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Exactly how upgradable are modern mini PCs?

There are many advantages to using business-class mini PCs, including space-saving small footprints and low energy usage. But one possible downside is the perceived lack of upgradability. But is this true?

In some respects, it’s an unfair criticism. The latest-generation of mini PCs offer a surprising level of upgrade flexibility, which you might not be aware of. Granted, these upgrade options are not as extensive as a desktop PC, where you can change literally every component. But it’s important to consider business needs when looking at upgrades.

For example, if you buy a mini PC with a six-core, 12-thread Intel Core i7 8700T processor inside, you’re unlikely to need any additional processing power for some time. But what is likely to be consumed quickly is storage.

Local storage complements the cloud

It’s tempting to discount local storage as an important consideration when looking at a new business mini PC. But local storage is still faster and more reliable than the cloud (it isn’t reliant on an internet connection, for starters), and it simply makes sense to ensure that your data is stored in more than one location. Helpfully, if you find yourself running short of storage space, then the latest mini PCs offer flexible upgrade options.

For example, a modern mini PC should support both a 2.5-inch hard disk drive and a high-performance M.2 2280 form factor PCIe SSD in the same chassis. Given that PCIe M.2 drives can be up to 20x faster than regular 2.5-inch HDDs, simply installing an M.2 SSD can provide a significant performance boost, especially if it’s used as the Windows C: drive.

Storage capacity is also not restricted by a mini PC’s compact dimensions, because the latest 2.5-inch hard disk drives are available in capacities up to a whopping 5TB. Combine one of these with a 1TB M.2 drive and you’ve got 6TB of rapid local storage in a PC that’s smaller than a shoebox. >>Read more

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