Mini PCs, what’s all the hype? The name says it all – a mini PC is, well, a miniature version of a PC. Simplistic though it may be, it remains a valid description. If you’re in the market for a new computer, want all the latest in terms of specs, technology and performance but don’t have a lot of space to spare then you’re in the right place. We’re going to be taking a look at all the best NUC Mini PCs.
Wait, what? NUC? What on earth is that? NUC is short for “Next Unit (of) Computing”. It is a term coined by intel to describe their lines of hyper-miniaturized mini PCs.
The Best NUC Mini PCs 2023
Starting off at the bottom, the best bang for your buck. If you just want a MiniPC that gets the job done, no frills. The kind of PC you can give to your grandmother know she’ll be sorted for years to come. If that’s you then pay attention, we’re looking at the best Budget NUC Mini PCs.
The Best Budget NUC Mini PC 2023 – Beelink GK35
If you’re not in search of a behemoth of computing power, and your typical computer interactions don’t include intense gaming or handling resource-intensive applications, then finding a NUC Mini PC that is both reliable and economical might be your priority. I initially considered recommending the Beelink T4 Pro due to its affordability. However, by extending your budget marginally, you unlock access to a processor with double the cores and a noteworthy increase in RAM and storage capacity. It’s a no-brainer in my book.
Enter the Beelink GK35, which is equipped with an Intel Celeron J4105 quad-core processor that can clock speeds of up to 2.5GHz. Complementing the processor is 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and the storage options peak at a 256GB SSD. These specifications should not be underestimated; the Celeron range of processors has evolved significantly. The escalating power of processors means we need comparatively lesser hardware to perform the same tasks. If you seek a rudimentary computer for browsing, watching videos, and utilizing productivity tools like Office, this machine will serve you well. Besides, you won’t have to break the bank for it. It’s economical, streamlined, and versatile.
One of the highlights of this mini marvel is its capability to support 4K resolution at 60Hz. So, compromising on screen quality isn’t something you need to be worried about. Beelink GK35 is practically a one-size-fits-all PC – attainable, cost-effective, and uncomplicated.
Another feather in its cap is the energy efficiency it brings to the table. With a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of merely 10W, it’s a stark contrast to the 150W guzzled by some high-end machines. This not only reflects positively on your utility bills but is also an environmentally conscious choice.
What we like!
- Energy efficient system using 10W TDP.
- Space inside for 2.5″ HDD or SSD.
- Ideal for home or office work.
- Budget price.
What we don’t like…
- Can’t play the majority of video games
To learn more about our efficient little friend check out our review here and the YouTube video above.
The Best Budget NUC Mini PC 2023 Runner Up – GMKTec G1
The GMKTec G1 NUC Mini PC is a compact powerhouse, tailor-made for the contemporary workspace. It houses an Intel Alder Lake N95 processor, boasting 4 cores and 4 threads, which ensures a striking balance between performance and power conservation. With a ceiling clock speed of 3.4GHz and a 6MB cache, this diminutive machine stands ready to manage both demanding workloads and multitasking with flair, making it an ideal companion for professionals.
Armed with Intel UHD Graphics, the GMKTec G1 delivers visually captivating experiences, be it for boardroom presentations, virtual meetings, or anything in between. The graphics unit is capable of clocking up to 1.2GHz and houses 16 execution units. Furthermore, it possesses the prowess to output 4K video, enabling you to link multiple displays, thereby bolstering your workspace. The NUC Mini PC is also abundant in connectivity options, featuring HDMI, an audio port, Ethernet, and USB-A, facilitating an extensive array of devices and add-ons.
Storage and memory are another domain where the GMKTec G1 Mini PC shines. It is available with 8 or 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200MT/s, and it’s expandable up to a whopping 32GB. This ensures slick multitasking and fluid performance across applications. Moreover, storage options include a 512GB or 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD, expandable to 2TB, which guarantees rapid startups and lightning-fast access to your programs. Rounding out its impressive features, the GMKTec G1 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6, ensuring a stable and swift connection, whether you’re operating from the comfort of your home or stationed in an office.
What we like!
