Mini PCs can give you full desktop performance, making them perfect for small home offices, bedrooms, or even commuting to and from a workspace. Expect to make some sacrifices, as all that space in modern desktops is there 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 games.
Some are amazing next-gen mini PCs, like the Intel NUC 12 Extreme that packs a 12th-gen Intel processor, but require a bit of work after purchase (Intel NUC models are “barebones” PCs without storage and operating system, which means you must purchase and install both an SSD and a Microsoft Windows license before you can use the system). Others in this category are tiny, low-cost all-in-one systems, like the square 4-inch Beelink Mini S with a 256GB SSD and Windows 11 pre-installed. 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 boosting your desktop performance a bit, 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 office
CPU: Apple M1| Chart: 8-core Apple M1 graphics processor| RAM: 8 GB DDR4 | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Cut: 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches
Best for: Daily office work and creative editing.
The Apple Mac Mini M1 is the best desktop computer Apple has made in years. It might not have quite the same raw power as 2019’s Mac Pro, and it’s not as impressive as the much more expensive Mac Studio, but for performance, efficiency and compact design , the M1 Mac Mini is by far the best. It’s also what makes it our top pick for the best mini PC, because nothing else really stands up to it. Its performance is outstanding, whether it’s web browsing, research for work or school, or video editing. It can even handle casual games thanks to the surprisingly capable Apple M1 GPU.
This mini PC is also quiet – you have to put your ear to the case to hear its 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 it externally with a Thunderbolt 3 drive for maximum performance, or if you’re technically interested, you can expand the internal storage as well. It has USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and Gigabit Ethernet.
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 for the presence of a real graphics card inside. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is a low-power version that lacks the performance punch of the best graphics cards; nevertheless, it’s still a real GPU inside a small computer that you can use to play everything in your Steam library. It’s very thin – much thinner than the dimensions of the base would suggest – so it’s easy to fit on a shelf or storage unit when not in use.
This mini PC has a ton 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 (supporting 8K graphics and quad monitors) on the back. Plus, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 for fast connectivity.
Ventilation on the chassis keeps its internal components cool. However, while it has a capable 11th Gen Intel processor and Nvidia GPU, it doesn’t include memory or storage as standard, and you’ll also need to purchase a Microsoft Windows license. These costs add up beyond the system itself, but it also means you can tailor the system to your needs and upgrade it if needed, later, which few other mini PCs can claim.
Best for: Home media server or simple web browsing.
The MeLe PCG02 PC stick is a real little computer. Measuring a similar size to dedicated streaming devices, this tiny little device is a fully functional Windows 11 Pro (or Linux) PC, with a robust selection of ports to expand its functionality. With two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, a Micro SD card slot, and support for Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2, you can connect just about anything to this PC stick. If you want to expand the storage, just add an external drive. Want to connect it to multiple networks? You have different ways to do it. There’s even an adjustable antenna to ensure you have good Wi-Fi coverage.
The 128GB of onboard storage isn’t big or fast, but it’s enough for an operating system and a few of your favorite apps, and you can easily expand it with an extra SD card or hard drive. There’s support for up to 4K resolution, if you want to use it as a powerful streaming device, and full Wake on LAN support, so you can turn it on without press any button. The CPU and GPU aren’t super powerful, but they’re sufficient for everyday web browsing and office tasks.
Best for: An affordable desktop work machine or a small HTPC.
If you want a really tiny mini PC, the Beelink Mini S measures four inches on each side, and yet packs a capable Intel Celeron processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage (a 512GB version costs more). The 11th Gen quad-core processor has plenty of power for basic video transcoding for HTPC machines, and it’s up to the task of web browsing and responding to emails. It’s not an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen processor, but it’s all you need for a mini PC.
Even on such a small chassis, this device has a good selection of ports, including four USB Type-A, a pair of HDMI outputs, a headphone jack and a gigabit Ethernet port. VESA mount lets you mount it on a wall and out of the way. It comes with a one year warranty.
Very small and easy to assemble frame
Good choice of ports
Lacks the performance of more traditional processors
Even though gaming PCs work best with a dedicated graphics chip, it’s not always necessary. In the Acemagician mini gaming PC, you get an AMD Ryzen 5500U mobile processor, which features seven AMD Radeon Vega graphics cores to deliver performance on par with the most affordable gaming laptops. This means it has enough power to handle most esports games, especially older ones like League of Legends, DotA 2, or CS:GO, at high frame rates. And it can also handle other cloud and casual games. Serious gamers will want more than this machine offers, but for a basic bedroom or homework machine for playing games, this is a solid and relatively inexpensive option.
Also worth noting: this model packs 16GB of DDR4 memory and a 512GB SSD, making this machine fast and responsive in day-to-day use. It’s a bit larger than some of the other mini PCs on this list, but it’s no bigger than a home console. Moreover, this mini PC has a unique look and sophisticated RGB lighting which together help 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.