The Best Mini PCs of 2022

Mini PCs can give you full desktop-quality performance, making them great for small home offices, bedrooms, or even getting to and from a workspace. Expect some sacrifices though, as all that space in modern desktops is there for a reason, but the best mini PCs can still pack in quality components — enough to get the job done. Some even have graphics cards for gaming.

Some are amazing next-generation mini PCs, such as the Intel NUC 12 Extreme which includes a 12th Gen Intel CPU, but requires some work after purchase (the Intel NUC models are “barebones” PCs with no storage space and operating system, which means you have to buy and install both an SSD and a Microsoft Windows license before you can use the system). Others in this category are small, inexpensive all-in-one systems, such as the 4-inch square Beelink Mini S with a 256GB SSD and Windows 11 preinstalled. The Apple Mac Mini M1 is still the best mini PC overall, more than a year after its release, thanks to its overall design and power.

Whether you’re looking for something small and affordable, or don’t mind going a little bigger for better desktop performance, there’s a mini PC for you. Ahead are the best you can buy today.

Best mini PC overall

Apple Silicon Power in a small desktop

PROCESSOR: Apple M1| Pictures: Apple M1 8 core GPU | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Mate: 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 in

Best for: Everyday office and creative editorial work.

The Apple Mac Mini M1 is the best desktop PC Apple has made in years. It may not have quite the same raw power as the 2019 Mac Pro, and it’s not quite as impressive as the much more expensive Mac Studio, but in terms of performance, efficiency and compact design, the M1 Mac Mini is by far the best. That’s also what makes it our top pick for the best mini PC, because nothing else can really stand up to it. Performance is great whether it’s web browsing, research for work or school, 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 case to hear the near-silent fan – and it comes pre-loaded with a good complement of memory and storage space. If you need more space for large files and folders, you can easily expand them externally with a Thunderbolt 3 drive for maximum performance. If you are technically minded, you can also expand the internal storage. It has USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, HDMI, a headphone jack and gigabit ethernet.

Advantages:

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

Cons:

  • Not the fastest Mac desktop

Best Mini PC for Gaming

It’s a real GPU in a small computer

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

Best for: DIYers who want a small and customizable casual and cloud gaming machine.

This Intel Phantom Canyon NUC is a mini PC that stands out because it has a real graphics card inside. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is a power-efficient version that lacks the performance of better graphics cards; nevertheless, this is still a true GPU in a small computer that you can use to play anything in your Steam library. It’s very sleek – much thinner than its base dimensions suggest – so it’s easy to place it on a shelf or storage unit when not in use.

This mini PC has tons 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 (supports 8K graphics and four monitors) on the back. Plus 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 for fast connectivity.

The vents on the chassis keep the internal components cool. While it has a capable 11th Gen Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU, it doesn’t include standard memory or storage, and you’ll also need to purchase a Microsoft Windows license. That cost counts beyond the system itself, but it also means you can customize the system to suit your needs and upgrade later if needed — something few other mini PCs can claim.

Advantages:

  • Special gaming graphics chip
  • Slim design fits easily anywhere
  • Easy to upgrade

Cons:

  • Lack of memory, storage and operating system
  • RTX 2060 is an older GPU

Best Premium Mini PC

Advanced CPU Performance

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

Best for: Building a high-end desktop PC in a miniature chassis.

The Intel NUC 12 Extreme is as powerful as a mini PC you can buy, but it’s not the whole package. While it may feature Intel’s 12th Gen Core i9-12700, with 16 cores, 24 threads, and a 5.1GHz clock speed, this super-powerful NUC doesn’t have dedicated graphics, RAM, or storage, so you’ll have to shell out for it. purchase above this base price if you want a working system. The GPU is only needed if you want to game with this PC, and you can get some basic RAM and SSD storage for a few hundred bucks if you need it, but it’s an extra expense to consider.

But once you get this system up and running, it’s unabashedly powerful. The Core i9-12700 is one of the most powerful processors ever made, combining eight performance cores with four efficiency cores, for incredible multi-threaded and single-threaded performance.rform. Whether you’re surfing the web, managing huge spreadsheets, or even editing videos, this is a great system for the job. It also has support for all the latest standards, so if you want to equip this system with an advanced graphics card or a PCIexpress 5 SSD, you can.

Advantages:

  • Amazingly powerful processor
  • Has room for heaps of RAM and storage
  • Supports PCIexpress 5 for GPUs and SSDs

Cons:

  • No RAM or storage in stock configuration
  • Needs a GPU to play games

Best Budget Mini PC

Get flexible basics for under $200

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

Best for: An affordable office machine or a small HTPC.

If you want a really small mini PC, the Beelink Mini S is ten inches on each side, yet it 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 enough power for easy video transcoding for HTPC machines and is suitable for web browsing and replying to emails. It’s not an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen CPU, but it’s everything 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 fold it up on the wall and store it out of the way. It comes with a one year warranty.

Advantages:

  • Very small, easy to assemble chassis
  • Good port choice

Cons:

  • Lacks the performance of more common CPUs

Best Budget Mini Gaming PC

Everything you need to play Indie and Esports

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

Best for: Esports gaming and lightweight office work.

While gaming PCs perform at their 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 packs seven AMD Radeon Vega graphics cores to deliver performance on par with most affordable gaming laptops. That means it has enough power to handle most esports games, especially the older ones like League of Legends, DotA 2, or CS:GO, at high frame rates. And it can handle other cloud and casual gaming as well. Serious gamers will want more than this machine has to offer, but for a basic bedroom or homework machine to play games, it’s a solid, relatively inexpensive option.

Also note: this model includes 16GB of DDR4 memory and a 512GB SSD, making this machine responsive and responsive during everyday use. It’s slightly bigger than some of the other mini PCs on this list, but it’s no bigger than a home console. In addition, this mini PC has a unique appearance and beautiful RGB lighting, which makes it stand out from the competition. It comes pre-equipped with three different performance modes so it can easily lower its noise levels and temperatures when it matters most.

Advantages:

  • Basic Game Achievements
  • Impressive memory and storage configuration
  • Unique looking housing with RGB lighting

Cons:

  • Lack of gaming performance from dedicated GPUs
  • Not as “mini” as some

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