The Best Mini PCs for Every Budget in 2024

The Best Mini PCs for Every Budget in 2024

If you compare the greatest Mini PCs to standard-sized systems, they might be little. Nevertheless, they have sufficient ability to handle a variety of jobs, including creating material, playing games, and browsing the web. Not only are these little computers more portable than massive PC towers, but they are also incredibly silent. Mini PCs might be the ideal personal computer for certain people.

There are numerous design options. Smaller desktops and stick PCs that fit in your pocket are examples of mini PCs. Additionally, mini PCs use compact, energy-efficient laptop components to offer surprisingly powerful performance in proportions small enough to be concealed behind a monitor. There are little stick PCs and micro desktops for practically everyone, with mini PCs designed for anything from gaming and virtual reality to streaming video.

The Best Mini PCs for home entertainment, gaming, and professional workstations are enumerated below. This list will be updated and expanded upon whenever we get additional units to examine.

The Best Mini PCs to Buy Now

THE BEST MINI PC OVERALL

Apple Mac mini with M2

Apple’s little PC gets a big upgrade

CPU: Apple M2 (up to 12-core)
Graphics: Integrated GPU (up to 19-core)
RAM: Up to 32GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Connectivity: Up to 4x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 2x USB-A, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack. Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth

With the Mac mini M2, Apple surpassed itself. Thanks to the quick M2 chip, this tiny powerhouse is faster and less expensive than its predecessor. Adding an M2 Pro upgrade option sweetens the pot, making this a respectable Mac for light photo/video editing and gaming. The best part is that it doesn’t take up much room on your desk.

Naturally, upgrading to Pro gets you more than just faster performance; for example, the entry-level Mac mini with M2 Pro is more potent and has more memory and storage in addition to more ports. For those who love Macs, this small PC is excellent and effectively displays macOS Ventura. It also looks fantastic on practically any type of desk. a flawless fusion of strength and grace.

BEST MINI PC ON A BUDGET

Beelink u59 mini pc

A mini system done right

CPU: Intel Celeron Processor
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB M.2 2280 SATA SSD
Connectivity: 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB-C, 4x USB3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x HDMI 1.4, 1 x audio jack, Intel WiFi 6E, 2x Gigabit LAN adapter, Bluetooth v5.2

Built around the Intel Celeron Processor N5105 (4C/4T, 4M Cache, 2.0GHz up to 2.9GHz), the Beelink U59 is a NUC-sized PC. It can be purchased with 512GB of SATA SSD added in addition to 8GB or 16GB of RAM.

The U59 has potential as a small office machine or for embedded applications, and it performs well at fundamental tasks even with that low silicon. Customers having 8GB RAM can upgrade to 16GB RAM and M.2 SATA storage. For even more storage possibilities, there is a 2.5-inch drive bay located within.

The bloatware-free Windows 11 installation and the comparatively modest asking price of the 8GB and 16GB variants are what close this deal. The U59’s dual gigabit LAN connections and dual HDMI outputs neatly position it for embedded use, making it perfect for serving as a standalone firewall or for presenting products. Easily one of the better NUC-sized devices we’ve encountered, the Beelink U59 is affordable enough to fit into even the most limited budgets.

BEST MINI PC FOR THE OFFICE

Geekom AS 6

More power and bandwidth than the AS 5

CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX
Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics 680M
RAM: 32GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD,(free Gen 4 slot, free SATA 2.5 bay
Connectivity: 2x USB4 Type-C, 5x USB 3.2 Gen1, 2x HDMI 2.1 Port, 1x Display Port 1.4, 1x 2.5G RJ45 LAN, 1x DC-in,1x padlock ring, 1x audio jack, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth v5.2

When compared to the AS 5, the AS 6 is a very different animal. Although the appearance of this NUC system may appear comparable, the Zen 3+ processor and DDR5 in it can provide noticeably better performance. The AS 6 has nearly everything going for it: a more power-efficient processor, a better GPU, PCIe 4.0 infrastructure, higher bandwidth with DRR5 memory, and more. Its all-plastic structure, noisy cooling system, and identical Asus-designed internal layout—the motherboard is split into two sections and connected by a flexible ribbon cable—are its disadvantages.

