Mini gamer PCs are becoming more and more popular, as advances in hardware in recent years have made it possible to enjoy powerful computers with a minimum size.
This makes it an ideal option if you want to take your computer to your colleagues’ house to play a game on your favorite eSport, or if you are simply looking for a discreet PC that takes up as little space as possible.
If you also want the fever of compact computers, in this article you will find the best mini gaming PCs on the market and how to choose the most suitable for you.
A mini gaming PC is a computer specially configured for gaming, just like any desktop gaming computer.
With the difference that its dimensions are extremely compact. More even than a PC mounted on a mini-ITX tower. They are perfect for those who want to play on PC with a console feel or for those who do not have much space to accommodate their equipment.
Normally it is not possible to choose the components we want, but the equipment is already preconfigured with closed specifications. However, in most cases, it is possible to upgrade some parts, especially the RAM and the hard disk.
Now that we have seen the characteristics of these small gaming computers, we present a selection of the best that can currently be found on the market.
Top 5 Best Mini PC for Gamings
1. Intel NUC 6 Core i7 Mini PC
|CPU Model||Core i7|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580|
|Hard Drive||250 GB Hybrid Drive|
|Computer Memory Type||DDR SDRAM|
About This Item:
- It is the 6th Generation Intel Core i7 mini computer.
- OS is compatible with various Linux distros.
- It can handle up to 7.1 multichannel digital audio via HDMI or DisplayPort signals.
- It supports up to 32 GB DDR4 Memory.
It’s an ideal opportunity to totally change the game by rethinking what a mini gaming PC can do. Experience striking visuals in high resolution with high frame rates, and super-vivid Ultra HD 4K gameplay.
With a sixth-generation Intel Core processor inside, you can play and experience vivid gaming more than ever. An updated design based on the sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Core i7 Pro Graphics implies you improve 3D designs for higher resolution and faster frame rates.
It unleashes maximized and improved performance for intense gameplay or intensive workloads. With an amazing new lid, along with a redesigned chassis that lets you take full advantage of every GHz of the quad-core processor without overheating. This mini PC is totally cool. Literally.
From editing images to delivering 4K video, the sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Pro Graphics gives you maximum performance for anything you make.
Thunderclap 3 technology interfaces you up to 3 4K shows and permits you to incline your design performance with external graphics cards, or move your information to and from an external drive at an amazing 40 Gbps.
That is 2X the video transmission capacity and precisely what you need for working with huge media records highlighting high-resolution, energetic visuals.
2. Gigabyte PCIe Brix Mini PC
|Computer Memory Size||1 TB|
|Computer Memory Type||DDR4 SDRAM|
About This Item:
- It is extremely compact and lightweight.
- It has an Intel Core i5-8250U processor (1.6 GHz – 3.4 GHz, 8 MB cache).
- The barebones unit requires RAM storage and OS.
- It contains 2 slots for DDR4 RAM to extend memory up to 32 GB.
Gigabyte BRIX, an ideal model for those looking for a cheap mini gaming PC with which to play sporadically and above all that serves as a multimedia center.
It comes with an i5-8250U processor, an ultra-low-power version of the mainstream i5. In fact, it only consumes 25w. Its frequency is 1.6 GHz, which may seem somewhat scarce for some tasks, but in turbo mode, it goes up to 3.4 GHz.
It does not have dedicated graphics but rather relies on the integrated graphics chip of the processor: an Intel Graphics UHD 620.
Although it is not a solution designed for gaming, the truth is that it is powerful enough to play many titles at low resolution and quality. It has two slots for RAM, an M.2 slot for SSD, and 2.5 HDD / SSD support.
3. ASUS PB50 Barebone Mini PC
|CPU Model||Ryzen 5 3500U|
|RAM Memory Installed||32 GB|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Integrated-AMD Radeon Vega RX 10 Graphics|
|Computer Memory Type||SODIMM|
About This Item:
- ASUS PB50 barebones Mini PC features an AMD Ryzen 7 Processor.
- It supports up to 32GB DDR4 Memory.
