1,250

If you want the sleekest high-powered ITX gaming system on the planet, this is the guide 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 capability. 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 November 2019, 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 right in the box, 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, this system offers a ultra-fast 512GB 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. This system will truly be ready for any gaming challenge, and can of course pull double duty as an ultra-sleek HTPC!

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.

The $1,250 Slim Mini-ITX Gaming PC - November 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    This system 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 X570 I AORUS Pro WiFi

    This awesome X570-based motherboard has all the latest features, including PCIe 4.0 and USB Type-C. It even includes built-in 802.11ac wireless networking plus Bluetooth.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you must use an X570 mini-ITX board to utilize the Ryzen 5 3600 processor. Older B450 and X470 boards will not have the proper firmware out of the box.

    Video Card:

    Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB

    The RX 5700 XT is a game-changer from AMD, beating Nvidia's RTX 2070 in performance at a much lower price. Its blower-style cooler is also a good fit for a compact case, as it will exhaust heat directly out the back. Another reason that the RX 5700 XT is a good choice is that it uses a reference-sized cooler; many aftermarket coolers are too wide to fit in the slim case used for this build.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You'll receive a code for your choice of Ghost Recon Breakpoint or Borderlands 3 with your purchase of this card, now through Dec. 31st!

    Memory:

    Ballistix 2x8GB Sport LT DDR4-3200 CL16

    For this 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 512GB Rocket 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 TLC 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 custom-designed for portability. 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:

    This case can also support a slimline laptop optical drive if you use a SATA cable adapter.

    Power Supply:

    EVGA Supernova 550 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 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!