Lighting Fast And Stays Fast
A Better Standard PC
- i3-9100, 4GB RAM, 120GB SATA SSD = $468
- i3-9100, 8GB RAM, 240GB SATA SSD = $508
- i3-9100, 8GB RAM, 480GB SATA SSD = $545
- i3-9100, 16GB RAM, 500GB NVMe SSD = $635
- i5-9600, 16GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD = $983
- i5-9600, 16GB RAM, 2TB NVMe SSD = $1,200
- i5-9600, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD = $1,088
- i5-9600, 32GB RAM, 2TB NVMe SSD = $1,305
- i9-9900, 32GB RAM, 2TB NVMe SSD = $1,926
- i9-9900, 32GB RAM, 4TB NVMe SSD = $2,470
Configurations A-C come in a light-weight black 2.4" x 7.5" x 8" steel case w/1 fan.
Configurations D-J come in a heavy-duty 1.25" x 7.5" x 8.75" aluminum fanless case.
Why Buy a Silver Bullet PC?
How To Choose The Right Configuration
The highest-value configurations for a multitude of standard uses are D through H. If you plan on using your PC for a lot of different things, where some of the software is relatively demanding, then these PC's are the best value.
If you need even more CPU speed, then I and J are the best buys at the high end. The i9-9900 CPU is used in very high-end CAD projects requiring more than 50 objects per drawing, some of the cutting-edge games, and relatively busy servers. This CPU is at the pinnacle of all technological effort in 14nm miniaturization (with only minor improvements in subsequent platforms). In raw core speed it surpasses AMD's highly acclaimed 7nm Ryzen 9. There are faster chips costing thousands of dollars and therefore not worth mentioning. There's Canon Lake (about 10% faster) but its not worth the price and trouble. And Tiger Lake isn't out yet. For now Intel's Coffee Lake Refresh i9-9900 remains king of value in a high-end CPU.
Configurations A-C make use of ordinary SSD's, which are still 5x faster than hard drives, and make a fine compromise when trying to save money. Keep in mind RAM is cheap, so buying this little won't make sense unless you're using primarily older applications, in which case this could be an ideal compromise.
Important Shifts In Thinking
CPU: 3.6 / 3.1(4.3) / 3.1(5.0)GHz Intel Coffee Lake Refresh i3-9100 / i5-9600 / i9-9900 CPU
Platform: Coffee Lake Refresh (9th gen)
OS: Any PC Operating System
PC Type: Mini-ITX Form Factor Fanless Mini / Tower / Desktop / Portable
Size (config A-C): 2.36" high x 7.48" wide x 8.07" long
Size (config D-J): 2" high x 8" wide x 12" long
RAM: 4/8/16/32GB DDR4-2666 RAM (highest non-overclock Coffee Lake Refresh speed)
Storage: 120/240/480GB SATA or 500GB/1/2/4TB NVMe SSD (this is your drive C:)
GPU: integrated UHD iGPU (handles 4K resolution at 60Hz via DisplayPort)
PSU Type: External 135w
Audio: 8-channel High Definition Audio
USB: 4x USB 3.0 (aka USB 3.1 gen 1), 2x USB 2
LAN: 1 Gigabit Realtek
Fans (config A-C): 1
Fans (config D-J): 0
Our patent pending fanless case inverts the paradigm by putting on the outside all the features normally associated with a market segment, including both objective and arbitrary items, so that the PC itself may remain universal in nature. Marketers have pushed market segmentation for so long that it seems familiar and right, when it really isn't. Reversing market segmentation results in better products for the consumer.
This is our flag-ship PC in support of a unified PC standard for all markets. It works with all PC operating systems (including Windows and Linux). It is strategically designed for a wide range of software requirements and uses, ordinary home and office environments, harsh industrial and moist environments, machine control, remote operation, servers, security, travel, educational, entertainment, gaming and scientific.
It is what a PC should be: one standard for all purposes.
It includes Intel's UHD 630 integrated graphics, which displays 4K video/graphics at a full 60Hz, in 16 million colors. It includes Intel's Quicksync, which is the highest-value API allowing video encoding / decoding all the way up to a 10-bit color depth. It includes 4x USB3, 2x USB2, Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel Surround Sound, a DisplayPort, HDMI, keyboard and mouse connectors.
This PC can function as a desktop, as a mini-tower, as a server (even a tightly packed stack of servers), can mount on the wall, can mount behind your monitor, or on a book shelf, and it can be packed into a large travel case along with a 27" 4K monitor, plus full-sized keyboard and mouse. We also have a small travel case that's just right to hold The Mini, one full sized KB, mouse, a large V-shaped heat drain, and a 15" monitor (imagine taking your high-powered desktop to the coffee shop in a small 9" x 19" case).
Here's how to select the right CPU.
In choosing the right amount of RAM, it is very important to error on the high side. RAM is now quite cheap, and quite fast. Plus it is a part of our solution to the #1 PC Bottleneck. Getting this right helps to prevent the PC from getting slower over time.
Every part inside The Mini was sourced from the most reliable parts in the world. The motherboard is trusted in a variety of extreme industrial conditions, and with an ultra low return rate. It includes special treatments, coatings, redundant circuitries, and special technologies, all focused on making it last. And to prove their point, the manufacturer of this motherboard supplies a free license to access the most advanced motherboard technical support program in the world: CSM.
Special software is included, that manages devices, fans, drivers, remote support, security, and BIOS upgrades. If security is important to you, then this software gives you control. It gets into the logging, meta-data and firmware updates for each device. And this is especially important if you have decided to not make use of Windows Update. The software can be used to manage just the one PC, or to remotely manage the devices to many PC's. It includes its own technical support hotline.
