The Best $1500 High-End Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – December 2022

By Ari Altman | Published November 29, 2022 | Updated November 29, 2022

SG16Serious Gaming Power in a Tiny Box!

Are you a gamer who wants extreme gaming capability in a tiny package? Then the $1,500 High-End Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build is for you! This system takes up barely 1/3 the space of a typical gaming tower while packing in the same performance, making it perfect for gaming on the go or in your living room. In other words, despite its compact size, the $1,500 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build is a totally legit high-end gaming PC, the equal of massive PCs that cost the same or more!

Today’s Build, Powered by Intel and Nvidia!

For December 2022, this build takes advantage of a massive price cut on Intel CPUs, specifically the Intel Core i5-12600KF, a 10-core, 16-thread CPU that offers incredible power for the price. It’s supporting the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB, the most powerful GPU you can fit in this system.

Also on the build list is 16GB of speedy DDR4-3600 RAM, along with a quick 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive. The build comes together in the compact SilverStone SG16 chassis and uses a 120mm liquid cooler that maximizes the system’s cooling performance. Finally, feeding this system is a quiet, efficient 650W power supply. Learn more about building in the SG16 case in our full review below.

Parting Thoughts

We also our favorite accessories for the $1,500 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build at the end of this guide, including a great keyboard and mouse, so don’t forget to scroll down to check those out! Note that in our buyer’s guide below, we have dedicated links to Amazon for our US readers, which will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and many countries in the EU. Your use of these product links is the only thing that will keep this site going!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i5-12600KF

    The 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs are Intel’s most impressive release in a decade, and the Core i5-12600KF offers the best value of the bunch. Packing in a total of 10 cores (6 performance and 4 efficiency), plus an additional 6 threads, it can easily beat anything AMD has in games, and has productivity power on par with the best previous-gen 8 cores. Note that this “KF” version does not have onboard graphics, but is otherwise identical to the 12600K.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU does not come with a cooler, so make sure to grab the liquid cooler we recommend later in this guide!

  • 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

    Note that this board does not support overclocking. While the unlocked processor we recommend will only run at stock speed, it will still be very fast!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 3070 8GB Twin Edge

    Zotac’s RTX 3070 Twin Edge offers fantastic performance and great cooling with very low noise levels. While the 3070 was out of reach for a long time, it can finally be yours at a great price!
    The Guru’s Tip

    At 9.1" long, this card will easily fit in the case we recommend, which has 10.8" of clearance. It's actually the most powerful GPU of any kind that will fit in this system!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x8GB Ripjaws V DDR4-3600 16-19-19

    To get the most out of DDR4 memory, you want high frequencies, and G.Skill’s Ripjaws V 2x8GB DDR4-3600 CL16 kit delivers! DDR4-3600 is the sweet spot in terms of compatibility with the majority of DDR4-based systems, but most kits have weak timings. This one, on the other hand, is the real deal: 16-19-19 at 1.35V, to be exact.
    The Guru’s Tip

    The kit has the absolute perfect combination of frequency and timings for the Intel DDR4-based platform!

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD Blue SN570 1TB NVMe

    WD knocked it out of the park with its high-performance yet bargain-priced SN570. Optimized for excellent real-world performance thanks to WD’s years of SSD development, it easily keeps up with much more expensive drives. This 1TB model can provide sequential read speeds of 3500MB/s and write speeds of 3500MB/s. Note that you’ll need a jeweler’s-type screwdriver to affix it.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Remember to install this drive before you install the motherboard in the case!

  • Case

    SilverStone SG16

    Coming in at just 13 liters despite impressive component compatibility and exceptional airflow, the SG16 stands alone. 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 SG16, on the other hand, is a value-packed option designed by the biggest name in the ITX industry, SilverStone. It has 120mm fan mounts front and rear (almost unheard of in this size-class), and it can fit video cards up to 10.8″ long.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This case is also available in a sleek white finish, which is listed on the same product page.

  • Case Fan

    Scythe Kaze Flex 120mm Fan

    Scythe has been in the cooling business for decades, and we actually have some of their fans from the early 2000s still running in our systems! What makes the Kaze Flex and its predecessors so good are the high-quality fluid dynamic bearings Scythe uses, plus a unique fan blade design that allows for extraordinary cooling even at a quiet maximum speed of 1200RPM. In our testing, the Kaze Flex has proven to be the best 120mm case fan on the market! There’s also a black version of this fan available for a few dollars more with a boosted max of 1500RPM.
    The Guru’s Tip

    You'll be mounting this fan to the front of the chassis to provide cool intake air to the motherboard, RAM, and CPU.

  • Power Supply

    SilverStone SST-SX650-G

    For a high-powered build like this one, you need a serious power supply, and this awesome 650W Gold-rated unit is our top pick. It’s incredibly powerful for its size, with more than enough output to handle the CPU and GPU featured in this build (including 4 PCIe power connectors – a single GPU can use up to 3!).
    The Guru’s Tip

    While the case we recommend can technically fit a full-size ATX power supply, going with this ultra-compact SFX model will make the PC so much easier to build and keep cool thanks to all the extra room it frees up inside, like the awesome cooler we recommend!

  • CPU Cooler

    DeepCool LS320

    Keeping a CPU cool in a high-powered, compact PC can be a challenge, but this liquid cooler has what it takes to get the job done. It is far superior to any low-profile air cooler, and it will match many of the best 120mm tower coolers. All that and it’s easier to install too!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Mount the radiator and fan to the rear of the chassis. There's plenty of space, as this case is perfectly designed for 120mm liquid cooling!

  • 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 over six months to release Windows 11 to retail after initially making it available as an update to Win10 owners, but now that it's here, you definitely want the latest OS on your DIY PC!

Optional Products

  • The 27" 2560x1440 Gaming Monitor

    HP X27q

    HP has taken over the value high-end gaming monitor market with the X27q. Didn’t think you could get value in a high-end monitor? Think again! The X27q offers all the specs you could want: a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS panel capable of a 165Hz refresh rate, enhanced with FreeSync Premium frame-syncing technology. Previously, you couldn’t get anything but an inferior TN panel for this price. The X27q even has a height-adjustable stand, which we consider critical for a high-end monitor, making this a flat-out winner!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This monitor will let you get the most out of your new high-end gaming PC!

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Corsair K55 RGB Pro

    Pick up a great keyboard at a great price with the K55. It offers IP42-rated dust and spill resistance, zoned RGB backlighting, dedicated macro and media keys, plus quiet keys with a tactile bump to provide great feedback with low noise levels!
    The Guru’s Tip

    You can control the RGB effects of this keyboard using Corsair's iCUE software.

  • 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

    Whether you're using your PC from a desk or the couch, this is the perfect mouse!

  • 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

    We figure if you're building a small PC, it's very likely going to be tucked far enough away from you that using a wired headset will be a no-go!

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