Last Updated on March 25, 2022 by ViCadia
There is something extremely satisfying about mini PCs. They are tiny, produce low amounts of noise, and can be powerful enough to deliver snappy user experience and top-notch gaming performance. Due to their small size, they are also extremely portable, since they can easily fit into a backpack or your pocket, and can thus serve as a great replacement for an expensive workstation laptop.
However, probably the coolest thing about mini PCs is that they can be used as portable gaming stations. In this roundup we’ll show you the best gaming mini PCs currently available on the market.
Read also: The Best Mini PCs Under $150 in 2022
Mini PCs, also known as “small form-factor” (SFF) PCs, have become very popular in early 2000’s, since in that period of time new technological advancements allowed chip manufacturers to fit large amounts of transistors into small packages. In that same period first SFF computer cases are starting to be produced, as well as compact graphics cards. All of this resulted in appearance of mini PCs, which have constantly grew in popularity since then.
In this day and age, mini PCs have become very powerful and energy efficient. They usually feature PC components that are installed into high-end laptops, and come with APUs (accelerated processing units) which are slowly replacing both GPUs and CPUs. Thanks to their small footprint, most mini PCs can easily fit onto your desk or shelf, and as such are very popular in work environments and home living rooms.
Some high-end mini PCs come with discrete graphics cards, meaning that they can be used for gaming. The only downside is that they are quite expensive, particularly because of cooling, which usually includes custom liquid cooling loops or non-standard heatsinks. Nevertheless, mini PCs can perfectly function as an alternative to a gaming console, and offer all the features of a desktop PC. Here are the best gaming mini PCs you can get today!
Best Overall: Intel NUC 11
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Powerful hardware
- Supports raytracing
- Lots of connectors
- Great build quality
- RGB lighting
- Features a notebook CPU
The Intel NUC 11 is probably one of the best mini PCs for gaming you can get right now. Although it isn’t quite cheap, there are far more expensive mini PCs out there that don’t offer as many features as Intel NUC 11.
This tiny PC features a 4-core, 8-thread 11th Gen Intel Core CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a full-sized NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB of VRAM. With such hardware, the Intel NUC 11 is capable of running the latest PC games like Cyberpunk 2077 in 1080p at stable 70 FPS on ultra settings, as well as offer decent ray-tracing performance.
It’s also worth saying that Intel NUC 11 can boast with great build quality, and can be placed both vertically or horizontally. The PC comes with one 512GB PCIe SSD, but it has two M.2 slots, meaning you can later upgrade its storage capacity by installing second NVMe SSD.
Speaking of connectivity, the NUC 11 features an integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Bluetooth 5.2, a 2.5G LAN, six USB 3.1 Type-A ports, one Thunderbolt 4 port, one HDMI 2.0b port, one Mini DisplayPort 1.4 port, and a microSD card reader.
The NUC 11 also features customizable RGB lighting, which many tech enthusiasts and hardcore gamers will appreciate. Overall, the NUC 11 is an amazing gaming device that packs a ton of features in a small package.
Best Budget: MINISFORUM UM700
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3750H | GPU: Radeon RX Vega 10 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
- Capable integrated graphics
- Affordable price
- Integrated Wi-Fi 5
- Preinstalled Windows 10
- Gets hot during 4K playback
- Doesn’t have discrete GPU
If you are looking for a tiny gaming PC that won’t break your bank, then the MINISFORUM UM700 might be the perfect match for you. Although it has no discrete graphics card, the UM700 comes with a Ryzen 7 3750H APU that features powerful RX Vega 10 integrated graphics, paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
This means that UM700 is powerful enough to run games like Overwatch, Fortnite, Genshin Impact, GTA 5 and Forza Horizon 5 at 60 FPS on low to medium settings at 900p or 1080p resolution. If you add AMD FSR into the equation, you can expect even better gaming performance with this tiny PC.
The UM700 also comes with 512GB NVMe SSD, and it also has enough room for installation of an additional 2.5″ SATA drive. The PC supports triple 4K@60Hz output via HDMI, DisplayPort or USB Type-C connectors, and it also comes with integrated Wi-Fi 5, 2.5 GbE LAN, and four USB Type-A ports.
With such specifications, the UM700 is a perfect tiny gaming PC for users who don’t want to spend a lot of money on their new gaming device, and are content with playing eSports games on low to medium settings.
Best for 1440p Gaming: ZOTAC Magnus ONE
CPU: Intel Core i5-10400 | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Features full-sized RTX 3060 GPU
- Two storage drives
- Small footprint
- Lots of USB ports
- Efficient cooling system
- A bit pricey
Finding a mini PC for 1440p gaming on ultra settings is no easy task, especially since most mini PCs lack discrete graphics cards and have integrated graphics instead. Fortunately, ZOTAC took care of that problem with its Magnus ONE gaming PC.
Featuring Intel Core i5-10400 CPU paired with 16GB of RAM, as well as a full-sized NVIDA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, the Magnus ONE can easily run the latest PC games on high to ultra settings at 1440p resolution, which is simply amazing given the fact this whole PC is compressed into a tiny 8.3 L container.
