witness me transform into a PC gamer

I‘ve never been much of a PC gamer.

Right now I’m still using this setup:

Thinkpad X220 (2011 lol) in a Dock/port replicator, outputting to

24" Samsung LED smart TV (2013)

... So anything would be a step up from that. I don't game on it at all. A new Pc would solve some problems I have with using X220 as my main setup, and may as well get something that can play super mario 64 PC port and Dark Souls with mods, as well as stuff like FF7 Re-Mako, and maybe even some contemporary PC games.... Dragon Quest XI maybe?

Because I'm living off grid, unlike 99% of PC users, I not only prefer external PSUs, I basically require them. The reason is I have a highly efficient DC 20v power supply already coming off my solar battery setup. So this basically limits me to Laptops or Mini PCs that have a DC input and use an external power supply. It's been working beautifully for my X220, just sipping power!

That said, here's the stuff I'm looking at. I desperately need to replace my monitor, it's probably really bad for my eyes to be using this crappy hdtv. I decided to go with IPS screens at 144hz.

[LG 24GN650-B 24” Ultragear Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display Gaming Monitor with 144Hz Refresh Rate with 1ms (GtG) AMD FreeSync Premium ](https://www.amazon.com/LG-24GN650-B-Ultragear-FreeSync-Adjustable/dp/B08V85XBFZ/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=lg+24+ips&qid=1617576640&s=electronics&sr=1-4)
I'm leaning more towards this one, because it uses external PSU, meaning using my computer all day every day will be highly efficient power consumption, making it even possible on days with little sun.

The other thing that will be **totally irrelevant** is the monitor stand. I use a gas-spring adjustable arm to mount my monitor. Pretty certain 90% of monitors have mounts for just such a thing.

I only need a 24" since the screen will be right in my face, only a couple feet away. What I really like, again, in that this has DC input for an external PSU, so I can use my own highly efficient power supply. While this monitor would be fine, I could spend another $50 or so to get something slightly better?... Down the line, I may end up with a PS5 or an Xbox for the most hi-end gaming, and I'd want to connect it to my pc monitor.
I'm seeing that 240hz 24" stuff is getting cheaper, so that's an option I need to look into, send suggestions!

So here's the PC I'm probably going with:
[Minis Forum Elite Mini](https://store.minisforum.com/products/minisforum-elitemini-h31g?variant=36244354826401)
This is basically ideal. I would go with one of the build-your own low profile towers that are all the rage these days, but internal PSU, plus graphics card availability has me here. I can live with this slightly above average PC for the next few years. It's the best gaming mini PC on the market right now for the price.

I was also looking at this one, it's way more expensive though:
[Nuc Phantom Canyon](https://simplynuc.com/phantom-canyon/)
I'm going to use it as my main home setup with my laptop on the side. I have huge ROM/ISO libraries so I'm looking at putting a 2.5" "4TB SDD inside as well.

So yeah. There's a photo of the old setup. I've already replaced both input devices.

I also should really consider putting together a streaming setup..

[“Help Me Choose My New Monitor and PC”,“Suggestions for my PC and Monitor upgrades”]

I pulled the trigger on the monitor. Now I'm looking at asymmetrical track ball mouses.

edit: I ordered the elecom HUGE

I‘ve been learning more about some of these small form-factor PCs from YouTube folks like Modern Vintage Gamer (who I really enjoy listening to) as I’m falling down a bit of an emulation/console back end for an arcade cabinet. It‘s pretty hard to go wrong now if you want to play something that is older than 5 years. Those small PCs are amazing! Don’t have specific recommendations though. So much of game performance is GPU-dependent and that seems to be variable in those boxes.

My problem is I consistently over-buy computers. Like, if my motherboard can support 32 GB of RAM, I worry that I'm going to leave something on the table if I don't fill all those DIMM slots!

Sticking with a laptop might be the best way to go about this still. Gaming oriented laptops can play modern stuff at high framerates, and the mobile chips are more power efficient just from the thermal envelope perspective.

This is some sample size n=1 stuff, and it's not particularly applicable to your situation, but the Intel Iris Pro chipset on the 10th+ gen mobile processors is not bad. The branding on it is obnoxious, though; you have to look for like "Intel i7 1065G7" and then cross-reference it on Intel's website. I was able to goof off a bit in FF14 at 1080p with stuff turned to medium and still get 25-30fps on my Lenovo C940 Yoga, but the fans were running full tilt and the keyboard heated up real good, too.

Very interested to see what you wind up with.


