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Best mini gaming PC: top compact PCs in 2024

Gaming PCs don’t have to be enormous and finding a powerful compact PC is easier than ever. We're testing the best mini gaming PCs at all price points.

The best mini gaming PC - three compact PCs on a bright gradient background

What is the best mini gaming PC? The traditional image of a gaming custom PC is some hulking behemoth of a machine, with frantically spinning fans, blazing rainbow RGB LEDs, and monstrously large graphics cards. But the best mini gaming PCs are compact machines that house full-scale components. Despite their size, mini PCs don’t skimp on performance and are ideal for smaller gaming desks or if want to take it traveling.

In this guide, we’ve chosen pre-built mini gaming PCs from the likes of Origin, Corsair, and more. Check out how to build a gaming PC if you want to choose the components and PC case yourself.

Some exceedingly small and cheap mini gaming PCs such as those offered by Minisforum take AMD mobile CPUs, with their iGPUs that punch well above their weight and let them rip with their maximum power draw – which can be capable even at 1080p.

We suggest thinking about cooling solutions and how easy it is to upgrade the machine. There’s no point in spending money on components that are going to throttle the moment they heat up. These are the best mini gaming PCs to game in confidence and small spaces. If you want full power (and have the room), check out our full best gaming PCs guide.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Minisforum UM773 Lite

Best mini gaming PC overall

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Minisforum UM773 Lite specifications:
Graphics AMD RDNA 2 680M
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS 8 core 3.2GHz – 4.75GHz
RAM 32GB DDR5
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Connectivity RJ45 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A ×2, USB2.0 Type-A ×2, USB4 Type-C, HDMI ×2, 3.5mm Combo Jack ×1, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth
Cooling Liquid metal thermal compound, Airway Design 120 fan, two heat pipes
Dimensions 5.03 x 4.9 x 1.8 inches (12.78 x 12.45 x 4.57 cm)
Weight 3.65 lbs (1.66 kg) including power brick
Reasons to buy
  • Small yet mighty
  • Plenty of RAM
Reasons to avoid
  • Reported defective WiFi cards

“Integrated graphics?” we hear you cry, and we respond with a resounding yes. The $539.99 (£495.20) Minisforum UM773’s AMD 680M sits between the integrated graphics of Valve’s Steam Deck and the Asus ROG Ally which as we all know by now are very capable little machines.

The 680M is allowed to perform at its best because of the inclusion of very fast DDR5 which AMD’s CPUs and iGPUs work nicely with and 32 GB of it no less. Though it is not as capable as its younger sibling the 780M, it manages to be slightly more efficient due to its lower power draw so those working with constrained power budgets will be served here.

Esports titles will run well at 1080p and emulation will be no problem at all. Older titles too will, of course, return great performance so if you’re not too fussed about the latest AAA games, you’re sure to have a great time with this seriously handy little machine, especially when paired with the best gaming monitor to get the most out of this mighty box.

Whilst the Minisforum Venus UM773 doesn’t offer the same portability as the Deck or Ally, it makes up for it in connectivity with a plethora of ports making this a very practical little machine.

It is also surprisingly upgradable with two SODIMM slots, a PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot, and room on the bottom for a 2.5-inch hard drive. You could also connect an eGPU via the USB4 port if you wanted some extra GPU down the line as the CPU will age more gracefully than the iGPU.

Origin PC Chronos V3

Best premium mini gaming PC

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Origin PC Chronos V3 specifications:
Graphics Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti 12GB
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
RAM 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR5 5600Mhz
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I WiFi
PSU 850 Watt CORSAIR SFX-L Series
Storage 1TB Samsung PM9A1 M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4.0
Connectivity 2 x USB-C 4.0, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 5 x USB-A 3.2, 3 x USB-A 2.0, 5 x USB-A 3.2, 3.5mm headphone/mic
Cooling 2 x 120mm fan, 80mm fan, iCUE H100i ELITE CAPELLIX XT Liquid CPU Cooler
Dimensions 7.87 x 17.71 x 10.6 (20cm x 45cm x 27cm)
Reasons to buy
  • Powerful all-rounder
  • Easily upgradeable
  • PCIe Gen 5.0
Reasons to avoid
  • Not the smallest
  • Expensive

Well-established custom PC builders Origin have updated their CHRONOS line to use parent company Corsair’s svelte 2000D case whose vertical design makes us think that it’s some supercharged Xbox Series X with its cuboid design.

