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Seven Small (But Powerful) Mini-PCs, Reviewed

Game Benchmarks: Low Detail, 720p

Intel's HD Graphics engines aren't particularly quick, but gaming at 1280x720 using low detail settings should be viable. We'll try a couple of different titles: Grid 2 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

All of the systems equipped with dual-channel memory were able to handle Grid 2 at 720p with a minimum frame rate over 30 FPS. That's about as much as we could have expected from these compact machines. Even the frame rate variance numbers are acceptably low.

Of course, ASRock's VisionX and its discrete Radeon HD 8850M GPU overpowers these entry-level settings. Clearly, the motherboard vendor has something on its hands that should handle 1920x1080 and/or more taxing levels of quality.

The results are similar in Skyrim, though the 30 FPS minimum target is a little harder to achieve. There are also more frame time variance spikes than we'd like to see. Other than the Zotac and Acer PCs, though, a 28 FPS minimum is maintained. And once again, ASRock's VisionX is far faster than necessary at this setting and resolution.