'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
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.
And the AceMagician AMR5 Mini Gaming PC is a tiny system that doesn't cut corners on power, and it looks good too!
Also: Want a Flipper Zero without paying inflated prices? Now's your chance
The compact tower houses 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, an AMD Ryzen 5 5600U, and so much more.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 $399, while the 32GB version is $499. Both are spectacularly 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!