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Gone are the days when PC gaming would demand a lot of space. Even though the convention of building your own PC with awesome mid towers and beefy components is still the way to go, mini gaming PCs have become more popular than ever. The e-sports industry has a lot to do with this, as the portability of powerful gaming PCs is in high demand.
Best Mini Gaming PCs Reviewed
Mini Gaming PCs offer a lot of perks such as portability and a smaller footprint, and they now come with the most powerful desktop hardware you can possibly get. We’ve reviewed the best mini desktop gaming PCs available right now in 2019 from brands like Corsair, MSI, Lenovo, and more.
Corsair One i160
The Corsair One i160 is a powerful, “dream” mini gaming PC. It is powered by the Intel 9th Generation Core i9-9900K, a whopping 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and an Nvidia 2080 RTX Ti. You get all the RGB goodness and liquid cooling solution for a high-end gaming PC in an incredibly small form factor.
If money isn’t an issue and you have close to $4000 at your disposal, there isn’t a better mini gaming PC available at the moment that can beat the specs and performance offered by Corsair One i160.
- CPU: Intel 9th Generation Core i9-9900K
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- RAM: 32GB DDR4-2666MHz
- Storage: 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD; 2 TB 5400RPM 2.5” HDD
- Cooling: Liquid Cooled CPU/GPU
The Corsair One i160 is simply the most powerful pre-built mini gaming PC in the world right now. Corsair has been releasing the One series of mini gaming PCs for a while now, and they’re always packed with a lot of power, but they’ve one-upped themselves with this monstrosity by cramming it with the most powerful hardware for gaming currently available.
Powering this mini-behemoth is Intel’s latest and most powerful consumer-based CPU, the Core i9 9900K. Paired with this ultra-fast processor is the RTX 2080 Ti. Corsair has also added in 32GB of RAM, just because.
It’s an almost unfair amount of raw computing power, but it serves its purpose. This is a true 4K gaming computer in all its glory, and it doesn’t need to take up half the space of any desktop. In fact, it serves its purpose wonderfully well resting alongside a 4K TV if you’ll use this PC exclusively for 4K gaming. It’ll run all modern games at ultra at 4K resolution and 60fps (average) without any problem.
That said, it would be a shame to use this powerful PC exclusively for gaming. For content creators who double as games and especially for streamers, this is a dream rig. It’s got all the multi-core processing power you’ll need for video editing and content creation, and it offers more than enough juice for streaming while gaming.
If we were to nitpick about anything in this Corsair mini gaming PC, it would be about the RAM speeds. Corsair slapped in a stupendous 32GB of DDR4 RAM, but we wish they’d have installed 16GB instead but at faster speeds. This may have not translated into a tangible improvement in gaming, but faster RAM would’ve done wonders for content creators.
Moving on to the hardware of this device, you get the signature Corsair modern yet understated design when the thing is off. Run some power through it and you’ll be greeted by a pair of sleek RGB LED strips right at the front. The design is modern, classy, and smart from Corsair, and it doesn’t have all the sharp angles and excessive bling that plagues the modern gaming hardware niche.
Upfront, you’ll get a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a headphone/mic combo jack, and an HDMI port. The rear size has three DisplayPorts, Ethernet, PS/2 (no idea why), two USB 3.1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports; and two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, out of which one is Type-C. There is also dual-band Wi-Fi integrated into this mini gaming PC, along with 7.1-channel HD audio.
The system runs extremely cool thanks to liquid cooling solutions for the CPU and GPU. This also means you can push the clocks of the two hardware components to great limits, further boosting the performance of this compact small form factor gaming PC.
Corsair has also made this gaming PC extremely upgradeable, although there’s little sense to upgrade anything (other than maybe the RAM, if you want higher clock speeds) because it features the most powerful components to date. You should be careful overall though since the Core i9 9900K runs notoriously hot, and the compactness of the case doesn’t help.
This is an expensive product for sure, but it is by far the most powerful mini gaming PC that currently exists. It has a silent operation, unmatched performance, a small form factor, and extremely sleek design.
Best for Everyone Else
If the Corsair One i160 is too powerful and too expensive for you, MSI offers an excellent alternative at a great price with the Trident X.
- CPU: Intel 9th Generation Core i7-9700K
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
- RAM: 16GB DDR4-2666MHz
- Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD
- Cooling: Air Cooled CPU/GPU
The MSI Trident X takes a different approach to the Corsair One mini desktop gaming PC. Instead of a balanced look, MSI has built the Trident X to be extremely slim and vertical. Liquid cooling is eschewed for air cooling for the MSI RTX 2070 and the Core i7 9700K inside, and the case fans have RGB lighting for some added bling that seeps out from one side.
The target audience here very clearly the high-end esports focused gamer, though the PC certainly packs a good enough punch to serve other functionalities. It’s not an all-around powerhouse like our top pick to handle the most complex computing tasks in addition to gaming, but it’s definitely viable enough thanks to its 8-core processor and powerful high-end GPU.
Gaming on 1440K with the MSI Trident X is an absolute breeze. The RTX 2070 packs more than enough of a punch to handle most games at that resolution. For an additional sum, you can get this mini gaming PC with an MSI RTX 2080 as well, but we feel the version with the RTX 2070 offers the best value for a pre-built high-end mini gaming PC.
The design of the MSI Trident X is more conventionally “gamer-esque” than that of the Corsair One i160. Corsair takes a modern and sophisticated approach to its case design and internal arrangement, while MSI goes the more conventional route with sharper edges and bolder contours. Thankfully, it never really succeeds in looking gawdy.
