Mini PCs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their compact size and versatility. They are a great option for those who want a powerful computer but have limited space. Mini PCs are also perfect for retro gaming enthusiasts who want to play classic games on modern hardware. In this article, I will be discussing the best mini PCs for retro gaming.
When it comes to purchasing a mini PC for retro gaming, there are a few critical things to consider. Firstly, the mini PC should have enough processing power to handle retro games. It should also have sufficient storage space to store all the games you want to play. Additionally, it should have the necessary ports to connect to your monitor and peripherals.
After extensive research and testing, I have identified the top mini PCs for retro gaming. These mini PCs offer excellent performance, storage capacity, and connectivity options. Whether you are a fan of classic arcade games or old-school console games, these mini PCs will allow you to relive your favorite gaming memories.
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Best Mini PCs for Retro Gaming
As a retro gaming enthusiast, I know how important it is to have the right tools for the job. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the best mini PCs for retro gaming. These small but powerful machines are perfect for running classic games from the ’80s and ’90s, and they won’t take up too much space in your gaming setup. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, these mini PCs are sure to provide you with a fantastic retro gaming experience. So without further ado, let’s dive into the list!
I highly recommend the Beelink Mini-PC for anyone looking for a powerful and compact computer for retro gaming.
- The powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and 8 core AMD Radeon Graphics provide excellent gaming performance.
- The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 500GB PCIe 3.0 SSD offer quick load times and plenty of storage space.
- The USB3.2 Gen2, WiFi 6, and BT 5.2 provide fast and stable wireless connections.
- The price may be a bit steep for some users.
- The computer may run a bit hot during extended gaming sessions.
- Some users may find the compact size difficult to work with.
The Beelink Mini-PC is a powerhouse of a computer, handling all of my retro gaming needs with ease. The powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and 8 core AMD Radeon Graphics deliver smooth and fast gameplay, even with demanding games. The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 500GB PCIe 3.0 SSD provide quick load times and plenty of storage space for all of my games and files.
The USB3.2 Gen2, WiFi 6, and BT 5.2 all work flawlessly, providing fast and stable wireless connections for all of my peripherals. The 4K UHD triple display support is also a nice touch, allowing me to expand my viewing area across three monitors.
The only downsides to the Beelink Mini-PC are the price, which may be a bit steep for some users, and the fact that the computer may run a bit hot during extended gaming sessions. Additionally, some users may find the compact size difficult to work with, but I personally find it to be a great space-saving feature.
Overall, I highly recommend the Beelink Mini-PC for anyone looking for a powerful and compact computer for retro gaming.
If you’re looking for a powerful mini PC that can handle retro gaming, then the ACEMAGICIAN Mini Gaming PC is definitely worth considering.
- With its AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor and Radeon RX Vega8 Graphics, this mini computer delivers powerful performance and smooth running for all your favorite games like APEX, CSGO, PUBG, COD, DOTA2, RUST, GTA5, and more.
- The dual 1G 2.5G RJ45 ports provide fast network speeds up to 1000Mbps, making it ideal for working, gaming, and surfing the internet.
- The dual channel 16GB RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD allow the small PC to run several high-performance operations simultaneously.
- The ACEMAGICIAN Mini Gaming PC is a bit pricey compared to other mini PCs on the market.
- The included user manual could be more detailed and informative.
- The mini PC’s fan can get a bit noisy when running intensive games or applications.
I was really impressed with the ACEMAGICIAN Mini Gaming PC’s performance when it came to retro gaming. The AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor and Radeon RX Vega8 Graphics provide powerful performance and smooth running for all your favorite games. The dual 1G 2.5G RJ45 ports also provide fast network speeds up to 1000Mbps, which is ideal for working, gaming, and surfing the internet.
The dual channel 16GB RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD also allow the small PC to run several high-performance operations simultaneously. However, the ACEMAGICIAN Mini Gaming PC is a bit pricey compared to other mini PCs on the market, and the included user manual could be more detailed and informative.
One downside to the mini PC is that the fan can get a bit noisy when running intensive games or applications. Overall, I would recommend the ACEMAGICIAN Mini Gaming PC to anyone looking for a powerful mini PC for retro gaming.
If you’re looking for a mini PC that can handle retro gaming, the GenMachine Mini PC Windows 11 is definitely worth considering.
- This mini PC is incredibly tiny and lightweight, so it’s easy to take with you wherever you go.
