LD03

If you're looking for a no-holds-barred extreme PC in a sleek, compact chassis, this is the one for you! This system might be dwarfed by standard towers, but it can easily keep up with them thanks to its extreme components. And amazingly, there is virtually no price premium for getting a system of this caliber down to a portable size, making this PC a pretty good value too.

For July 2019, this build gets a complete overhaul thanks to the brand-new SilverStone LD03 case. At just 25 liters, it's the first small form factor case designed from the ground-up for dual liquid cooling radiators. Why's that such a big deal? Because it allows you to pack in the deadly combo of an Intel Core i9-9900K CPU and a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU and max them both out simultaneously. Seriously, that just not possible in any other SFF case.

With that said, being "Ultra-Extreme" doesn't begin and end with the CPU and GPU. That's why this build also features an ultra-fast PCIe-based 1TB solid-state drive, 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM, and a 700W Platinum-rated power supply. To keep things cool in this ultra-slim case, you need an advanced cooling solution, and as we mentioned, you're getting a dual liquid setup, with the MSI 2080 Ti Sea Hawk X for your GPU, and the Corsair Hydro H60 120mm cooler for the CPU.

To learn how to build up this system, definitely check out our hands-on guide, which will teach you everything you need to know about the unique setup of this PC. Want to see how this guide has evolved over time? Then check out The Archive! To support continued development of this guide, please use the Amazon links we provide in the guide. Not only do we have dedicated links for the US, Canada, UK, and Germany, but we've also set up link conversions for our readers in France, Italy, and Spain - just click on the main US link to see our component picks in your regional Amazon storefront!

The $2,500 Ultra-Extreme Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build - July 2019

    CPU:

    Intel Core i9-9900K

    The Intel Core i9-9900K is an eight-core, 16-thread CPU with more than enough power to push modern games to maximum framerates. It can boost up to 5GHz on a single core out of the box, and with the cooler we recommend in this guide will easily run at 5GHz on all cores with some simple overclocking!

    The Guru's Tip:

    PRIME DAY DEAL: Pick up the Intel Core i9-9900KF, an 8-core, 16-thread chip that drops the integrated GPU for $440 - it's perfect for gamers using add-in video cards!

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte Z390 I AORUS Pro WiFi

    This great board features dual M.2 slots (one in front, one underneath), built-in 802.11ac wireless networking with Bluetooth, and six USB ports, including a Type-C port.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, you really do want to stick with a Z390 board for the 9900K processor. While Z370 boards can potentally support it, they likely won't have the proper firmware out of the box.

    Video Card:

    MSI GeForce RTX 2080 TI SEA Hawk X

    For this build, we recommend nothing less than the king of the hill: a liquid-cooled RTX 2080 Ti 11GB! This card will absolutely blow through any game, and with its integrated 120mm radiator, it will maintain maximum boost no matter how hard you push it!

    The Guru's Tip:

    You'll need to replace one of the pre-installed case fans with this card's radiator and fan.

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200

    To get the most out of this system, you want high frequency DDR4, and we recommend this high-speed DDR4-3200 kit in a 2x8GB configuration, which hits the sweet spot in terms of price and performance. It will help eliminate any bottlenecks in getting data to your CPU.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We go with a sweet RGB kit here since the case used in this build is a great showcase for system lighting.

    Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    A massive price war in the SSD market has led to a huge price drop on SSDs, and the SX8200 Pro is the very fastest drive you can find for under $200. Using the PCIe interface to full effect, it easily beats every SATA drive ever released, even those that fall into its price range.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This M.2 drive will slot right into the motherboard - no cables required!

    Case:

    SilverStone LD03

    This awesome 25-liter case from SilverStone allows you to absolutely max out an ITX build while still remaining very compact. It includes dual 120mm fans, although in this system, these will be replaced with dual liquid cooling radiators used for the CPU and GPU. And thankss to having tempered glass panels on three sides, this case is a true "showcase"!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Check out our exclusive hands-on assembly guide for the LD03 for all the tips and tricks to get this thing running perfectly! Based on our testing, there's only one "right" way to set up your liquid coolers - the GPU radiator has to exhaust out the top, and the CPU radiator has to intake through the bottom.

    Power Supply:

    SilverStone SX700-LPT

    There's no better power supply for this build than this 700W unit. It's fully-modular, which means you'll only use the cables you need, and thanks to its Platinum-rated efficiency and zero-fan mode, it's incredibly quiet.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this unit in our hands-on review!

    CPU Cooler:

    Corsair Hydro Series H60 2018

    Keeping a hot-clocked CPU cool in a compact case is always a challenge, but this awesome liquid cooler from Corsair delivers the performance you crave. It offers massive cooling capacity, equal to the largest air coolers on the market, but packed into a sleek, attractive format. Learn more about it in our hands-on review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To fit this cooler, you'll need to remove one of the case's pre-installed 120mm fans.

    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 USB 3.0 version of W10 will install in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    This is the very best gaming keyboard on the market, bar none, thanks to its use of the brand-new, Corsair-exclusive Cherry MX Speed Low Profile switches.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more in our hands-on review of this awesome keyboard.

    The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G703 Lightspeed

    Need a great gaming mouse? Look no further than this wireless model from Logitech, which offers performance that beats most wired mice! Read our full review here!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Make this mouse even better with Logitech's Powerplay charging mat, which will allow you to use without ever plugging in to charge!

    The 35-inch Widescreen Monitor:

    Acer Predator Z35P

    Pair your new ultimate gaming PC with an ultra-wide high-refresh rate G-Sync monitor for unmatched smoothness and immersion. This big 35" model features a 3440x 1440 VA panel that operates at up to 120Hz for stutter-free performance.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Thanks to its Nvidia  G-Sync capability, this monitor will sync its refresh rate to the frames per second generated by your Nvidia GeForce video card, offering ultra-smooth gaming no matter how intense the action gets!