What is Intel vPro?
Prime Computer sells the majority of PrimeMini 4 to business customers. For these customers, the crucial features of a PC are often quite different from those of a private consumer. An essential feature for many business customers is Intel vPro. Such “professional features” make the PrimeMinis real business devices.
Intel vPro enables easier PC maintenance, e.g. remote maintenance at BIOS level. vPro is not only a software component but also a separate hardware layer on the processor. Only a few CPUs contain this feature, as we will see later in more detail. Intel vPro is the umbrella term for several features, such as virtualization technology VT. But the main function is AMT (Intel Active Management Technology). With this feature, administration, inventory, diagnosis and repair are possible even when PCs are switched off or no longer functioning normally. All this is feasible over a network, too.
Why is vPro so important?
vPro is so essential for enterprise customers because it significantly reduces maintenance hours and costs. Regardless of whether the company has its own IT department or has outsourced it. In addition, downtime can be significantly reduced, which increases productivity and in turn, saves costs.
Intel provides an easy to use online tool where the approximate cost benefits of hardware setups with vPro can be calculated. Even for small and medium-sized companies, the cost savings over a hardware lifecycle are astonishingly large. It also becomes clear that the acquisition costs of PCs for companies are by far not the main part of the financial burden. Especially if the hardware lifecycle can be extended with the right hardware, as with all Prime Computer products.
Intel online Tool: Link
Which PCs offer vPro?
By far not all Intel processors have vPro onboard. vPro is only available with selected Xeon E and Core processors. For Intel Core CPUs only a few Intel Core i5, i7 and i9 feature vPro. The ultra-compact PrimeMini 4, which are significantly smaller than MiniITX PCs, are based on Intel NUC boards. There are currently (September 2019) almost 30 different NUCs from Intel. However, only two (!) NUC boards support vPro. These two boards with Core i5-7300u and Core i7-8650u are built into the PrimeMini 4 i5 and i7. This is also the reason why we are still selling a PC with a 7th generation processor in 2019 and not, like many consumer PC manufacturers, only the very latest generation of CPUs. The right features are more important for business customers than a supposed performance advantage of the latest processor.
With the PrimeMini 4 i5 and i7, customers get a passively cooled, ultra-compact Mini-PC that meets all the requirements of a real business PC.