While sales of PCs have been up and down over the past few years, there's one area that's growing at an amazing rate, and that's eSports gaming PCs. What makes a gaming PC an eSports gaming PC? It's simple: hitting the sweet spot on portability, price, and performance. This build will give you all that, along with the win in your next competition!

For December 2020, the $1,000 eSports Mini-ITX Build features Intel's Core i5-10400, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that offers tremendous gaming performance for the price. It's supporting AMD's Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB, the ultimate GPU under $300! In terms of storage, the $1,000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build offers an ultra-fast 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Once you have all your new gear in hand, you'll be installing it in the ultra-portable SilverStone ML08 chassis and powering it up with a 500W Gold-rated power supply. You can learn more about this build and ask any and all questions in our YouTube assembly guide!

We also list some of our very favorite peripherals for gamers looking for maximum performance at a fantastic price. Scroll all the way down to check them out! To see how this build has evolved over time, check out our eSports Gaming PC Archive. And if this build isn't quite what you're looking for, we have a feeling we have another solution that will for for you, so just flip over to our Introduction to Small Form Factor PCs to learn more about our other compact options.

We provide Amazon or Newegg links for our readers in the United States, and we also provide direct links to Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany for our readers in other regions, making substitutions where necessary. If you decide to purchase any of the products listed below, please use the links provided, which helps support continued development of this guide.

The $1,000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build - December 2020

  • CPU:

    Intel Core i5-10400

    The $1,000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build gets serious processing chops from Intel's new Core i5-10400, a 6-core CPU with 12 total threads, and a boost speed of well over 4GHz. It will do incredibly well in all modern games, and it has the multi-threaded capability to work through content creation apps far faster than previous-gen chips! It's a huge improvement over previous-gen Core i5 chips. We also like that it has built-in graphics, which aids in building and trouble-shooting a PC, even when it has a separate video card like this one does.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This CPU includes a cooler that fits perfectly in the case we recommend. If you'd like an upgrade for quieter operation, see our recommendation later in this guide.

  • Motherboard:

    ASRock B460M-ITX/ac @Newegg

    This Intel B460-based motherboard is packed with features at a great price. It has an M.2 SSD slot, four USB ports, and built-in 802.11ac wireless networking plus Bluetooth!

    The Guru's Tip:

    We really like the Intel ecosystem for ITX motherboards more than the AMD ecosystem at this point. You get a lot for your money with this board!

  • Video Card:

    Gigabyte Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC 6G @Newegg

    Up your game with the RX 5600 XT 6GB, the fastest card available for under $300. It's a perfect match for this build, thanks to its high performance per dollar and performance per Watt!

    The Guru's Tip:

    You have to be careful about fitting GPUs in this system. While it can accept long GPUs (up to 13"), they must be dual-slot, and many these days are 2.5 slots thick.

  • Memory:

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Elite DDR4-2666 Grey @Newegg

    For the $1000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build, we're going with a generous helping of RAM to make sure you never get bogged down while multi-tasking. 16GB will truly be more than enough for anything you can throw at this system!

    The Guru's Tip:

    DDR4-2666 is the fastest RAM this system's motherboard will support. If you'd like to use faster RAM, upgrade to the Asrock Z490M-ITX/AC motherboard.

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe

    While prices have gone up on SSDs as a whole so far this year, WD has come to the rescue with its SX8200 Pro. Optimized to offer the best performance for the price, this model uses the ultra-fast PCIe interface, the NVMe protocol, and TLC NAND to easily beat every SATA drive on the market.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Due to this drive's M.2 form factor, it will slip right into the motherboard, taking up zero space in your case!

  • Case:

    SilverStone ML08B @Newegg

    The ML08 is a fantastic choice for a mainstream ITX system. It's small, at just 12 liters, and yet can fit plenty of high-end gear. It's also very easy to work in. Learn more about this case in our full assembly video! You can also get the ML08 with a built-in handle.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this case has a maximum CPU cooler clearance of 58mm, and that's exactly the height of the optional cooler we recommend later in this guide.

    Power Supply:

    EVGA Supernova 450 GM

    Using a 92mm fan that runs at lower RPMs and noise levels than previous 80mm-based power supplies, this Gold-rated, fully-modular SFX PSU may be pint-sized, but it packs in the power. With 450W on tap, plus dual PCIe power cables to support gaming-grade video cards, it's a perfect match for this build.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This system will draw around 250W at load, meaning this unit will operate right in its sweet spot for efficiency.

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 on USB @Newegg

    Win 10 is better than Windows 8.1 in every conceivable way. Thank goodness Microsoft listened to critics and came up with an OS that's actually easy to use!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Windows updates W10 every six months, adding new features and enhancing security. Note that in the long run, Microsoft is almost certain to move to a yearly subscription plan, but buying a copy today locks in "permanent" ownership!

Optional Components

  • CPU Cooler:

    Scythe Shuriken 2

    If you want a quiet system, the best change you can make is to upgrade the CPU cooler, and this powerful model from Scythe is the biggest cooler you can fit in this system, meaning it will max out your cooling capacity (while minimizing noise). Learn more about this cooler in our recent low-profile cooler shootout!

    The Guru's Tip:

    In order to fit in a system, a cooler not only has to stay below the height limit of the case (which in this build is 58mm), it also has to clear standard-height RAM sticks, and most low-profile coolers don't, but this one does!

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse:

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    This wireless mouse from Razer comes in at a simply insane price for a high-end model, offering up both the robust "HyperSpeed" wireless system and an ultra-responsive 16,000dpi sensor. At this point, there's almost no reason to go with wires at all!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This set is priced like bottom-basement clones, but has the specs to compete with the very best! Don't be fooled into buying the no-name gear for a few dollars less (or more!).

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K55 RGB

    You get a ton of keyboard for the price with the K55. Built-in wristrest, programmable RGB backlighting, and responsive keys.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that while we really like wireless mice, we typically recommend wired keyboards unless you're shopping in the ultra-premium market, as wired keyboard don't need to move around much!

  • The Mainstream Wireless PC Headset:

    HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless

    Best headset under $100 - that's an easy one. The Cloud Stinger Wireless! Great audio quality, ultra-light weight, and extremely comfortable. There's a reason HyperX is the #1 selling gaming headset brand in the world!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Watch out for all the off-brand headsets selling for nearly the same price. They definitely won't give you the quality or comfort that HyperX delivers!

  • The 25-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor:

    Sceptre E255B-1658A

    Get a cutting-edge monitor for a great price with this 25" Sceptre. It features a 165Hz refresh rate, FreeSync for ultra-smooth frame delivery, and an IPS panel for excellent colors and off-angle viewing. It even has built-in speakers!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Not long ago, monitors with these features would have cost nearly twice as much!