- It has a wide variety of ports, including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Type-C, RJ45, and 3.5mm audio jack, so you can connect all of your devices.
- It supports triple displays, so you can work more efficiently.
- The price is a bit high compared to other mini PCs on the market.
- It’s not the most powerful mini PC out there, so it may struggle with more demanding games.
- The fan can be a bit noisy when the computer is working hard.
I was really impressed with the GenMachine Mini PC Windows 11. It’s incredibly tiny and lightweight, so it’s perfect for taking with you when you’re on the go. Despite its small size, it has a wide variety of ports, so you can connect all of your devices without any issues.
One of the things I really liked about this mini PC is that it supports triple displays. This is great if you’re someone who needs to work on multiple projects at once. It also means you can have a more immersive gaming experience.
The only downside to the GenMachine Mini PC Windows 11 is the price. It’s definitely on the higher end compared to other mini PCs on the market. Additionally, it’s not the most powerful mini PC out there, so it may struggle with more demanding games. Finally, the fan can be a bit noisy when the computer is working hard.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the GenMachine Mini PC Windows 11 to anyone who is looking for a mini PC that can handle retro gaming. It’s small, lightweight, and has a wide variety of ports, making it a great option for anyone who needs to work on the go.
If you are looking for a mini PC that can handle light office work, online education, and 4K video playback, the BOSGAME B95 Mini PC is a great choice. It is compact, powerful, and easy to carry anywhere you go.
- The BOSGAME B95 Mini PC is powered by the latest Intel 12th Gen processor Alder Lake-N95, delivering 20% higher performance than N5105 PCs.
- It has UHD Graphics GPU and 4K triple screen output, allowing you to connect up to 3 4K@60Hz displays.
- The BOSGAME B95 Mini PC comes with multiple interfaces, including 4 USB3.2 Gen2, 2 HDMI2.0, 1 Type-C, 1 1000M LAN, 1 Audio Jack, and 1 DC Jack.
- The expandable storage is not included.
- Some users may find the CPU temperature a bit high.
- The fan can be a bit noisy at times.
I recently got my hands on the BOSGAME B95 Mini PC, and I must say that I am impressed with its performance and compact design. The processor is powerful enough to handle most tasks, and the graphics card delivers excellent performance. The multiple interfaces make it easy to connect to various devices, and the compact size makes it easy to carry around.
One of the things I love about this mini PC is its UHD Graphics GPU and 4K triple screen output. It allows me to connect up to 3 4K@60Hz displays, which is great for multitasking and productivity. The USB3.2 Gen2 ports run up to two-times faster than USB3.0, and the 1000M LAN provides fast and reliable internet connectivity.
However, the expandable storage is not included, and some users may find the CPU temperature a bit high. The fan can be a bit noisy at times, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. Overall, I would highly recommend the BOSGAME B95 Mini PC to anyone looking for a compact and powerful mini PC for light office work, online education, and 4K video playback.
If you’re looking for a powerful mini PC that can handle retro gaming, the KAMRUI GK3 Plus Mini PC is a great option.
- The 12th Intel Alder Lake N95 processor provides powerful performance and smoother running.
- With 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 SSD, this mini PC is speedy and responsive.
- The small size of the KAMRUI GK3 Plus Mini PC makes it easy to place in crowded workstations or small spaces.
- The integrated graphics card may not be sufficient for more demanding games.
- The lack of included 2.5″ SSD storage may be a drawback for some users.
- The fan cooling system can be a bit noisy under heavy loads.
I’ve been using the KAMRUI GK3 Plus Mini PC for a few weeks now, and overall I’m impressed with its performance. The 12th Intel Alder Lake N95 processor provides a noticeable boost in speed compared to other mini PCs I’ve used in the past. The 16GB of RAM and 512GB M.2 SSD also make it snappy and responsive, even when multitasking.
One thing to keep in mind is that the integrated graphics card may not be sufficient for more demanding games. However, it handles retro gaming quite well. I was able to play classic titles like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog without any issues.
The small size of the KAMRUI GK3 Plus Mini PC is a definite plus. It’s easy to place in crowded workstations or small spaces. I also appreciate the option to mount it behind a computer monitor using VESA, which makes it a great choice for a pseudo “All-in-One” setup.