We make strict use of premium grade DDR4 memory modules from Crucial (40 years experience in computer memory). DDR4 memory is way faster than DDR3. This super speed memory is faster yet if you select at least 16GB during checkout, because we will then put two modules in parallel. The exact product number that we choose for your PC is on Crucial's list of products that they guarrantee works with this exact motherboard. There are technical nuances that make this important. This RAM is faster, cheaper, and more reliable than anything on Earth prior to a few years ago. (the industry has changed a lot)
We include two USB 3.0 (aka USB 3.1 Gen 1) ports in the rear, and two more USB 3.0 ports in front. The controler chip handles external splitters that split these to produce as many as 32 USB 3.0 ports. USB 3.0 is the de facto standard to connect your devices, and can easily convert to nearly every additional standard in existence by adding a low-cost adaptor. This is the standard you want in a practical PC. Our definition of practical: is to rapidly connect, and form a stable fast connection to an external device. These ports are capable of up to 5Gb/s each, which is fast enough for everything most people will ever do. And can charge a smartphone. We do not include the cutting-edge USB 3.1 (aka USB 3.1 Gen 2), or Type-C. Until Type-C includes all of its slated technologies, it is not a good idea to add this port to a PC. In all likelihood it will confuse people that don't know which device will work with it. Someday, maybe 3-4 years from now they will have all the technologies together on the same controler chip, making it user-centric, and then it may have some practical value.
As people buy more PC's for more uses, they are then more easily convinced to use the cloud to backup and transport all their private data from one PC to the next as they move between environments, which we now know puts all that data at risk. With security threats Sceptre & Meltdown threatening nearly every cloud service and PC on the planet, and an unknown time to wait for full patches from Intel & AMD, it is now more important than ever to not trust cloud services, and to manage your own solution. One solution would be a desktop PC so small that you could easily take it with you and avoid the cloud altogether. Our travel kit makes this quite easy. And the BIOS-to-CPU patching process necessary to these special security patches is included with our PC. more on security.
The fan (in configurations A-C) was carefully chosen to work well and to last a long time. Generally these last 5-10 years in normal use. However, The Mini runs cool most of the time, stretching the lifespan more. And this fan is a true 4-pin PWM fan that BIOS can accurately control (not the vastly more common 3-pin DC fan which has to make use of an inaccurate trick to control RPM). Our fan runs at a very low RPM when little air flow is necessary, and up to 5500 RPM when/if necessary. You'll hear a pleasant rush of air, not a harsh wine.
However, a fan only makes sense in the low-end PC. Even the most reliable fan in the world is not as good as an optimally designed fanless case. Our fanless case tames heat spikes, something everyone should consider for their high performance CPU's. And with all moving parts removed, there's nothing left to wear out.
Intel's iGPU now produces 16 million vibrant colors and up to 4K resolution graphics over the HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. It even includes Intel's most recent refinement, pushing the refresh speed to the highly desirable 60Hz at 4K resolution (over the DisplayPort connector). Shrinking all this capability down into a corner of the CPU means the entire PC can be made much smaller, taking less power, and producing less heat.
The Mini comes equipped with a 2-lane PCIe Express 3.0/2.0 type 2280 M.2 port. This is a very special port that handles the next generation high-speed NVMe devices. In the configuration drop-down be sure to select a configuration that includes an NVMe M.2 SSD. This is one new technology of tremendous practical importance, because it means files are found, read, and written to/from disk far faster.
The fastest consumer grade SSD in the world has a sustained sequential speed of 900MB/s. 2 express lanes can handle this speed. Sellers pushing their 16 lanes won't tell you that the extra speed in their 16 lanes is only available until the SLC fills up, which could be almost immediately in most products. This is why only the sustained sequential speed matters in real-world tests. And that makes a 16 lane M.2 slot a hype feature. The large transfer speeds of around 4000MB/s look great on a glossy brochure yet do nothing in real-world tests.
Some people may be looking for a PC that works with their very old monitor. If this is the case, first check to see that it has either an HDMI connector or DisplayPort connector, because The Mini requires one of these two connectors. It does not include the very old 15-pin VGA connector. For this connector you'll have to buy The Standard instead.
This computer is NOT designed to overclock. XMP is turned off. If you are looking for true value then you should think twice before deciding to overclock your PC. You may inadvertently void up to 4 warranties. A very large percentage of computer ads are focused on making overclocking look cool to gamers. Think that through a bit.
Here's an analogy: think of an overclocked PC like you would a speed boat on nitrous. It will go faster, and it will burn out sooner. Now ask yourself, what if you bought a speed boat with the next larger engine and didn't use nitrous? Hmmm... You'd get the added speed, but it would last longer! I'm sure you're getting this by now.
During checkout you may choose to have no OS ("none"), Win7, or Win10 for us to preload and test. You may license the OS at any time.
A PC Server?
Coffee Lake Refresh is a terrific platform for servers. It so easily breaks all three PC bottlenecks. A correctly equipped Coffee Lake Refresh server will cruise past all the rest at the same price level. Plus it is generally the more reliable choice.
But what about that indecision as to whether to beef up one server, or to split its load between two or more servers? Our product is the sweet-spot in highest-value. Ultra high reliability, ultra low price, ultra-fast, etc. So given all it has to offer, it might make sense to divide up your demand into multiple identical (and therefore interchangeable) PC's.
Just imagine how much simpler and easier to add and subtract the exact same optimally designed PC, than to fight with upgrades and parts that are always different?