‘Mini PCs cannot be used for gaming purposes is just a figment of imagination. In fact, there are Mini PCs that are way more powerful and useful than a regular desktop or even laptop. Many prefer Mini PCs because they are super convenient and pocket-friendly. You can even buy a Mini for under $300 if you are too tight on your budget.
Mini PCs as compared to desktop PCs are compact but still, pack some sort of gaming juice in them. With each day passing, the competition is getting tough and these devices are striving to be the number one choice of people in today’s world and hopefully in the future as well.
Before we dig deep and let you know which Mini PC is good for gamers, you should know about the basics of a Mini PC.
What is a Mini PC?
A Mini PC is a small device that works and operates just like your regular Desktop or Laptop. You can manage basic tasks like, checking emails, browsing, watching TV shows to do gaming, working with Excel spreadsheets, and heavy tasks like rendering. It all depends on which Mini PC you are choosing and for what purpose.
When you are going to purchase a Mini PC, you will come across two types of Mini computers that you can buy. The first one is ‘Ready-to-go’ and the second one is ‘Barebones’. Both serve the same purpose but differently.
As it is crystal clear by its name, this Mini PC is ready to go and used. Just like your regular PC or laptops where you do not need to purchase extra unless you want to, you are good to go. This Mini PC is equipped with features that you won’t be able to customize afterward.
Mini PCs are known to be non-customizable because they do not have any extra space to fit extra gadgets in them, you get what you purchased, and you won’t be able to add extras and for that reason, your Mini PC will be safer for a longer period of time.
The second one is barebones, you get fragments of a Mini PC and it is completely customizable. This one is usually for those who want to build a gaming or any kind of PC on their own and according to their liking.
Barebones Mini PC also known as ‘kits’ comes without storage, an operating system, or a memory that is essential to run a PC. It also means you can add all these features by yourself and of your own choice. Because barebones are fragments of a Mini PC they are a lot cheaper.
As a gamer, you have a wide variety of already assembled, ready-to-go gaming Mini PCs available in the market that you can easily get or you also have the option to go for barebones and assemble something of your choice, and according to the caliber of your needs.
Both options are there and you need to make a choice that best suits your needs. In any case, the most expensive Mini PC will still be a cheaper option in comparison to a desktop PC or laptop. That is a given promise!
Top 5 Best Budget Mini PC for Gaming
Choosing the right fit for you might seem like a task but here is the list of the top 5 most in-demand and reliable Mini PCs that seem to be the number one choice for gamers in terms of reliability and affordability.
CPU: AMD RYZEN 7 4700U | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 500GB NVMe SSD | OS: Windows 11 Pro | Graphics: Built-in Radeon Graphics | Connectivity: HDMI x 2, 3.0 USB port x 2, 2.0 USB port x 1, Type-C port x 1, DC jack x 1, RJ45 1000m x 1, audio jacks x 1, Multi screen display
If you have been searching for a good Mini PC for gaming you might have already heard of it, the Beelink RYZEN is the top-notch fanless mini PC for gamers because of so many and all good reasons.
AMD RYZEN 7 is equipped with all features that are needed to play high-end games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare, DOTA, PUBG, and Apex at 720p settings.
Windows 11 Pro
Beelink SER4 RYZEN comes with pre-installed and the latest Windows 11 Pro for the best results. The latest Windows supports the latest games and all kinds of digital as well as old games without any trouble.
Beelink SER4 can be used with up to 3 screens at a time with a 4K HD display. You can run various programs on your screens at one time with full HD displays.
It works well whether you are using it in your office or you are playing games at your home or anywhere. The little Mini Pc can be mounted at the back of the monitor and you are good to go.
RAM and Hard drive
AMD RYZEN 7 comes equipped with 16 GB DDR4 of RAM and a 500GB SSD with 2424 mb/s of reading speed. That’s enough storage space to run heavy programs and high-end games without any worries.
In this mini PC, you get, 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 Type-C data cable port, 1 DC jack port, 1 RJ45 1000m port, and 1 HP & MIC audio jack port alongside 4 processors that are essential to run all types of games on your system.
It also comes with the latest Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and Bluetooth 5.2 that supports fully advanced and technical devices. It is also known best for its heat control and its maintenance, which is a big plus when it comes to mini PCs.
