ARGB

This system is designed for gamers who want a compact system but aren't willing to sacrifice performance to get it. 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 November 2019, this build is better than ever, thanks to price drops and new product releases. Anchoring this system is Intel's "gamer's special" Core i7-9700KF, which offers everything you need for high-end gaming and nothing you don't: that means no wimpy onboard graphics, and no Hyperthreading. Just eight ultra-fast cores at a great price. Of course, you also need plenty of GPU power, and that comes courtesy of Nvidia's RTX 2080 Super 8GB, which can handle any game even at 4K. With all that said, 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. Also on the build list is an amazing 32GB of low-profile DDR4-3200 (which has hit an all-time low price), an ultra-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, our favorite low-profile cooler (the Noctua NH-L12S), and an ultra-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 - November 2019

    CPU:

    Intel Core i7-9700KF

    The new 9700KF is a dream gaming CPU, thanks to its 8 fast cores. And because it drops the Hyperthreading of the much more expensive 9900KF, it runs cooler, which is critical in an ultra-slim chassis. Luckily, that has no impact on gaming performance, since no games today use more than 8 cores.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is the "F" version of the chip, which drops onboard graphics (and the price!).

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte Z390 I AORUS Pro WiFi

    This tiny board truly has it all: a high-end power design, top-of-the-line Realtek ALC1220 audio, dual full-length M.2 slots (one in front, one on the rear of the board), eightUSB ports (including a Type-C port), Intel wired networking, plus 802.11ac wireless networking and Bluetooth.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the onboard video ports will not function in this build, as the 9700KF processor does not include built-in graphics.

    Video Card:

    MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Super Ventus OC

    The RTX 2080 Super 8GB GPU is a gaming powerhouse, able to cut through any game, even at 4K resolutions. It beats the previous RTX 2080 by about 5%, despite selling for the same price.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that most RTX 2080 Super models will be too thick to install in this case, so definitely go with our suggestion!

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x16GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 Black

    PRICE DROP! 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 2x16GB configuration, which gives you both tremendous speed and tremdendous 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 pioneered, 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! And if you need the ultimate in bling, you can even order this case in white! 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.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Hurry and pick this case up at the pre-tariff price - it's already up to $160 elsewhere!

    Power Supply:

    SilverStone SST-SX650-G

    The case above can technically fit 100mm-long SFX units, 130mm-long SFX-L units, or 150mm-long ATX-class power supplies, but to provide a great building experience, we recommend an SFX model, and this awesome 650W Gold-rated unit is our top pick. 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.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Power supply prices are skyrocketing due to tariffs on China. We update our selections regularly to get you the best value.

    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 if you attempted to use an ATX PSU, you'd find there was no space for its cables!

    CPU Cooler:

    Noctua NH-L12S

    Keeping a CPU cool in a compact case is always a challenge, but this high-powered slimline cooler from Noctua has what it takes to keep a hot-blooded eight-core CPU cool. It's the quietest, highest-performance low-profile cooler on the market, bar none, and we've run the benchmarks to prove it - check them out right here!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This cooler is 70mm tall, which will fit nicely in the case, which offers 83mm of clearance. Note that the stock AMD Wraith Spire cooler that comes with the CPU is too tall!

    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 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G703 Lightspeed w/Hero 16K

    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:

    This new version of the G703 has an upgraded 16K sensor, which makes it faster and amazingly lighter than the original G703 we praised 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.