- Powerful Intel Alder Lake N95 CPU provides superior performance for multi-tasking and resource-intensive applications.
- Stunning Intel UHD Graphics delivers high-quality visuals, making it ideal for presentations and video conferencing.
- Fast and efficient storage and memory ensures quick boot-up times and fast application load times.
- Multiple ports provide increased connectivity, making it easy to connect to multiple devices and peripherals.
- Compact design allows for easy transportation and fits seamlessly into any workspace
What we don’t like…
- No dedicated GPU for more intensive graphic design or gaming applications
- Limited upgradability beyond the maximum capacity of 32GB RAM and 2TB storage
The Best Workstation NUC Mini PC 2023 – Beelink SEi 12 Pro
The Beelink SEi 12 PRO NUC mini PC is a tiny powerhouse that’s perfect for those who need a reliable and fast computer without taking up much space. Whether you need it for your living room or office, this NUC mini PC is adaptable. It comes in two different versions. One has an Intel i5-1240P processor and the other has a more robust Intel i7-1260P processor. Both versions have snappy graphics due to Intel Iris Xe, but the i7 model has slightly better graphics performance.
What makes the Beelink SEi 12 PRO NUC Mini PC stand out is its ability to support an incredible amount of memory and storage for such a small device. It can handle up to 64GB of super-fast DDR5 RAM, which means it can run multiple programs without breaking a sweat. On top of that, it can store up to 2TB of data on a nimble m.2 NVMe SSD. Plus, there’s extra space for another 2.5-inch drive if you need even more storage.
Another fantastic feature of the Beelink SEi 12 PRO NUC is its versatility in connecting to other devices. It has two HDMI ports and a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, which means you can have up to three screens connected to this little gadget. This is excellent for multitasking or creating a mega-screen for entertainment. If you’re into video editing or gaming, you can even hook up an external graphics card for extra oomph. For internet, it’s loaded with speedy WiFi 6 for wireless, and a super-fast 2.5G ethernet port for wired connections. Bluetooth 5.2 is also included, which is great for connecting all your wireless gadgets. All of these features are packed in a unit that’s smaller than 5 inches each way – it’s amazing how they fit so much in such a small package!
What we like!
- Small footprint – less than 6 inches in size!
- Very lightweight and portable, ideal for travelling
- High performance Intel processor
- Plenty of ports
- Thunderbolt 4 for eGPU
What we don’t like…
- Poor graphics performance with Intel Iris Xe
The Best Gaming NUC Mini PC 2023 – MINISFORUM NUCXi7
The Minisforum NUCX NUC Mini PC series packs a powerful punch for gamers and professionals alike, all within a stylish and compact case. There are two variants in the lineup: the NUCXi5, which comes equipped with an Intel 11th generation i5-11400H processor, and the NUCXi7, powered by the Intel i7-11800H processor. What’s particularly exciting for gaming enthusiasts is the Nvidia GeForce graphics – RTX 3060 with the i5 model and RTX 3070 with the i7. These graphics cards are more than capable of delivering an excellent gaming experience with their 6GB and 8GB GDDR6 RAM respectively.
The Minisforum NUCX series is not just about processing power; it’s also about flexibility and options. Both the NUCXi5 and NUCXi7 allow for a range of 16GB to 64GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM. Storage won’t be a problem either with options ranging from 512GB up to 2TB of speedy m.2 NVMe PCIe SSD. When it comes to connectivity, the Minisforum NUCX models are rich with ports including three USB 3.2 ports, a Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C port, and an HDMI 2.1 port, which can be combined with the Thunderbolt port for dual monitor setup. For gamers and video editors, the ability to connect external graphics cards (eGPU) is a noteworthy feature.
Size and portability is where the Minisforum NUCX NUC Mini PC models really shine. With dimensions of only 15.4 x 10.2 x 3.14 inches, these mini PCs can fit almost anywhere without cluttering your workspace or entertainment area. The small size makes them incredibly portable, easily carried in a laptop case or bag. But don’t let the size fool you; with fast and reliable data communications including 2.5Gigabit ethernet, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth, these mini PCs are designed to meet the demands of serious gamers and professionals who require high-end performance without sacrificing space.
