Lenovo Intel i5 128GB SSD Tiny Desktops

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Lenovo Intel i5 128GB SSD Tiny Desktops
Price: $269.99 - 369.99
Shipping Options:: $5 Standard
Shipping Estimates: Ships in 3-5 Business Days. (Monday, Mar 14 to Thursday, Mar 17) + transit
Condition: Refurbished

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Hmmmm… after receiving this computer, you may want to install KB3112343: Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: December 2015 before running Windows update. This may avoid some delays in installing the Windows 7 updates. Some Windows 7 updates are required prior to being even able to upgrade the computer to Windows 10.

Also, before the discussion erupts into “Wheres the HDMI port???”, you can purchase an adapter for Displayport to HDMI. The cost at Amazon is about $10-$15 depending on length and shipping.

Yeah, I use an adapter for HDMI and it works fine. DisplayPort was designed to be flexible like that, can easily adapt to any consumer digital connection.

I want to use this as a Steam box/Plex server on my entertainment center. Which model would be better? Or would neither?

I think I’d go with the ‘larger’ box and augment with another 4GB of RAM. I’d expend one of the USB 3.0 ports for an external drive because, realistically, you’ll only have about 88GB left after Windows and apps are installed.

The problem with that approach is you’re getting into low-end Steam box money without getting real gaming graphics.

If you’re just streaming from a real gaming PC then the low end box would be fine (as would a $50 steam link). If you want to play games on the box then the bigger unit is still going to be very weak.

Once again, they are far too vague on the audio capabilities. Given the lack of a digital output, I’m assuming these PCs do not support Dolby Digital or anything more than 2-channel stereo. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Though the form factor is identical to the new-model, low-end processor versions recently sold new on Woot, these are refurbs and I am guessing must be ex-corporate (likely medical center or call center or something) with some real age on them, as the Ivy Bridge i5 in the lower end model was released in June of 2012 and the better chip in April 2013.

Great suggestion on installing Win7 update client but at a loss for installing Win Server 2008R2 which costs $400-500 or an update to 2008R2 since it is not installed. Would you please elaborate. Thanks.

I can’t speak for Zloth, but I don’t think he was suggesting Win server 2008R2, it just happens that the link he posted addresses both Win 7 users and Win Server 2008R2 users… Make sense?

Makes sense. What say you, Zloth?

Thinking about using a box like this as an OTA DVR.

Assuming I add a USB antenna TV tuner; a USB external drive for storage; and even a Windows Media remote control, could the onboard graphics handle OTA DVR playback duties? Or would it choke on 1080p output to an HDTV?

Would this be a good mame dedicated machine?

These would not be appropriate for a gaming system due to limited graphics processing and no possibility for expansion. They’d be fine for Plex though; either CPU is more than enough for transcoding at least a couple HD streams. You definitely need external storage for your media though, and fortunately these boxes have plenty of USB ports. It’s up to you if you want to go with the more expensive box; either will be fine for Plex but the slightly faster one also has slightly better integrated graphics, for what that’s worth to you.

Install the linked update, install the rest of the Windows Updates, then upgrade to Windows 10.

It’ll be perfectly fine for 1080p output.

It’ll certainly run MAME and many games, but will probably still struggle with later 3D stuff. It all depends what you expect to play on it.

Is the included 4GB ram on one stick, or two?

Here’s some RAM for this little guy: http://smile.amazon.com/Memory-IBM-Lenovo-ThinkCentre-M72e-DDR3-12800/dp/B00HH6ZGMW

With a refurbished computer, it can vary from unit to unit in the batch.

Should work fine, I’m using the cheaper one (with a lesser processor) that was sold on WOOT a while back for Win7 MC and it works fine.

I’d use something like a Silicon Dust network tuner rather than a USB one (unless you have one laying around anyway)

Any suggestions for a low-end steambox or laptop?