Building a Small Form Factor PC - January 2020
Published January 15, 2020
If you're ready to build your own dream Small Form Factor (SFF) PC and need help from the experts to select the perfect parts, you've come to the right place! We've been publishing our comprehensive SFF component buyer's guides and hands-on assembly guides for over 5 years, so no one else can get you up and running in the world of SFF PCs better than we can! Whether it's a budget-friendly kitchen PC, a compact yet powerful small office or content creatin PC, or an ultra-high-end gaming system, we've got you covered. We think SFF systems, which we define as having a total volume of under 25 liters, represent the future of desktop computing, and once you've built your own SFF PC, we know you'll agree! So, if you're ready to take the plunge, keep reading and you'll find all the information you need.
For January 2020, there are a lot of big changes to report, from top to bottom! First of all, after a very long wait, the exquisite Lian-Li TU150, shown above, is finally available, and we feature it in our $3,000 Mini-ITX Content Creation PC, which is truly the ultimate portable workstation, thanks to its 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 3950X CPU! At the oppostive end of the spectrum, making a reappearance after a long absence is the Antec ISK110 case in our $500 Home Office Mini PC, which is perfect for just about any home PC use. In other news, we've switched over every single one of our SFF guides to AMD Ryzen CPUs, save for the Intel-exclusive NUC PC, as AMD is now the undisputed leader in the CPU market. And even the NUC guide has an update, as the 10th-generation NUCs have made an appearance (although the initial supply sold out within days, which is pretty typical for Intel given its production problems!).
But that's not all! We spent three days in Las Vegas in early January to bring you the latest news from all the biggest players in the SFF market, and to share all of our findings, plus the biggest updates for all of our guides, we've published a Winter 2020 update on YouTube to bring you up to date. Definitely check it out below, and then post your questions and comments on YouTube!
As you consider building your own SFF system, keep in mind that every compact case is unique, so no single build guide can tell you exactly how certain components will fit together in that case. SFF cases often arrange components in a way that makes it difficult to install otherwise standard PC parts. That's why in addition to our many SFF Buyer's Guides, we've worked hard to put together a comprehensive set of step-by-step assembly guides covering a wide range of case layouts. We believe these are the most comprehensive step-by-step PC building guides you'll find anywhere! By the way, at TBG, we pride ourselves on always keeping our readers apprised of the latest and greatest in SFF gear. And that's why we recently took the time to publish a massive low-profile CPU cooler shootout, a labor of love that we felt was necessary to make sure you only get the best - you can check out the review to see which cooler was victorious!
All of our Buyer's Guides shown below provide direct product links to Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany, with regional substitutions made where necessary. If you purchase any of the components profiled in this guide, please use our links, which helps support continued development of this guide.
Scroll down to find your dream system!