What we like!
- Fast Intel 11th generation processor
- High performance Nvidia GeForce 3060 & 3070 GPU
- Space saving design
- Quiet fan and low temperatures
- Play AAA games at excellent graphics settings
What we don’t like…
- Only three USB ports, some more on the back would be useful
The Best Gaming NUC Mini PC 2023 Runner Up – DroiX Proteus 11
In an era where computing needs are continuously evolving, DroiX’s PROTEUS emerges as a compelling NUC Mini PC that goes beyond merely offering a speedy processor. PROTEUS is a synergistic blend of top-notch hardware and the refined experience DroiX’s customer-centric approach ensures. When you choose a PROTEUS device, you are not just acquiring a machine, but engaging in a high-caliber, dynamic experience accompanied by the Mini PC’s remarkable performance and the outstanding customer support that DroiX guarantees.
The PROTEUS 11 Series is no slouch when it comes to performance. It’s available with either an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or a more powerful i7-1165G7, making it versatile for a range of applications, from data analysis to gaming. Its memory capabilities are equally impressive, accommodating up to 64GB of LPDDR4 SO-DIMM RAM clocked at 3200MHz. In addition, it boasts up to 2TB of PCI-E NVMe SSD storage, ensuring you never run out of space for your documents, multimedia, and games. What’s more, it comes with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed, making the most of the latest OS features in harmony with the formidable hardware.
But PROTEUS NUC Mini PC doesn’t stop there; it embraces the future with open arms through its inclusion of a Thunderbolt 4 port. This feature opens a realm of possibilities – by connecting a Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station, the PROTEUS transforms into an ultimate workstation. For gaming enthusiasts, the incredibly high transfer rates of Thunderbolt 4 allow the connection of an external GPU, morphing the PROTEUS into a capable gaming rig. Furthermore, its sleek design means it can be effortlessly mounted behind a monitor for a clutter-free setup. In the pursuit of excellence, DroiX’s PROTEUS is backed by a 2-year warranty, reflecting the confidence in the quality and reliability of their product. Whether for home, office, or entertainment, PROTEUS stands as a sophisticated and powerful ally in your computing endeavors.
What we like!
- Choice of i5 or i7 processor to suit your requirements
- Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM supported
- Very fast m.2 NVMe storage
- Fast and reliable WiFi 6
- External WiFi antennas for better connectivity.
- Aluminium alloy case helps keep it cool
- Low noise and cool fan temperatures
What we don’t like…
- Antennas are a bit unsightly.
The Best NUC Mini PC 2023 Honourable Mention – GMKTec NucBox7
The GMKTec NucBox7 is a stellar example of power and efficiency housed in a compact form factor. The NUC Mini PC is equipped with the potent 11th generation Intel Pentium Silver N6005 processor, which comprises 4 cores and 4 threads, and reaches speeds of up to 3.30GHz. It’s an energy-conscious device, consuming a mere 18.9W of power, which is remarkably low compared to traditional desktop PCs. The NucBox7‘s performance is further bolstered by 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB M.2 SATA 2242 SSD, expandable up to 1TB, making it an excellent choice for home and office use.
In terms of connectivity, the NucBox7 leaves no stone unturned. This NUC Mini PC features two USB 3.2 Generation 2 ports and one Generation 1 port, catering to a range of peripherals. Furthermore, with three HDMI 2.0 ports, the NucBox7 supports triple monitors at 4K resolution running at 60Hz, which is great for multitaskers. The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports ensure speedy and dependable wired connections. On the wireless front, the NucBox7 is equipped with cutting-edge WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 technologies, ensuring a seamless and robust wireless experience.
Portability is one of the NucBox7’s standout features. With dimensions measuring a mere 3.4 x 3.4 x 1.5 inches and weighing in at just 214g, this NUC Mini PC can effortlessly fit in the palm of your hand or be stowed in a pocket for easy transport. This makes it particularly handy for professionals who need to carry their work between different locations. Additionally, an internal smart fan keeps the system cool, operating at a quiet 46dB and ensuring a maximum temperature of 43°C, which means that not only is the NucBox7 portable, but it’s also unobtrusive and efficient in maintaining performance.
