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 July  2020, we've reimagined the $1,000 eSports Build from top to bottom, and it now features Intel's new Core i5-10400, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that offers tremendous gaming performance for the price. It's supporting Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB, the ultimate GPU under $250! In terms of storage, the $1,000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build offers an ultra-fast 500GB 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 absolutely gorgeous Phanteks Evolv Shift Air chassis and powering it up with a 500W Gold-rated power supply. You can learn more about the case we recommend, and post all your questions about this guide, in our full review of the Phanteks Evolv Shift Air Case:

We also list some of our very favorite peripherals for eSports players or any 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 use Amazon's real-time pricing engine, so prices in this guide are always up-to-date. We also include local Amazon links for our readers in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany, making regional substitutions as 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 - July 2020

  • CPU:

    Intel Core i5-10400 @Newegg

    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, and is a better bet than AMD's Ryzen 5 lineup due to a much better selection of available motherboards.

    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, go for the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP.

  • Motherboard:

    ASRock H470M-ITX/ac

    This awesome Intel H470-based motherboard is packed with features at a great price. It has dual M.2 SSD slots, eight USB ports (including a Type-C port), and built-in 802.11ac wireless networking plus Bluetooth!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The fact that you buy an Intel-based motherboard is actually a miracle - every single AMD-based mini-ITX motherboard has vanished from the market!

  • Video Card:

    MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Ventus XS OC

    The GTX 1660 Super is a game-changer in the under-$250 price bracket, with no competition from AMD, and a huge leap in performance over Nvidia's own GTX 1660 (yes, the Super means something!). And this model will fit nicely inside the compact chassis used for this system, thanks to a length of just 8".

    The Guru's Tip:

    This GPU is also very efficient, which means it won't produce much heat or noise.

  • Memory:

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Elite DDR4-2666 Grey

    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 CPU will support.

  • Solid-State Drive:

    WD Blue SN550 500GB NVMe

    While prices have gone up on SSDs as a whole so far this year, WD has come to the rescue with its SN550. 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:

    Phanteks Evolv Shift Air Black

    The Evolv Shift Air is by far the most amazing ITX case you can buy at its pricepoint. Crafted of aluminum and fabric mesh, it looks fantastic, and provides great cooling if you set it up with the components we recommend in this guide. Learn more about this case in our full video review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that out of the box, the GPU bracket faces inward, which is required for longer GPUs, but we spec a short GPU (under 9.5") in this guide, so flip the GPU bracket before you install the GPU!

  • Power Supply:

    SilverStone SST-SX500-G

    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 500W on tap, plus dual PCIe power cables to support high-wattage 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 Flash Drive

    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

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse:

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    This new 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:

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    You get a ton of keyboard for the price with the G213. 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!