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AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 07:25
by palimmo
Hi everybody.

I'd like to change soon my external 24' monitor, that we use mostly to watch movies over my laptop.
But since my laptop is pretty old as well (almost 10 years old, although it works with SolydK9 flawless, except in summer (overheating problems)), I'm considering some options:

- Buy a new monitor (24'-27', HDMI). And keep it using my old, dear laptop as long as it.. works. Budget: max. 250€.
- Buy a AIO Computer (24'-27', HDMI OUT & IN ports). I'm not a gamer and I do not really need another laptop, but I'd like to have something at home that saves space. Budget: max. 800€. Any suggestions?
- Buy a Mini-PC (any suggestions?) and a new monitor. It would be great, if the PC can be mounted behind the monitor. Budget: max. 800€.
- Buy a HDMI-Stick (any suggestions and experiences?) and a new monitor. Budget: max. 400€.

Well.. I'm open to some options, as you can see.... :lol:

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 08:56
by palimmo
If it is not difficult, I could consider this option as well:

- Buy and configure a Raspberry-Pi (never done: is it easy? I'd like just to have a access to websites and their media centers and watch movies, news, listen to music, etc.) and a new monitor.

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 10:33
by Arjen Balfoort
For the past five years or so I have developed and maintained SolydXK on a mini-PC with an Asustek Q87T mother board. I especially looked for a fan-less setup. No sound at all. Draw back is that on hot days I cannot compile ISOs because it will overheat and shut down and I need an external HD (in my case a NAS) because of the limited space on the SSD.

I never looked back and will buy a new one when that time has come.

I would not suggest the RPi. I created a SolydX image for the RPi3 and although it functions it will freeze up often because of lack of resources.

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 10:51
by palimmo
It seems to be very easy!
And they launched RaspberryPi 4 (with up to 4 GB RAM) recently!

https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... setting-up

At the end, I can use it like a "normal" pc with a good mid-level hardware, right?
Or do I have some limitations, due to the ARM technology, etc.?
Specs:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/ra ... fications/

Now I do not see any particular reasons to buy an expensive AIO or Mini-PC as well as an HDMI-Stick... :P

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 12:14
by kurotsugi
for around $100 you can get fast rpi-like stuffs. browsing is actually a resource eater activity. second only to gaming. you'll need 4gb or higher ram to comfortly browse the sites

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 12:55
by palimmo
kurotsugi wrote:
22 Jul 2019 12:14
for around $100 you can get fast rpi-like stuffs. browsing is actually a resource eater activity. second only to gaming. you'll need 4gb or higher ram to comfortly browse the sites
hi kurotsugi,
do you have any example?

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 14:30
by ilu
Buy a used mini PC / MediaCenter type from ebay local (Kleinanzeigen) if you have access to that. Budget 150 Euro. Look up the cpu to get something that is not too ancient. If necessary invest in an 1 Tera SSD for 100 Euro and yu are better off than with a raspi.

Buying use stuff is economic and saves earth ressources and climate!

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 15:15
by kurotsugi
oodroid xu4 and asus tinker pad might be a good idea. though, you can search "raspberry pi alternative" and you'll see that you actually have lot more options. that being said, actually I think a mini pc is a better idea for you. a decent mini-pc will would give a better user experience. on top of that, you have flexibility to install lot of OS's, including solydxk!

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 23 Jul 2019 14:01
by palimmo

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 23 Jul 2019 14:19
by ilu
The Odroid is a good hardware and the company behind them does their best. But really, that's a tinker board. Like the raspi. If you like to tinker go ahead. I like to tinker and I have several of those SOC boards and I considered buying an Odroid too. A guy from our club built a laptop with it. In a wooden case. Really cool. :ugeek:
But I would not use them for my main device. You can use them as media server, firewall, remote station for whatever if you set them up correctly but your main device should still be x86 based (until risc or something else is ready).

If I understand you correctly, you are looking for something to plugin and use. A daily use device that just works. And any of those tinker boards are not fit for that IMHO. They are limited and they need tinkering.

Get a mini PC. Get it second hand if you want to save money.

I don't know where you are from, but have a look https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-pcs ... ini/k0c228. Give it a bit of time and you'll get something nice and cheap.

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 24 Jul 2019 05:51
by palimmo
hi ilu, thanks for your help.

do you think a SBC (RPI 4, Odroid N2, etc.) is not suitable for this purpose
- connected (HDMI) to a Monitor and used exclusively to watch movies, news, etc. on media centers / websites like ARD, ZDF, Arte, Youtube, Rai, etc., listen to music and exceptionally to surf the web?

About second-hand MiniPCs (or more generally):
how much can be sure that no "spy hardware or software" is not installed on that machine? :?
Yes, I will erase everything before installing linux... still.. Am I paranoic or are these reasonable concerns?

Re: AIO, HDMI Stick, Mini-PC, Monitor?

Posted: 25 Jul 2019 00:59
by ilu
Surfing the web actually needs quite a lot of resources, I think you won't be happy with any SOC. You are also limited in your choice of distro (these guys are the best: armbian.com) - no Solydxk!

About spyware hazards: If you wipe the disk during install, it's squeaky clean. Do that on all media included. If you want to be extra sure update/flash the bios. I don't know any other place suitable the previous owner could have hidden something.

Of course there's spyware in the processor, in the network interface, in whatever other chip on board - but that spyware is build in by the manufacturer, you can't do anything about it.