At $2,806 it isn’t the cheapest, but Origin PC has been in the business a long time for good reason so you can be sure you will be getting a quality product that won’t be giving you any headaches.

With an AMD Ryzen 7 7800 X3D and Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti, you can be sure to be playing the latest AAA games for a while, especially with more games supporting DLSS 3 frame generation introduced with the RTX 4000 series.

Being owned by Corsair, you can quite often get good deals on peripherals if you need a new monitor, keyboard, mouse, and streaming goodies. Be sure to check out our best gaming headsets if you need a sonic solution for your ears.

It’s on the cusp of being a mini PC however as it is quite large still, but is certainly smaller than your average ATX case. You can go smaller with other options but given Origin’s credentials, customer service, and flexibility, we’ve included it as our best overall pick.

Intel NUC 12 Serpent Canyon

Best true mini PC with dedicated graphics

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Intel NUC 12 Serpent Canyon specifications:
Graphics Intel Arc A770M 16GB
CPU Intel i7-12700H
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz
Storage 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Connectivity HDMI 2.1 (4K60), DisplayPort 2.0 x 2, Thunderbolt/USB4 Type-C ports x 2, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A ×6, 3.5mm Combo Jack ×1, 2.5Gb ethernet, Consumer infrared port, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Cooling Two fans and heat pipes
Dimensions 9.06 x 7.09 x 2.36 inches (23 x 18 x 6 cm)
Weight 4.34 lbs (1.97 kg)
Reasons to buy
  • Pint-sized gaming PC
  • Slick console-like design
  • Powerful dedicated graphics
Reasons to avoid
  • Intel Arc teething issues
  • Expensive

Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) series has been around for a few years now but for the first time, they’ve updated their designs with their own Arc series of GPUs for a true-blue all-Intel system.

This is all packaged in an exceedingly handsome and small case that puts the PS5 and Xbox Series X to shame when it comes to a performance-to-size ratio as the NUC 12 Serpent Canyon is so small that we’re surprised there’s even a GPU in there. It has an air of “This is what the Xbox 720 will look like” about it which we’re quite fond of too.

The Serpent Canyon has an Intel Arc A770M with 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM so you shouldn’t run into any limitations with the recent spate of resource-heavy AAA games. The Arc cards have excellent ray-tracing performance for their price point, eclipsing AMD in this regard.

Also included is a very capable i7-12700H so CPU workloads will be breezy and will keep up with the performant A770M.

Whilst the CPU and GPU aren’t upgradable, there are plenty of drive options with 2 M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots and an M.2 PCIe slot. The RAM is also user-replaceable.

Something to consider is how the Intel Arc cards have fared since release. They are leaps and bounds better than were with DX9, 10, and 11 performance seeing massive improvements but Nvidia and AMD have better legacy support for older titles. Intel’s upscaling technology XeSS isn’t as widely supported but it is being increasingly integrated by developers.

Recent AAA titles that have VRAM issues have influenced our decision to include the Serpent Canyon as the 16GB of VRAM and good DX12 performance see the NUC punching above its weight here. This is at a high cost, but we think it’s worth it given the unique design and improved performance.

Corsair One i500

The mini gaming PC with the best design

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Corsair One i500 specifications:
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super
CPU Intel Core i9 14900K
RAM 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance 6,000MHz DDR5
Storage 2TB Samsung PM9A1 SSD
PSU 1,000W Corsair SF1000L
Connectivity 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, mic/headphone jack (front), 4 x USB 2, 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2, Ethernet, 6 x audio jacks (rear)
Cooling Corsair custom AIO liquid cooler
Dimensions 11.8 x 7.6 x 15.3 inches (18.7 x 30 x 39.3cm)
Weight 15.8 lbs (7.2 kg)
Reasons to buy
  • Gorgeous, premium design
  • Superb gaming pace
Reasons to avoid
  • Can be noisy under load
  • Very premium price

The Corsair One has become a PC design icon since the original debuted in 2017, and we’ve been fans ever since. As our expert reviewer puts it, “If you’ve dreamed of owning a high-end mini gaming PC, but didn’t want the hassle of building one yourself, the Corsair One i500 effectively does this for you and then some.” Look at that subtle RGB lighting. The tasteful wooden casing. Oh my god, it even has water cooling.

The Corsair One i500 has a footprint of just 187 x 300mm, and it’s gorgeous, with wooden panels flanked by strips of RGB lighting and superb build quality. There’s a serious PC inside though, with an Intel Core i9 14900K CPU and a choice of either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super or RTX 4090 GPU.

