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The Top 5 Mini PCs Worth Buying in Late 2023 ($159 for an Entire PC?)

What if I told you there’s a cheaper Windows or Linux equivalent to a Mac Mini that’s just a little bit bigger than a Raspberry Pi?

raspberry pi

(Raspberry Pi powered by ARM pictured above.)

…and that with recent improvements in the CPU industry, the integrated graphics onboard these GPU-less machines are even capable of light to medium-use gaming.

On top of being perfectly capable for any type of regular daily browsing use, or office and work use.

Plus, these machines are frequently available for a few hundred dollars and would fit on any desk.

Does that tickle your curiosity?

Because if it does, I have good news for you…

In this post, I’ll be breaking down the top 5 current mini PC options available on the market as of late 2023.

Let’s dive in:

Best Budget Mini PC

Beelink MINI S

beelink mini s

This mini machine isn’t much, but depending on the use case… it can definitely get the job done.

The best part is the fact this clocks in at an affordable $159 for the base option.

Here’s what it comes with:

  • 4 Core Intel N95 (5456 CPU mark)
  • 256GB M.2 SATA3 SSD
  • 8GB DDR4 (up to 3200MHZ)
  • 12th generation Intel UHD integrated graphics
  • WiFi 5

Great for a streaming machine, browsing the internet, or light office use.

It’s available here on Amazon.

Best Work Mini PC

Beelink SER6 PRO

The Beelink SER6 PRO is a rather beefy machine that clocks in at an affordable $629.

Crunchbits, a popular hosting provider over on our sister forum LowEndTalk uses these mini PCs in their office.

They even shared a benchmark for it!

# ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## #
# Yet-Another-Bench-Script #
# v2023-04-23 #
# https://github.com/masonr/yet-another-bench-script #
# ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## #

Wed Aug 16 11:42:36 PM PDT 2023

Basic System Information:
Uptime : 56 days, 6 hours, 13 minutes
Processor : AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS with Radeon Graphics
CPU cores : 16 @ 1600.000 MHz
AES-NI : ✔ Enabled
VM-x/AMD-V : ✔ Enabled
RAM : 23.2 GiB
Swap : 20.0 GiB
Disk : 464.5 GiB
Distro : Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS
Kernel : 6.2.6-76060206-generic
VM Type : NONE
IPv4/IPv6 : ✔ Online / ❌ Offline

IPv4 Network Information:
ASN : AS69
Host : Dwayne Pipe
Location : Washington (WA)
Country : United States

fio Disk Speed Tests (Mixed R/W 50/50):
Block Size | 4k (IOPS) | 64k (IOPS)
------ | --- ---- | ---- ----
Read | 344.69 MB/s (86.1k) | 549.13 MB/s (8.5k)
Write | 345.60 MB/s (86.4k) | 552.02 MB/s (8.6k)
Total | 690.30 MB/s (172.5k) | 1.10 GB/s (17.2k)
| |
Block Size | 512k (IOPS) | 1m (IOPS)
------ | --- ---- | ---- ----
Read | 666.30 MB/s (1.3k) | 864.74 MB/s (844)
Write | 701.70 MB/s (1.3k) | 922.34 MB/s (900)
Total | 1.36 GB/s (2.6k) | 1.78 GB/s (1.7k)

Geekbench 6 Benchmark Test:
Test | Value
Single Core | 2032
Multi Core | 9993
Full Test | https://browser.geekbench.com/v6/cpu/2292321

YABS completed in 6 min 22 sec

Here’s what it comes with:

  • 8 Core Ryzen 7 7735HS CPU (24193 CPU mark)
  • 500GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe
  • 32GB DDR5 (4800Mhz)
  • Radeon 680M integrated graphics
  • WiFi 6

Sleek-looking mini PC that’ll be able to handle almost everything you throw at it. Great for office use.

It’s available here on Amazon.

By the way, the Beelink SER5 (last generation) is worth consideration and is available with 16GB ram, 500GB NVMe for $359 on Amazon.

