Bottom Line Up Front: Consider a used HP EliteDesk 705 G1 "mini" as the cheapest, workable mini-PC for WoW-Classic. Its "good enough" as a potato PC for followers at low resolution and GFX settings.

I posted this on is the ISBoxer discord, Hardware channel earlier. But by tomorrow that will have scrolled past where anyone will ever see it.

For about $140 USD I picked up a used HP EliteDesk 705 G1 and I'm averaging 41.9 FPS (but bouncing all the way between 11 and 60 FPS) in WoW Classic at 1080P with all settings as low as possible.

The 705 G1 mini comes with an older AMD APU A8-7600B (quad core 3.1 GHz processor) and AMD integrated graphics. I put in 8GB of DDR3 and the system dedicated 2GB to my integrated GPU leaving 6GB left to Windows and WoW. I also dropped in a 120GB SSD I had lying around. Windows 10 and all the drivers used about 35GB and WoW-Classic needed 6.5GB to install, so I could have fit within a 64GB SSD. Retail looks to be about 75GB, so you'd want at least a 160/180 GB storage drive for retail (although I have my doubts that the integrated GPU would be suitable for retail).

The AMD performance utility is showing that I'm basically bottlenecked with my GPU - its nearly always pegged at 100%, while my VRAM is 61%, CPU is 44% and RAM is at 43%. These numbers generally match what I'm seeing in Windows Task Manager.

Running around open world I'm mostly in 40-50 FPS range. I was ~35 FPS running around TB, but in mid-teens and 20's running around Org. Org was a bit jittery, but I never broke follow or had any issues.

Dropping render scale does help a bit. I dropped down to 960*540 (50%) and just sitting in TB my FPS went from 35 to between 40 and 45 (but obviously everything looks really clunky at that low or a render resolution). 1280x720 render (67%) puts me a pretty solid 40 FPS running around Thunder Bluff.

For under $200, I don't think you can do better. You can probably get some better intel CPU's for this price, but they'll have worse integrated graphics and that seems to already be the weak point in the system.

Its generally pretty hard to find any level of dedicated graphics until you get to about $250. If you're planning on playing retail WoW at all, that'd probably be the minimum level I'd recommend for a potato PC. An Nvidia GT1030 is a very nice step up in quality for only ~$90, but you do need at least a small form factor PC to fit a low-profile dedicated GPU. If you're really set on the mini-pc size, then I'd suggest looking a more recent Ryzen APU - but that'll probably run you closer to $400. There's always a size vs performance vs cost trade-off. But I think think the 705 G1 mini hits the lowest cost and size possible while still delivering "OKish" performance in WoW-Classic.

Sound and heat wise, this mini-PC is doing great. It does take a 90 Watt external power brick (typical laptop power supply). Both the power brick and the min-PC are "slightly warm" to the touch after an hour of gaming. At first I thought this thing was totally silent - I had to put me ear next to the chassis to check. There is a very faint, higher pitched fan sound. But I can't hear it all over over my regular desktop PC a few feet away, so its pretty good.

I didn't actually use the Amazon link up top, but I wish I would have. Instead I found a stripped down version on Ebay (4GB RAM, no hard drive, no power cord), but it was "only" $43 - seemed like a good deal. After shipping and tax I was up to $60.83, then a power cord for $10.59. Cheap 250GB SSD I could find was $29.67 after tax and shipping (although I used a drive I already had on hand) and 2x 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 SO-DIMMs were $36.57. So I'm up $137.66, but with no OS (at least not a licensed one), and no warranty. That and it took 10 days to get everything shipped. I really shoulda just bought the one from Amazon for $144.40 - that comes with Win10 Pro and a 90-day guarantee. Ah well. At least this mini-PC works as expected.