The best mini PCs of 2022

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

Some are amazing next-gen mini PCs, like the Intel NUC 12 Extreme, which packs a 12th Gen Intel CPU – but will require a bit of work after purchase (the Intel NUC models are “barebones” PCs, which Storage and OS are absent, meaning you must purchase and install both an SSD and a Microsoft Windows license before using the system). Others in this category are tiny, affordable all-in-ones, like the square 4-inch Beelink Mini S with a 256GB SSD and Windows 11 preinstalled. The Apple Mac Mini M1 is a winner thanks to its overall design and performance still the best mini PC overall, more than a year after its release.

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 tiny desktop

CPU: Apple M1| Graphic: Apple M1 8-core GPU | R.A.M: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Size: 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches

Best for: Everyday office life 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 performance as the 2019 Mac Pro and isn’t 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 also makes it our top pick for best mini PC, as nothing else can really stand up to it. Its performance is excellent whether it’s surfing the web, researching for work or school, or editing videos. It can even handle casual gaming thanks to the surprisingly powerful Apple M1 GPU.

This mini PC is also quiet – you’ll have to put your ear to the case to hear its near-silent fan – and it comes with a good complement of memory and storage. If you need more space for large files and folders, you can easily expand it externally with a Thunderbolt 3 drive for maximum performance – or if you’re tech-savvy, 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
  • Wide range of ports

Disadvantages:

  • Not the fastest Mac desktop

Best mini pc for gaming

It’s a real GPU in a tiny computer

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | Graphic: NVIDIA RTX 2060 | R.A.M: No | Storage: No | Size: 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 boasts a real graphics card. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is a low-power version that lacks the performance of better graphics cards; That said, this is still a true GPU in a tiny computer that lets you play anything in your Steam library. It’s very slim – much thinner than its base dimensions would suggest – so it can be easily placed on a shelf or storage unit when not in use.

This mini PC has plenty 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.

Ventilation on the case keeps the internal components cool. Although it has a powerful 11th Gen Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU, it doesn’t come with memory or storage by default, and you’ll also need to buy a Microsoft Windows license. Those costs add up beyond the system itself, but it also means you can customize the system to suit your needs and upgrade later if you need to – something few other mini PCs can claim.

Advantages:

  • Dedicated gaming graphics chip
  • The slim design is easy to attach anywhere
  • Easily upgradeable

Disadvantages:

  • Lacks memory, memory and operating system
  • RTX 2060 is an older GPU

Best Premium Mini PC

State-of-the-art CPU performance

CPU: Intel Core i9-12700 | Graphic: Intel UHD770 | R.A.M: No | Storage: No | Size: 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 a mini PC as you can buy, but it’s not the whole package. While it may have Intel’s 12th-gen Core i9-12700 with 16 cores, 24 threads and a clock speed of 5.1GHz, this super powerful NUC has no discrete graphics, RAM or storage, so you’ll need to make purchases above that base price out if you want a working system. The GPU is only required if you plan to game with this PC, and you can get basic RAM and SSD storage for a few hundred bucks if you need it, but that’s an extra expense to consider.

But once you get this system up and running, it’s outrageously powerful. One of the most powerful processors ever, the Core i9-12700 combines eight performance cores with four efficiency cores for incredible multi-threaded and single-threaded performancerightFormation. Whether you’re surfing the web, managing huge spreadsheets, or even editing videos, this is a great system for the job. It also supports all the latest standards. So if you want to outfit this system with a state-of-the-art 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

Disadvantages:

  • No RAM or storage in the default configuration
  • Requires a GPU to play games

Best Budget Mini PC

Get flexible basics for under $200

CPU: Intel Celeron N9095 | Graphic: Intel UHD | R.A.M: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Size: 4.5 x 4 x 1.6 inches

Best for: An affordable office work machine or a tiny HTPC.

If you want a really tiny mini PC, the Beelink Mini S is four inches on each side and still packs a powerful 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 basic video transcoding for HTPC machines and is up to the task of surfing the Internet and answering emails. It’s not an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen CPU, but it’s everything you need in a mini PC.

Even in such a small body, this device has a decent range of ports, including four USB Type-A, a pair of HDMI outputs, a headphone jack and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The VESA mount lets you place it against a wall and get it out of the way. It comes with a one year warranty.

Advantages:

  • Very small, easily mountable chassis
  • Good port selection

Disadvantages:

  • It lacks the performance of mainstream CPUs

Best Budget Mini Gaming PC

Everything you need for indie and esports games

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5500U | Graphic: AMD Radeon 7 core GPU | R.A.M: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Size: 7.5 x 3.7 x 9.7 inches

Best for: Esports gaming and light 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 a mobile AMD Ryzen 5500U CPU that 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 – with high framerates. And it can handle other cloud and casual games too. Serious gamers will want more than this machine offers, but for a basic bedroom or homework machine to play with, it’s a solid, relatively inexpensive option.

Also of note: this model comes with 16GB of DDR4 memory and a 512GB SSD, making this machine fast and responsive in day-to-day use. It’s a bit bigger than some of the other mini PCs on this list, but no bigger than a home console. Also, this mini PC has a unique look and fancy RGB lighting, which together help it stand out from the competition. It comes preloaded with three different power modes, so it can easily lower its noise levels and temperatures when it matters most.

Advantages:

  • Basic gaming performance
  • Impressive memory and storage configuration
  • Unique looking case with RGB lighting

Disadvantages:

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

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