Beelink SER4 Ryzen is the choice that you will never regret that too at such reasonable pricing. Based on the fact that this mini PC has a powerful Ryzen processor and built-in Radeon graphics card on it, you play your favorite games at 720p settings.
2. GEEKOM Mini IT8 – Best Value Mini Gaming PC
CPU: Intel i5-8259U 3.8 GHz | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD | OS: Windows 11 Pro | Graphics: Intel Iris plus Graphics 655 | Connectivity: USB 3.2 x 3, USB C x 2, HDMI x 1, Mini Display x 1, Ethernet x 1, SD card reader x 1 alongside 3.5mm audio jack
GEEKOM Mini comes with a few fewer features than the Beelink Mini PC but it also gets the job done in the perfect manner, also It is less expensive than the Beelink SER4 on our list.
It comes with Intel’s 8th generation quad-core processor and Intel Iris graphics chipset for light gaming. Well, don’t expect this mini PC to play the toughest AAA games, but it can let you go through 10 years old titles at 720p settings.
Windows 11 Pro
GEEKOM IT8 also comes with a pre-installed Windows 11 Pro which is the key element to run heavy-duty and latest programs with ease.
Memory and Storage
GEEKOM comes with dual-channel DDR4 that is expandable up to 2 TB and a RAM of 8GB that is also customizable. Storage will never be an issue here!
Multiple Screens and Resolution
IT8 supports ultra-high definition 4k resolution for up to 4 screens. So, you can connect multiple monitors to this mini gaming PC at the same time.
It supports 3 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 USB-C ports, 1 HDMI port, a mini display port, an Ethernet port, an SSD card reader, and a 5G Wi-Fi network alongside Bluetooth for better and non-stop connectivity.
Lots of features in such a small amount is what GEEKOM IT8 offers you. An offer that you will be unable to refuse!
With an Intel Iris Plus Graphics chipset and Intel i5-8259U CPU, you can easily get past most games at 720p. In some games, you can even hit 1080p resolution by manually adjusting the in-game settings.
3. Chuwi LarkBox X – A Decent Mini Computer to Play Games
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3750U 2.3 GHz | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD | OS: Windows 11 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 10 | Connectivity: HDMI 2.0 4k x1, DisplayPort 4k x1, Type-C x1, m.2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, AMD FreeSync technology, AMD ZEN+ Core technology
Chuwi LarkBox X is the hot shot of today’s world. We can say that this mini PC has got the guts to let you play games at entry-level settings.
The Ryzen 7 3750U along with Radeon RX Vega 10 delivers decent performance in games. You can expect this mini PC to play some less-intensive game titles at 1080p settings.
Chuwi is pre-installed with Microsoft Windows 11 as soon as you turn it on. So, do not worry about getting the latest Windows PC because you are just an upgrade away from the latest Windows and that’s not a task for a gamer!
RAM and Storage
It comes with 8GB of RAM that is extendable up to 64 GB. If we talk about its storage capacity it is about 256 GB NVMe SSD PCI-E 3.0 which is also extendable up to 2TB.
There is plenty of room for you to play top-notch and high-end games that even a normal PC won’t be able to run.
You can attach three 4k resolution screens with this Mini PC and have an HD view for better results. With AMD Zen+ Core and AMD FreeSync features your gaming experience will be on another level.
You will have a gaming experience that is free from breaks, disturbance hindrances, or any flaws. It will be a flawless experience that will not hold you back from winning.
This is one of the cheapest mini PC designed for casual gamers. The Ryzen AMD Ryzen 7 3750U clocked at 2.3 GHz along with Radeon Vega graphics deliver tremendous power in gaming.
However, the 8GB RAM will not be enough to meet the system requirements of the most demanding games. I’ll recommend this computer if you are playing CPU-intensive games rather than GPU-intensive ones.
4. Intel NUC 10 Mini PC – A Low-Cost Mini PC for Light Gaming
CPU: Intel i3-1011U 2.1 GHz | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD | OS: Windows 10 Home | Graphics: Intel UHD | Connectivity: USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 x 5, headphone and microphone jack
Next on the list is Intel NUC 10 Mini PC. This machine comes with an Intel Core i3 1011U clocked at 2.1 GHz and an Intel UHD graphics chipset. Well, with these specs you can play games like GTA IV, GTA San Andreas, PUBG, and Fortnite at medium-high settings on this mini PC.
