Cheap mini PC - has potential uses?

Intel M6 w/t1b $300, seems like it has potential for something.
Fully self contained and about the size of a paperback novel.

I have an older Mele Quieter2 running as Domain Controller in my home lab with Zentyal, seems to work just fine for what I need there. This PC is the newer faster version so it should also be decent for a lot of things. I bet it will run Windows Server with a pretty decent amount of workload.

Did you look at the reviews on site … a customer from Poland wrote:

The PC is great, but it has some flaws that can be a deal breaker for some: - NVMe SSD is simply bad (slow, 1TB on single chip, unknown chinese brand). For the same price you can get a good brand one, would recommend getting the M6 without SSD.

The 16GB RAM version is single channel so you are loosing a bit of performance and you can’t do anything about it. - fan is not as advertised, not “silent” and definitely not “smart”. It always works at full speed and is very noticeable - no list of required drivers (LAN wasn’t working until I manually downloaded Intel drivers, there are still several unrecognised devices and I have no clue what those are) - charger doesn’t have a plug of “your country”, you get a chinese plug + converter plug.

In that case, the Mele is far better, it has a hint of support about drivers and a recovery image for the Windows OS that they come with.

But the same things apply as far as single channel ram and unknown make of drive. Few of these tiny devices have memory sockets, just not enough room for them. They serve a purpose and as long as you don’t expect server like performance, you are OK. Treat them like a slightly faster Raspberry Pi for Windows and Linux and you won’t be disappointed.

Have you or anyone else tried those USB stick PC? I’m not expecting miracles from it. :smiley:

I seriously considered one of those compute sticks, but by the time I got the ram and storage up where I wanted, the Mele boxes where a better choice. For some things those compute sticks could be much better than a constantly out of stock Raspberry Pi, something I need to play with.

You could probably use one to run a slim Linux and the Xen Orchestra application for a lesser demanding system. I’ll have to look into these again, I have a use case for something really small that doesn’t have a ton of power.

Personally ive found older generation i7 multicore laptops (maxed out with memory) make brill power efficent hypervisors with built in UPS, i usually also…

  1. Remove the front back covers and keyboard… makes a huge difference in reliability/temps/performance

  2. get a sata to mini sata extension cable and replace the dvd drive with another ssd disk

  3. get a powered usb3 port and hang half a dozen cheap 1tb laptop drives of it for vm media storage, backups etc

  4. add another usb to ethernet adaptor and run pfsense on it as well

My homelab’s been running solid for 3 years on mine :slight_smile: running pfsense vm/squeezeserver vm/jellyfin airsonic vm/meshcentral vm/docker vm running nginxpm/homeassistant vm/windows 10 vm and consuming less then 80W. “idling” at around 35W