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This sub-$500 mini PC is powerful enough to support up to three monitors

The AceMagician mini PC weighs around three pounds, costs a fraction of flagship desktops, and still offers impressive specs.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Mini gaming PC on a gree background
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I'm a big fan of mini PCs. PCs no longer need to be enormous boxes that take up huge swathes of desk space. There's something very satisfying about packing a huge amount of power into a small, inconspicuous package.

Also: The best all-in-one computers: Mac, HP, and more compared

And the AceMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC is a tiny system that doesn't cut corners on power and looks good.

View at Amazon

Tech specs

  • Processor: Ryzen 5 5600U, 6-cores/12-threads, base clock speed 2.3GHz/turbo clock speed up to 4.2GHz
  • Graphics: Radeon Graphics
  • RAM: 2x 8GB SODIMM 2,666MHz DDR4 modules (expandable to 64GB)
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 2280 SSD
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2
  • Ports: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10Mbit), 1x Gigabit LAN adapter, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x universal audio jack
  • OS: Windows 11 Pro
  • Size: ‎5.23 x 2.83 x 6.15 inches / 13.3 x 7.2 x 15.6 cm
  • Weight: 3.27 lb / 1.48 kg 

The AMR5 is a really interesting system. Built around the very capable Ryzen 5 5600U processor and backed with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 SSD, this machine packs a lot of punch into a tiny package that you can hold in your hand or pop into a bag.

Also: Assembling a rig on a budget? How to build a gaming PC for $550

There are ports galore on both the front and back, with USB-A, USB-C, Ethernet, HDMI, and DisplayPort on offer. One downside is that, sadly, there's only one USB-C port -- because the system has two M.2 SSD slots.

Side view of the ACEMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC

AceMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC -- ports galore (but only one USB-C port).

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The array of ports allows up to three displays to be connected to the AMR5, giving it a great deal of flexibility.

One thing I really like is the speed control knob that switches the system between silent mode (which offers a quieter, more subdued experience), performance mode (more power, but also more fan noise), and auto (a more middle-of-the-road experience).

ACEMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC speed control knob

AceMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC speed control knob

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The system is packed with cool RGB lighting, giving you that disco experience. If you want to turn off the disco experience, you can download the RGB control software from the AceMagician website.

Mini PC illuminated with RGB lighting on a green background

Cool RGB lighting (that you can turn off if you aren't feeling in the mood for a disco)

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Another brilliant feature is that the side panel is held in place using magnets, which you can quickly and easily pop off the side cover to gain access to the RAM and SSD.

ACEMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC easy to remove side panel

AceMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC has an easy-to-remove side panel

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There's also a spare M.2 slot if you want to give the system a storage boost -- a recommended M.2 drive would be the excellent 2TB WD_BLACK SN770

Also: These M.2 SSDs are my must-have storage drivers

Windows 11 Pro comes preinstalled, and in my testing, everything worked great right out of the box, with the only software I needed to download being the software to control the RGB lighting.

You get a lot for your money here. 

And speaking of, the 16GB AMR5 is currently available for $449, while the 32GB version is $559. Both are blindingly good prices considering what you're getting. If you're in the market for a small, powerful, yet affordable PC, this is a system worth taking a closer look at! 

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