• Last Updated:
  • May 24th, 2019 10:09 pm
Aug 27, 2014
368 posts

Compact PC for TV

I'm currently using a 9 year-old Dell Zino on my TV, I had replaced its SSD (and installed Windows 10) and while it's working damn decently for something that old, it can be slow at times. It plays Netflix perfectly well, but it doesn't play YouTube in 1080p well for instance. I really like the flexibility of having a full PC; I often use my TV/PC like I'd use any PC, with a wireless keyboard and mouse. I use an external hard drive for most of my storage needs. Will eventually upgrade to an 4K TV too, so the ideal computer would work well with that.

Are the NUC worth it? (I like the particularly small-form ones with only room for the NVMe SSDs)

Would something like this be plenty sufficient:

​Intel Core i3-8109U processor (3.0 GHz - 3.6 GHz, Dual-Core, 4MB Cache, 28W TDP)
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
2 x 260Pin SO-DIMM DDR4 2400
​+Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) 260-Pin SODIMM Memory - CT8G4SFS824A
+Western Digital WD Blue SN500 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 3.0 x2 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

​I could get this for around $575 right now. I was admittedly hoping to pay less. I've stopped following PCs' performance a long time ago and I'm not sure how things compare and how crazily better the NUC would be compared to my 9 year old antiquity.

What would you recommend?

2 replies
User avatar
Dec 1, 2018
354 posts
Maybe you can find a used Alienware alpha r2 on kijji for like $200-300?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
12628 posts
I love my little NUC. It's quiet, and runs well for any normal day to day PC task. And of course it will play modern 4K media files with no problem since it decodes both H264 and H265 in hardware.

It's overkill as a media device but if you do want to use it as a PC, it's a good balance of enough power and size and I doubt you'd find it lacking in any way unless you play PC games. I use mine as a main PC and I really don't miss much.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.