Buying a pre-built gaming PC can be ridiculously expensive. It might be a little bit cheaper if you can manage to build one yourself, but you’re still looking at spending quite a bit to build a modern gaming PC that can play most new games on “Extreme” settings today. Not to even mention how much space that a full gaming PC can take. Luckily, there’s an answer to all of these problems: a mini PC for gaming.
Mini PCs shouldn’t be shunned — manufacturers have been fitting some pretty insane specifications inside of these. They’re also quite nice because they significantly cheaper than your standard gaming PC, nor do they take up a whole lot of space. So what is the best Mini PC for gaming? Well, there’s actually a few optimal choices. Here are seven of our favorites.
Coming in as first choice is Intel’s NUC6i7KYK. This one comes equipped with a 6th generation Core i7 6770HQ, as well as plenty of RAM and storage space. This one will handle entertainment and gaming no problem. It even has an Iris Pro graphics chipset, which enables you to game and use 4K content without a problem. It supports video output via HDMI or DisplayPort as well.
ZOTAC’s MAGNUS Mini Gaming PC is up next. This one is probably one of the more impressive ones that you’ll find out there. It actually features a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7500T quad-processor, which can be Turbo Boosted up to 3.3GHz. However, it does come with a dedicated graphics card — an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. That said, you can play some really nice games on this bad boy.
With 8GB of RAM, things should stay pretty smooth. And it actually runs DisplayPort, so hooking up a monitor should be no problem.
MII Mini PC
The MII Mini PC is another one that you can use for gaming. You get an Intel Celeron processor inside that clocks out at 2.6GHz, but then only has Intel integrated graphics for gaming. There’s no dedicated video card here. However, you do get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD drive, which keeps things moving swiftly.
It comes with Windows 10 already installed, but supports the output of up to two displays. There are two HDMI ports on the back so that you can run a dual-screen setup, should you so choose.
HP Elite Slice
The HP Elite Slice actually might be one of our favorites, because not only does it look sleek, but has a low profile and high-end hardware. It’s a modular mini PC as well, which allows you to upgrade parts over time. This one comes with actually quite a bit — a conference sound bar, wireless phone charger, optical drive, and a VESA mount. You won’t have problems with day-to-day tasks with this mini PC, nor will you have trouble with high-end gaming.
There’s a lot that you can choose to add to the Elite Slice, but by default, it has a 1TB HDD, a 128GB SSD, 16GB of RAM, Iris Pro graphics, and a Intel Core i5 processor. You can outfit this with up to 32GB of RAM.
MINIX NEO N42C-4
This choice from MINIX can be used pretty well for gaming as well, though we don’t necessarily know how it would handle new games on “Extreme” settings. Still, this mini PC is packed with some awesome hardware — its dual-bad antennas can even support 5GHz networks for fast Internet connections. It runs on Windows 10, and can output 4K video without a hitch. It’s actually priced really well for a machine that can output 4K content.
Intel NUC 7 Home
Next up, we have the Intel NUC 7 Home. Believe it or not, this Mini PC comes as VR ready, meaning that you can use the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive with this piece of hardware. This is one of the noisier mini PCs out there, but that’s because it comes with some really hefty hardware that has to be kept cool.
You can choose to outfit it with an Intel i3, i5, or i7, but on top of that, you get a 1TB drive, and 4GB of DDR4 RAM, though you can choose to upgrade the RAM to even more. This one comes equipped with an Intel Graphics 650 chipset, which is able to deliver 4K video content, perfect for VR solutions.
ASUS Chromebox 2
Coming up as last on our countdown, we’re looking at the ASUS Chromebox 2. This one wasn’t designed for the heavy PC gaming user, but instead for the casual gamer. That’s because it runs off of Chrome OS, which means you can still download some pretty neat apps and games onto the mini PC. And, with recent Android integration, there’s actually a lot of Android games that you can download onto this mini PC.
It does have some pretty impressive hardware for a Chrome OS based platform. There’s an Intel Celeron 3215U processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB M.2 SSD. All you need to do is plug this into your monitor or desktop, and you’re ready to roll.
As you can see, there are a lot of excellent mini PCs for gaming. Any one of these will bring you some excellent day-to-day capabilities, as well as entertainment. Our favorites for reliable and stable gaming are the Elite Slice by HP, as well as Intel’s own NUC 6.
Do you have a favorite mini PC for gaming?