SIZE MATTERS: Bruce Kerr says a typical computer tower is one of the most upgradeable machines around. However, if you drop the use of a CD-ROM, then a smaller tower makes sense.
SIZE MATTERS: Bruce Kerr says a typical computer tower is one of the most upgradeable machines around. However, if you drop the use of a CD-ROM, then a smaller tower makes sense. Chris Ison ROK280213ccomputer1

Byte Me: Micro towers make sense

IF YOU are a regular reader, you would have seen in last week's article we talked about how the CD or DVD-ROM device is well and truly heading the way of the dodo.

There are good reasons for this and it is unlikely that we will see them on the general market for much longer.

At the same time, we are also seeing the transition from mechanical hard drives (HDD) to solid-state drives (SSDs).

If we now take a closer look at the typical desktop computer tower, we see that they have always had over half of their internal space as just plain air.

Most computer towers have over 50 per cent wasted space inside. The reason for all this spare space is for upgrades.

Most desktop PCs can accept a second or third hard drive as well as an extra CD-ROM and a dedicated video card.

In short, the typical computer tower is one of the most upgradeable machines around. However, if we drop the use of a CD-ROM and factor in the small size of SSDs, then a smaller tower makes sense.

So how small can we go? Let's take a look at the latest micro towers that are now on the market.

Hewlett Packard, Lenovo and Dell, all make micro desktop towers that lack a CD-ROM but offer brilliant performance and reliability in a device that weighs less than 1kg and can nearly be covered by one hand.

These tiny devices would suit around 90 per cent of desktop users and have many advantages over a traditional tower, apart from the space saving.

At 175mm square and only 35mm thick, a micro tower can sit unobtrusively on your desk and provide easy access to the power button and the USB ports.

They also consume about a quarter of the power of a traditional desktop, and with an external power supply similar to a laptop charger, they are very resistant to power surges and brown-outs.

In the past three months we have changed entirely over to these devices to save power and space as well as upgrading to more powerful CPUs.

They will accept the very latest M.2-style SSDs as well as a 2.5-inch SSD and can take up to 32GB Ram.

As far as power is concerned, they can have the latest i5 and i7 CPUs from Intel which will leave the most powerful laptops for dead.

When it comes to connectors, they have no lack of USB ports and can connect to two to three screens simultaneously straight from the factory.

Many of the micro PC models also have built-in Wi-Fi connectors and all have ethernet ports. We have huge stocks of both new and eco micro towers starting from $645 and every customer that is introduced to one ends up taking it home!

If you are in the market to update your desktop tower but have grown tired of the wasted space, ugly looks and difficulty in taking it in for a service, then consider the micro tower.

And, if you still need to use CDs, then a micro tower can be teamed with an external USB DVD-ROM for another $80.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to bytemearticles@gmail.com and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave St or on 49222400.