My finger is on the trigger of the Minisforum EliteMini H31G. I‘ve ordered my monitor, input device, and 4tb ssd, so I think it would be wise to wait for those to arrive and connect them to my X220 just to see how far that gets me. The Minisforum EliteMini H31G uses an older PU from like 2016, which is capable of running modern AAA titles at 1080p60 on medium-low settings, minimal shaders and stuff. That sounds like an experience I wouldn’t enjoy– I don‘t have to play the latest games, and if they look like trash, I’ll just not play them. What I like about this pc though is that it seems to me that it would be great for all the new retro projects like SM64 CG, hi-res 3DS, Dark Souls mods, and PS3 emulation. With 16GB DDR4 RAM it comes out to $899. I will be able to just mount it to the backside of my monitor, which could be really fricking tight.

I have 0 interest in playing any of the games sampled here. Perhaps Witcher 3 but I highly doubt I will ever play that, even! In this category of AAA games, I would be interested in playing Sekiro and Elden Ring. This is not be the best device for playing those and it‘s looking like I may end up with an Xbox or PS5 down the line…. The efficient gaming PCs just haven’t caught up yet, and it's a very bad time to be buying GPUs.

I'm also looking at the [NUC11PHKi7C](https://simplynuc.com/phantom-canyon/). Which, for over $1600, twice the price of the minisforum. It has a newer generation PU, but without someone telling me, I'm not sure how much more I'd be able to do with this thing from a gaming perspective. If this one falls totally short as well, I don't think I need to pay double the price for it. I don't think anything short of a top of the line rig is going to suddenly turn me into a PC gamer!

In summary, the minisforum should be good enough for playing stuff like up-res'd 3DS games with HD textures and Dark Souls, which is the only stuff that's ever made me jealous of PC gamers.

So for the NUC, the only comparison for me is how would it compare to an Xbox. If I could get better performance from an Xbox for playing the Elden Ring, which, of course, isn't out yet, so there's no way to know how the PC version will compare to console... So just substitute ER with Sekiro for now. If the NUC also sucks at playing Sekiro compared to an Xbox or PS5 then, there's no need to shell out twice the cash for one.

Maybe the Minisforum is the smarter choice, since there's no telling what the future of gaming looks like right now anyway, with the Playstation utterly failing and GPU prices confirmed to continue being stoopid for the next couple years. I could also just keep using my X220, actually....

This video was the most informative. Still, they didn't say much to inform me.

So yeah in summary, if minisforum plays AAA games poorly, but NUC plays AAA games subpar, an Xbox or PS5 being the standard, I'll still go with minisforum, haha.

If I could play this, that'd be awesome

Check out Modern Vintage Gamer's review of the XBox Series S. It makes a compelling case for it being a workhorse game console that can also emulate pretty much everything.

@antillese#24784 Yeah I keep up with MVG and have watched that video. I don‘t have any interest in emulation aside for certain enhancement projects like mentioned above. I have all my retro consoles here and customized to my liking. If I got an Xbox, it would be just to play Eternal Ring, then after, I’d probably sell it. Same with PS5, except I'm hyped for FFVIIR2

Then again, the NUC has better IO. I‘m going to have to use a dongle for fullsize SD, and it only has usb 3.1 gen 1, NUC has 3.2 gen 2 and 2 thunderbolt 4 ports…. damn USB naming never ceases to be confusing.

then again, I think the NUC doesn’t even have 2.5" storage, which is what the 4tb ssd i just ordered is, so, ill probably be okay lol. I don‘t even know what I would use usb 3.2 gen 2 or thunderbolt 4 for anyway. My input devices are all bluetooth. I guess faster write speed to external devices, but I’ve been using a single USB 3.1 gen 1 on my x220 dock, aside for that it‘s all 2.0, so I guess that’s fast enough. Although, with how much I write large ISO files to external devices for my video game mods, faster speed would be appreciated. Plus, it seems like everything is going usb c these days… meh…

New pc all set up and only thing I've played on it is Downwell. In years past I practiced this game so much, mostly feeling like I sucked at video games. Now I realize refresh rate makes a huge difference in playability. It somehwat makes me wish I had gone even higher than 144hz, or gotten a monitor that supports gsync. I thought it would be silly for me, a non-AAA game player to shell out for high end gamer gear, but now, I think it would be worth it just to play Downwell, a 99-cent game, with e-sports smoothness. That also seems like it would be on-brand for me, building a hi-end setup just to play stuff like this.

First… I've literally never seen that screen in Downwell. Great job!

I don't think that you ever said what you ended up with to power your _Downwell_ system! Monitor looks great in that orientation. I ended up getting a 32" LG 1080 120Hz monitor from Costco myself. Haven't gotten anything up and running on it, but should be the end of the weekend.

@antillese#26512 I got the Minisforum EliteMini H31G, which uses NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti which is nothing to write home about I guess but it is my first dedicated GPU in a PC ever actually. I am more familiar with the PPU and GPU in my Famicom and Sega than I am with PC graphics cards LOL.

Form factor very similar to a pc engine

[“Suggestions for my PC and Monitor upgrades”,“witness me transform into a PC gamer”]