The RGB lighting accents are tame but eye-catching. The small fan on the side shows of the RGB rim through the case through the tinted glass, whereas the front of it has some understated yet stylish customizable RGB patterns. On the other side, you’ll find the vertically mounted RTX 2070 peeping through a cut-out made to watch its fans move.
At the front of the case, you’ll find a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB 2.0 port, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. Two separate jacks for headphone and mic are also available for front connection. Around the back, you’ll find two more USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB 3.1 ports, and another USB Type-C port. The graphics card itself has two display ports and a single HDMI 2.0 port. It’s not quite as much as the Corsair One i160 but should offer more than enough connectivity to plug your main gaming peripherals.
We also greatly appreciate the accessibility this case offers. There is a chance of things getting too hot because of the strictly air cooled components in this case, but everything else is replaceable. It’s not mind-blowingly amazing like our top pick, but it costs significantly less to be within the reach of most high-end gamers playing on 1440p.
Value Pick for Esport Gaming
Lenovo Legion C530 Cube
The Portable 1080p Rig
The Lenovo Legion C530 offers mid-range 1080p focused performance with the C730 Cube, pairing an 8th Generation Core i7 8700 with the ever-popular Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB. It’s older hardware, but the Lenovo Legion C530 is still relevant as an excellent e-sport gaming mini PC.
Lenovo Legion C530 is by no means perfect, but it offers great e-sport focused performance at a decent price in a unique form factor, making it an ideal rig for those looking to own a system they can take anywhere.
- CPU: Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8700
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- RAM: 8GB DDR4-2666MHz
- Storage: 1TB HDD; 128GB PCIe SSD
- Cooling: Air Cooled CPU/GPU
The Lenovo Legion C530 is targeted for the e-sport audience looking to carry their mini desktop gaming PC around to tournaments. This is especially evident by the design of the chassis of this computer; it features an easy-carry handle right up top, and the design overall is similar to a bulky briefcase.
The model we’ve selected here is the one with the beefiest specs. Lenovo does offer the C730 with higher-end specs such as 9th Generation Intel Processors and Nvidia RTX 20-series graphics card, but it costs much more than what you’ll pay for the equally portable but more wallet-friendly C530.
Inside, this box, you’ll find the GTX 1060 6GB paired with a Core i7 8700 running at 3.2GHz. It’s important to note that this is not an unlocked Core i7. As a result, you’re stuck with these speeds till the end of time, unless of course, you take Turbo Boost into account, which can bump the speed up to 4.60GHz.
Nevertheless, this is a clearly underclocked Core i7. Thankfully, it’s not low-powered enough to bottleneck the full-sized GTX 1060, which is still a popular card even in 2019 and requires little reason to replace if you’re gaming at 1080p.
And that’s exactly the resolution you’ll ideally want to limit yourself to with the Legion C530. The graphics card is simply incapable of handling most modern games at 1440p, let alone 4K. 1080p performance however is fantastic, and it’s what has made the GTX 1060 one of the most loved and popular graphics cards ever made by Nvidia.
The specs are discrete, and every PC gamer should know what to expect from the hardware components. It’s the design of the case that is quirky and polarizing. Instead of opting for a slim design like the MSI Trident X, Lenovo has preferred a boxier one (hence the Cube name). Up top, you’ll see a red glow that (sadly) can’t be customized.
We’re not huge fans of the red glow, but if you want RGB color you’ll have to pay extra to avail the C730 instead. Glaring through the see-through top gives a partial view of the graphics card. There’s no much as to look at, but it’s a simple yet elegant internal arrangement.
The ports are where the Lenovo C530 limits itself. There isn’t any easy access upfront. You get most of the port options at the back, which include a plethora of USB Type-A connections, plus the connections you get with the graphics card. The front ports are inconveniently located under a lip.
Still, it makes sense to have such minimal port options, given this mini gaming PC is designed to be carried around for LAN parties and tournaments. It certainly makes the Legion C530 a great choice for gamers who have frequent LAN parties or professional e-sport gamers who want a portable mini PC, and that’s what we recommend this product for.
Best Customized Build Option
Origin succeeds in blending all the wonderful perks of owning a small form factor mini gaming PC and deciding exactly what you want in it. Through their huge customization options, you can create your dream PC in a small, portable form and avail all the additional perks Origin provides with it.
If you’re looking for a compact, customizable and easy-to-upgrade PC that delivers high-end gaming performance then you should definitely consider the Origin Chronos.
If we started listing the possible specs for the Origin Chronos, we’d have to fill an entire page. This is because Origin offers just about every type of modern CPU, GPU, RAM size (and speed), storage, and aesthetic customization possible.
The only limiting factor with the Origin Chronos is your budget. Pick a budget for yourself, then build the PC through their customization interface online to your liking based on that budget. You’ll start off by choosing the colors and finish of the case, with the option to integrate RGB LEDs in it.
The truly awesome then starts on the next page. Origin gives you an option to build either an Intel-based computer or an AMD Ryzen one. You have options such as all of the major 9th Generation Intel Core processors or the popular Ryzen 2nd Generation processors to avail. You can even choose to build a content creation focused mini desktop PC with the Skylake-X Refresh processors, but that’s a digression, given those processors aren’t ideal for gaming.
The options for GPUs range from the latest Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti and goes all the way to the crazy 24GB GeForce RTX Titan. Similarly, Origin offers a plethora of storage and RAM options with the latest and great tech and speeds.
The Origin custom route is a great way to build the ideal mini gaming PC out there if you’re not satisfied by the fixed options offered by companies like Corsair, MSI, Lenovo, and others.