The lack of included 2.5″ SSD storage may be a drawback for some users. However, it’s easy enough to add your own if you need more storage space. The fan cooling system can also be a bit noisy under heavy loads, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
Overall, I would recommend the KAMRUI GK3 Plus Mini PC for anyone looking for a powerful mini PC that can handle retro gaming. The 12th Intel Alder Lake N95 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB M.2 SSD make it a great choice for anyone who needs a speedy and responsive computer in a small package.
GMKtec Mini PC Windows 11 Pro Intel N5105, 8GB RAM 128GB Hard Drive Desktop Mini Computer, Micro Computer with Dual HDMI 4K, Dual DDR4, Dual WiFi, RJ45 Ethernet, BT4.2 & Cooling Fans
If you’re looking for a mini PC that can handle retro gaming, then the GMKtec Mini PC is a great option. It offers powerful performance, immersive graphics, and fast network connectivity.
- The Intel N5105 10nm 4-core 4-thread 2.0G-2.9G TDP 10W 4MB L3 Smart Cache CPU provides high performance for smooth retro gaming.
- With 8GB dual channel DDR4/LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB SATA M.2 2242/NVMe M.2 SSD, this mini PC offers fast operation speeds and ample storage capacity.
- The GMKtec Mini PC comes with Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band wifi (AMD RZ608 & wifi 5 speed up to 5Gbp/s), and Giga(RJ45 speed up to 1000M), making networked operations faster and more stable.
- The GMKtec Mini PC does not come with a keyboard or mouse, so you will need to purchase those separately.
- The mini PC can get quite warm during use, so it’s important to ensure proper ventilation.
- The GMKtec Mini PC is relatively small, so it may not be suitable for those who need a larger desktop computer.
Overall, the GMKtec Mini PC is a great option for retro gaming. It offers powerful performance, fast network connectivity, and immersive graphics. If you’re looking for a mini PC that can handle retro gaming, then this is definitely worth considering.
I highly recommend the KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC for anyone looking for a powerful and compact computer for retro gaming.
- The 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake-N100 Processor delivers more than 25% higher performance than previous models, making it perfect for light office work, 4K video playback, and online education.
- The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB M.2 SSD provide ample storage and speed, and can be upgraded for even more storage.
- The dual HDMI ports and Intel UHD Graphics support 4K video playback and dual screen display, making it perfect for gaming and home theater use.
- The built-in fan cooling can be a bit noisy when multitasking.
- The VESA mount is not included in the package and must be purchased separately.
- The computer comes with the operating system preinstalled, but some users may prefer to install their own OS.
I was impressed with the KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC’s performance and speed. The compact size makes it perfect for small spaces, and the dual HDMI ports allow for easy multitasking. The built-in fan cooling kept the computer from overheating during extended use, but it can be a bit noisy. The VESA mount is not included in the package, but it’s worth purchasing to free up desk space. Overall, the KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC is a great choice for retro gaming and home entertainment.
If you’re looking for a mini PC that can handle heavy computing tasks smoothly and provide excellent performance, the Beelink Mini PC is a great option for you.
- Equipped with AMD Ryzen 7 5700U and built-in AMD Radeon 8 Cores Graphics 1900 MHz, it can handle heavy computing tasks smoothly.
- Built-in 16GB SO-DIMM DDR4 RAM and 500GB M.2 SSD NVME 2280, it can smoothly handle multiple tasks being performed.
- Supports 4K three-screen display, which brings you a gorgeous visual experience.
- It may not be suitable for those who require a lot of storage space.
- It may not be the best option for those who plan to use it for gaming only.
- It may not be the most affordable option on the market.
I recently tried the Beelink Mini PC for retro gaming and was impressed with its performance. It handled multiple tasks with ease and provided a great visual experience with its 4K three-screen display. The efficient cooling system and WIFI 6 made for a smooth and stable connection. However, the storage space may not be enough for some users and it may not be the best option for those who plan to use it for gaming only. Overall, if you’re looking for a mini PC that can handle heavy computing tasks smoothly and provide excellent performance, the Beelink Mini PC is definitely worth considering.
When looking for the best mini PC for retro gaming, there are a few key features to consider. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:
The most important aspect of any mini PC is its performance. You’ll want to look for a device that has a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card. This will ensure that your retro games run smoothly and without any lag.
Not all mini PCs are created equal when it comes to retro gaming. You’ll want to make sure that the device you choose is compatible with the games you want to play. Look for a mini PC that supports the operating system and software required for your favorite retro games.
