You can buy a portable quantum computer for under $9K

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Most PC gamers lucky enough to be upgrading at the moment have their eyes pinned on the new hot kit. They're out there scoping for an Nvidia 4090 (opens in new tab) or AMD's RX7900 range (opens in new tab). But maybe they're thinking a little too simple, a bit too black and white.

The future of computing is slowly turning quantum. Working with the two-state qubits as opposed to normal bits opens up a whole world of computing power that should probably be as feared as it is respected (opens in new tab). With the potential for a Y2K style shakeup (opens in new tab), quantum computing is coming and it's unlikely any of us will be ready for it. Especially as it continues to get even more powerful than we expected. 

So instead of a new hot gamer piece of kit, maybe a quantum computer is a better investment. As spotted by PC Watch (opens in new tab), now you can grab one of the world's first commercially available portable quantum computers. They're a little on the basic side, and they'll cost at least as much as that hardcore gamer build you were planning, but they're undeniably a very cool thing to exist.

The Gemini Mini, Gemini, and Triangulum are all members of this family of portable quantum computers developed in China's tech hub Shenzhen by SpinQ technology. You can find them available to purchase on the Switch Science Co store starting at 1,188,000 yen, or about $US8,700 for the 60W Gemini Mini (opens in new tab).

Before you go out and buy a quantum computer you should know that these are fairly limited in some ways. The Gemini and Gemini Mini are the cheaper options and in their most basic configurations are only 2-qubit machines, though they can be used as 8-qubit simulators, and would likely still be a great start. The Gemini (opens in new tab) has a fair bit more power than the mini and goes for 5.72 million yen, or about $US40,000.

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The Triangulum (opens in new tab) is clearly the powerhouse of the family, rocking a 330W power draw and weighing a whopping 40kg. This machine has a whole 3 qubits, hence the name, and can be used for pulse sequence engineering. It can also allow for customisation of its quantum circuit and has a port for programming. This one is a bit closer to $US58,000 at 7.92 million yen.

While very expensive, these little quantum babies are kind of incredible pieces of tech. They're all Nuclear Magnetic Resonance or NMR quantum computers, which literally use atoms to compute things. The way NMR works is by taking a molecule and using the nuclear spin of the atoms inside it as the computing system. Plus they can do it at room temperature. I don't understand it and I think it's incredible.

Of course if you're looking for a simpler and likely cheaper holiday gift for the PC gamer in your life, check out our holiday gift guide (opens in new tab). If you can't manage a quantum computer for Xmas, I'm sure a statue of Geralt in a tub would be a great second choice.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.