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Intel's VR-ready mini gaming PC is now cheaper than a Mac mini

For creators, Apple’s reveal of the 2018 Mac mini in Brooklyn last month came highly anticipated. Not-so-hot-on-the-heels of the previous-generation, late 2014 Mac mini, this new machine was disappointing to both the hardcore and the budget conscious. At the base level, it sports a mere Intel Core i3 processor and costs $799, 60% more than the Core i5-equipped model from four years ago. So when a significantly more powerful machine goes on sale for a lower cost than the new Mac mini, you better know we’re going to highlight it.

Like the vast majority of its competitors, as part of all the Black Friday game deals (opens in new tab) this year Newegg is running some killer discounts on a lot of its gaming hardware. With the latest Intel NUC (or Next Unit of Computing) mini PC, you can run not only every triple-A game imaginable at bleeding edge graphics settings, but you can also hook up it up to a VR headset for 360 degrees of head-tracking fun. The Intel NUC8i7HVK with 8GB of RAM and 250GB of SSD storage space is just $729.99 right now from Newegg (opens in new tab), 20% off its suggested retail price of $916.97.

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Intel NUC8i7HVK (8GB RAM, 250GB SSD) is $729.99 at Newegg (save 20%) (opens in new tab)
Free up your desk real estate and save money at the same time by upgrading to this powerful mini computer.

Because this is normally a barebones kit, meaning it ships without storage and RAM, the fact of the matter is that this deal nets you a complete package. The Intel NUC itself is accompanied by a single stick of Corsair Vengeance series DDR4 RAM and a Western Digital Blue M.2 SATA 3 SSD. Although you do have to install the components yourself, doing so is as easy as removing a few screws and sliding in the RAM and SSD before replacing said screws. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes for even the most novice of users.

Once everything is assembled, you’ll be able to leverage the powers of a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-8809G processor, which encompasses AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics. Benchmarks suggest you can get around 60fps in current blockbuster titles such as Battlefield 5 (opens in new tab) and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (opens in new tab) at the highest graphics settings in 1080p, though more demanding titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (opens in new tab) may require that you turn down some of the visual effects. Nonetheless, for a PC that measures 10.8 inches long and less than 5 inches thick, that’s impressive enough. 

Comparatively, the cheapest Mac mini is going to set you back almost $70 more for an i3 processor and a fraction of the graphical oomph. If you want a mini PC that’s built for gaming as much as it is video production and design, the Intel NUC8i7HVK is a better bet. You'll want to ask fast, though, because this offer ends Monday, November 26. Otherwise, check out our rundown of the best Black Friday PC deals (opens in new tab) for monitors, keyboards, mice, and more to match your new purchase.

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Gabe Carey was a Senior Writer at GamesRadar+. In his time with us, Gabe focused on news and features coverage, with a particular focus on gaming hardware. He left GR+ in 2019 and now works as the commerce editor-in-chief for GO Media.