The Best $1,500 High-End Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – June 2021
Critical Update: if you want a new Small Form Factor PC any time soon, we have a few options for you, as discussed in this guide: go for one of the few pre-built PCs still on the market, or build up your own DIY PC using an older GPU you have on hand. That’s because GPUs are sold out worldwide due to the latest cryptocurrency mining crisis. Based on current estimates, we believe that GPUs will not be available at retail prices until Fall 2021 at the earliest.
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 desktop while packing in the same performance. That’s perfect for gaming on the go or in your living room, making this small form factor PC a great pick to take to the local eSports tournament or for showing off the latest virtual reality title to your friends. 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 big towers that cost the same or more!
For June 2021, this build features the awe-inspiring AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-thread CPU, which offers exceptional gaming performance at a fantastic price! It will be supporting a very specific one, the amazing EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC. Thanks to its compact size, it will slip easily into this tiny PC and yet packs in more power than the last-gen RTX 2080 Super. While it launched in December 2020, we don’t believe it will be available in reasonable quantities until Fall 2021 due to its immense popularity among cryptocurrency minders. In the meantime, you can get your system up and running using an older GPU that you have on hand. Note that this PC does not have video out capabilities built into its CPU.
Also on the build list is 16GB of speedy DDR4-3600 RAM, along with a quick 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, which has made SATA drives obsolete. But the defining component of the $1,500 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build is the legendary SilverStone SG13 chassis, which has no equal in terms of price or compactness-per-dollar (yeah, we just made that up, but it’s real, trust us!). Amazingly, this tiny chassis has room for a 500W power supply and SilverStone’s impressive PF120 liquid cooler, which easily puts all low-profile air coolers to shame. We know because we’ve tested it! Want to learn more about this build or ask questions? Then check out our YouTube video walking you through how to build this PC!
We also recommend 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, Newegg, or B&H for our US readers, and the Amazon links 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 Pre-Built Option
The High-End Mini PC –
MSI Trident 3 10700F/RTX 2060$1962HOT DEAL – GET IT WHILE IT LASTS! With every single video card sold out at retail and unlikely to return until Summer 2021, going with a built PCs is the only way to score a gaming PC today. With this ultra-slim model from MSI, you’re getting an Intel Core i7-10700F 8-core, 16-thread CPU, a GTX 2060 6GB video card, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD plus a 1TB hard drive, all for an amazing price!
This system comes in at 7 liters, which is shockingly small!
The DIY Option
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X$299 The Guru’s Tip
This CPU comes with a cooler, and while it would fit in this build, it will run hot. We recommend a liquid cooler later in this guide.
Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX$190 The Guru’s Tip
This is the ITX motherboard we use for our ITX test bench, and it's been flawless!
Video Card –
EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC 8GB @EVGA$470 The Guru’s Tip
This is one of the very few RTX 3000 series GPUs that even fits in this system, so we strongly suggest you stick to what we recommend here!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black$94 The Guru’s Tip
We've passed on RGB kits for this build, since you won't see the lighting once it's inside the chassis.
Solid-State Drive –
XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe$110 The Guru’s Tip
Thanks to this model's sleek M.2 design, it requires no cables, and will literally take up no storage space in the $1,500 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build.
SilverStone SG13$52 The Guru’s Tip
To get the most out of this case, we recommend an optimized configuration using a smaller power supply and adapter bracket, both listed below. This will give you much more room to install a high-performance CPU cooler.
Power Supply –
SilverStone SX500-G$100 The Guru’s Tip
You'll need the adapter below to use this power supply in this build.
SilverStone PP08$13 The Guru’s Tip
You can mount your PSU with the fan facing up or down. Facing the fan down will draw more heat out of the chassis but put a bit more stress on the PSU. We think it's a fair tradeoff.
CPU Cooler –
SilverStone PF120-ARGB$80 The Guru’s Tip
We recommend you mount this cooler with the fan as an intake, right up against the front panel, pushing air in through the radiator. That has the added benefit of allowing you to see its cool ARGB effects!
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130 The Guru’s Tip
The USB version of Windows installs in under 5 minutes.
The Budget Gaming Keyboard –
Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard$47 The Guru’s Tip
You can control the RGB effects of this keyboard using Logitech's GHub software.
The Pro Gaming Mouse –
Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless$46 The Guru’s Tip
Whether you're using your PC from a desk or the couch, this is the perfect mouse!
The 27-inch G-Sync Gaming Monitor –
Gigabyte M27Q$320 The Guru’s Tip
Gigabyte has recently entered the monitor market, and is really making a splash with its awesome value per dollar!
The Deluxe PC Headset –
Corsair HS70 BT$100 The Guru’s Tip
These will even work with your smartphone, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth!
Total Cost: $1538
The DIY Option
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 5600X ($299)
- Motherboard – Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX ($190)
- Video Card – EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC 8GB @EVGA ($470)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black ($94)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe ($110)
- Case – SilverStone SG13 ($52)
- Power Supply – SilverStone SX500-G ($100)
- Adapter – SilverStone PP08 ($13)
- CPU Cooler – SilverStone PF120-ARGB ($80)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)