When it comes to retro gaming, connectivity is key. You’ll want a mini PC that has plenty of ports for connecting your controllers, speakers, and other peripherals. Look for a device that has USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Size and Design
Mini PCs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that fits your needs. Consider the amount of space you have available and the design of the device. Some mini PCs are designed to be sleek and stylish, while others prioritize functionality over form.
Mini PCs can range in price from under $100 to over $1,000. It’s important to find a device that fits your budget while still offering the features you need for retro gaming. Look for a mini PC that offers good value for the price and doesn’t skimp on important features.
The processor is the heart of any computer, and it’s no different when it comes to mini PCs. Look for a processor that is powerful enough to handle your gaming needs. Intel Core i5 or i7 processors are a good choice, but AMD processors can also be a great option.
The graphics card is another important component when it comes to gaming. Look for a mini PC with a dedicated graphics card, as this will provide better performance than integrated graphics. Nvidia and AMD are the two major graphics card manufacturers to consider.
The amount of RAM you need will depend on the games you want to play. For most retro games, 8GB of RAM should be sufficient. However, if you plan on playing more demanding games, you may want to consider a mini PC with 16GB of RAM.
Storage is another important consideration. Look for a mini PC with a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a traditional hard drive (HDD). SSDs are faster and more reliable than HDDs, which can be prone to failure. A 256GB SSD should be sufficient for most retro gaming needs.
Make sure the mini PC you choose has the connectivity options you need. Look for USB ports, HDMI ports, and Ethernet ports. Wi-Fi connectivity is also important if you plan on playing online games.
Best Mini PCs for Retro Gaming: Top Picks for Classic Gaming Enthusiasts
As a retro gaming enthusiast, I know how important it is to have the right equipment to get the most out of classic games. One of the most crucial pieces of hardware for retro gaming is a mini PC. These compact machines offer a powerful and versatile platform for running emulators and playing classic games from consoles like the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis.
But with so many mini PCs on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for retro gaming. In this article, I will provide an overview of the top mini PCs for retro gaming and highlight the key features to look for when selecting a mini PC. Whether you’re a seasoned retro gamer or just getting started, this guide will help you find the perfect mini PC to relive your favorite classic games.
- Mini PCs are essential for retro gaming and offer a powerful and versatile platform for running emulators and playing classic games from consoles like the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis.
- When selecting a mini PC for retro gaming, it’s important to consider factors like processing power, storage capacity, and graphics capabilities.
- The top mini PCs for retro gaming include the Raspberry Pi 4, the Beelink GT-R Pro, and the Intel NUC 11 Extreme, each of which offers a unique blend of performance and features to suit different gaming needs.
What is Retro Gaming?
As a gamer, I enjoy playing games from different eras. Retro gaming is a term used to describe playing video games from the past on modern devices. It can be a fun way to relive childhood memories or experience classic games for the first time.
Retro gaming has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many gamers seeking out old consoles and games. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming to collect and maintain retro gaming hardware. That’s where mini PCs come in.
Mini PCs are compact desktop computers that can be used to emulate retro gaming consoles. They offer a cost-effective solution to playing classic games without having to invest in multiple consoles and cartridges.
One of the benefits of retro gaming on a mini PC is the ability to customize the gaming experience. Emulators can be configured to enhance graphics, sound, and controls, making the games look and play better than ever before.
In summary, retro gaming is the act of playing video games from the past on modern devices. Mini PCs offer a cost-effective and customizable solution for retro gaming enthusiasts.
Importance of Mini PCs in Retro Gaming
As a retro gaming enthusiast, I have found that mini PCs are an essential component of my gaming setup. Here are some reasons why mini PCs are important for retro gaming:
Mini PCs are designed to be compact, which means they take up less space than traditional desktop computers. This is especially important for retro gamers who may have limited space in their gaming area. With a mini PC, you can enjoy retro gaming without sacrificing valuable desk space.
Mini PCs may be small, but they can pack a powerful punch. Many mini PCs are equipped with high-performance processors and graphics cards that can handle retro gaming emulation and run classic games smoothly. For example, the Beelink SER5 mini PC is a great choice for retro gaming enthusiasts who want a powerful and compact desktop computer. With its AMD Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics, you can enjoy smooth and responsive gameplay.
