Your next PC should be a desktop – even this mini PC • The Register | Tech Rasta


desktop travel I recently got a desktop computer, and the modest one is the funniest I’ve had during my years of desktop travel. It’s a project that’s seen me experimenting with all sorts of weird and common client devices every month since March 2022.

The machine is the Maxtang NX6412 – a Chinese brand – powered by the humble quad-core 10nm Intel Celeron with 1.5MB L2 cache zipped up to 2.6GHz. The box sells for about $300; Your mileage may vary depending on where you shop. I got a 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, a USB-A Wi-Fi and Bluetooth dongle, and a gray market Windows license for a lower price. 80 dollars

Computers are more than enough for everyday web browsing, typing, video or audio streaming. and riding some kilometers on the Zwift bike.

I expect performance levels from any PC these days, and yes, there may be better deals on some NUCs based on Intel Core and AMD Ryzen processors, but I was wondering what this Celeron Maxtang would look like and found it to work.

Maxtang NX6412 Mini PC

Maxtang NX6412 Mini PC – Click to enlarge

Where this light stands out are the impressive ports on the back: dual HDMI, a pair of USB-A 2.0 connectors, and twin RJ-45. I plugged an old USB hub into one of the USB-A ports. and plug in everything I find switching to and from the laptop – such as a webcam, a suitable microphone, USB speakers, and a Logitech wireless input device connector – and leave it at that. hanging out of sight

Devices are connected 24/7. And all the cables are hidden behind my computer and under my monitor stand. My desk is more tidy than it has been for years.

There’s one exception: the HDMI cable is blue to DisplayPort (which I don’t remember ever buying) not far from my PC’s second HDMI port to drive a vintage Dell 13″ LCD monitor (which I remember). bought in 2002 or 2003) and now gives you 1024×768 additional desktop space.

Vulture East Home Annex feat. Maxtang Mini PC

The newly tidy Vulture East Home Annex Maxtang mini-PC – click to enlarge.

I like this setup because I use my laptop’s display as a secondary monitor. So a lot of cables have to be strung up on a desk to get to their tiny ports. My desktop sits under a monitor stand with everything connected. And I no longer need to look for cables or devices. None of the peripherals I used required a front-mounted USB 3.0 port.

Yes, I can buy a Dock or Port Replicator and complete the setup for my laptop. But the device is about the same price. with the desktop I’m currently using. and is often tied to certain brands of laptops.

The port replicator or dock is free to use on the laptop. which I decided I didn’t want.

When using a laptop in my home office which is in a strong garden hut I keep it at the end of the day and bring it home where it tempts me to come back and use it again for one more email. or glance registration to make sure there are no typos on the first page.

I have a desktop now. My thoughts have changed. And I’m in the home office to complete a day’s work. It then shifts my mental and physical state to home (although I use a smartphone, tablet and e-reader for days).

Setting up my desktop is not a panacea. My slightly obnoxious workload test – downscaling 5 minutes of 4K video to HD with the open source video converter Handbrake – ran at 11:59, quite a bit longer than some of the other machines I tested that were capable of Maxtang not. Like running VMware Workstation: In an Ubuntu VM with 2GB of memory, the downscaling test lags behind the anticipated 53:00 task time, but in several tests, Handbrake decided that the mysterious termination worked. better than getting the job done

I also used the free Cinebench rendering benchmark, which scored the machine at 1581. The fastest system on the Cinebench chart scored 30,054 with a 32-core AMD Threadripper at 3GHz.

This power plant is not!

where is the desktop

The unexpected joy of using desktop computers made me think about their role. Desktops account for about 20 percent of the PC market, and the graph below from Canalys shows. Shipping drops slower than laptop cases.

Canalys PC Sales Statistics Q3 2022

Canalys PC Sales Statistics Q3 2022 – Click to enlarge

Guess the desktop market is still going on because there are so many roles that only desktops can do. There are only so many GPUs, fans, and disks that gamers and content creators can put into their laptops. can top

Maxtang will never cater to gamers, CAD users, or developers who need a VM to run perfectly. but able to handle daily production tasks to the fullest

The big invasion in the PC market in recent years has been good enough laptops in the form of Chromebooks.

Maybe it’s time to think about a desktop that’s good enough. Especially now that hybrid operation has become the new normal. I am often told that two or three days a week of working from home is now allowed for many workers who need tools adapted to these new situations. It’s important to make sure people are as productive as possible right now. Because the office is not an everyday destination.

By organizing my workspace and freeing my laptop when really needed. My mini desktop is that tool. And I think it could be yours, if, like me, you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated workspace at home. ®


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