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

By Ari Altman | Published May 3, 2022 | Updated May 9, 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 desktop while packing in the same performance. That’s 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 big towers that cost the same or more!

This Month’s Build, Featuring AMD and Nvidia!

For May 2022, this build offers awesome gaming performance, thanks to the value-packed AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-thread CPU, which is supporting Nvidia’s ultra-popular GeForce RTX 3060 12GB. Due to its compact size, this GPU will slip easily into this tiny PC, and thanks to a recent price cut, it’s finally easy to recommend again! Also on the build list is 16GB of speedy DDR4-3600 RAM, along with a quick 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive. The build comes together in the compact SilverStone SG16 chassis and uses a SilverStone liquid cooler to tame the processor. Finally, feeding this system is a quiet, efficient 500W power supply. Learn more about the case in our YouTube preview 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 or Newegg 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 Creator P50 11400/RTX 3060

    $1409

    HOT DEAL! This pre-built system is simply amazing, not just in terms of performance per dollar but also performance per liter! Coming in at an insanely-small 6 liters, the Creator P50 packs an epic punch. It starts with MSI’s custom-designed GeForce RTX 3060 ITX video card, which only MSI can offer! Then you have an Intel Core i5-11400 6-core, 12-thread processor, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. It’s all running through a custom MSI mini-ITX motherboard, equipped with the latest enhancements, including high-end audio, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and 2.5Gbps Ethernet.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This may be marketed for "creators", but it has serious gaming cred. While not quite as fast as the DIY build we spec out below, it's just 1/2 the size. That's the benefit of going with a completely-custom design, but you do pay more for it.

The DIY Option

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

    $200
    AMD’s Zen 3 architecture made a huge splash in the PC industry. Beating Intel on a clock-for-clock basis for the first time in decades, and with far lower power consumption, the Ryzen 5 5600X is the perfect CPU for this build. And it brings along with it an advanced yet cost-effective platform, which will provide upgrade potential down the line should you wish to drop in an even more powerful CPU.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU comes with a cooler, but for higher performance and lower noise levels, go with the liquid cooler we recommend.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX

    $210
    This board has all the features you need for an ultra-high-end build, despite its reasonable pricepoint. It features dual M.2 PCIe slots, with the top slot supporting full Gen 4 speed, 2.5Gbps LAN, built-in 802.11ax wireless networking with Bluetooth, and six USB ports, including a Type-C port.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the board we use in our ITX test system, so we know it's great!

  • Video Card

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB XC

    $430

    The RTX 3060 12GB is the ideal mainstream video card. It offers great performance, an efficient design, plus 12GB of VRAM for future-proofing.

    The Guru’s Tip

    At under 8" long, this card will fit easily in this build.

  • Memory

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Steel DDR4-3600 14-16-16

    $88

    To get the most out of DDR4 memory, you want high frequencies, and Patriot’s Viper Steel 2x8GB DDR4-3600 CL14 kit delivers! DDR4-3600 is the sweet spot in terms of compatibility with the majority of DDR4-based systems, and to get the most out of 3600 RAM, you want tight timings, which this delivers in spades: 14-16-16 at 1.45V, to be exact. We asked Patriot to create this kit back in 2020 when we tested their ultra-fast (but hard to use) 4400 kit. We knew Patriot could win a lot more users if it simply reprogrammed its kit for ultra-low latency rather than ultra-high frequency, and now it’s here!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This kit will maximize the performance available from the AMD Zen 3 platform!

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD Blue SN570 1TB NVMe

    $90

    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

    Thanks to this model's sleek M.2 design, it requires no cables, and will literally take up no space in the $1,500 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build.

  • Case

    SilverStone SG16

    $91

    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 supported by the biggest name in the ITX industry, SilverStone. It can fit video cards up to 10.8″ long, plus a wide variety of CPU coolers.

    The Guru’s Tip

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

  • Case Fan

    Arctic P12 PWM

    $8

    Want to cooler your system without a noise penalty? Look no further than the excellent P12 PWM from Arctic. It offers fantastic performance at low noise levels, and comes in at a shockingly-low price, despite a market-leading 10-year warranty.

    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 SX500-G

    $102
    To power up this build, we recommend this awesome SFX unit. It’s fully modular, offers Gold-rated efficiency, and at 500W, has more than enough power to support this system.
    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!

  • CPU Cooler

    SilverStone PF120-ARGB

    $80
    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. In our testing, it was far superior to any low-profile air cooler, and it matches many of the best tower coolers. All that and it’s easier to install too!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Mount this radiator to the rear of the chassis.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home USB

    $139

    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

  • Low-Profile CPU Cooler

    Noctua NH-L12S

    $60
    If your PC requires a low-profile cooler and has at least 70mm of clearance, you simply can’t do better than Noctua’s NH-L12S. It’s ultra-quiet, incredibly easy to install, and unbeaten in its size class with regards to performance. Note that in the default low-profile mode, it has about 35mm of RAM clearance, but in the taller 85mm mode (with the fan on top), it has about 50mm of RAM clearance.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Some readers have asked what we'd recommend as an upgraded air cooler in lieu of the liquid cooler listed earlier in this guide. The L12S is the one - just note that you'll need to mount its fan on top, rather than underneath, to clear our recommended RAM kit.

  • The 27" 2560x1440 Gaming Monitor

    HP X27q

    $249

    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 Pro Gaming Mouse

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    $40
    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 Gaming Keyboard

    Corsair K55 RGB Pro

    $50

    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 Budget Wireless PC Headset

    ‎SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

    $97

    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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