Mini PCs offer a wide range of customizable options, which means you can tailor your retro gaming setup to your specific needs. For example, you can choose a mini PC with expandable memory and storage options, which allows you to store more games and run more complex emulation software.
Mini PCs are often more budget-friendly than building a custom gaming rig or purchasing a gaming laptop. Retro games don’t demand high-end hardware, so you can save money by opting for a more compact and affordable solution.
In conclusion, mini PCs are an essential component of any retro gaming setup. They offer a space-saving design, powerful performance, customizable options, and a budget-friendly solution.
Top 5 Best Mini PCs for Retro Gaming
When it comes to retro gaming, mini PCs are a great option for those who want to enjoy classic games without investing in a bulky and expensive gaming rig. Here are my top five picks for the best mini PCs for retro gaming:
Raspberry Pi 4
The Raspberry Pi 4 is a popular choice for retro gaming enthusiasts. It is a small, affordable, and versatile mini PC that can run various retro gaming emulators. With its quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 CPU and up to 8GB of RAM, the Raspberry Pi 4 can handle most retro games with ease. Additionally, its GPIO pins make it easy to connect arcade controllers and other retro gaming peripherals.
The Intel NUC is a powerful mini PC that is ideal for retro gaming. It comes with various configurations, including models with Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. With its integrated Intel UHD graphics, the Intel NUC can handle most retro games without any issues. Moreover, it has a compact form factor that makes it easy to set up and use.
ASUS Chromebox 3
The ASUS Chromebox 3 is a mini PC that runs on the Chrome OS. While it may not be the most powerful mini PC on this list, it is still a great option for retro gaming. It has a compact design, multiple USB ports, and can run various retro gaming emulators. Additionally, it comes with built-in virus protection and automatic updates, making it a secure and hassle-free option.
HP Elite Slice
The HP Elite Slice is a modular mini PC that is perfect for retro gaming. It has a sleek and stylish design and can be customized with various modules, including an optical disk drive, an audio module, and a VESA mount. With its Intel Core i5 processor and up to 32GB of RAM, the HP Elite Slice can handle most retro games with ease.
Zotac ZBOX PI225
The Zotac ZBOX PI225 is a small and affordable mini PC that is ideal for retro gaming on a budget. While it may not be the most powerful mini PC on this list, it can still run various retro gaming emulators. With its fanless design and low power consumption, the Zotac ZBOX PI225 is a quiet and energy-efficient option for retro gaming.
Overall, these are my top five picks for the best mini PCs for retro gaming. Depending on your preferences and budget, one of these mini PCs may be the perfect fit for your retro gaming needs.
Key Features to Look for in a Mini PC for Retro Gaming
When searching for the best mini PC for retro gaming, there are several key features to consider to ensure a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. In this section, I will discuss the most important features to look for in a mini PC for retro gaming.
One of the most important features to consider in a mini PC for retro gaming is processing power. A powerful processor is essential for running games smoothly without any lag or stuttering. When shopping for a mini PC for retro gaming, look for a processor with a high clock speed and multiple cores. Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors are popular choices for gaming, but AMD Ryzen processors are also worth considering.
Another important feature to consider is the graphics card. A dedicated graphics card will provide better visuals and a more immersive gaming experience. Look for a mini PC with a dedicated graphics card, such as an NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon card. The graphics card should have enough VRAM to handle retro games with ease.
Memory, or RAM, is another important factor to consider when shopping for a mini PC for retro gaming. The more RAM your mini PC has, the better it will perform when running multiple applications or games at once. Look for a mini PC with at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB or more is ideal for gaming.
Storage is also an important factor to consider when shopping for a mini PC for retro gaming. Look for a mini PC with fast and reliable storage, such as an SSD. A larger storage capacity is also beneficial, as retro games can take up a lot of space. Look for a mini PC with at least 256GB of storage, but 512GB or more is ideal.
Finally, consider the connectivity options when shopping for a mini PC for retro gaming. Look for a mini PC with plenty of USB ports, as retro game controllers often require USB connections. HDMI and DisplayPort outputs are also important for connecting your mini PC to a monitor or TV. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity can make it easier to connect to the internet and other devices.
By considering these key features when shopping for a mini PC for retro gaming, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.
