If a mini PC lags or loads slowly, it’s probably due to outdated software. And it’s typical to consider upgrading specific internal components that impact gaming the most such as ram, graphics card, motherboard, and CPU.
But mini PCs feature a lot of upgradable components to keep up an incredible performance. An upgrade allows for a higher FPS (first-person shooter) in video games, an entirely new level of performance, and overall efficiency. This guide will walk sellers through the basics of system upgrades and the expected results.
The market size of mini PCs
Computer gamers today are becoming more selective. Hence, they prefer high-performance and upgradeable gaming devices, making mini PCs a deal breaker. The mini PCs are portable, versatile, and easily upgradeable devices with numerous connector ports that make them perfect for various of gaming configurations.
According to reports, the global mini PC market is expected to grow from USD 19.83 billion in 2021 through 2026 while recording a compound annual growth rate ( CAGR) of 5.04%. The advancement in gaming technology and preference for virtual technology that incorporates gaming into daily life activities is a key driving factor fueling the growth of the global mini PC market.
Specifications to look out for when upgrading mini PCs
Gamers who love to live on the edge and explore current games need PCs with dedicated hardware components best suited for gaming. Here are the ideal specifications to look out for when choosing a gaming PC:
Sellers with die-hard gamers have to go for graphics cards ideal for playing 1080p resolution. This allows for easy access to 3D games and graphically intense games like call of duty while offering a smooth gaming experience.
Portability is another factor to be considered when making a choice. Typically, a PC for communal gamers should be portable.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) are a standard storage option for gaming PCs. And they are preferred over regular hard drive storage (HDD) because the former can quickly speed up the gaming PC and reduce gaming load time. Usually, a storage space of at least 128 GB is ideal for gaming.
The more RAM a PC has, the better. And for gaming, a PC with 8 to 16 GB RAM is the minimum requirement needed since most modern games are demanding.
Components of a mini PC that impacts gaming the most
A mini PC has several peripherals that affect its functionality but here are the most important components that matter most in gaming.
Graphics card (high-impact)
Graphics cards are one of the most essential components of gaming. And it’s because a dedicated graphics card allows the PC to easily load graphically intense and modern games that run on 3D and HD Graphics. Also, sellers should note that the graphics cards’ dedicated video memory (VRAM) is under the most pressure during gameplay sessions.
RAM/ memory (medium impact)
This component allows the PC to launch or load multiple complex tasks simultaneously. As a result, gamers can play games with heavier titles. Further, you need enough RAM to avoid lagging during gameplay.
CPU/ processor (high-impact)
The CPU is the PC’s brain that oversees the system’s active work performance. So without this component, the PC won’t load. Although the CPU isn’t stressed as much as the graphics card during gaming, it determines how fast a program loads on the computer.
Hard drive/ storage (medium impact)
Although this component is not so vital for gaming, it allows consumers to enjoy their favorite games with enough storage. Also, the hard drive helps gamers access larger files with its read and write speed.
How to upgrade a mini gaming PC
Upgrading a mini PC comes with various benefits. But as a safety precaution, it’s best to shut down and unplug the PC from the power supply before initiating an upgrade.
Below are some checklists to put you on the right track.
Install the RAM
A delay in game load time is usually associated with low memory (RAM). Luckily, most PCs feature connector ports that accommodate additional memory modules. Alternatively, consumers can replace the PC memory with a larger-capacity model.
Also, it’s crucial to consult the manufacturer’s guide to know the RAM module compatible with the motherboard and the total amount of RAM the laptop can support.
DDR5 is the latest and fastest RAM, but most systems use DDR4. So it’s best to avoid any RAM model configuration below DDR4. A ram with a minimum specification of 8 to 12GB is recommended for gaming.
Consider upgrading the graphics card if there are frozen visuals, screen tearing, and other artifacts. When it comes to GPUs, NVIDIA and AMD are the two main competitors, with NVIDIA being the best in terms of functionality. Also, ensure that the motherboard supports the graphics card before installing it.
While fewer applications support AMD GPUs, additional applications such as 3D programs and video editing software are compatible with NVIDIA’s GPUs. A powerful GPU is best for gaming, especially for impressive graphics, a greater frame rate, or higher resolutions.
If you’re experiencing frequent freezing or hanging, the storage drive may be full and need an upgrade. And it’s best to consider a solid-state drive (SSD) if you already have a conventional hard disk (HDD). SSDs use flash memory; hence they have quicker load times and are more dependable and long-lasting than HDDs.
Because SSDs operate at a faster rate than HDDs, the system will work more effectively. This upgrade is one of the easiest as most PCs have extra storage connection ports.
A compatibility check is necessary as there are several CPU configurations, and a wrong choice might be disastrous. In short, the laptop’s motherboard, memory, and current cooling system have to be compatible with the new processor; else components might need a change.
Having some thermal paste on hand is recommended before starting the process. The thermal paste guarantees adequate contact between the CPU and the connected heat sink. Skipping this step means that the CPU may overheat. With this in mind, insert the new CPU into its socket carefully after removing the old one without applying force. Then, depress the lever to lock the CPU in place.
The motherboard serves as the connection point for all the computer hardware. Also, it provides a unique set of slots and connections for plugging in additional components such as the RAM, CPU, etc.
Further, the amount of RAM modules, peripherals, and features consumers can put into a motherboard depends on the motherboard’s size. So feel free to upgrade it accordingly.
Upgrade the peripherals
Performing a peripheral upgrade gives gaming PCs a strong boost in compatibility and a modern touch. Upgrading the power supply, cooling system, and other hardware components like the keyboard is a good start.
After upgrading, the mini PC and system will have a powerful GPU that will need a power supply that can supply the required wattage. In short, it’s best to get a power supply unit that offers extra wattage to be safe and supplement future upgrades.
Depending on the size of the upgrade and the intensity of consumers’ gaming needs, upgrading the mini PC has various benefits. For instance, the upgrade saves consumers money, provides a new gaming experience, and extends the PC’s life. Therefore, as a seller, it’s crucialt to source high-end components for the mini PC upgrade for an improved and smooth gaming experience.