What we like!
- Small and very light, fits in the palm of your hand
- Energy efficient
- Upgradeable SSD
- Support for triple monitors at 4K 60Hz
- Three USB 3 ports
- WiFi 6 and two Ethernet ports
What we don’t like…
- Not as small as the NucBox 5
So you’ve got quite a few different choices for all sorts of work cases. which Mini PC are you choosing? If you’re still not sure take a look at last year’s choices to help make your mind.
To learn more about our other offerings and products take a look at our Knowledge Base click here
Best NUC Mini PC In 2022
In the market for a small-sized PC that doesn’t skimp on performance? Learn about the best NUC mini PC’s available on the market today. Unsure of what an NUC mini PC is? Find out more about them in our handy buying guide.
Understanding the Best NUC Mini PCs
Technology is undergoing a paradigm shift.
To be more specific, the tech you see nowadays is being made smaller and smaller with each passing day. New milestones in ever-shrinking manufacturing processes are being hit day-by-day. The result is that what were once large and unwieldy devices in the past are now far more portable now than they’ve ever been.
This too extends to the concept of the personal computer. Long gone are the days when having a computer meant that you needed to find a space for a giant PC case, as the hardware is much more manageable size-wise.
Some thought it prudent to take this a step further however. Perhaps the mini-ITX form factor was simply not small enough. Or perhaps they just wanted to see how far they could push things. Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is that the development of the NUC began.
Need a mini PC that isn’t quite a NUC? Check out our broader guide here!
What is an NUC?
NUC is short for “Next Unit (of) Computing”. It is a term coined by intel to describe their lines of hyper-miniaturized mini PCs.
NUCs are usually no larger than maybe 10-or-so inches in either direction. They make use of specialized motherboards wherein the processor is directly soldered onto the motherboard, and that lack PCI/PCI-E expansion slots – helping to keep the size down.
In other words, they’re kind of like desktops but with the performance of a laptop. And are a fraction of the size of either.
Dating back as far as 2012, NUCs have been continuously refined and improved to the point that many third-party manufacturers have popped up on the scene to produce their own take on the concept. Competition is always good for any market, as it encourages developments.
Technically, an NUC is an Intel-powered product. But the definition has been expanded and co
The most suitable Mini PC
Consider before purchasing – what is the best NUC mini PC for you? Everybody has different needs, different use cases, and more.
For example, if you’re the type of person who likes to edit video and does so on the regular (perhaps it’s your job, or just a hobby you’re really into), you will want an NUCwith a powerful processor.
If you’re only doing basic tasks such as working with word documents, writing emails, and browsing the web. You may not need a cutting-edge top-shelf performance model, and would be more comfortable settling for something more modest.
Whatever the reason, it is important that you define your needs and opt for a device that suits them, otherwise you risk either purchasing a model that is too weak to do what you need, far more powerful than you’ll ever be able to realistically utilize, or simply just does not have the features that you require.
Different types of Mini PC
As such, there are many different types of NUC that are available on the market today.
The most common types of NUC are those that make use of Intel Core processors from the 8th to the 10th generation. These will usually be i5 models, and will be fine for your average user.
There are also mini PCs that feature more recent 11th gen processors, boasting their improved performance and power efficiency over older models.
At the other end of the scale, you can also find mini PCs that feature low-power processors that come at a low price point, and boast high energy efficiency.
To reiterate, be sure you’re picking an NUC mini PC that fits your needs before committing to a model.
What is a “barebones” mini PC
Most of the time, a mini PC will come with RAM and storage already preinstalled. However, sometimes it is possible to purchase a mini PC in something known as a “barebones” configuration.
This configuration comes at a cheaper price, but foregoes the inclusion of RAM or an SSD. Meaning that you will need to supply your own.
This can be an excellent option if you are upgrading from an old NUC to a new NUC, as you can likely carry over the old RAM and SSD into the new model (make sure to check the specifications before doing this though, as RAM/SSDs may not be compatible despite looking similar visually).
What kind of processor does a good Mini PC have?