Setting Up Your Mini PC for Retro Gaming
As someone who has been using mini PCs for retro gaming for a while, I can attest to the fact that setting up your mini PC can be a breeze if you know what you’re doing. Here are some tips to make the process smooth and easy:
1. Choose the Right Mini PC
Choosing the right mini PC is crucial for a smooth retro gaming experience. You need a powerful processor to avoid lag and stuttering, and a dedicated graphics card for better visuals and an immersive gaming experience. Some great options for mini PCs include the Mini IT18 SE, which offers great value for its price, and the Intel NUC 11, which is a bit more expensive but offers even better performance.
2. Install the Right Emulators
Once you have your mini PC, the next step is to install the right emulators. Emulators are software programs that allow you to play games from old consoles on your PC. Some popular emulators include RetroArch, MAME, and Dolphin. Make sure to choose the right emulator for the console you want to emulate.
3. Get the Right Controllers
One of the most important aspects of retro gaming is the controllers. You want to make sure you have the right controllers for the console you’re emulating. For example, if you’re emulating a Super Nintendo, you’ll want to get a controller that looks and feels like the original Super Nintendo controller. You can find a variety of retro-style controllers online for a reasonable price.
4. Organize Your Game Collection
Finally, it’s important to organize your game collection. You don’t want to spend hours searching for the game you want to play. Organize your games by console or by genre to make it easy to find what you’re looking for. You can use software like LaunchBox or RetroPie to help you organize your games.
With these tips, setting up your mini PC for retro gaming should be a breeze. Happy gaming!
After researching and analyzing various mini PCs for retro gaming, I have come to the conclusion that the KAMRUI AK1 PRO Mini PC is the best option for most gamers. Its powerful processor and expandable storage make it ideal for running emulators and playing retro games. Additionally, the dual HDMI ports allow for multiple monitor setups, making it perfect for productivity as well.
While there are other great options available, such as the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Beast Canyon, the KAMRUI AK1 PRO offers the best value for its price. It is a cost-effective solution that allows gamers to access a wide range of games without needing physical cartridges or discs, which can be expensive and rare for certain retro consoles.
One thing to keep in mind is that the small form factor of mini PCs may make it difficult to upgrade components in the future. However, for most retro gaming needs, the KAMRUI AK1 PRO is more than capable of delivering an enjoyable experience.
Overall, the KAMRUI AK1 PRO Mini PC is a solid choice for anyone looking to get into retro gaming. Its powerful specs, expandable storage, and dual HDMI ports make it a versatile and cost-effective solution for all your retro gaming needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some affordable mini PCs for retro gaming?
If you’re looking for an affordable mini PC for retro gaming, the Raspberry Pi 4 and the Beelink SER5 are great options. They offer impressive performance and compatibility with a wide range of retro games.
What is the best mini PC for emulation in 2023?
The Intel NUC 11 Extreme Beast Canyon and the ASUS Mini PC PN63 are some of the best mini PCs for emulation in 2023. They offer powerful hardware and are compatible with a wide range of emulators.
Which mini PC is recommended for Batocera?
The Beelink GT-R and the Intel NUC 11 Performance Kit are recommended mini PCs for Batocera. They offer powerful hardware and are compatible with a wide range of retro games.
What are the top mini PCs for PS2 emulation?
The ASUS Mini PC PN63 and the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Beast Canyon are some of the top mini PCs for PS2 emulation. They offer powerful hardware and are compatible with a wide range of PS2 games.
What is the best mini PC for RetroArch?
The Beelink GT-R and the Intel NUC 11 Performance Kit are some of the best mini PCs for RetroArch. They offer powerful hardware and are compatible with a wide range of retro games.
Can mini PCs provide a good gaming experience?
Yes, mini PCs can provide a good gaming experience. They offer powerful hardware and are compatible with a wide range of retro games and emulators. However, it’s important to choose a mini PC with the right hardware specifications to ensure a smooth and responsive gaming experience.
|Processor||Intel Core i5 or i7, or AMD equivalent|
|Graphics Card||Dedicated Nvidia or AMD graphics card|
|RAM||8GB or 16GB|
|Connectivity||USB, HDMI, Ethernet, Wi-Fi|
With so much choice out there, it can be hard to make the right buying decision. That’s why I have put together this handy guide to the best mini pc for retro gaming you can find today.
I’ve tried all of these machines at one point, and have had plenty of hands on experience with them. In my opinion The Best Mini PC for Retro Gaming is the Zotac Magnus. It has the best all round price for performance without taking up too much room on your desk or TV stand.
