ARGB

This system is designed for gamers who want a compact system but aren't willing to sacrifice performance to get iit. This box has all the power of our $2,000 Premium ATX Build packed into a compact, stylish case that's dwarfed by standard towers. Amazingly, there's no price premium to pay to get such a unique PC, making this PC a pretty good value too.

For July 2019, this build continues to be defined by the slim and stylish SilverStone Raven ARGB case, a cutting-edge enclosure that's a perfect match for an ultra-modern gaming PC. Inside, the system features an Intel Core i7-9700K, which packs in eight cores that can boost up to 4.9GHz. It's cooled by a combination of a low-profile Noctua NH-L12S cooler and an additional Scythe ultra-slim fan. On graphics duty, you're getting Nvidia's incredibly powerful GeForce RTX 2080 8GB video card, which can easily drive any game at 4K, and of course can handle any VR title. Also on the build list is 16GB of high-speed RAM, an ultra-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, and a compact 650W Gold-rated power supply.

For help building this system, check out our review of the RVZ01-E case - it's identical to the RVZ03 inside. And to see past month's builds, just flip over to The Archive, and to see recommended accessories for this build, just scroll down to the bottom of this guide.

To support continued development of these guides, please use the purchase links we provide when you're ready to buy your ITX machine!

The $2,000 Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build - June 2019

    CPU:

    Intel Core i7-9700K

    The Core i7-9700K is the ideal gamer's chip. It offers eight ultra-fast cores with additional headroom for overclocking, providing simply unbeatable performance when it comes to gaming. To manage the heat output of this power-hungry CPU, we've come up with a semi-custom cooling solution, which you'll read more about later in this guide! 

    The Guru's Tip:

    Intel has officially dropped the price on this CPU, making it an even better pick for hard-core gamers!

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte Z390 I AORUS Pro WiFi

    This tiny board truly has it all: a 7 power phase design, top-of-the-line Realtek ALC1220 audio, dual full-length M.2 slots (one in front, one on the rear of the board), seven USB ports (including a true Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port), Intel wired networking, 802.11ac wireless networking with Bluetooth, DisplayPort and HDMI.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Avoid the Asus Z390I motherboard - it will not work with this build, as the heatsink shroud is too large to fit any low-profile coolers over it. That's a serious oversight from Asus in terms of product testing.

    Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC Gaming 8GB

    The RTX 2080 8GB GPU is a gaming powerhouse, able to cut through any game, even at 4K resolutions. And this model has a great dual-fan cooler and a big factory overclock.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you can only use dual-slot models in this build, so be very careful if you try to substitute in another RTX 2080 for the one we recommend - many are triple slot!

    Memory:

    Ballistix 2x8GB Sport LT DDR4-3200 CL16

    To get the most out of your Core i7, you want high-frequency DDR4 memory. For the Ultimate ITX Gamer, we go with high speed DDR4-3200 in a 2x8GB configuration, which gives you both tremendous speed and plenty of capacity. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is in fact the tallest RAM kit that will fit in this build - please don't go with RGB-lit modules, as they will not fit under the CPU cooler.

    Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    For an extreme ITX build, nothing less than an ultra-fast PCIe drive will do, and the best pick today is the XPG SX8200 Pro, which has made every other PCIe drive seem massively overpriced. Offering top-tier performance at a mid-range price, it's the best drive you can buy anywhere near its price.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver to install this into one of the motherboard's M.2 slots, and we recommend you use the top-mounted slot for better cooling.

    Case:

    SilverStone RVZ03B-ARGB

    The RVZ03 ARGB offers the trail-blazing interior layout that SilverStone pioneeered, while adding a brilliant addressable RGB lightstrip to the front panel for that extra visual punch. It can even be controlled via the motherboard we recommend!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The difference between addressable RGBs and standard RGBs is that each LED in a given strip can display a different color at any given moment. The way motherboards typically control this is to display a moving rainbow or gradient down the strip, which provides a very cool motion effect.

    Power Supply:

    SilverStone SST-SX650-G

    The case above can technically fit either 100mm-long SFX units or 150mm-long ATX-class power supplies, but to provide a positive building experience, we recommend an SFX model, specifically this awesome 650W Gold-rated unit. It's incredibly powerful for its size, with more than enough output to handle the ultra-high-end CPU and GPU featured in this build. If you attempted to use an ATX PSU, you'd find there was no space for its cables!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Up until very recently, it was impossible to buy an SFX PSU with this much wattage - the advancements in PSU miniaturization and efficiency have been quite significant!

    Adapter:

    SilverStone RL-PP08B Bracket

    In order to use an SFX power supply like the one we recommend above, you'll need the SilverStone PP08 SFX adapter, as the case only has built-in mounts for a full-size ATX PSU.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You may ask why use a smaller power supply if you could fit a larger one... and the answer is that it will be a whole lot easier to install! Trust us - this is a great investment!

    CPU Cooler:

    Noctua NH-L12S

    Keeping a CPU cool in a compact case is always a challenge, but this exquisitely-crafted slimline cooler from Noctua exemplifies the very best of the best in compact cooling design. You can read more about it in our shootout review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This cooler is 70mm tall, leaving 13mm between it and the case side panel above it. And you know what you're going to slip into that space? The 12mm SlipStream fan listed below! It will greatly increase the cooling capacity of the NH-L12S.

    Fan:

    Scythe SY1212SL12M Slip Stream 120 mm

    Scythe has been in the fan business for decades, making some of the most award-winning models on the market. And with its slim Slip Stream, it offers the only 12mm-thick fan on the market, which makes it a perfect fit for this build. Attach it as an exhaust fan to the side panel above of your SilverStone case to help pull more air through the Noctua CPU cooler, effectively making it a "push-pull" setup. This is what's required to keep a Core i7-9700K cool in this system!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this fan is only available in a two-pack, but it's still worth buying because it's the ONLY 12mm-thick fan on the market! Do not buy any other "slim fan", as they are all 15mm thick, and will not fit in this build!

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    Windows 10 wipes away all the bad memories left behind by Windows 8, improving enormously on the user interface, and bringing with it some important performance tweaks under the hood.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is the USB 3.0 version of W10, which loads in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    Corsair overwhelms the competition with its one-of-a-kind K70 Rapidfire Low Profile, which uses Cherry's revolutionary low-profile mechanical switches. They provide ultra-fast response while maintaining the benefits of a true mechanical keyboard. The one thing they lose: the clicky-clack noise of every other mechanical model.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this amazing keyboard in our full hands-on review.

    The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G703 Lightspeed

    We've tested dozens of mice over the years, and we have one favorite: the G703. Comfortable to hold, conservatively styled, and yet absolutely packed with the highest-end tech, it's an unstoppable force. Featuring the Lightspeed wireless system and compatibility with Logitech's proprietary PowerPlay wireless charging mat, it simply has no competition.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this awesome mouse in our full hands-on review.

    The Gamer's Dream Monitor:

    Acer XB271HU

    Get the most out of your new gaming rig with this sweet high-refresh rate G-Sync monitor from Acer, which features a 27" 2560x1440 panel running at up to 165Hz. And with G-Sync, you don't notice any hitching or lagging, because the frames displayed will always sync with the frames delivered by the GPU.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that there a number of other monitors that use a TN panel. This model's IPS panel is far superior in terms of colors and off-angle viewing.