At the minimum, we would advise no less than Ryzen 3 or i3 mini PC if you’re on a budget. Going any lower-spec than this and you may start running into difficulties when you begin performing all but the most basic of tasks such as web browsing.
For the average user, we would advise an i5 (or Ryzen 5) powered mini PC. Regardless of the generation (which will be 8th gen at the earliest), this should boast enough power to serve you well in a variety of use cases. From web browsing, streaming, and even video and photo editing for small projects.
If your budget can stretch a little, you may wish to opt for a higher end mini PC that features something along the lines of an Intel i7 processor or better. This higher performance will “future-proof” your PC in essence, allowing you to comfortably use it for longer before a serious upgrade is considered.
How much RAM should a Mini PC have?
The amount of RAM that will be present in your mini PC is entirely dependent on your use case. It is also mirrors that of the RAM situation on full-sized PCs.
That is to say, the minimum amount of RAM that any modern PC should come with is 8GB. Anything less than this, and there’s a high risk that your system will start to chug during even web browsing (as nowadays, most web browsers are memory hogs).
The not-quite-there-but-fast-approaching standard of RAM is 16GB. With this, you’ll be comfortably set to handle just about anything the modern computing environment will throw at you as a regular user.
If you need more than 16GB, you will likely know what it is already being used for, and do not need our guidance.
What kind of file storage does the best NUC Mini PC have?
You will encounter one of two types of storage in the vast majority of modern NUCs:
- M.2 NVMe SSD
- M.2 SATA III SSD
Visually these storage types are very similar. But M.2 SATA is in fact the slower of the two, and will usually be found on more budget models.
Make no mistake however. The difference in speed will be mostly imperceptible to the average user. It only comes into play during the transfer of large files, where NVMe being 3-4x faster in terms of transfer speeds really begins to show its merit.
Most NUCs will also feature space for a 2.5-inch drive that can either be an SSD (faster/expensive) or a HDD (slower/cheaper). If the main storage is an NVMe, this is an excellent opportunity to use a small but fast storage device for your operating system/apps, and then use a larger HDD for storing your data and other misc. files.
Buying a good NUC Mini PC
We have put together a collection of some of the best NUC mini PCs we have available to buy or pre-order on our website.
#1DroiX CK1 Intel NUC Mini PC with Win 10 PRO
The CK1 Mini PC (version NVISEN Y-MU01) features a choice of processors with the Intel Whiskey Lake i7 and i5 processors, and RAM and Storage configurations. Both configurations have the Intel UHD Graphics 620 for fast up to 4K processing.
#2 Beelink SEi8 NUC Mini PC with Windows 10
The Beelink SEi 8 is a versatile light-weight NUC mini PC from Beelink, the manufacturers of poplar android boxes such as the GT King, or other mini PC’s such as the GT-R. The SEi 8 makes the perfect solution for a home office, media centre, or even as an enterprise IT device.
#3 Beelink GTi8 Intel i5 NUC Mini PC
The Beelink GTi8 is a feature-rich mini PC that works perfectly as a home office PC, a home media server PC, or even an enterprise PC solution.
#4 Beelink SEi10 NUC Mini PC
The Beelink SEi10 is a Intel NUC mini PC that provides professional performance in a portable package, at only 124 x 113 x 41mm in size, it’s desktop or shelftop, optionally mountable solution for any home office, enterprise computing environment, or home media centre PC.
To learn more about this mini PC, check out our review.
[Video] Sei 10 Video Review
#5 Beelink GTi10 Intel NUC
The Beelink GTi10 is the latest in Beelink’s line-up of mini PC’s. With their years of experience in crafting potently performing mini PC’s, both Intel NUC and AMD NUC, the GTI does not disappoint and contains a myriad of features sure to provide a premium feeling mini PC experience that makes the perfect media centre or home office mini PC.
Now that you’re a little more familiar with the idea of an NUC mini PC, we hope you’re able to make a more informed purchase and really walk away from the transaction with a mini PC that satisfies your use cases (and then some).
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any further questions or feedback, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected], or leave a comment below, and we’ll reply as soon as we can. Thank you!