Despite the compact sizing, there’s no sacrifice in gaming performance. We tested the RTX 4080 Super version, which ran Cyberpunk 2077 at 2,560 x 1,440 with the Ultra ray tracing preset at 106fps, thanks to some help from the frame-generation tech in Nvidia DLSS 3. F1 23 at 4K with Ultra High settings averaged 94fps in our tests.

On the downsides (of which there are few); the 120mm AIO cooler on the CPU doesn’t have enough power to enable the Core i9 14900K to hit its peak boost speeds, and it can make quite a lot of fan noise when running games at full load. Otherwise, this is the most beautiful mini gaming PC on our list; perfect if design is your priority no matter the cost.

Read our Corsair One i500 review.

 

Beelink SER6 Gaming Mini PC

Best budget mini gaming PC

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Beelink SER6 Gaming Mini PC specifications:
Graphics AMD RDNA 2 660M
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 6600H 6 core 4.5Ghz
RAM 16GB DDR5 4800MHz dual channel
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Connectivity USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 3, USB 2.0, HDMI x 2, 2.5Gb ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Cooling Two fans
Dimensions 4.96 x 4.45 x 1.65 inches (12.6 x 11.3 x 4.2 cm)
Weight 1.13 lbs (0.51 kg)
Reasons to buy
  • Steam Deck level of performance
  • Upgradable RAM and storage
Reasons to avoid
  • Loud and high-pitched fan noise
  • Only a little cheaper than 680M systems

AMD’s integrated graphics make another showing here with the Beelink SER6. The SER6 has an AMD 660M that is slightly less powerful than the iGPU of the Steam Deck, but the SER6 has two extra CPU cores and more power available to it so you can expect your games and general computing to feel a little snappier. To keep the Ryzen 5 6600U running sweet there is 16GB of DDR5 RAM and older and lighter titles such as Minecraft and League of Legends will hum along nicely.

You also have good options for expanding your storage and RAM with user two SODIMM slots and a PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot which are user-replaceable. Similarly to the Minisforum, there is space for a 2.5” drive at the bottom of the SER6 if you want to get silly with the storage and dump all your (legally owned) ROMs for a great little emulation machine. If the included 512GB isn’t enough, be sure to check out our best SSD for gaming roundup.

An unfortunate flaw here though is the dual fan design. Because the individual fans are smaller, they are much higher pitched than a larger singular fan would be so when things heat up, it can be a little loud. It’s also only a little cheaper at $429 (£539) than a 680 M-equipped mini PC so you may want to spend an extra bit of cash for the additional CPU and CU cores.

Blackview MP200

Best mini PC under $300/£300

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Blackview MP200 specifications:
Graphics Intel Ultra-HD Graphics
CPU Intel Core i5-11400H
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage 512GB M.2
Connectivity USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 4, HDMI 2, USB type C, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Wifi 6, 1000Mbs LAN
Dimensions 183.2 x 150 x 75.5mm
Weight 1.52lbs (690g)
Reasons to buy
  • One of the cheapest mini PCs
  • Good for daily tasks
Reasons to avoid
  • Noisy fans during medium loads
  • No dedicated graphics card

The Blackview MP200 is the ideal mini PC for those who want to spend as little as possible. Its competitive pricing makes it our top cheap option, but that price does mean limitations with performance.

Inside the MP200, the Intel Ultra-HD Graphics hinder gameplay somewhat, to the extent that you’ll need to play most in the lowest settings. It’s not impossible to play the best PC games, but you may struggle with triple AAA releases.

There are enough ports to add three displays with USB 3.2 connectivity, and the storage and RAM can both be doubled if you want to add second modules and upgrade the machine further down the line. We’d recommend the Blackview MP200 if you want one of the cheapest Windows 11 PCs on the market, but if gaming is your priority then lack of graphics card and cooling will let you down.

Read our Blackview MP200 review.

Asus ROG Ally

Best portable mini gaming PC

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Asus ROG Ally specifications:
Graphics AMD 780M
CPU AMD Z1 Extreme APU 8 core
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 6400Mhz Dual channel
Display 7 inch IPS 1080p 120Hz (VRR)
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, microSD
Connectivity ROG XG Mobile Interface, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
Cooling Dual fan design
Dimensions 11.02 x 4.37 x 0.83 ~ 1.28 inches (28.0 x 11.1 x 2.12 ~ 3.24 cm)
Weight 1.34 lbs (0.61 kg)
Reasons to buy
  • Inexpensive
  • Very powerful
  • Highly portable
Reasons to avoid
  • Armory Crate software needs improving
  • Windows 11 isn’t the best portable OS

The Asus ROG Ally may have a display and a built-in controller but it is by all accounts, a mini gaming PC that just so happens to be extremely portable. We were mightily impressed by the $699 (£699) Ally in our review.

