Best gaming mini PC 2024

Intel NUC 12
Credit: ASUS

Intel NUC 12
Credit: ASUS

The best gaming experience comes from having the best gaming setup. Every gamer has their own definition of what makes for the perfect gaming setup. Some may be all about traditional PCs, whereas others might go for the best gaming mini PC.

A mini PC is not as powerful as a traditional one and usually doesn't offer as many avenues for upgrading hardware. But they can't be dismissed because they're ultra-portable, perform competitively, and are cost-effective.

Choosing the best mini PC for gaming can feel like finding your way through a maze with all the mellow choices out there. That's why we've curated a list of the best gaming mini PCs that can spice up your gaming experience.

What are the best gaming mini PCs in 2024?

One of the top-shelf questions about mini PCs is whether they're truly a solid choice for gaming. They can be, but it still boils down to how much quality performance you want, and how much are you willing to splurge for it.

The most cost-effective option by far that is under $500 - Blackview MP200

Processor: Intel Core i5-11400H 6 x 2.7 - 4.5 GHz, 65 W PL2
Graphics adapter: Intel UHD Graphics Xe 16EUs (Tiger Lake-H), Core: 1450 MHz,
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 512GB M.2

Blackview MP200 mini PC
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Credit: Blackview

The Blackview MP200 is hands down one of the cheapest choices out there. If you're looking for a mini PC that won't break the bank but still delivers solid daily performance, then this option would be ideal for you.

The MP200 has a slim and streamlined design that makes it optimal for saving space on any desktop. It has your back with its standard set of connections such as multiple USB ports, USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, and even an Ethernet port. So basically, It can support three 4K gaming monitors all at once and is equipped with DisplayPort capability for resolutions up to 8K.

Given its reasonable price, it might not have everything you are looking for. If you're a hardcore gamer, this setup might not be your best bet for those graphics-intensive games since it's missing a graphics card. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy gaming at all. This option is more for casual gamers and games that don't require high-end graphics.

Other than no graphics card and the fans being noisy during casual use, you can count on the rest of the features to be reliable for everyday tasks because it's powered by an Intel Core i5-11400H processor. The design of the MP200 also makes it easier for you to access components for maintenance and upgrades without any hassle. The 120-watt charger is also adequate to keep things stable and handle different loads without any issues.

Performs the best in every way - Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast

Processor: Intel Core i7-12700H - 2.7 GHz
Graphics card: Intel Arc A770M
Storage: 1 TB

Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast mini PC
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Credit: ASUS

This may not come with the same budget-friendly price tag as the Blackview MP200, but if you're open to spending a bit more, the performance you'll get in return makes it a rewarding choice.

The Intel NUC 12 has an Intel Core i7-12700H processor and Arc Alchemist mobile graphics. It can outperform a lot of laptops and even give some bigger desktops a run for their money because of its multitasking capabilities and smooth gaming experiences. The only snags of this mini PC are that it might not work well with older games and the power supply is external.

This will test your ability to not judge a book by its cover. It's as mini as a journal, but its performance defies its diminutive size. With several slots for M.2 NVMe SSDs and DDR4 memory, you can adjust the system to fit your storage and memory needs. One thing it's also good at is handling heat well, so it keeps running smoothly even under heavy loads.

The two internal fans and ventilation system help keep temperatures stable, preventing performance drops due to overheating. Noisy fans are typical with mini PCs and regular ones when gaming or doing intensive tasks. But NUC 12 isn't too loud like the others and its low noise levels are made for a comfortable gaming environment without distractions.

For gaming, this does the job smoothly at 1080p resolution and beyond with Intel's Arc A770M mobile graphics. It handles modern titles with ease and supports features like Intel's Xe Super Sampling for improved image quality at higher resolutions. It's also a must-have if you're into video editing or similarly demanding tasks.

Engineered for hardcore gamers - Zotac Magnus ONE

Processor: Intel Core i7-10700‎ - 2.9 GHz
Graphics card: RTX 3070
Storage: 1.5 TB

Zotac Magnus ONE mini PC
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Credit: Zotac

The Zotac Magnus ONE is also not as pocket-friendly as the first one, but you'll likely find that this one grants the most gratifying gaming performance for you. The Magnus ONE comes with an RTX 3070 GPU neatly tucked inside, along with a 10th-gen Intel i7 CPU featuring eight cores and 16 threads. It doesn't mess around when it comes to gaming power, especially if you're casually playing at 1440p resolution.

DLSS also makes games run more smoothly by using AI to enhance lower-res graphics without sacrificing speed. You can play almost any modern AAA game with buttery smooth frame rates and stunning graphics, courtesy of its powerful hardware configuration that allows for 4K gaming at high settings. You might need to tweak some settings for the really intense ones, but overall, it’s a beast.

Hardcore gamers throw themselves into the game with total commitment and they leave nothing on the table. So, overheating is becoming more and more a common issue. But Magnus ONE has this custom cooling setup with built-in fans and strong heat dissipation for heavy gaming loads, to maintain optimal performance and prevent thermal throttling.

So far, its gaming performance is pretty spot on. Plus, it manages to keep power usage low, so you can game for hours without worrying about performance or energy drain. Not everything is attainable, though. It may struggle to run newer games over time due to its limited 8GB VRAM. But it makes up for it with a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, which is pretty unexpected for something this small.

Best handheld for gaming - ASUS ROG Ally

APU: AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
Graphics: 12 RDNA 3 CUs
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5-6400 (2x8GB)
Storage: 512GB Gen 4×4 NVMe SSD, micro SD slot UHS-II

ASUS ROG Ally handheld PC
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Credit: ASUS

ASUS indisputably stands as one of the elite and reputable manufacturers and is well-regarded for its top-performing gaming gadgets. So, people were all the craze when ASUS made a bold move by releasing a handheld PC. The price of the ASUS ROG Ally is so competitive that it can rival other sought-after handheld PCs, such as the Steam Deck and GPD Win 4.

You can tell it has powerful specs when it is equipped with a Ryzen Z1 Extreme APU with eight Zen 4 cores and 12 RDNA 3 graphics cores. This is a viable option for gamers who seek high-end gaming performance in a handy device. Although it may not reach the same level of performance as the PS5, it's still a must-have for gaming while you're out and about. Since it's a handheld PC, you can switch between three modes (Silent, Performance, and Turbo) to tweak how much power it uses and how fast it runs.

ROG Ally helps you keep your battery running longer when you use it smartly. You can also make your controller uniquely yours and adjust your gaming experience just the way you like it. You might have some doubt due to its size, but the gaming performance certainly doesn't disappoint. You can have a blast playing the best AAA games with smooth gameplay, at higher frames (smooth frames even when unplugged), such as Forza Horizon 5, Cyberpunk 2077, Grand Theft Auto V, and Call of Duty.

The ROG Ally can operate all apps and game launchers supported by Windows. The option to connect your ROG Ally to the XG Mobile external GPU for a performance boost and to serve as a desktop replacement when needed is also impressive. There's more to what it offers. The ROG Ally lets you expand its storage capacity with SSD and microSD card options to handle a larger number of games.

You can also emulate different gaming platforms, which allows you to play retro and classic games and expands your gaming options beyond just PC titles. In line with modern sensibilities, most people like to set up their gaming stations in a way that aligns with their aesthetic preferences. ROG Ally will be a great addition to any workspace or gaming setup because of its timeless aesthetic while maintaining comfort with its ergonomic design.

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