Last fall I bought a new development desktop machine.
Since 2009, I had been developing on a Mac Mini, with Bootcamp so that it ran both Mac OS X and Windows. But with time that machine was getting old and it is slower than new machines. And with the release of Windows 10, I was looking to update to a new development computer.
I like the small form factor of the Mac Mini, so I went looking for a new machine that is about the size of a Mac mini. I considered a new Mac Mini, but the latest model of the Mini has a number of problems, plus it hasn't been updated in a long time, so it is outdated. So I went looking to see if I could find something faster, better, and maybe even cheaper.
I found all of that in the Intel NUC.
The Intel NUC is a very small desktop machine from Intel. It is not sold by Intel as a complete system, it lacks memory and a hard drive (and like a Mac Mini, does not come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse). But it forms the core of an excellent system. You can also get them from resellers who install the memory and hard drive for you.
I found a NUC, added memory, a solid state drive, and a large spinning hard drive, and Windows 10, all for less than the cost of a high end Mac Mini. It is faster, better, and cheaper than a Mac Mini.
After about 6 months of using the NUC, it is still a very nice machine. It is very fast, small, and quiet. I developed Pretty Good Solitaire version 16 on it. Since I bought mine, Intel has come out with 6th generation Skylake chip versions, so the new ones would be even faster.
For anyone who is not intimidated by installing your own memory and hard drive(s), I highly recommend the Intel NUC. It is a cheap way to get a powerful desktop, plus it is absurdly small. This desktop should last me at least as long as the 6 years the Mac Mini did, and with Windows 10 on it, it should stay current with software for a long time.