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The 5 best mini PCs for gaming in 2024

Your average gaming PC is pretty big, and even worse, you actually have to keep the area around it clear so you can get good case airflow, so you end up having to clear up a lot of space just to be able to game. That can be a problem if you live in a smaller apartment or have a smaller office space that can’t really fit a large full or even mid-sized tower. Luckily, some of the best mini PCs can also be used for gaming, and while they aren’t completely tiny, they are about a fifth or smaller of your average case.

That said, keep in mind that when you go smaller, you end up having to compromise heavily when it comes to graphical capability. That’s why we’ve done our best to find the best mini PCs for gaming and collect them below at various prices and power ranges. That way, you can find something that fits your budget range, gaming needs, and space needs.

The Best Mini PC for Gaming

  • Buy the  if you want the best overall mini PC for gaming
  • Buy the  if you want the best-performance mini PC for gaming
  • Buy the  if you want a budget mini PC for gaming
  • Buy the if you want a handheld mini PC for gaming
  • Buy the if you want a Windows-capable handheld mini PC for gaming

Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast Mini PC

Best overall mini PC for gaming

Intel NUC computer on a table.
Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Small size even for a mini PC Pricey
Dedicated graphics Still new Intel GPU
Lots of RAM

While many might feel like the best overall mini PC for gaming might be something with a high-end GPU, we’re more interested in seeing something that manages to handle both specs and price relatively well. The Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast actually does a good job of it, packing in a lot of good specs for a mini-PC at a reasonable price. One example is the surprisingly powerful Intel Core i7-12700H, a mid-to-high-end processor that will handle most work and productivity tasks without an issue, so it’s a pretty versatile PC outside of gaming.

As for the GPU, it has an Intel Arc A770M, which is an entry-to-mid-range gaming GPU from Intel, one of their first, actually, and it’s no surprise that we’re seeing it in its own gear. In terms of performance, ideally, you’re looking at solid 1080p performance, and while you could push it to 1440p, it’s probably not a good idea, especially since it’s likely going to thermally throttle to keep it from cooking the internals of the mini PC. Even so, it’s a pretty excellent achievement for something that small.

Besides that, it has a very impressive 32GB of DDR4 RAM, more than enough to have dozens and dozens of browser tabs open and a few apps on top of that. Storage is also very respectable at 1TB, so you won’t have to necessarily rely on an external hard drive to keep all your files.

Specifications
CPU
Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics Card
Intel Arc A770M
RAM 32GB DDR4
Storage 1 TB
Dimensions
7.09 x 2.36 x 9.06 inches
Weight
14.33 pounds

Zotac Magnus ONE

Best performance mini PC for gaming

ZOTAC Magnus ONE
Zotac
Pros Cons
Has a powerful GPU Expensive
Lots of storage space Could have had more RAM for the price
Surprisingly small for the specs

Of course, if you do want some higher gaming performance, then the Zotac Magnus ONE is the one to do it, although it does come at a high cost. Under the hood, you get the RTX 3070, which is a solid 1440p GPU, and will likely let you play most modern games with a few graphical compromises here and there. The only downside is that it only has 8GB of VRAM, which will likely not be enough in a few years to run the latest games. This might not be a dealbreaker if you plan to upgrade in a few years anyway.

As for processing power, you get a similar Intel Core i7-10700 that’s a solid productivity CPU and won’t bottleneck the GPU, so you don’t have to worry about that. You also get 16GB, which is fewer than the Intel NUC, unfortunately, and a bit of a shame for this price point. Even so, most folks likely won’t have issues with that amount anyway since it’s ideal for gaming and general use, even on a desktop PC. As for storage, you actually get a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, which is actually an impressive amount of storage for something this small.

All that said, the Zotac Magnus ONE is very expensive, hitting $2,000 without any sort of discount, and you could absolutely buy a more powerful full-sized gaming PC with that amount of money. That said, if you value the form factor and need a smaller size, then the Zotac Magnus ONE will get you as close to possible to a high-end gaming PC.

Specifications
CPU
Intel Core i7-10700
Graphics Card
RTX 3070
RAM 16GB DDR4
Storage 1.5 TB
Dimensions
18 x 15.3 x 9.1 inches
Weight
16.17 pounds

MINISFORUM Venus Series UM773

Best budget mini PC for gaming

MINISFORUM Venus Series UM773
Minisforum
Pros Cons
Surprisingly affordable Doesn’t have a discrete GPU
Integrated GPU still performs quite well Storage could be better
Lots of ports for peripherals

While all the choices we’ve seen so far are quite expensive, this budget option might be a better fit if you need something a bit more subdued. The only downside is that you don’t really get a discrete GPU with this, but instead have to rely on the CPU for that. Luckily, you do get a relatively powerful one in the form of the AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS, a mid-to-high-end CPU that’s versatile and great for versatility tasks too. What’s interesting is that the integrated GPU with this CPU is an AMD Radeon 680M, which can compete with some discrete GPUs, like the GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q. You’re not going to play the newest games, and even older games will require some kind of graphical compromise, but that’s still very impressive.

