The Best $1000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – November 2021

By Ari Altman | Published October 28, 2021 | Updated October 28, 2021

Silverstone RVZ02 The Super-Slim Powerhouse!

While sales of PCs have been up and down over the past few years, there’s one area that’s growing at an amazing rate, and that’s eSports gaming PCs. What makes a gaming PC an eSports gaming PC? It’s simple: hitting the sweet spot on portability, price, and performance. This build will give you all that, along with the win in your next competition!

This Month’s Build, Powered by Intel and Nvidia

For November 2021, the $1,000 Slim Mini-ITX Build features Intel’s Core i3-10100F, a four-core, 8-thread CPU that boosts to 4.3GHz and offers tremendous gaming performance for the price. We’re recommending you pair it with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB video card for this build, which is plenty fast for any eSports title.

In terms of storage, this build gets an ultra-fast 500GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, along with 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM. Once you have all your new gear in hand, you’ll be installing it in the easily portable SilverStone RVZ02 chassis, and powering it up with a 450W Gold-rated power supply. You can learn more about this build and ask any and all questions in our YouTube assembly guide featuring the nearly identical ML08 case.

Parting Thoughts

We also list some of our very favorite peripherals for gamers looking for maximum performance at a fantastic price. Scroll all the way down to check them out! And if this build isn’t quite what you’re looking for, we have a feeling we have another solution that will for for you, so just flip over to our Introduction to Small Form Factor PCs to learn more about our other compact options.

We provide Amazon or Newegg links for our readers in the United States, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with automatic substitutions made where necessary. If you decide to purchase any of the products listed below, please use the links provided, which helps support continued development of this guide.

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i3-10100F

    $96

    While AMD ruled the budget sector for a while, Intel has come roaring back, and its Core i3-10100F is simply unbeatable at the price, thanks to its 4 cores, 8 threads, and high clock speed. It’s by far the best gaming CPU at its pricepoint.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU includes a cooler that is more than adequate, but if you'd like lower noise levels, go for the optional model listed later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    MSI H510I PRO WiFi

    $130

    This low-cost mini-ITX board offers all the features you need for a compact build. That includes an M.2 SSD slot, dual RAM slots, six USB ports, and next-gen WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. Note that this is a socket LGA 1200 motherboard, so if it’s out of stock, make sure that you don’t pick an alternative model with a different CPU socket!

    The Guru’s Tip

    All ITX motherboards are in short supply, so if you see this one in stock, grab it!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB @Newegg

    $325

    This powerful and efficient GPU offers 4GB of fast GDDR6 VRAM and an efficient cooler to keep noise and temps down, making it perfect regardless of how much you push it!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Yes, this is selling for over MSRP, but it's currently the least expensive gaming-grade video card available.

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x8GB Ripjaws V DDR4-2666 CL15

    $66

    With 16GB of RAM, you’ll have plenty of capacity for any task. Why do we choose this kit in particular? It offers great speed for the price thanks to tight CL15 timings, rare on 2666 kits. Most kits are far slower for the same price!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is maximum RAM speed supported by the CPU and motherboard combo we recommend.

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD Blue SN550 500GB NVMe

    $43

    Experience blazing-fast drive performance at a bargain price with WD’s Blue SN550 500GB solid-state drive. Utilizing the PCIe-interface and the NVMe protocol, it can achieve sequential speeds of up to 2,400MB/s, making it nearly five times faster than any SATA-based SSD, and orders of magnitude faster than a hard drive! To install this drive, affix it in the motherboard’s M.2 slot using a jeweler’s-type screwdriver.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Due to this drive's M.2 form factor, it will slip right into the motherboard, taking up zero space in your case, and eliminating typical SATA cable clutter!

  • Case

    SilverStone RVZ02B

    $110

    The RVZ02 is a fantastic choice for a mainstream ITX system. It’s small, at just 12 liters, and yet can fit plenty of high-end gear. It’s also very easy to work in.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that this case has a maximum CPU cooler clearance of 58mm, and that's exactly the height of the optional cooler we recommend later in this guide.

  • Power Supply

    EVGA Supernova 450GM

    $80

    This high-quality SFX-class power supply offers 450W of Gold-rated power, fully-modular cables, and and impressive 7-year warranty, backed by EVGA’s legendary customer service. You simply cannot go wrong with this well-priced unit!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This system will draw around 225W at load, putting it right in the sweet spot of this PSU!

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive @Newegg

    $130
    Windows 10 is the most popular operating system in the world, and Microsoft continues to support users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every year. This USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 11 has launched, and will be provided as a free update to all users of Win10.

Optional Products

  • CPU Cooler

    SilverStone AR06

    $45

    If you want a quiet system, the best change you can make is to upgrade the CPU cooler, and this powerful model from SilverStone will max out the cooling capacity of a low-profile system while minimizing noise.

    The Guru’s Tip

    In order to fit in a system, a cooler not only has to stay below the height limit of the case (which in this build is 58mm), it also has to clear standard-height RAM sticks, and most low-profile coolers don't, but this one does!

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    $50
    Pick up a great keyboard at a great price with the G213. It’s quick, quiet, and responsive, and it also has sweet RGB backlighting, of course!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that while we really like wireless mice, we typically recommend wired keyboards unless you're shopping in the ultra-premium market, as wired keyboard don't need to move around much!

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    $35
    Offering cutting-edge performance, there’s nothing like the Basilisk X for anywhere near the price. Ultra-sensitive sensor, Razer’s awesome HyperSpeed wireless system, and perfect ergonomics. It’s a great mouse!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This mouse is priced like bottom-basement clones, but has the specs to compete with the very best! Don't be fooled into buying the no-name gear for a few dollars less (or more!).

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair HS70 BT @Newegg

    $80
    Great sound, a great look, and wireless freedom. That’s what the HS70 from Corsair gives you, along with a great price!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The Bluetooth functionality of this headset gives it much more flexibility, allowing it to be paired with smartphones and tablets.

  • The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor

    Acer XFA240

    $190
    If you want to pick up a true “gaming” monitor, you want something with a high refresh rate. And this is the very best value out there in high-refresh-rate monitors. It features a 24″ 1920×1080 IPS panel capable of displaying images at up to 144Hz, which makes it infinitely smoother than a standard 60Hz monitor that costs just a bit less. And thanks to its FreeSync technology, it will run with zero lag or screen-tearing. Another nice feature of this model is the height-adjustable stand, which allows you to dial in just the right setup!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Once you've experienced a frame-synced image, you'll never want anything else!

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