The Best $2,000 ITX Gaming PC Build

This system is designed for gamers who want a compact system but aren't willing to sacrifice performance to get it. The $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build has all the power of a full-blown desktop gaming PC, 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 September 2020, the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features Intel's awesome new Core i7-10700K processor, which offers 8 cores, 12 threads, and the ability to clock all the way to 5GHz! Of course, you also need plenty of GPU power to get through the latest games, and that comes courtesy of Nvidia's just-announced RTX 3080 10GB, which arrives on September 17th, and blows by the previous king-of-the-hill, the RTX 2080 Ti. It can easily handle any game at 4K or ultra-wide resolutions. With all that said, this build is truly defined by the slim and stylish SilverStone Fortress FTZ01 case, a beautiful brushed aluminum enclosure that's a perfect match for an ultra-modern gaming PC. Also on the build list is 16GB of fast, low-profile DDR4-3600 RAM, a speedy 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, our favorite low-profile cooler (the Noctua NH-L12S), and a compact 650W Gold-rated power supply.

For help building this system, check out our review of the RVZ01-E case - it's similar to the FTZ01-E 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.

Throughout this guide, you'll see direct links to Amazon or Newegg for US readers, and Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany for readers in our regions. To support continued development of these guides, please use these links when you're ready to buy your ITX machine!

The $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build - September 2020

  • CPU:

    Intel Core i7 10700K @Newegg

    Picking up where last-gen's Core i9-9900K left off, the new Core i7-10700K offers the same speed for $100 less, plus a brand-new platform and CPU socket that will allow you to upgrade to even more advanced CPUs in the future.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, you need a new Z490 motherboard for this CPU - it will not even fit in older motherboards!

  • Motherboard:

    ASRock Z490M-ITX/ac

    This board has all the features you need for a high-end build, despite its reasonable pricepoint. It offers dual M.2 slots, built-in 802.11ac networking, and eight USB ports (including Type-C). And of course it supports overclocking of both the CPU and RAM.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Make sure you don't buy an older Z390 motherboard - it will not support the socket 1200 processor used in this build!

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 Super XC Gaming 8GB @Newegg

    CRITICAL UPDATE: Nvidia killed off the RTX 2080 Super months in advance of its replacement (the 3080) hitting the market, so here's our very strong recommendation to you: rather than buy one used at a markup, wait for its replacement, the RTX 3080 10GB, to arrive on September 17th at the $700 pricepoint. You can use the CPU's built-in graphics in the meantime to get your system up and running. If you just can't wait to game, we've listed a placeholder RTX 2070 Super here, which you can buy now, register with EVGA, and then trade up using EVGA's 90-day Step-Up program. EVGA will give you the full retail value of the card when you trade it in for an RTX 3080.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The 90-day Step-Up Program is open to residents of the US, Canada, and the EU.

  • Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600 18-22-22

    To get the most out of your $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build, you want 16GB of RAM, and this kit comes in at a great price.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is in fact the tallest RAM kit that will fit in this build - they'll slip in right under the low-profile heatsink. Buy any other brand and prepare to run your CPU without a heatsink (i.e., to fry your system!).

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    For the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build, we recommend the very fast SX8200 Pro 1TB, a PCIe 3.0 drive that offers read speeds of up to 3,500MB/s. It's the best drive available under $200!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver to install this into the motherboard's bottom-mounted M.2 slot.

  • Case:

    SilverStone FTZ01S

    This gorgeous case is one of a kind. Featuring a sand-blasted aluminum exterior (we like the silver model in particular!), it looks totally pro, while the interior gives you space for a big video card despite the volume of just 14 liters.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this version of the FTZ01 has a built-in mount for SFX and SFX-L power supplies.

  • Power Supply:

    SilverStone SST-SX650-G

    For the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build, you need an SFX-class power supply, 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:

    This PSU will mount inside the FTZ01 case without the need for an adapter, and will provide plenty of extra room for cabling.

  • 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 the hot-blooded eight-core CPU in the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build 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.

  • 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 Wireless Keyboard:

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Linear)

    Logitech takes over the high-end keyboard market with its amazing ultra-slim G915, the only wireless, mechanical, RGB keyboard on the market. And it feels as good as it looks!

    The Guru's Tip:

    See our full review right here!

  • The High-End Gaming Mouse:

    Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

    We've tested dozens of mice over the years, and we have a new favorite model under the $100 pricepoint: the Dark Core SE from Corsair. With an ultra-high-end 18,000dpi sensor, amazing ergonomics that allows it to conform perfectly to your hand, plus the extreme bandwidth provided by the new Slipstream wireless system, this cordless mouse is a true dream come true. It also has some really trick looking RGB effects, if you're into that!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The SE version of the Dark Core RGB Pro adds Qi charging to its list of features, allowing you to use any Qi charging pad you have to give its battery a boost.

  • The 35-inch Widescreen Monitor:

    Acer Nitro XV340CK

    Offering a big 34" IPS panel, a 3440 x 1440 resolution, and an incredible 144Hz refresh rate (plus 1ms response time), this monitor offers amazing motion clarity and image quality. But most importantly, it has FreeSync technology, which will help get the very most out of the high framerates that your high-end GPU can deliver, now that GeForce cards are compatible with FreeSync.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The huge ultra-wide is less expensive than most similar models because it drops the curve, but in our opinion, that's actually an advantage in a lot of ways!