Mini PCs can give you full desktop-level performance, making them ideal for small home offices, bedrooms, or even getting to and from a workspace. Expect to make some sacrifices, however, as all that space in modern desktops is available for good reason, but the best mini PCs can still pack high-end components, enough to get the job done. Some even have graphics cards for games.

Some are great new generation mini PCs, like the Intel NUC 12 Extreme which packs a 12th generation Intel CPU, but they require some work after purchase. storage and operating system, which means you need to purchase and install both an SSD and a Microsoft Windows license before you can use the system). Others in this category are small, low-cost all-in-one systems, such as the 4-inch square Beelink Mini S with a 256GB SSD and Windows 11 pre-installed. The Apple Mac Mini M1 is still the best mini PC ever, more than a year after its release, thanks to its overall design and power.

If you’re looking for something small and affordable, or don’t mind scaling down a bit for better desktop performance, there’s a mini PC for you. Ahead are the best you can buy today.

The best mini PC ever

Apple Silicon Power in a tiny desktop

PROCESSOR: Apple M1 | Graphics: Apple M1 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Dimension: 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches

Ideal for: Daily office and creative editing work.

The Apple Mac Mini M1 is the best desktop PC that Apple has produced in recent years. It may not have the same raw power as the 2019 Mac Pro and isn’t as impressive as the much more expensive Mac Studio, but for performance, efficiency, and compact design, the M1 Mac Mini is by far the best. This is also what makes it our top pick for the best mini PC, because nothing else really stands up. Its performance is outstanding, whether it is web browsing, job or school search or video editing. It can even handle casual gaming thanks to the surprisingly capable Apple M1 GPU.

This mini PC is also quiet (you’d have to put your ear to the casing to hear its near-silent fan) and comes pre-installed with a good complement of memory and storage. If you need more space for large files and folders, you can easily expand it externally with a Thunderbolt 3 drive for maximum performance, or, if you’re technically careful, you can expand the internal storage as well. It has USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, HDMI, headphone jack and Gigabit Ethernet.

Professionals:

  • Impressive CPU performance
  • Good storage options and easy upgradeability
  • Great selection of ports

Versus:

  • Not the fastest Mac desktop

The best mini PC for gaming

It’s a real GPU in a tiny computer

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2060 | RAM: None | Storage: None | Dimension: 10.7 x 7.8 x 6.9 inches

Ideal for: DIYers who want a petite, customizable casual and cloud gaming machine.

This Intel Phantom Canyon NUC is a mini PC that stands out for having a real graphics card inside. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is a low-power version that lacks the performance of the grit of the best graphics cards; however, this is still a real GPU inside a tiny computer that you can use to play everything in your Steam library. It is very finished, much thinner than the dimensions of the base seem, so it is easy to place it on a shelf or a storage unit when not in use.

This mini PC has loads of ports, with two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and one Thunderbolt 4 / USB Type-C on the front and four USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, another Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0b and Mini DisplayPort 1.4 (supporting 8K graphics and four monitors) on the back. Plus, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 for fast connectivity.

The vent on the frame keeps its internal components cool. However, while it has a capable 11th Gen Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU, it doesn’t include memory or storage as standard, and you’ll need to purchase a Microsoft Windows license as well. These costs add up beyond the system itself, but that also means you can tailor the system to your needs and upgrade if needed, at a later date, something few other mini PCs can claim.

Professionals:

  • Dedicated gaming graphics chip
  • The slim design is easy to fit anywhere
  • Easily upgradeable

Versus:

  • It lacks memory, storage and operating system
  • RTX 2060 is an older GPU

Best Premium Mini PC

Cutting-edge CPU performance

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i9-12700 | Graphics: Intel UHD 770 | RAM: None | Storage: None | Dimension: 14.1 x 7.4 x 4.7 inches

Ideal for: Build a high-end desktop PC in a miniature chassis.

The Intel NUC 12 Extreme is a mini PC as powerful as what you can buy, but it’s not the whole package. While it may sport Intel’s 12th Generation Core i9-12700, with 16 cores, 24 threads, and a 5.1GHz clock speed, this super-powerful NUC has no discrete graphics, RAM, or storage, so you’ll need to build a few. buy above this base price if you want a working system. The GPU is only needed if you want to play games with this PC, and you can get some basic RAM and SSD for a couple of hundred dollars if needed, but it’s an additional expense to consider.

However, once this system is up and running, it is shamelessly powerful. The Core i9-12700 is one of the most powerful processors ever made, combining eight high-performance cores with four efficient cores, for incredible multi-threaded and single-threaded peers.rform. Whether you’re browsing the web, managing huge spreadsheets, or even doing some video editing, this is a fantastic system for the job. It also has support for all the latest standards, so if you want to adapt this system with a state-of-the-art graphics card or PCIexpress 5 SSD, you can.

Professionals:

  • Incredibly powerful processor
  • It has room for lots of RAM and storage
  • Supports PCIexpress 5 for GPUs and SSDs

Versus:

  • No RAM or storage in the stock configuration
  • It needs a GPU to play

The best budget mini PC

Get flexible foundations for under $ 200

PROCESSOR: Intel Celeron N9095 | Graphics: Intel UHD | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Dimension: 4.5 x 4 x 1.6 inches

Ideal for: An inexpensive office machine or a small HTPC.

If you want a really small mini PC, the Beelink Mini S is four inches on each side, yet packs a capable Intel Celeron CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage (a 512GB version costs more). The 11th generation quad-core CPU has plenty of power for basic video transcoding for HTPC machines and is up to the task of surfing the web and replying to emails. It’s not an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen CPU, but that’s all you need for a mini PC.

Even on such a small chassis, this unit has a good selection of ports, including four USB Type-A, a pair of HDMI outputs, a headphone jack, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The VESA mount allows you to lift it onto a wall and out of the way. Comes with a one year warranty.

Professionals:

  • Very small and easily mountable chassis
  • Good selection of ports

Versus:

  • It lacks the performance of more traditional CPUs

Best budget gaming mini PC

Everything you need to play indie and esports

PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 5500U | Graphics: 7-core AMD Radeon GPU | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Dimension: 7.5 x 3.7 x 9.7 inches

Ideal for: Esports games and light office work.

While gaming PCs work best with a dedicated graphics chip, it’s not always necessary. In the Acemagician Mini Gaming PC you get an AMD Ryzen 5500U mobile CPU, which includes seven AMD Radeon Vega graphics cores to deliver performance on par with more affordable gaming laptops. This means it has enough power to handle most esports games, especially older ones like League of Legends, DotA 2, or CS: GO, at high frame rates. And it can handle other cloud and casual games as well. Serious gamers will want more than what this machine offers, but for a basic bedroom or homework machine to play, it’s a solid and relatively low-cost option.

Also note: this model packs 16GB of DDR4 memory and a 512GB SSD, making this machine snappy and responsive during everyday use. It’s a little bigger than some of the other mini PCs on this list, but it’s no bigger than a home console. Plus, this mini PC has a unique look and fancy RGB lighting that together help it stand out from the competition. It comes with three different performance modes, so it can easily lower noise levels and temperatures when it matters most.

Professionals:

  • Base game performance
  • Impressive memory and storage configuration
  • Unique looking case with RGB lighting

Versus:

  • The gaming performance of dedicated GPUs is lacking
  • Not as “mini” as some

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