It does, however, have USB 4.0 and two Gen 4 2280 M.2 NVMe slots, which means that a 2.5-inch SATA mechanism and plenty of performance storage can be added. Regretfully, Geekom only includes a Gen 3 NVMe drive with the computer, but changing it out for a faster model is a simple and affordable process. Although this isn’t a cheap design, from $659 to $749 depending on the mostly processor-optional SKU, it offers fair value for a system that comes with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage as standard. Another useful choice is the Geekom AS 6, which is a high-performance NUC machine that can handle most workplace issues.

BEST MINI PC WITH A BAREBONES OPTION

GMKtec NucBox K

Tiny and cheap NUC with bags of power

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6800H
Graphics: AMD Radeon 680M
RAM: 16GB DDR5 (expandable to 64GB)
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD
Connectivity: 1x USB 4.0 PD+DP1.4, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x audio jack, 2.5GbE RJ45 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.2

The possibility to upgrade tiny PCs is one of their best features and a pleasure of ownership. Even though there are several “barebones” tiny PCs available, the GMKtec NucBox K1 stands out in this category, in our opinion. The “barebones” version is less expensive, but as you would imagine, it requires an operating system, DDR5 memory, and NVMe. Models that come preconfigured can have up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. So, whether you’re a PC repairman or just need something to function (nearly) right out of the box, you have a tonne of possibilities.

It’s also a very little device, much like all the best mini PCs. It’s undoubtedly one of the smallest NUCs we’ve tried; its size doesn’t significantly affect performance compared to the motherboard it houses. We would have preferred to see a wider range of ports, though; USB 4.0 is fantastic, but Thunderbolt compatibility is lacking. In terms of performance, the K1 fared well; but, after we replaced the review model’s single 16GB module with two Crucial DDR5 4800 SODIMMs, it performed much better. The performance reached Ryzen 7 7735HS levels as a result. For optimal performance, make sure you get a second memory module if you decide against the “barebones” or 32GB models.

BEST MINI PC FOR CREATORS

Apple Mac Studio

Move over Mac Pro

CPU: Apple M1 – M2
Graphics: 24 – 60 core GPU
RAM: 32 – 64GB
Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD
Connectivity: Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB 4, USB 3.1, USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, audio jack

The Apple Mac Studio is the ideal little PC for creative professionals. The Mac Studio, a more robust iteration of the Mac mini, has a height of 3.7 inches and a square footprint of 7.7 inches. It is constructed from a single aluminum extrusion. We tested the Mac Studio, and it worked flawlessly. It handled Adobe Photoshop’s sophisticated AI-powered photo editing capabilities and 8K video processing with ease. We even witnessed the Mac Studio load a complex 3D picture that required more RAM than the majority of discrete professional PC GPUs. It accomplished all of this almost silently.

In the end, you just won’t find another PC with this performance level in a chassis this small. Although it won’t be suitable for everyone due to its intense focus on creative pros, the Apple Mac Studio is a powerful and small creative mini PC with lots of ports.

BEST MINI PC FOR PERFORMANCE

Beelink ser6 pro 7735hs

Ultimate performance NUC from Beelink

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7735HS
Graphics: AMD Radeon 680M
RAM: 32GB DDR5 (expandable to 64GB)
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD
Connectivity: 1x USB 4.0 Type-C, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0, 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x audio jack

The new Intel NUC 13 Pro may be the quickest NUC available, although that conclusion may be hastily drawn. As the name suggests, the Beelink SER6 Pro 7735HS is constructed using the most recent AMD Ryzen 7000 mobile technology, which can equal or surpass the performance of the most recent Intel 13th Gen silicon. This tiny computer’s AMD Ryzen 7000 series processor, with eight cores and sixteen threads of processing capacity, is one of the most potent compact system platforms available. Anticipate an extremely satisfying user experience when coupled with 32GB of DDR5-4800, a Gen 4 NVMe SSD, and a chipset that features Thunderbolt, a 2.5GbE LAN connector, and Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX2111.

As of this writing, 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage are available on a single SKU. Nevertheless, drop-in replacements are available to upgrade these machines to 64GB of RAM and a minimum of 2TB of storage. Although it could be simpler to disassemble the system to add these updates, most customers will only need to do it once. The only other issue we have is that there is just one Thunderbolt port on the front, whereas for those who own docking stations, the back may have been a better choice.

