H200i

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 September 2019, this build goes with only the best: a liquid-cooled Intel Core i9-9900K 8-core, 16-thread CPU, which will ensure you'll never bottleneck the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU driving your games. 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, a whopping 32GB of high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM (up from 16GB last month due to price cuts!), and an 850W Platinum-rated power supply. And it all comes together in the stylish NZXT H200i ITX case. At just 27 liters, it's incredibly compact, and yet it can fit plenty of high-end ATX-spec gear.

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 - September 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:

    This CPU is selling out frequently, so don't hesitate if you see it in stock!

    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:

    While there are more expensive Z390 ITX boards out there, we don't think there are better boards out there than the AORUS Pro!

    Video Card:

    ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Twin Fan 11GB

    For this build, we recommend nothing less than the king of the hill: the RTX 2080 Ti 11GB! This card will absolutely blow through any game, and can even handle extreme Ray Tracing effects in the latest games.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Please be careful about substituting in other RTX 2080 Ti models - most will be too wide, to fit in the case since they typically use 2.5 to 3 slots. Zotac is one of the very manufacturers making a 2-slot RTX 2080 Ti.

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x16GB 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 2x16GB 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:

    NZXT H200i Mini-ITX Case (Black/Red)

    This awesome 27-liter case allows you to absolutely max out an ITX build while still remaining very compact. It includes dual 120mm fans mounted in the rear and on top, along with built-in RGB lighting that can be controlled via NZXT's CAM software.

    The Guru's Tip:

    In this build, the top fan should be moved the front to act as an intake, with the CPU's radiator taking its place on the roof of the case.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-850PX

    There's no better power supply for this build than this 850W 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:

    At just 140mm long, this compact PSU will slip right into the compact case. It's a much better fit than traditional ATX power supplies, many of which are 170mm or longer.

    CPU Cooler:

    NZXT Kraken M22 120mm

    Keeping a hot-clocked CPU cool in a compact case is always a challenge, but this awesome liquid cooler from NZXT delivers the performance you crave. It offers massive cooling capacity, better than the largest air coolers on the market, but packed into a sleek, attractive format.

    The Guru's Tip:

    To fit this cooler, you'll need to remove the case's pre-installed 120mm fan mounted at the top of the case, moving it to the front.

    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 G502 Lightspeed

    Want the very best gaming mouse on the market? Look no further than this wireless model from Logitech, which offers performance that beats all 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!