Emulation is software which lets you enables one computer system to behave like another computer system. Emulation refers to the ability of a computer program in an electronic device to emulate (or imitate) another program or device. The most common use of emulations is to run a different operating system or video games. So we sometimes need emulation software to perform many tasks.
Nowadays with desktops and laptops, we widely use mini pc. Mini pc provides great performance and people looking for it. Many people need a mini pc to run various software and emulation is one of them. So many of you may be searching for a mini pc for emulation.
Find out the best mini pc for emulation is not an easy job because there are many options that are available. So in this article, we list our top 10 best mini pc for emulation. We will discuss their important features, pros, and cons. It will help you to choose the perfect one for you. So let’s start!
It’s no surprise that Zotac, a company known for its mini graphics cards, is also one of the pioneers of the mini PC industry.
Its Magnus series aims to satisfy the needs of a heavy gamer, wherever they may go. Most Magnus models share the same dimensions: 8.27 inches by 7.99 inches by 2.45 inches. It’s smaller than a PS4and the base model packs a GTX 1660 alongside up to 32 GB RAM and i5-9300H.
There are a dozen iterations of the Magnus. Some even rock a top-tier RTX 2080 or an RTX 2070 Super graphics card. But keep in mind that the models labeled as “barebone” come without storage and RAM. If you’re planning to go down that route, make sure that what you’re planning to use fits your model. See on Amazon
HP Elite Slice
Business meetings tend to get intense. Tons of Excel files alongside a conference call may require some specs to back it up. Well, those specs can also be used for gaming when you’re at home.
The HP Elite Slice is being marketed as a productivity machine but should really be considered a decent all-around system. It has a form that resembles a headphone case and only weighs 2.31 pounds.
Though the Elite Slice doesn’t come with a GTX graphics card, it features an i5-6500T and 16GB of RAM (upgradable to 32GB) and a 128GB SSD alongside a 1TB HDD.
The Intel HD Graphics 530 graphics card inside is more than enough to satisfy your low to mid-level gaming needs.
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Apple Mac mini 2020
Gaming on a Mac used to be a nightmare—not because Apple’s products were lacking in hardware, necessarily. But because most games simply weren’t optimized for it.
Game designers have come a long way since then, though. Most of the popular games out there, like League of Legends and Fortnite, are fully optimized and take advantage of your hardware completely.
The updated base version of the Mac mini features an eighth-gen i3-8100B alongside an Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics card. In terms of specs, the upgraded version only comes with a noticeably better eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor with more storage options.
Its body has that industrial, slick look while only weighing 2.9 pounds. If you’re already in the Apple ecosystem, you can definitely consider the Mac mini.
Intel NUC Extreme Gaming
With its NUC Gaming Kits, Intel aims to deliver a great gaming experience in the size of a console. It also has a great cover that lets everyone know that it’s packing killer specs.
The kits are compact and weigh around two to 2.2 pounds. Keep in mind that some models come without RAM and storage.
The base Extreme Kit model features an i9-9980HK processor alongside an Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics card and 16 GB of RAM. The RAM is upgradeable to 64 GB.https://0ffbb39e377747565473deda52692cd4.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Though it doesn’t feature a dedicated graphics card, NUC’s performance should be more than enough to get smooth frame rates in less demanding games. See on Amazon
Intel NUC Home
If the Extreme kits were too powerful for your needs, the Home kits might be a home run for you.
The possibilities are almost endless with the Intel NUC Home series. You can either build your customized kit or order one of the prebuilt ones featuring an i3, i5, or i7 processor. They’re quite compact and easy to carry around.
While the Home series should be enough for anything work-related and are also VR ready, they might struggle if you decide to crank up the settings to medium or higher. See on Amazon
Acer Chromebox CXI3
Mobile gaming is now bigger than PC gaming and mobile users also need desktop solutions to get their things in order.
Most mobile gamers invest in tablets to give themselves the advantage of a bigger screen. Combined with a decently-sized screen, chromeboxes can turn into a gigantic advantage in mobile games.https://0ffbb39e377747565473deda52692cd4.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Acer Chromebox CXI3 comes with an i5-8250U and 8GB of RAM. It’s essentially cheaper than any Windows equipped machine that shares the same specs since it comes with ChromeOS.
