I’ve been using Proxmox for my virtualization needs for a few years. Over the last year, I’ve transitioned all of my hosts to small form factor PCs. I’ve written an article that recommends Proxmox mini PCs that will work well for most people. However, many of you have reached out to me looking specifically for 2.5GbE Proxmox mini PCs, meaning they have 2.5GbE Ethernet connections. Well, I listen to my readers, so here are some top options for you!
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Intel NUC 11 Pro Tiger Canyon
- Brand new original Intel mini pc: Barebone system, no SSD,no RAM,no OS
- Small but powerful:This compact portable Mini PC measures only 117 x 112 x 54 mm,net weight is just 1.33 pounds,With 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processors and Intel Iris X graphics,qualified for 24×7 operation, businesses get breakthrough performance for the edge, collaboration, and productivity
- Storage Capabilities:M.2 22×80 M-key slot for up to Gen 4 NVMe SSD, M.2 22×42 B-key slot for SATA SSD, and 2.5″ drive bay (7mm),System Memory:Two DDR4 SODIMM sockets (Dual channel DDR4-3200 SODIMMs, 1.2V, 64 GB max)
Intel NUCs are the most popular mini PCs, and of course, they have some offerings that include 2.5GbE ports. The one above also comes in a Core i7 variant if you are looking for more power.
Beelink GTR5 Mini PC AMD Ryzen 9
I tend to stick to Intel processors to reduce compatibility issues that may happen when moving VMs across hosts with different architectures. However, AMD Ryzen computers offer great value and performance for virtualization. This Beelink has multiple M.2 slots, a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 processor, and 2 LAN ports, of which one is 2.5GbE.
YLIMPC M3 i7 Mini PC
- A True Desktop: This powerful mini computer does everything a regular computer does, and it can actually be put on your desktop, taking just a little more space than a smartphone. Powered by a modern Intel i7 processor, it runs even faster than a lot of gigantic traditional tower PCs.
- Incredible 10th Gen Core i7 Performance: Thanks to the Intel i7 10810U processor with 6 cores that runs up to 4.9GHz, this mini desktop is capable of handling heavy workloads while ensure seamless multi-tasking, delivering a workstation class experience with computing power rarely found on a PC this mini.
- High Power Micro Computer with Low Power Consumption: Designed with only 15W processor TDP, the YLimPC M3 tiny PC consumes only a fraction of power of what regular tower PCs does, leaving you a smaller carbon footprint and less cost for electricity.
The YLIMPC gives you a 10th Gen Core i7 processor along with its 2.5 GbE port for a good price. It’s also a pretty good-looking computer that is energy efficient. If you want to save some money, you can go with the Core i5 variant.
DeskMini TH50 Mini PC
- 【Excellent performance】 NAB5 is equipped with Intel Core i5 12450H processor (8 cores/12 threads/12M Cache/up to 4.4GHz), Intel UHD Graphics (Graphics Frequency 1.20 GHz), widely used in light gaming, streaming media playback, photo editing, etc., in-home and business It performs well in home and business work.
- 【Dual 2.5G Ethernet Ports】Sleek design dual 2.5-gigabit ethernet port design provides more applications, such as firewalls, multichannel aggregation, file storage servers, etc. At the same time, dual-band Wi-Fi6, BT5.2 with more substantial resisting disturbance and more stable wireless signal. No matter how complicated your environment, NAD5 mini desktop computers windows 11pro can provide a relatively stable and smooth network.
- 【UHD 4K Quard Screen Display Support】The Mini PC comes with a [email protected] ultra-high-definition graphics card (Intel UHD Graphics ) to support [email protected] high-definition video playback and enjoy a high-quality visual experience. 2* HDMI ports and 2*USB-C support 4K four-screen output, and can connect four monitors at the same time, quard-screen collaboration meets your needs and can double your work efficiency.
Another good-looking mini PC (IMHO), the DeskMini provides an 11th Gen Core i5 and compares favorably with the Intel NUC above. However, it comes with two 2.5 GbE ports, which is why I also recommend it as hardware you can use with pfSense.
MINISFORUM DeskMini UM560
- 【Powerful Performance】： The MINISFORUM UM560 Mini PC is a small form factor Desktop Tower Computer with an AMD Ryzen 5 5625U (6C/12T up to 4.3Ghz) processor. The faster performance can handle heavy computing tasks smoothly and better for multitasking. It widely used for light games, image editing, browsing, watching movies, programming etc.
- 【Equipped with GaN Power Supply and Support ALT-Mode】: The MINISFORUM UM560 is the world’s first Mini PC comes with GaN Power Supply, which is safer, faster and more portable. One USB-C port on the back of computer supports ALT-Mode. It allows USB-C port to transfer data/video via multiple interfaces. If your monitor supports USB Power Delivery, you could use this port to power the computer and transfer video signal to the monitor at the same time.
- 【Quad Screen [email protected] Display】: this Mini PC comes with Integrated Radeon Graphics(graphics frequency 1800 MHz), [email protected] four display outputs via two HDMI Ports, and two USB-C Ports, you could connect four independent displays, which ensures smooth navigation, responsive work processes and comfortable handling of apps and files and expands multiple work-spaces for more efficient and comfortable productivity.
The second AMD Ryzen mini PC on this list is the more affordable one. However, along with its 2.5GbE port, it comes with dual HDMI outputs and enough power for many hosts. You can upgrade to an AMD Ryzen 7 version if you’re looking for even more power.
USB 2.5GbE NICs
There are fewer suitable mini-PCs out there than I thought. I’m sure this will change over the years as more people move to 2.5GbE and eventually to 10GbE with their network infrastructure. Technology keeps moving!
That said, you can turn a plain old gigabit machine into a 2.5GbE with one of these adapters below:
So there you have it! A few good options for powerful mini PCs with 2.5GbE ports at a few different price points. More and more of these will be available in the future, and you can retrofit a gigabit machine using a USB NIC now.
Do you know of some other good options or have experience with one of these? Let us know about it in the comments below or on Twitter.