The Best $1000 eSports Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – September 2022

By Ari Altman | Published August 24, 2022 | Updated August 24, 2022

SilverStone SG13 The Super-Compact 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 AMD

For September 2022, the $1,000 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build gets massive upgrades across the board, thanks to price drops and new component selections. It all starts with Intel’s value-packed Core i5-12400F, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that offers tremendous gaming performance for the price. It’s truly the best value in a gaming CPU today! We’re recommending you pair it with the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB GPU for this build, which has dropped way down in price, making it the best value among any GPU on the market!

In terms of storage, this build gets an ultra-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, along with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM. Once you have all your new gear in hand, you’ll be powering it up with a 450W Gold-rated power supply and installing it in the easily portable SilverStone SG13 chassis, which clocks in at just 11.5 liters (that’s small!). Learn more about building a system in the SG13 from our hands-on how-to guide!

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 links for our readers in the United States, which 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 i5-12400F

    The 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs are Intel’s most impressive release in a decade, and the Core i5-12400F offers the best value not only among Alder Lake CPUs, but among any CPU ever released! Packing in 6 performance cores and 6 additional threads, it can easily beat any CPU at its pricepoint, including everything from AMD! The “F” version of the 12400 does not include onboard graphics, but that’s fine for this build, which uses a separate video card.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU includes a 47mm-tall cooler that will work perfectly in this system!

  • Motherboard

    ASRock B660M-ITX/AC

    This low-cost mini-ITX board is the perfect option for a compact PC build. It uses socket 1700, which provides compatibility with the latest Intel CPUs, and includes a PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 slot for fast solid-state drives, dual RAM slots, and four USB ports. It even has built-in 802.11ac wireless networking, making it a tremendous value!
    The Guru’s Tip

    There are very few choices of ITX motherboards on Socket 1700. Make sure you don't buy a board with an incorrect size or socket!

  • Video Card

    PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 XT Fighter 8GB

    Get into serious PC gaming today with the Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB. It has plenty of power to tackle any modern game, easily beating any Nvidia GeForce GPU anywhere near its pricepoint.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This model is just 8.35" long, meaning it will easily fit in the case, which has a 10.6" limit.

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x8GB Ripjaws V DDR4-3200

    Because games and other applications can take serious advantage of RAM speed on the latest CPUs, we’re spec’ing a fast DDR4-3200 kit for this build. The Ripjaws V set looks awesome and comes in at a lower price than all of its competition!
    The Guru’s Tip

    DDR4-3200 is a sweet spot for price/performance.

  • Solid-State Drive

    Silicon Power 1TB NVMe

    You simply can’t do better for the price than this value-packed SSD, which uses the speedy PCIe 3.0 interface and TLC NAND to vastly outperform all the SATA drives that sell for around the same amount! Note that to install this drive, you’ll affix it in an M.2 slot on your motherboard 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 SG13

    Coming in at under 12 liters, the SG13 created a whole new class of high-performance cases, and it’s still the only one available at a reasonable cost! There are smaller “kick-started” cases out there, but they often come with a whole lot of “gotchas”, one of which is always an exorbitant price! The SG13, on the other hand, is a value-packed option supported by the biggest name in the ITX industry, SilverStone. It can fit video cards up to 10.6″ long, and in its default configuration, CPU coolers up to 61mm tall.
    The Guru’s Tip

    CPU cooler clearance is bumped up by a few millimeters when using the slimmer SFX power supply and its included adapter, listed below, although for this build, we recommend sticking with the stock Intel cooler.

  • Power Supply

    EVGA Supernova 450GM

    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 power supply includes the SFX-to-ATX adapter required for use with the SG13 case above.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home USB

    Windows 11 take everything people loved about Windows 10, and then takes it to 11! It adds significant under-the-hood changes to make it faster and more secure, and of course, the interface is sleek too!
    The Guru’s Tip

    It took Microsoft about 6 months to release Win11 to retail after launching it as an upgrade-only option, but it's finally here, and it's what you want for a modern gaming PC!

Optional Products

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    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

    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 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor

    AOC 24G2

    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!

  • The Budget Wireless PC Headset

    ‎SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

    SteelSeries has made a name for itself in the gaming headset world with its no-nonsense focus on performance. The Arctis 1 follows in this tradition with high-end drivers, lossless 2.4 GHz wireless for ultra-low latency wireless connectivity on both PC and PS4/PS5, a detachable bidirectional microphone, and 20 hours of battery life.
    The Guru’s Tip

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

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