Mini PCs are best known as a space saving alternative to laptops. Gaming has always been demanding, and even laptops face scrutiny for being underpowered. So, for 2023, how viable is gaming on a Mini PC?
For early adopters of Mini PCs, the device was a single USB stick that plugged into a television or computer monitor. It took the innovation of products from GEEKOM mini PC to finally bring some legitimacy to the table. The hardware was upgraded, and the software had an easier time optimizing drivers. While the original Mini PC was no more powerful than a top tier media streaming device, the modern Mini PC is now its very own thing. It surpasses a netbook and rests just below a laptop in performance, while sometimes being equal to a Chromebook. But pure hardware performance and software compatibility is not what makes a Mini PC great for gaming.
Game streaming has become a legitimate way to game 24/7. The input lag is gone, and the image is crisp. The most popular way to stream is with Steam, Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now and PlayStation Plus. Some of these are subscription services, others stream directly from the company’s servers, and some are completely free. A common practice is to collect free games and giveaways from places like the online Epic Store. Then, import those same games into your Steam library to make them available for streaming. There are legitimate personal collections of over 300 free games being streamed to a Mini PC without any lag, hiccups or screen tearing.
Before installing a game, check the minimum required specifications to see if it will run. Although streaming gives you the most options for gaming on a Mini PC, that doesn’t mean you should discount local game installs. Mini PCs equipped with a modern Intel processor will also have access to the integrated Iris XE graphic chip. This is one of the best mobile chips on the market, and will let you run a lot of games directly from the Mini PC. Just like with any PC game, adjust the graphical settings to reach your target performance.
Retro gaming is alive and more popular than ever. Emulators for old systems have matured, so emulating directly from a Mini PC is a no brainer. The stronger hardware specifications make a Mini PC a better choice for retro gaming than a Raspberry Pi board. This allows it to make use of the more advanced features provided by emulation related to graphics, sound and speed. For the average user, being able to carry around over 8 console generations in their pocket is incredible. With the additional support for gaming peripherals and attachments, a Mini PC has no equal for portability.
It’s nice to finally have a Mini PC that lives up to the lofty expectations of gaming. The future is bright, and sales have shot up. There is no better time than now for the Mini PC to shine in the gaming world.