- The dual-storage design supports one M 2 PCIe 3 0 x4 SSD and one 2 5-inch HDD for high storage capacity.
- It has integrated Radeon graphics for desktop-grade performance.
- It has 7 numbers of USB 3.0 Ports.
Powered by AMD Ryzen processors with integrated Radeon graphics and including support for up to three displays with 4K UHD output at up to 120Hz, ASUS Mini PC PB50 is an adaptable and amazing PC suited to a scope of business applications, particularly digital signage.
Its durable metal chassis and broad testing that surpasses industry standards guarantee solid, all-day, everyday activity, even in cruel environments.
VESA-mount compatibility, far-reaching connectivity, and a discretionary optical drive module give adaptability to numerous use situations, making Mini PC PB50 the ideal ally for your business.
Its processor delivering desktop-grade performance to deal with complex computing easily. Up to 32GB of quick DDR4 2400MHz memory supports execution considerably further for improved performing various tasks, and a double stockpiling plan with one M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD and one 2.5-inch HDD gives the ideal blend of quick information moves and high stockpiling limit.
4. Intel NUC 8 Mini PC
|CPU Model||Core i7|
|Computer Memory Size||32 GB|
|Hard disk size||2 TB|
|Graphics Coprocessor||AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics|
About This Item:
- It has an Intel Quad-Core i7 processor.
- It has a turbo boost of up to 4.1GHz, an 8MB Cache.
- It has Windows 10 Pro.
- It Supports Up to 6 Monitors.
- It includes 802.11ac Wifi, Bluetooth 4.2, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x Thunderbolt 3.
The NUC 8 VR NUC8I7HNK Gaming Mini PC from Intel is a compact, barebones framework furnished with a 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7-8705G quad-core processor and AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics.
It has two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 32GB of 2400MHz RAM, and two M.2 slots for storage drives. Not at all like other NUC frameworks, this current framework’s devoted AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics is sufficiently amazing to run VR applications and play graphically requesting games.
Also, there are six video ports that you can use to associate displays. Other integrated highlights incorporate 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, Bluetooth 4.2, an SDXC card peruser, and different USB ports. Included with this framework is a VESA section, which you can use for substitute mounting solutions.
5. Beelink GT-R Mini PC
|CPU Model||AMD R Series|
|Computer Memory Size||8 GB|
|Hard disk size||256 GB|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Radeon RX Vega 8 Processor Graphics 1200 MHz|
About This Item:
- It is more reliable and safer because it includes a built-in independent security chip.
- Beelink Mini PC is equipped with AMD Ryzen 5 with 4-core 8-thread
- It has capabilities for powerful task loading.
- This Mini computr is equipped with DDR4 8GB RAM + SSD 256GB + 1TB HDD. DDR4 can support up to 64GB RAM expansion.
GT-R installs AMD elite CPU and independent 2GB Video memory. Has fingerprint unlock, WiFi6, voice recognition. Huge capacity SSD can oblige more games and applications.
Supports up to 64GB memory development, regardless of you open enormous documents or mess around or 4K film, smooth running, amazing compatibility.
It has Independent GPU + 4 screens Radeon Vega 8 Graphics 2GB independent GPU, support 4K super clear output, 3D rendering modeling, present super clear visual effects, bring the ultimate gaming experience, double HDMI and DP interfaces, and more Type-c video output capacities, support touch display, change into tablet PC.
At the same time watch Internet TV and browse program introductions of other channels. You will not miss the awesome performance. When playing online games, you can synchronize the mysterious abilities of the game strategy through different screens.
What to look for when choosing a mini PC?
If you don’t have much space on your desk and you are looking for a discreet device, you can always go for a mini PC. In this guide, you will find all the tips to buy a mini PC and you will discover everything you need to know to get a computer that takes up little space.
Getting a mini PC is like buying any other type of computer, only smaller, so it can be a simple or complicated process, depending on how you look at it. To make your choice right there are a series of factors that you must take into account and they will help you choose the equipment that best suits your needs. But do not panic, you will see that there is a lot to choose from.