BEST MINI PC FOR FLEXIBILITY

Minisforum Venus NPB7

Intel’s 13th Gen performance on show

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB DDR5 (expandable to 32GB)
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD
Connectivity: 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 4.0, 2x HDMI, 1x audio jack, 2x 2.5GbE RJ45 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth v5.2

The Minisforum Venus NPB7 is a sleek, quick, and modern small PC featuring a 13th-generation Intel Mobile processor. It features Thunderbolt and USB 4.0 as well as an elegant aluminium casing. The fact that microcomputers can be upgraded to higher-performing models when new components become available is one of the main factors contributing to their popularity. We appreciate the flexibility that the NPB7 offers. With extremely easy access to the internals, it may not be the greatest tiny PC with a “barebones” option for upgradeability, but if you prefer tinkering, it’s worth considering.

Our benchmarking revealed outstanding performance; there’s no doubt that Intel’s CPU is a beast, easily handling almost any task we throw at it. The read/write speeds of the storage were also acceptable. The graphics department is where the NPB7 falters. Therefore, it’s not the best if you’re creating and producing media, such as photo editing. However, we found this small PC to be outstanding for all other jobs.

BEST INTEL MINI PC

BEST INTEL MINI PC

A new season, a new NUC generation

CPU: Intel Core i7-1360P
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 32GB DDR4 (expandable to 64GB)
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD
Connectivity: 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4.0 Type-C), 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0, 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x audio jack, RJ45 Ethernet port, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth v5.2

The most recent NUC, and possibly the best one to yet. The top silicon from the newest 13th-generation mobile product lines is assembled into the Intel NUC 13 Pro and placed into the iconic Intel NUC casings.

The system is equipped with Thunderbolt 4 technology, Gen 4 NVMe storage, and plenty of CPU power with up to 12 cores and 64GB of RAM. There is a lot of variation in terms of price and performance, with the base Core-i3 machines costing about $320 and the top-of-the-line Core-i7 vPro processors costing over $1,000. These computers are all supplied “barebones,” which means that to fully utilize them, you will also need to supply RAM modules, NVMe storage, and other peripherals (such as a mouse, keyboard, screen, operating system, etc.).

Compared to its predecessors, the NUC 13 Pro performed substantially faster on multithreaded workloads in our tests, but it only slightly outperformed single-threaded scores. The new NUC’s near-silent operation with Thunderbolt 4.0 and USB 3.2 connectors for communication are its finest features. While it may not be the most affordable choice for small computers, the Intel NUC 13 Pro comes from a reputable manufacturer and delivers the most advanced NUC technology available.

BEST MINI PC FOR BASICS

Acemagic AD08

Last resting place of the 11th Gen i9 CPU

CPU: AMD Ryzen 6900HX / Intel Core i9-11900H
Graphics: AMD Radeon 680M / Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 (expandable to expansion 64GB)
Storage: 512GB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
Connectivity: 4x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C , 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x audio jack, 1x Gigabit LAN adapter, Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

The 11th generation Intel Core-i9 processor and integrated UHD Graphics GPU in the AD08 provide a theoretical eight-core and sixteen-thread platform. The device is encased in an unusual wedge-shaped shell designed to be desk-mounted as opposed to rear-mounted on a monitor. The AD08 might look less out of place in a child’s bedroom because it is more colorful than most workplace PCs and has a more game console feel to it. On paper, the AD08 appears to be a powerful processor, but in reality, it struggles to complete tasks that call for intensive multi-threading or high GPU performance.

The fact that the CPU can only maintain a multi-processing ratio of 6.07 while supporting sixteen threads may indicate that it lacks the power budget and thermal control necessary to operate at peak efficiency. In addition, the GPU is incredibly mediocre when measured against the most recent Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU, which does various tasks three times faster. Fortunately, Acemagic produces the AM08 Pro, an AMD variant of the same device with a Ryzen 9 CPU and Radeon 680M GPU. It is not only significantly faster than the AD08, but it is also cheaper. Additionally, we advise you to purchase one of those if you enjoy the form factor.

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