This barebones PC is great for gaming

Compact gaming that packs a punch.

Image via NZXT

NZXT’s H1 Mini PC has caught our attention as a valuable gaming rig for budget gamers. The small PC has a number of strong advantages going for it that make it a worthy consideration for those who are strapped for cash after the holidays: Namely, its possession of the RTX 3060 GPU, which can currently cost upwards of $1,000 when bought by itself thanks to high demand and limited supply.

Image via NZXT

The PC itself is being listed for under $1,400 and offers gamers competitive performance in a small package. Alongside its 3060 GPU is a tenth-generation Intel CPU, the i5-10400F. Despite its age, it’s still strong enough to handle most games at high settings, offering comparable performance to the ever-popular Ryzen 5 3600. When trying to push out high frames per second in CPU-heavy games like ARMA 3, the weaknesses in the i5 will be more than made up for in the sheer effectiveness of the RTX 3060 GPU.

Alongside its strong GPU and CPU is a collection of reliable, high performing hardware that will keep your loading experience smooth and your PC’s lifespan high: 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3000Mhz is complimented by one terabyte of NVMe M.2 SSD storage so that everything saved on your computer loads quickly. As for cooling, you can rest assured that your CPU is in the safe hands of a 140mm AIO liquid cooler, as well as all of the standard case fans which help to provide the case with better airflow.

As the size of this computer suggests, all of these components are assembled onto a Mini-ITX motherboard for the ultimate compact design. Its small, rectangular case comes in either a frosted matte-white or matte-black finish. The H1 Mini PC is also semi-modular at checkout, with multiple options being offered, for various prices, of course.

Some weaknesses to watch out for lie in the room for upgrading this PC. The ITX motherboard it comes with only has two slots for RAM, so upgrading to a higher capacity will require removing the two 8GB entirely, which can be quite wasteful for someone who’s looking to save money. Additionally, the motherboard only has one PCIe slot, which is taken up by the GPU. If you’re planning on using a WiFi or Ethernet card for internet, or simply want to have additional PCIe slots for other reasons, this pre-built PC is going to leave you wanting.

If those downsides don’t deter you, and you’re fine with the associated parts being your main pieces of hardware for the foreseeable future, the H1 Mini PC is an ideal candidate for the budget gamer who wants a pre-built PC that pushes competitive performance and is made to last.