Barebone vs. Mini PC
First of all, it is convenient to make distinctions that can lead to confusion when purchasing your mini PC. Until not long ago, some manufacturers offered their mini PCs in a barebone format.
But what is a barebone? This is a computer that is not fully assembled, so the product only includes the basic components for the platform: the case, motherboard, and power supply. The rest of the components will have to be purchased and installed by the customer.
Therefore, apart from this barebone kit, you have to choose which processor, hard drive, or RAM you want to install. It will be you who will finally finish buying the missing components, assembling the whole set, and putting it into operation.
On the other hand, you can also find fully assembled and ready-to-go mini PCs. These already include the processor, RAM, and internal storage, so when buying yours you must choose which model is the right one in terms of power and storage capacity.
Obviously, the price of barebones is much lower, since some components are missing and they do not include a license for the operating system, but to complete them you will need to have some basic notions about the assembly of the computer components.
You should also pay attention when choosing the missing components so that they are fully compatible with the barebone motherboard.
On the other hand, the mini PCs are somewhat more expensive if you compare them with the barebones, but they are ready to be used and include an operating system already installed and its user license. To avoid confusion, this is a detail that you will have to bear in mind when choosing your mini PC.
Choose the right processor
One of the main aspects that you have to take into account when buying a mini PC is the actual use that you are going to give it. You do not need the same power in a mini PC that you want to use to play videos on a screen with 4K resolution, as for one in which exclusively office automation tasks are going to be carried out.
In the case of mini PCs, this increase in power has a very significant impact on the final price of the device, since miniaturizing high-performance components involves a higher cost than doing it with others with more discreet performance.
It is also not advisable to be optimistic and assumes that a mini PC with certain components will be able to perform the tasks you need. Do some research on the components that make it up.
This will help you to get a better idea of what the mini PC you have chosen is capable of or not, and you will avoid disappointment due to the lack of performance of your computer.
Also, if the processor is not included in the initial configuration of the mini PC and you have to choose it, you must consider what type of processor the motherboard supports. This will be decisive to know the power limit to which your mini PC can aspire.
The operating system will be decisive
The current offer of mini PCs covers the main operating systems, so before choosing one or the other, it is convenient to take into account which operating systems you want (and can) use on your mini PC.
The mini PCs with Android OS or Android TV Box are often easier to use because it basically is like using a mobile, but instead of using a touch interface, use a keyboard and mouse.
The minicomputer with Android is ideal as a media center and entertainment for its ease of use and extensive range of apps that Google Play offers.
On the other hand, there are many mini PCs with pre-installed and ready-to-use versions of Linux distros. These devices can become a bit more complicated to use if you are not used to using this type of desktop environment, but after a short adaptation period, they are very stable and are ideal as multimedia servers or as equipment for office automation.
Finally, we have compact computers with Windows 10 or macOS. These computers work like any other desktop PC but with a much more compact size.
Expand the RAM of your mini PC
Regardless of the characteristics that the mini PC you have chosen comes from the factory, it is important to look to the future and contemplate the expansion options of some of its components. This will leave the door open for future updates to improve the performance of your compact computer.
With this, you will be able to extend the operational life of your mini PC, preventing it from slowing down and ensuring that it maintains its fluidity over the years. One of the elements that will most influence the maintenance of this fluidity is the possibility of expanding the RAM memory of your mini PC.
Some mini PCs have a certain amount of RAM installed, but they have free sockets in which you can insert new compatible RAM memory modules and expand them easily. In fact, it will be as easy as buying a RAM memory module identical to the one you have installed and the performance of your PC will improve considerably.
Other models, on the other hand, have the RAM memory soldered onto the motherboard, so expansion options are ruled out. In those cases, you must choose the appropriate memory when buying it.
Take into account the capacity and format of the storage
Similar to what happens with RAM, mini PCs come from the factory with a certain storage capacity on the hard drive. In many cases, it is very easy to access the interior of the mini PC to expand the capacity of the hard disk and install a new one with more capacity. This brings us to the next important point related to storage: the format of the hard drive.
