Coolest budget mini-computers for DIY gamers

Mini computer gaming gadgets

Computer components are continuously getting smaller and more powerful, with massive growth in mobile processing power.

This reduction in component size and increased processing power has lead to the rise of mini-computer boards such as the Raspberry Pi.

These mini-computers enable hardware enthusiasts to make gadgets and systems that are both cheap and useful. Gamers have also found a use for these affordable, tiny computers, creating custom gaming consoles and mobile gaming platforms.

Whether you want to create a mobile gaming platform that uses emulators to play all of your favourite classics, or just an affordable media centre with custom software that you control, these devices are perfect for your DIY gadget needs.

Check out some of the projects you can use these powerful mini-computers for.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

The latest iteration of the global Raspberry Pi phenomenon, the Model B adds useful features such as built-in WiFi and improved specifications.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Specifications
CPU 1.2GHz quad-core
Memory 1GB RAM
Ports 4 x USB, 1x HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack
Storage MicroSD card
Connectivity 802.11n Wireless LAN, Bluetooth
Price R1,135

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

MinnowBoard Turbot

The MinnowBoard TurboBot is the latest improved design for the powerful MinnowBoard mini-computer. The board packs a lot of power in a small space.

MinnowBoard Turbot Specifications
CPU Intel Atom E3826 1.46GHz
Memory 2GB DDR3L RAM
Ports USB 3.0, USB 2.0, 1x HDMI
Storage MicroSD card, SATA
Connectivity Ethernet
Price $139.95


BeagleBone Black

The BeagleBone Black is a lightweight board which features two GPIO connectors for added adaptation.

BeagleBone Black Specifications
CPU AM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8
Memory 512MB DDR3 RAM
Ports USB 3.0, USB 2.0, 1x Micro-HDMI
Storage MicroSD card, 8-bit eMMC
Connectivity Ethernet
Price $55

BeagleBone Black


The HummingBoard can be customised to include different processor and memory sets, and can be tailored to the consumer’s needs.

HummingBoard-Edge Specifications
Memory 512MB DDR3 RAM
Ports 4x USB 2.0, 1x Micro-HDMI
Storage MicroSD card
Connectivity Ethernet
Price $112


Intel NUC

Intel’s mini-computers offer competitive performance in relatively small packages, and can be useful as media centres or even lightweight gaming rigs.

The company offers a range of models featuring different specifications.

Intel NUC Specifications
CPU Intel Atom/Pentium/Core processor
Memory Up to 32GB 2,133MHz
Ports USB 3.0, 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI, Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort
Storage MicroSD card
Connectivity Ethernet
Price R2,50014,799

Intel NUC box

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Coolest budget mini-computers for DIY gamers

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