Windows 10 Home
Intel NUC 10 comes with Windows 10 Home, which is not the latest Windows Operating System out there but it gets the job done. You can upgrade to Windows 10 but this works fine so there is no need for an upgrade unless you need it.
Memory and Storage
NUC 10 comes with 16 GB RAM which is the top one among all of its models that have been built. It also comes with a 1TB mechanical hard drive and that’s lots of space to run multiple heavy programs on your device without being interrupted or slowed down.
Connectivity and more!
At Intel NUC 10 you can connect 2 ports of USB 2.0 and 5 ports of USB 3.0 alongside microphones.
It works well to run heavy tasks and programs on one drive but the drawback is that it comes with 2 processors only and the connectivity to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is not up to the mark with the standards of today’s technology.
This Mini PC works well for most of the works, and the cost of it is also quite reasonable.
If you are looking for an affordable mini PC for gaming, then this one is the best choice to go with. But if you need better performance, then the Chuwi LarkBox X still offers better gaming performance than Intel NUC 10 Mini PC.
The Intel NUC 10 is more of a light gaming and productivity-based mini PC. If you play less intensive games and deal with your daily work tasks, then this is the most budget-friendly option to go with.
5. Dell CFC5C OptiPlex 3050 Micro Form Factor – Best Cheap Mini PC for Gaming
CPU: Core i5 7500 2.7 GHz | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Graphics: Intel HD 630 | Connectivity: USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 x 4, 802.11 ac wave 2 Wi-Fi, DisplayPort x1, HDMI Port x 1
Next on the list is Dell’s CFC5C with OptiPlex technology. It is one of those Mini PCs that are old but good and performs really well. The OptiPlex 3050 comes with micro form factor BTX and Optiplex technology which still works well for many programs and applications.
Yes, you can play games on this PC but don’t expect much performance from it. The Intel UHD 630 restricts this PC from scaling the resolution over 720p. You can play 10 years old game titles on this mini PC but don’t expect the AAA titles.
Windows 10 Pro
Dell CFC5C includes already installed Windows 10 Pro, as it was launched in 2017, it makes sense because, from that time till recently, Windows 10 Pro was the latest OS.
It is still not something to be worried about because you can upgrade at any time and most of the applications work really well on Windows 10 Pro.
Memory and Storage
OptiPlex 3050 comes with 8GB DDR4 memory that is good enough for your system to run heavy files and programs without any hindrance.
The storage of 256 GB is also a big bonus. Intel’s HD graphics 630 is the cherry on top for all gamers. This means you can run heavy games and programs without worrying about anything at all.
Connectivity and more!
Connect it with the latest Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to pair up devices and more. The display is also HD and of superb quality. Nothing is compromised and all basic and most advanced features are available in this Mini for better performance and even better results.
The pricing on Dell CFC5C OptiPlex 3050 is very economical, but the only thing that might keep you away from this PC is the older UHD graphics chipset. Yes, this might not be the best graphics chip to game on, but for light gaming, this won’t hurt you at all.
These were some of the cheapest mini PCs for gaming geeks. These PCs are the top-notch choice of many and by now you know the reason why.
All of them work well in different situations and for different people and their choices but we will highly recommend you Chuwi LarkBox X because not only does it come with the most reasonable prices, but it is also fully equipped with features for a gamer. A good choice will make your life much easier and your investment worth the effort.
Also Read: Are Mini PCs Worth Buying?
Can a mini PC be used for gaming?
Yes, a mini PC can let you play less-intensive games. The integrated graphics cards in mini PCs are capable of playing games at 720p resolution.
Can I play Warzone on a mini PC?
Yes, you can play Call of Duty: Warzone on a mini PC but you have to go with the lowest graphical settings for smoother gameplay.
Hi, this is Masab, the Founder of PC Building Lab. I’m a PC enthusiast who loves to share the prior knowledge and experience that I have with computers. Well, troubleshooting computers is in my DNA, what else I could say….