Best Gaming Mini PC

Minisforum UM790 Pro

Minisforum 790

This is the newest, highest-end mini PC practically available.

It has a barebones version (no ram or SSD included)  for $519, a 32GB/512GB SSD option for $669, or a 64GB/1TB SSD option for $789.

Here’s what it includes:

  • 8 Core Ryzen 9  7940HS (31079 CPU mark)
  • Two DDR5 SODIMM slots up to 5600MHZ and 64GB (depending on options selected)
  • Dual PCIe 4.0 Slots (supports RAID0 or Raid 1)
  • Dual WiFI 6E
  • Radeon 780 integrated graphics (compare to GTX 1650 dedicated GPU)

The UM790 also includes Minisforum proprietary cooling technology, which is really one of the main reasons I recommend the UM790. Thermals are the biggest issue for gaming across all mini PCs.

I debated between recommending the Beelink GTR 7 7840 HS and the UM790… and decided on the UM790, mostly due to cooling. The GTR 7 is practically an equivalent machine and is worth considering too.

For the size it is and the price, it is… the level of power Minisforum has managed to pack into this is impressive, especially if you tweak throttling a little bit (which isn’t a big issue as-is).

It’s not going to replace your desktop PC with an RTX 3080 or whatever else in it… but it’s certainly a valid competitor with the advertised FPS of games like League of Legends clocking in at 180 FPS.

You can get it directly on Minisforum here.

Before you pull the trigger on anything…

You might also want to check out the Minisforum Neptune HX99G first, which goes for just under $900 on Amazon and includes an AMD Radeon RX 6600M.

My Mini PC Recommendation

Minisforum UM590 Barebones

Right now on the official Minisforum website, you can obtain a UM590 barebones version (no ram or SSD included) for $229.

Anyone with basic technical knowledge could buy some cheap ram and an NVMe drive and slap it in.

It comes with support for up to 32GB DDR4 ram and supports an NVMe drive or one 2.5-inch SATA HDD.

Besides that, here’s what you’d be getting:

  • 8 core Ryzen 9 5900HX (22783 CPU mark)
  • Integrated Vega 8 graphics
  • WiFi 6

By spending a little more time and effort (than on the budget option listed above), you can get nearly quadruple the performance of the cheapest machine here.

This machine is entirely capable of running games like League of Legends, doing school or office work, and beyond.

The barebones version is available on Minisforum here.

Honarary Mention Mini PC

GMKtec NucBox K4


This is a runner-up to both the Minisforum UM790 and the Beelink GTR7.

A couple of corners were cut, but still a very solid product at a very competitive price.

You can get a barebones version for $499, or a 32GB ram/1TB NVMe SSD option for $649.

Here’s what it includes:

  • 8 core Ryzen 9 7940HS (31079 CPU mark)
  • Two DDR5 SODIMM slots with expansion up to 64GB (depending on options selected)
  • M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot (depending on options selected)
  • Radeon 780 integrated graphics (compare to GTX 1650 dedicated GPU)
  • WiFi 6

With a CPU pass mark score of over 30,000 and integrated graphics that compare to a dedicated 1650 GPU at the price of $649 (non-barebones version)…

That’s hard to beat. Especially with the PC being the size of your hand.

You can buy it directly on GMKtec here.

What a Time To Be Alive

With computers getting increasingly more powerful while shrinking in size, it’s a particularly interesting time to be alive.

First, we had the Raspberry Pi, now we have fully functional computers powerful enough to game on Windows that can be transported in your pocket.

Crazy how fast technology evolves.

Even if you already have a main desktop, picking up one of these mini PCs would make for a great project.

Think of the endless possibilities:

  • The ultimate emulator
  • The ultimate streaming PC
  • DNS adblocking
  • Sending it to a colocation provider and having an incredible server for the cheap.
  • That one Minecraft server you’ve been promising your nephew you would host for them
  • Idling it in your closet

…and beyond 😉

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