A Raspberry Pi. Tiny, yet perfectly capable of basic PC functions like web-browsing, document creation and even media consumption if you license the decoder chip.

  8. #6
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by spolsh View Post
    Everybody must have rushed to ebuyer, those two above are both showing out of stock.
    Huh, mad. Don't even remember them saying "last few" when I looked!

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    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    Without any other requirements being defined. A Raspberry Pi. Tiny, yet perfectly capable of basic PC functions like web-browsing, document creation and even media consumption if you license the decoder chip.
    This ^

    Pi3 Starter kit (Pi3, PSU, case and SD card) £45
    MPEG-2 license key £2.40
    VC-1 license key £1.20

    Under £50
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  10. #8
    OilSheikh
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Thanks for the replies all.
    I need something just to browse websites and play Live streaming TV channels ( Flash videos in 480p quality ). Windows not required. Linux will do fine.
    Don't worry, TV license all paid for. Nothing dodgy going on here. I am after some channels that aren't broadcast here e.g. Animax.

    I bought a 1st gen Intel compute stick but the Wifi is patchy when Bluetooth is also enabled. I decided to add a USB WiFi n stick but the stream freezes for a few seconds every now and then, perhaps because of the speed limitations of USB2.0 ? I then bought a Chromebit and that had very disappointing WiFi speeds!!!
    The 2nd gen Intel compute sticks are too expensive!

    I don't mind using something ancient like Core2Duo and a used motherboard as long as it's compact.

  11. #9
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    £98.99 and you can unplug it and take it away from the TV: http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/linx...currys-2579579

    I got a similar Toshiba Click Mini (second hand) and it's been taken round the country and plugged into TVs to show wedding photos and the like. Fine for light use and a handy size.

  12. #10
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by OilSheikh View Post
    ... I need something just to browse websites and play Live streaming TV channels ( Flash videos in 480p quality ). Windows not required. Linux will do fine. ...
    Then I think you're looking at:

    RasPi - as per the Hexus story that's just been posted they've ported the OS to x86 and I'm currently messing around with it in a 512MB VM - looks like a perfectly standard Linux desktop release to me, and should do what you need.

    Second hand bits scraped together - you might want to see if you can get something semi modern so it's got hardware decoding of the most popular media formats, but you shouold be able to make something reasonable out of 2nd hand bits.

    Tablet - Most modern tablets will do what you want, and many have hdmi output. There's quite a few Windows tablets available for £100 or less that will be more than up to the job (like jimbouk, I have a Toshiba click mini and think it's great). Best readily accessible deal at the minute (IMNSHO, anyway) is the Linx Vision 8, which can be got from Argos, Currys and a number of other retailers for £99.99 - it's an 8" tablet with Braswell Atom, 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage, and comes with an xbox-compatible controller dock so you can use it as a gaming/game streaming tablet

  13. #11
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    There are those weird little Pipo PCs as well:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/PIPO-X8-128.../dp/B01J469M8G

  14. #12
    OilSheikh
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    On the Linx or the Click mini, can you wirelessly mirror your screen to a Samsung TV ?
    Or, I guess I can always connect physically using a HDMI cable and leave the tablet underneath the TV on the shelf and then use a Bluetooth mouse/keyboard to control it from my sofa ?

    The Acer Aspire Revo has also piqued my interest

  15. #13
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by OilSheikh View Post
    ... Or, I guess I can always connect physically using a HDMI cable and leave the tablet underneath the TV on the shelf and then use a Bluetooth mouse/keyboard to control it from my sofa ? ...
    Yep, totally. micro-HDMI output and built in bluetooth on most Windows tablets. Definitely on the Linx Vision 8, as I've just picked one up today If you want as cheap as possible, ebuyer currently have an 8" Viglen Win 10 tablet for < £40 - http://www.ebuyer.com/762783-connect...ablet-nxr08001 - that has both micro-HDMI and bluetooth 4.0, so would do the job (it's only got 1GB RAM though, so might be a bit sluggish).

    My click mini certainly has options in the software for connecting to wireless displays, so it might be possible to natively connect to your Samsung TV from a windows 10 tablet - however I don't have any wireless displays, so I can't test that!

    Also don't forget that you can cast from Chrome on Windows 10 to any chromecast-compatible device too, so you can just install chrome on the tablet, use it for the web-based stuff, and cast to any compatible TV (don't know if that includes your Samsung, but it might...!).

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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    This is surprisingly cheap for a new system:

    http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hpe-...inc-89-2582320

    You will need to add an HDD and a graphics card of some point,but that is a newish socket meaning it can be upgraded as time progress. OTH,its not the smallest system.


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  18. #15
    OilSheikh
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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    Thanks all. Picking up the Linx Saturday morning

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    Re: Build a mini PC for under £100 ?

    a cheap windows tablet would do the trick. i have a linx 7 and a connect 9 (basically the same things but one has a bigger screen). the connect via hdmi to tv's or monitors and with a usb dongle you can connect a keyboard and mouse etc and charge/run the power at the same time

    in saying that though, i've been someone who has been using media streamers for a long time, going back to modding a couple of xboxes to run XBMC, know known as kodi. but as time went on i ended up getting a couple of dedicated streamer boxes for different rooms, and then over time as they started to struggle a bit with newer formats i ended up getting an android kodi box for about £25 on ebay, swiftly followed by another when i realised how good they were for my needs and how nice they were to run compared to the old kit. obviously there's a lot of talk about the dodgy nature of these boxes, but i don't usually stream stuff from online, instead stream files from my pc, like dvd rips and music etc, but there is a new freeview plugin which is pretty cool as it also let's you use catchup. you can also play spotify, tidal, netflix, google and amazon videos too on them, and install other android stuff like firefox to browse with, although as i stream from my pc and the pcs are in the same room i typically stuff on stuff to stream to the tv and surf on the pc and monitor so don't need that, but i have used firefox to play some online video streams. i think it was channel 4 that had some shows you could stream via the website but not the 4OD app. of course as that's all done via kodi, installing kodi on the linx (as i've also done) gives you all that stuff too

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