Many people love to have everything handy. In the tech world, you can witness both extremes. There are gigantic supercomputers on one hand and on the other hand, you can find mini PCs with exceptional performance.
Mini PCs have come a long way with respect to performance and they can even replace desktops in many scenarios. But can you play games on a mini PC? Let us find out what is the latest trend in this form factor and what are its capabilities.
Can you play games on a mini PC?
Yes, you can play games on a mini PC. With the advent of ARM-based processors, PCs can be small and energy-efficient. Despite being small, they express enormous performance and this gives them the ability to play games. The following features in a mini PC enable you to play games comfortably.
Chip manufacturers, AMD and Intel, have developed the capacity of their processors enormously. While a GPU is important for gaming, the CPU also plays a major role in handling the background processes and memory.
Mini PCs have small processors, but their efficiency and productivity are very high. You can find mini PCs manufactured for the sole purpose of gaming. The popular GPU manufacturer, ZOTAC, is a top player in manufacturing mini PCs that are gaming-oriented.
The innovations in the architecture of the CPU have enabled comfortable computing and gaming. There are certain processors which house both CPU and GPU in a single architecture. These are called APUs.
Recently you can find many mini PCs to have APU which helps you to play almost all kinds of games without any issue in medium or high settings.
High performing Graphics
Nowadays, GPUs don’t have to be bulky with a heavy cooling system to perform well. Even small GPUs provide top graphics performance and enable you to play many games easily.
For example, the ZOTAC mini gaming PC houses a GTX 1070 which can play demanding games like Witcher 3 in 4K settings. Likewise, there are many PCs with small, yet powerful GPUs in the market which can provide you with enormous performance.
Even if you don’t have a great GPU or the APU is not up to the mark, you can always make use of external GPUs. An eGPU enables you to set up a powerful video card without worrying about performance and thermal issues.
The eGPU comes with video ports, cooling fans, and space required to set up even an RTX 3090 video card. Therefore, you can play any game at ultra settings without any frame rate loss or lags.
Powerful than a Gaming console
A mini PC is smaller than a gaming console like PlayStation but more powerful than it. A console cannot be used for computing purposes, but a mini PC provides you with computing along with powerful gaming.
The portability is higher in a mini PC. It is comparatively weightless and easy to carry around. Many PCs with APUs are very thin and light and can be carried like a laptop. Of course, you have to connect to a display, but it is more powerful than a laptop.
The CPU cores are higher and more powerful when compared to a gaming console and the GPU can be increased with the help of an eGPU.
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What are all the games that can be played on a mini PC?
According to the specifications of the mini PC, you can play any type of game from simple low-end games to AAA titles.
But on most PCs, you cannot play certain demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption, Cyberpunk, or Forza Horizon even at lower settings.
They are capable of running games like Call of Duty, battlefield, etc. at higher graphics settings if an APU or a separate GPU is available with a powerful CPU. In general, playing games with medium settings is possible on all mini PCs nowadays.
Therefore, playing an average resource-demanding game is not an issue with a mini PC. You can comfortably enjoy many titles with decent frame rates at a high resolution.
Does mini PC produce heat while playing games?
Yes, all PCs dissipate heat when playing games, and mini PCs are not devoid of it. There is a better thermal management system in the mini PCs nowadays, especially in the gaming ones.
Playing games is a demanding task for all the core components. The RAM, CPU, and GPU have to function at high speeds to display the gameplay graphics. Therefore, it will expel some heat.
But If you are not playing more demanding titles, you can expect the heat produced to be very less. Simple low resource games don’t occupy the CPU or GPU cores and this reduces the heat dissipated from them.
Therefore, similar to normal desktops or laptops, mini PCs also expose heat according to the level of the games played on them.
Can I add an external graphics card to a Mini PC?
Yes, you can easily add an external graphics card to a Mini PC. You will need to choose one that has the same power as the one that comes with your computer.
When you want to add an external graphics card to Mini PC, you need to make sure that your motherboard supports it. Some motherboards don’t support cards with more than one PCIe slot, so you need to make sure that your motherboard has multiple PCIe slots.
If your motherboard doesn’t support external graphics cards, then there are some other alternatives available for you as well such as using a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port on the motherboard or buying a compatible Mini PC case with an internal graphics card.
Can Mini PC support 4k Gaming?
Yes, Mini PC can support 4k gaming. In fact, it is a better choice for gamers who are looking for a portable device that can fit in their backpack. but the requirements may be different for different games.
Mini PCs are typically smaller than the traditional desktop PCs and have less power than the traditional desktop PCs. However, they still provide enough power to run games in 4k resolution and high-quality graphics settings.
While mini PCs are not manufactured in the motive of gaming, they are highly capable of handling many game titles comfortably. Recently you can also find certain mini PCs that are housing a separate GPU for high graphics performance. Therefore, playing games on a mini PC is not impossible.