In some mini PCs, especially those that have a stick or ultra-small format, the storage is of the eMMC type and is soldered to the motherboard of the device, so the expansion options are nil.
Fortunately, most compact desktops use more traditional systems such as 2.5 ”hard drives or SSDs, 3.5” hard drives, and even combinations of both. If the mini desktop computer you have chosen uses some of these storage systems, its expansion is practically guaranteed.
There is also the possibility that the mini PC uses SSD disks with an M.2 or m.SATA format, this disk format is also easy to update, but you must make sure what format it uses before buying a new disk with more capacity for it.
In this case, you should also consider whether you use drives with the SATA 3 or NMVe interface. The price difference is important and if your computer does not support a higher speed you will not take advantage of that extra cost.
Let your mini PC breathe
Like any electronic component, mini PCs also suffer from the rigors of high temperatures and that, in the long run, can affect the life of your computer and even make it run slower than it should.
The excess temperature inside the mini PC activates the component temperature control systems and these control systems act as power limiters to keep the temperature under control and prevent the components from suffering irreparable damage.
Taking into account the limited space available in this type of compact computer, before buying a mini PC it is advisable to take into account the design of its case and see if it has enough ventilation slots to facilitate its cooling.
In other cases, the use of aluminum in the manufacture of the device case, instead of polycarbonate or other materials, makes the case itself a great heat sink that reduces internal heat. The aluminum facilitates the heat exchange of heat between the interior and the exterior and the grooves favor the entry of fresh air from the outside that pushes the hot air from the interior to leave through positive pressure.
Choose a scalable Mini PC
Certain mini PC models are designed as modular systems to which you can add other components such as a disk drive, an external storage system, etc. These accessories are mounted on the device itself creating a single block.
If your intention is to add some of these accessories in the near future, make sure that the mini PC you have chosen has its own line. Otherwise, you will end up with a table full of accessories connected to your mini PC. Just what you are trying to avoid!
Don’t limit connections
Regarding the possibility of connecting other accessories and peripherals to your PC, one of the factors that you should take into account when choosing the best mini PC is that it has as many connectivity options as possible. Don’t skimp on connectors.
These connectivity options are materialized in the number of USB ports and their characteristics (if they are USB 2.0, USB 3.0, or USB type C). Think about the peripherals that you will have permanently connected to your mini PC and try to leave a couple of free USB ports to easily connect occasional devices such as USB keys or a smartphone, without having to disconnect any of the usual ones.
The position of these connectors, although not vital, can affect the comfort of daily use. It is always more comfortable if the mini PC has some USB or audio ports on the front that facilitates the connection of devices in a timely manner.
Video connections are also important as they determine the connection format with the screen you use and in many cases can limit the resolution they display. For example, you will not be able to display resolutions higher than Full HD if you use a VGA connection instead of HDMI or DisplayPort.
The same is true for the number of HDMI ports if you plan to use a configuration of two (or more) monitors connected to your mini PC. Ideally, you should have at least two HDMIs or a DisplayPort port to which you can connect multiple monitors connected in a daisy chain.
Keep your table free, the mini PC does not take up space
The VESA ( Video Electronics Standards Association ) bracket is a set of standards that establishes a certain format, size, and specifications for mounting accessories for monitors and displays. Complying with these specifications, any accessory (taking into account weight and size, obviously) can be installed on the back of a screen.
So, if the device you have chosen complies with this VESA standard, you can install it on the back of your monitor or TV screen, making much better use of the space available on your table. In addition, your computer will be perfectly camouflaged avoiding seeing its cables and connections. At last, your table will be free of computers and cables!
Mini PC with everything you need
Some mini PCs come with peripherals that the brand includes as a courtesy to its customers. These accessories are usually wireless keyboard and mouse sets with which to control the mini PC, eliminating any annoying cables.
This, beyond the recognition of detail by the manufacturer, is of no greater importance than discounting its cost when comparing it with other models that probably do not include these accessories.
On an aesthetic level, the peripherals that are usually included with mini PCs follow the same design lines, so it can be a good option if they are going to be in public view.
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