The best mini PCs for gaming
These mini PC’s may be small, but they’ve got the power.
Gaming PC rigs can be big, bulky things to deal with, but they don’t have to be. Mini PCs are a great way to save on space on your desk. They can also be a great way to bring your PC to the living room. But as it is with all PCs, there are many different kinds to choose from and things to consider when looking for a mini PC.
For one, you have to consider what kind of graphical power you are looking for. Many people think that you can’t go too big with this, but you can save a ton of money by going for a smaller graphics card that will still run your games at a high setting.
You also need to know if you plan to upgrade your PC at some point in the future. Can you open your case easily enough? Are there enough slots and space to add components or switch some out? These are all things that need to be considered when looking for a mini PC.
In this guide, we have broken down the mini PC’s into separate categories, depending on what kind of PC you are looking for. Within each category is your best option for which mini PC to buy.
Best budget mini PC
ASUS VivoMini PC
If you’re looking to play your games on a mini PC but don’t want to break your bank, ASUS has the best option for you. The VivoMini comes with a 3.5GHz Intel i7-7500U processor and 8GB RAM, but you will need to supply your own hard drive and operating system.
It also doesn’t come with its own dedicated graphics card, instead opting to use an integrated Intel chipset to provide on that front. It will still give you enough to play games, just at a lower setting and graphical fidelity than the more expensive options.
It’s also incredibly difficult to upgrade which is our biggest criticism of it. It can fit a 2.5-inch SSD, but not much else.
Despite all this, though, the trade-off is that it’s much more affordable than other options on this list.
Best premium mini PC
Corsair One i160
This rig may very loosely fit into the definition of a mini PC, but its size is still smaller than a normal gaming rig which means it can fit neatly into plenty of spaces in your living space. You can expect it to be be about twice the size of a console and half the size of a full desktop.
This system is packed with an Intel i7-9700K processor, Geforce RTX 2080 graphics card and a huge 32GB RAM. Its 480GB SSD along with a 2TB hard drive gives you a massive amount of storage.
It also comes with built-in RGB lights that you can fully customize to your liking. You can support up to three 4K monitors. Finally, it’s incredibly quiet so you won’t even realize it’s there even when you are using it.
However, as evidenced by the category we have put it in, it is on the expensive side so you will need to be able to shell out the money for it.
Best mini PC for upgraging
Intel NUC 8 Performance-G Kit
This kit brings you some bare-bones features but allows for some flexibility and customization options. With the initial purchase, you get an Intel i7-8809G processor and Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics card, meaning you will have to supply your own RAM and hard drive before you can use it. You can add up to 32GM of RAM and there is a space for two hard drives, which allows you to use a small-but-fast SSD and a larger-but-slow hard drive. It’s the perfect choice for people who enjoy building, customizing, and tweaking their set-up to their heart’s content.
But this means that it can get more expensive beyond the initial price point, but it makes up for it with the amount of building you can do it.
Plus, it features support for up to six displays, has front and rear HDMI ports for connecting monitors, two mini Display ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and seven USB ports.
Best mini Mac option
Apple Mac Mini 2020
While Apple and its Mac products aren’t usually known for their gaming sensibilities, they have come a long way with many games being optimized for their platforms.
This updated version of the Mac Mini comes with an eighth-gen i3-8100B alongside an Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics card. It comes in a small, compact that only weights 2.9 pounds. It can fit in anywhere you want.
While maybe not everyone’s first choice, if you are already in the Mac ecosystem or just prefer Apple’s products in general, this is a great choice for you.
Best overall mini PC
Intel NUC 9 Extreme NUC9i9QNX
This is just, simply, the best overall option. It can handle almost any game you want and even comes ready for VR if you are wanting to dive into that world. It’s a ton of power that is crammed into a small mini PC form.
It sports an Intel i9-9980HK Quad-Core Processor, 64GB RAM, a 2TB SSD hard drive, and AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics card. It also comes with enough ports to support up to 6 independent, 4K displays.
It may be a little expensive but it comes with so many options, power, and possibilities, that it can fit just about any need you could possibly think of.
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