1,250

If you want an ultra-portable, high-powered ITX gaming system, perfect for eSports tournaments or just taking with you on the road, then the $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build is the system for you! The build we profile here may be compact, but it can pack in lots of impressive gear. It features a slim chassis that allows you to build a system the size of a game console, but with far more power. The secret sauce is a proprietary PCIe riser system, which can squeeze in even the largest of dual-slot video cards by mounting them on their side - a creative solution to an otherwise vexing problem in slim cases. 

For January 2020, this build features an awesome gaming combo that delivers simply unbeatable performance: AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 six-core, 12-thread CPU along with AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB. The 3600 is the best CPU ever released under $200 and comes with a great low-profile cooler that's a perfect fit for the $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build, while the RX 5700 XT offers tremendous high-end performance at a midrange price, and critically, a compact form factor that fits in this slim system. In terms of storage, the $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build offers an ultra-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, along with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM. Once you have all your new gear in hand, you'll be installing it in the slim SilverStone RVZ02 chassis and powering it up with a 550W Gold-rated power supply. The $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build will truly be ready for any gaming challenge!

You can learn how to build up this system by following our step-by-step guide. To see how this build compares to past months, just flip to The Archive. And remember, use the product links we provide to help support further development of these guides!

The $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build - January 2020

  • CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    The $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build gets serious processing chops from AMD's Ryzen 5 3600, a 6-core, 12-thread CPU that can boost all the way up to 4.4GHz. It will avail itself quite well in all modern games, as well as fantastic productivity performance.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This CPU includes a great cooler that will fit right into this system, no need to upgrade!

  • Motherboard:

    Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WiFi

    This awesome B450-based motherboard is packed with features at a great price. It has an M.2 slot with heatsink, six USB ports, and built-in 802.11ac wireless networking plus Bluetooth.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that while B450 motherboards didn't support the Ryzen 3000 series at launch, they now do thanks to firmware updates that have made it to retail boards.

  • Video Card:

    Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 5700 XT

    The RX 5700 XT is a game-changer from AMD, easily beating Nvidia's RTX 2060 Super in performance at the same price. And this model has an ultra-quiet twin-fan cooler that's still slim enough to fit inside the compact chassis used for this system.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that some RX 5700 XT models are far too large to fit in the case used in this build, so stick with our recommendation here.

  • Memory:

    Ballistix 2x8GB Sport LT DDR4-3200 CL16

    For the $1,250 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:

    To get this kit to its 3200MHz speed, make sure to enable the XMP profile in the motherboard's UEFI.

  • Solid-State Drive:

    Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe

    Thanks to an all-out price war in the SSD market, prices keep dropping on high-quality drives. This model uses the ultra-fast PCIe interface, the NVMe protocol, and QLC NAND to deliver simply outrageous performance for the price. There simply is no comparison between this and the similarly-priced SATA drives 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 Raven RVZ02B-W

    The RVZ02B is designed for portability, making it the perfect case for $1,250 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build. This case doesn't include any fans, but that's what makes it so small. The CPU, GPU, and power supply all have their own fans that get direct access to outside airflow when mounted in this case, so it's as good as if it were wide open! Note that it has 58mm of clearance for CPU coolers, and AMD's Wraith Stealth, included with the Ryzen 5 3600, is 55mm, making it a perfect fit. Learn more secrets about this case in our full assembly guide!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Need a truly portable system? Then get the add-on carry handle for the RVZ02!

  • 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 550W 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 Gaming Keyboard/Mouse Combo:

    Corsair Gaming K55 Keyboard + Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse

    For robust functionality in a low-cost keyboard and mouse set, go for the Harpoon and K55 combo from Corsair. You get high performance plus great RGB effects, which you can control via Corsair's iCUE software.

    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 Home Theater Keyboard/Trackpad Combo:

    Logitech K600 TV Keyboard

    For the ultimate home theater experience, you'll want a keyboard you can use from the couch, and there's no better option than the Logitech K600. This innovative keyboard packs in two additional input devices: a touchpad and a joystick, making it a true three-in-one device.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can even use the K600 to control smart TVs and streaming sticks thanks to its joystick and Bluetooth connectivity!