If you’re a PC gamer, getting a chrome device won’t be able to satisfy your gaming needs. But they should be enough for anything work-related. If you find yourself spending more time on mobile games, then the CXI3 may be the choice for you. See on Amazon
Dell CF5C Micro Form Factor Desktop Computer
As its name suggests, the CF5C is one of the most compact options out there when considering its specs. Its form resembles a console and it only weighs 6.1 pounds. The CF5C isn’t customizable and is the top micro PC that Dell has to offer.
The CF5C packs an i5-7500T, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD, and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 graphics card. In terms of specs, it’s more than capable of doing anything work and media related. See on Amazon
You can definitely consider this mini PC if you aren’t a hardcore gamer. The integrated graphics card should be enough to satisfy your low to medium gaming needs.
Sacrificing a good GPU is just the price we have to pay for a smaller form factor and a lighter weight.
HP Z2 Mini G4
Shrinking in size means reducing the workload capability of a mini PC. While this statement is true for most of the market, the HP Z2 Mini G4 could be one of the few examples that goes against it. It’s almost impossible to feel any signs of strain while performing day-to-day tasks with this little devil.
The HP Z2 Mini G4 comes in what can potentially be the most minimalistic case for a mini PC. Its sleek design allows it to blend in with the environment, and it’s also quite hard to tell that it’s a PC from a distance.
The model we tested came with an I5-8500 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Combined with an NVIDIA Quadro P600 graphics, the HP Z2 Mini G4 could run indie games and emulator titles without a sweat.
There are a handful of versions of the Z2 Mini G4, each rocking a different spec sheet. The cooling system inside the box does a great job of keeping the temperatures in check. It could get a bit loud in there when the system’s under load, but the noise isn’t close enough to be annoyingly loud. It could be a deal-breaker, however, if you’re looking for that completely silent experience. See on Amazon
Almost all the mini PCs on our list could easily fit into your backpack, but it’s highly unlikely that you can throw them into your pockets. You may have heard about thumb drive PCs before, but considering most of them struggle with the simplest tasks like turning on, the Azulle Access3 was nothing but a breath of fresh air.
The Azulle Access3 does a pretty good job of stuffing the best hardware inside a stick. The Intel Celeron N4100 processor inside is less than ideal for gaming, but it’s enough for casual content consumption and performing simple tasks like working with documents. What makes this stick PC unique is that it even comes with an Ethernet port, in addition to two USB 3.0 ports, which just goes to show how serious it’s to become your daily driver.
You’ll be getting 4GB of RAM, which may make you say, “hey, my phone has more RAM than that.” But it’s the sweet spot for this little device to perform everything it was designed to do. There aren’t any fans inside, and the Access3 relies on a passive cooling system. This cooling system distributes the heat around quite well, but it can still struggle when it’s pushed to limits. If it gets a bit too hot to handle while streaming videos or other hardware-dependent tasks, you don’t have to worry since the components inside were designed to handle the most extreme temperatures.
Despite featuring USB 3.0, the data transfer speeds were slightly lower than what should have been, but it’s quite hard to complain about that when you can carry around your PC inside a tight jean pocket.
Though Azulle Access3 can handle the lightest of indie games and atari titles, it’s hard to recommend this one to a hardcore gamer. You can pull the trigger on this one if you’re looking to consume more gaming-related content than playing, however, since it was designed to do just that. See on Amazon
Lenovo ThinkCentre M720q Tiny
Though connecting your PC to your router with an Ethernet cable is the best way to eliminate ping and lag, sometimes it may just not be possible. If your router is downstairs and you don’t want to drill a hole through your ceiling, going wireless will be the only option. Most mini PCs come with Wi-Fi adapters inside, but it’s hard to match the quality of the one inside of Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M720q Tiny.
Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M720q Tiny owes most of its wireless connection quality to the antenna slot it has on the back. You should find a small antenna inside its packaging, which you can simply screw in. This antenna increases your mini PC’s Wi-Fi range alongside bettering the overall connection quality.
There’s a lot to consider when picking your ThinkCentre M720q since there countless options when it comes to the internals it stores. The RAM options vary from eight to 16GB, while you can choose from different i3, i5, and i7 processors. You could also decide to bump its storage with a 1TB hard drive or with a larger SSD. All models come with an integrated graphics solution, however, which decreases M720q’s gaming potential.
This compact PC is still enough for users with light gaming habits, and it handles any productivity task like it’s a walk in the park. See on Amazon