The Magnus ONE also comes with 512GB PCIe SSD, as well as with 1TB hard drive. The PC can also boast with integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6, 2.5G LAN, 500 W 80+ Platinum PSU and preinstalled Windows 10. On its rear panel you’ll also find six USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and one USB Type-C port.
The Magnus ONE won a Red Dot Award for the best product design in 2021, as well as the COMPUTEX d&i 2021 special award. Offering great performance, support for raytracing, and featuring enhanced cooling solution, this is one of the best gaming mini PCs you can get right now. Its only downside is its rather high price which may be too steep for users with a modest budget.
Best for 4K Gaming: MSI MEG Trident X
CPU: Intel i9-11900K | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 | RAM: 64GB DDR4 | Storage: 2TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
- Incredibly powerful hardware
- Overkill performance
- Two storage drives
- Great build quality
- Bundled mouse & keyboard
- Extremely high price
Comparing the PlayStation 5 to the MSI MEG Trident X would be like comparing the most efficient jet engine to a thermonuclear reactor. The only thing in which MSI MEG Trident X resembles the most to PlayStation 5 is its size. Under the hood, it is a completely different story.
The MSI MEG Trident X is by far the most powerful gaming mini PC on our list. It features an overclockable 8-core Intel Core i9-11900K running at speed of 5.30 GHz, as well as a whooping 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and a mighty NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card. Along with that, it also comes with one 2TB PCIe SSD, as well as one 2TB hard drive.
With such hardware, the MSI MEG Trident X is a true monster of a PC. It can easily run all the latest games in 4K resolution on ultra settings at more than 60 FPS, and can even be used as a workstation PC for 3D modeling, video encoding, and computer programming.
The Trident X is also equipped with stunning RGB lighting, integrated Wi-Fi 6, and it comes bundled with a keyboard and a mouse. Featuring a 10 L chassis, the Trident X offers enough room to install an additional 2.5″ SSD, or replace your RAM and CPU.
Overall, if you can stomach its very high price you definitely won’t feel too bad once you get your hands on it and see the quality and design that fit so much high-end components in such a small space.
Best for 900p Gaming: BOESIIPC MV200
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3 | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SATA SSD | Operating System: Windows 11
- Affordable price
- Decent system specifications
- Great for 900p gaming
- Compact dimensions
- Preinstalled Windows 11
- Features dated DDR3 memory
- Doesn’t have USB Type-C port
The BOESIIPC MV200 mini PC is an ideal budget gaming computer for users who don’t wish to play their games on high graphics settings and at high display resolutions. For a price of around $750, this mini PC is able to offer a 4-core, 8-thread Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a full-sized GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card with 4GB of VRAM.
With this hardware, the MV200 is able to deliver an enjoyable 60 frames per second in most games on low to medium settings, and at resolutions of up to 1080p. Of course, its affordable price comes with certain compromises, so its no surprise that this mini PC features dated DDR3 memory, and has a cheaper SATA SSD instead of a PCIe SSD.
Despite its flaws, the MV200 is a pretty good tiny computer, especially for productivity. It is able to provide snappy user experience, and it comes with preinstalled Windows 11. The device also comes with integrated dual-band Wi-Fi module, 8 USB ports, one HDMI port, and one DVI port.
Another big advantage of this mini PC are its very small physical dimensions, which allow it to be placed directly on your computer desk or behind your flat screen TV. In short, this is a pretty decent mini PC which can be used as a home theatre PC, or a small gaming console.
Best with Integrated Graphics: MINISFORUM HX90
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | GPU: Radeon RX Vega 8 | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
- Excellent CPU performance
- Powerful integrated graphics
- 2.5″ drive expansion bay
- Quiet operation
- Doesn’t have USB Type-C port
- Only one M.2 slot
These days integrated graphics have become so powerful that even some low-end discrete graphics cards can’t match their performance. The MINISFORUM HX90 is a gaming mini PC that can boast with an impressively powerful integrated graphics solution. It is the most powerful Ryzen mini PC to date, as it features a mighty 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor with Vega 8 graphics, paired with a whooping 32GB of RAM.
The HX90 is so powerful that it can run GTA V at 70 FPS on average on normal settings at 1080p resolution. It can even run Cyberpunk 2077 on low settings in 720p at 35 FPS on average, meaning you can safely lock the frame rate to 30 FPS in order to achieve more enjoyable cinematic experience.
The HX90 can run games like Forza Horizon 5, Genshin Impact, and Borderlands 3 at stable 60 FPS on medium settings at 1080p. It can even deliver up to 60 FPS on average in emulators like Xenia and RPCS3. Featuring a CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads, this mini PC can also be used for heavy-duty tasks, such as 3D modeling and video encoding.
To be honest, the HX90 isn’t quite cheap. However, its price is well justified given the fact that it features powerful hardware, top-tier system performance, and it comes with loads of useful features, including an integrated Wi-Fi 6, 2.5G LAN, and support for quad 4K@60Hz display output. The only major drawbacks include lack of second M.2 slot, as well as lack of 10 Gbps USB port.
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