It’s eeked out the Steam Deck for the best portable mini gaming PC because of its extra grunt in the GPU and CPU department which lets us play games on the go at 1080P.

When plugged in at home, you can opt for the maximum power envelope that would normally rinse your battery and have a very capable little computer that you can do pretty much anything on. With the XMG connector, you can plug in one of Asus’ external GPUs without losing any performance due to the limitations of USB 4 as you have full access to the PCIe lanes.

You’ll need a good gaming keyboard and gaming mouse setup to make full use of the desktop environment though, editing the Excel spreadsheet might be a little difficult with the joysticks.

Any hiccups in performance will be smoothed out by the VRR screen too so unless you have some very heavy 1% and 0.1% lows, you shouldn’t notice any dips in frame rate allowing for a smooth and consistent experience.

Unfortunately, Asus’ Armory Crate overlay paired with Windows 11 doesn’t shine a candle to Valve’s SteamOS in terms of functionality, but this will no doubt improve with time and you have the added benefit of knowing that games such as Fortnite and Roblox will work out of the box.

Read our ASUS Rog Ally review.

Best mini gaming PC FAQs

Is a mini PC good for gaming?

Yes, a mini PC can be good for gaming, but you’ll need to have a good look at the GPU specs. Larger mini PCs based on mini-ITX motherboards can often accommodate a seriously powerful graphics card, just like a desktop PC, but the smallest mini PCs often rely on integrated graphics. This is where the GPU is inside the CPU, as the small case doesn’t have the physical room to accommodate the cooling system for a full-size graphics card.
If you want one of these tiny PCs, then you need to compromise on gaming performance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play games at all. If you can find a mini PC that uses one of AMD’s G-series CPUs, such as the Ryzen 5 8600G, then it will have a half-decent Radeon GPU built into it. This won’t be able to play the latest games at high graphics settings, but in our tests, they can often handle running games at 1080p with low settings.
 

Can a mini PC replace a full-size desktop?

Yes, a mini PC can replace a desktop. In fact, the latest high-end mini PCs, such as the new Corsair One i500, can offer exactly the same components you would find in the best gaming PCs, including a 24-core Intel Core i9 14900K CPU and a mighty Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU. You really can have your mini PC cake and eat it now.
However, you won’t have the same room for expansion. Most mini-ITX motherboards only have a single PCIe slot, which will be used for your graphics card, and there are usually only two DIMM slots for RAM too. Most people don’t have multiple PCIe cards, though, and you can still get plenty of memory into a pair of DIMM slots.

Why are some mini PCs so tall?

Mini PCs come in all shapes and sizes to suit various needs, but if you want one that can handle a high-end CPU and graphics card then it needs to make room for them. That doesn’t just mean you need physical room for the components; you also need room for airflow to cool them, or for radiators if they use liquid cooling.
That’s why some high-end gaming PC cases have instead been built upwards rather than outwards. This means the PC still has a small footprint, so it doesn’t take up too much desk space, but it can still contain powerful PC components, such as a large graphics card. A mini PC based on the new Fractal Design Mood case, for example, will be 453mm tall, so it can house a water-cooled CPU and decent graphics card, but its footprint is a neat 212 x 212mm square.

Can you upgrade a mini PC?

Yes, you can upgrade a mini PC, but the extent to which you can upgrade it depends on the PC in question. Some mini PCs are based on mobile components intended for laptops, and you won’t be able to change the CPU or GPU, but you may well be able to upgrade the memory if it’s installed in standard DIMM or SODIMM slots, or the SSD if it uses a standard M.2 or SATA connector.
Also, even some mini PCs based on standard desktop components can be a hassle to upgrade, as they’re designed to accommodate specific components that line up with the case and cooling system. For example, you can easily upgrade the SSD and RAM in the Corsair One, but not the motherboard or graphics card.
If you think you might want to upgrade the core components, such as the CPU or GPU, in your mini PC later, it’s best to go for one based on a standard mini-ITX case and motherboard that doesn’t use proprietary components, such as the Origin Chronos V3.