A little over a year ago I had to replace my home desktop PC that was about 3 years old. In an earlier post I detailed moving to a small mini PC. That computer still works well but as I am thinking about starting my own business I became concerned about having a backup PC.

A week ago, I purchased another mini PC. This one is based on a AMD Ryzen 7 CPU instead of the Intel 5105 CPU. Even though it only cost $30 more than the Intel based PC, it is way faster. Going from 4 core, 4 threads to 8 cores, 16 threads. It is difficult now to bog the new computer down with tasks. Whereas it was very easy for the previous computer to act slowly. The newer PC is roughly 5 times faster with the faster CPU and hard drive. That is very significant.

The only downside is the older PC reserved 256 MB of RAM for video while the new one is reserving 3 GB of RAM. I believe this can be lowered via BIOS changes but I’ve not tried that yet. (Update: I changed the video RAM usage to 1 GB instead of 3 GB, much better.)

The two PCs are the same size and have almost the same ports for connecting monitors, network and USB devices. It looks almost identical to the older PC.

But, yes, a year later this $399 unit was down to $259, and it so far has been well worth it. (Update: as of December 8th, this unit is selling for $359)

Now I have networked the two PCs so the new one backs up to the old one. If either PC has a hardware failure, the other PC will be ready to take over. This blog post discusses the backup process.

By Michael Todd

An IT Professional with over 30 years of experience with PC setup & troubleshooting, programming, consulting and the use of the most popular business applications. This is all about making the technology do the most for you, so you have more time to enjoy life.

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