Besides that, you get 16GB of the newer DDR5 RAM, so it’s faster, and it’s a great inclusion for something at this price. As for storage, you get a 512GB SSD, and that should be more than enough, especially if you stick to older games that aren’t as big, although you can grab one of these external hard drive deals to help supplement it if you feel you need it. Also, you do get a ton of USB ports and two HDMI ports, which might be a bit excessive for something this simple, but certainly very appreciated.

The most impressive thing about the MINISFORUM Venus Series UM773 is that it delivers all this for just $440 without any discount, so we’re very happy to put it on this list.

Specifications
CPU
AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS
Graphics Card
Integrated AMD Radeon 680M
RAM 16GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Dimensions
5.04 x 4.98 x 1.83 inches
Weight
3.65 pounds

Steam Deck OLED

Best handheld mini PC for gaming

Woman playing Steam Deck OLED.
Valve
Pros Cons
Great portable PC Can still be a bit finicky
Cool and quiet fans Doesn’t run Windows
Solid display

We know that this might feel like a little bit of a cheat when it comes to mini PCs for gaming. The truth is that the Steam Deck OLED is probably one of the few devices on the planet that are accessible to the average consumer and is made specifically to be a small gaming package. While there are other handheld gaming devices that try to be more like a Windows PC (more on that in the next listing), if you want something that’s more specifically for gaming, then the Steam Deck OLED is really the way to go.

Under the hood, the new Steam Deck OLED has an AMD Zen 2 processor, which is roughly equivalent to something like a GTX 1050 or so, which is great for something in such a small package. More importantly, if you want to use it as a mini PC, then you can get the dock or even just use a simple converter cable, and you’re pretty much set. As for storage, you get the choice of either 512 or 1TB, although you can expand that even further with a MicroSD, of which there are a ton of options.

If you want to use it in handheld mode, then you’ll be very happy with the newer 7.4-inch OLED screen that runs a 1280 x 800 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. More importantly, going with the Steam Deck means that you already have a ton of compatibility with a lot of the games on Steam, so you’ll almost certainly find a game to play.

Specifications
CPU
AMD Zen 2
Graphics Card
Integrated
RAM 16GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB – 1TB
Dimensions
11.73 x 4.61 x 1.81 inches
Weight
1.41 pounds

ASUS ROG Ally (Z1 Extreme)

Best Windows-capable handheld mini PC for gaming

Playing the Asus ROG Ally Z1 Extreme in handheld mode.
Asus
Pros Cons
Solid performance Turbo mode drains battery quickly
Beautiful, 120Hz screen Windows has a lot of quirks with Armory Crate
Flexible control scheme

If you like the Steam Deck OLED but need something that can run Windows, then you should go for the ASUS ROG Ally instead since it can run a full version of Windows. That means you can run all the Windows apps you could on a normal Windows device, as well as any game launchers that Windows supports. That makes the ROG Ally a much more versatile mini PC and gaming device than the Steam Deck, although it does come with the downside that, if you want to outperform the Steam Deck, you need to run it at 30 watts, which drains the battery incredibly fast.

The other problem is that, while the Asus ROG Ally runs Windows 11, that’s not really an operating system made for handhelds, so Asus’ own Armory Crate runs on top of it to make it a more handheld experience, and it’s a bit . . . frustrating at times. Essentially, that means you’ll likely be swapping between desktop and mobile mode constantly to change settings and even launch games with their own launcher, so it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. On the other hand, if you plan to use it like a mini PC with a dock, then that’s not as much of a problem since you’ll be hooking it up to a bigger screen and, most likely, a mouse and keyboard.

There’s a lot to like about the ROG Ally, and if you want to get a better sense of which of the two handhelds to go with, check out our Asus ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck comparison for a more detailed breakdown.

Specifications
CPU
AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
Graphics Card
Integrated
RAM 16GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Dimensions
11.02 x 4.37 x 0.83 inches
Weight
1.34

How We Chose These Mini PCs for Gaming

Size

The most important thing about a mini PC is that it’s mini because we could go for something that prioritizes graphics, but then you get things that are much larger, like Micro-ATX cases that can fit more powerful GPUs. The truth is with current tech, you will have to compromise on graphical power if you want something smaller, although things might change in the future. We’re already seeing CPUs with integrated graphics that are almost as powerful as older discrete graphics, so who knows what we’ll see a few years down the line.

Gaming Performance

Of course, we can’t ignore gaming performance altogether, so we’ve done our best to include at least a couple of options with discrete GPUs, even though those tend to be a bit pricey. We’ve also done our best to pick systems that have powerful integrated GPUs if they don’t have a discrete one, so you can at least get some gaming done. That’s especially the case with the handheld systems, which are surprisingly powerful for their size and cost.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

Editors' Recommendations

Albert Bassili
Deals Writer
Albert’s been a tech and gaming writer for almost a decade now, writing across websites such as GameGavel, How-To-Geek, and…
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