The Best $1500 High-End Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – August 2023

By Ari Altman | Published August 18, 2023 | Updated August 18, 2023

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!

This Month’s Build, Powered by Intel and Nvidia!

For August 2023, this build gets a massive upgrade in gaming power, moving to the ultra-fast Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 12GB video card, by far the most powerful video card ever released that can fit in an ultra-compact system like this one. It’s supported by Intel’s formidable Core i5-12600K ten-core, 16-thread processor, which has been discounted to make it an unbelievable value.

Also on the build list is 32GB of speedy DDR5-6000 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 to maximize the system’s cooling performance. Finally, feeding this system is a quiet, efficient 500W power supply. Learn more about building in the SG16 case in our full review below.

Parting Thoughts

We list 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 i5-12600K

    The 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs are Intel’s most impressive release in a decade, and the Core i5-12600K 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’s the best of both worlds: enough fast cores for light-threaded apps to shine, plus additional cores for serious multi-threaded work.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This hot-running CPU does not come with a cooler, so of course we recommend a powerful model later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    ASRock Z790M-ITX

    This mini-ITX board has what it takes to support the latest Intel-based systems.  It features a 7+1+1 phase VRM design, a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, two PCIe M.2 slots (both being Gen 4), and 6 USB ports (including a Type-C Port). Also onboard is 802.11ax (WiFi 6E) wireless networking, Bluetooth, and 2.5Gb LAN.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This board uses DDR5 RAM, which is what we recommend in this guide.

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 4070 Twin Edge12GB Spider-Verse

    The RTX 4070 offers amazing performance and amazing efficiency, making it the perfect GPU for any high-end gaming rig! This model’s dual-slot, dual-fan cooler will keep temperatures in check and noise levels down, without filling up your system. Plus it has plenty of room for manual overclocking. Even better is the price, which is actually below Nvidia’s MSRP, a concept that had almost vanished in the last generation! Note that this model has a Spider-Man theme, but it’s all optional, in the form of stickers and an add-on magnetic backplate, so you can choose to go with the standard styling if you wish.

    The Guru’s Tip

    While most RTX 4070 models will not fit in the case we recommend, this one, at just 9.7" long, will have room to spare!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x16GB Ripjaws S5 DDR5-6000 C36

    For a cutting-edge PC, you need DDR5 RAM, but not just any DDR5 RAM, because you want high-frequency DDR5 to blow past DDR4 RAM performance. And that’s what you get with this kit, running at DDR4-6000 with timings of 36-36-36-96 at 1.35V. This is the real deal when it comes to DDR5 performance!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This DDR5 kit is a perfect match for the motherboard we recommend.

  • Solid-State Drive


    WD knocked it out of the park with its ultra-high-performance, bargain-priced SN770 PCIe Gen 4 drive. 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 5150MB/s and write speeds of 4900MB/s.

    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 II 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 II 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 1500RPM. In our testing, the original Kaze Flex proved to be the best 120mm case fan on the market, and Scythe has only made it better with the Flex II, optimizing the fan frame to increase airflow and reduce turbulence!

    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

    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, like the awesome cooler we recommend!

  • CPU Cooler

    Thermaltake TH120 Black

    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 (Download)

    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! This version can be instantly downloaded and installed from any USB stick with 8GB or more capacity. If you don’t have one handy, we recommend you pick up a fast USB 3.1 thumb drive to install it, which can then be re-purposed for backup or file transfer use.

    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" 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitor

    Sceptre E275B-QPN168

    Sceptre is all about deliver inconspicuously-named monitors with out-of-this-world value! This one packs in a big 27″ 2560 x 1440 IPS panel, a 144Hz refresh rate and FreeSync Premium for ultra-smooth framerates, a Displayport, an HDMI 2.0 port, and dual HDMI 1.4 ports, plus built-in speakers. To get it set up just right, it has a height-adjustable stand, unheard of in this price range. It even includes a Displayport cable in the box, which is what you want to use to get the most out of this monitor!

    The Guru’s Tip

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

  • The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Razer BlackWidow V3 Clicky

    Razer has been in the gaming peripheral business a long time, and the BlackWidow is perhaps the most legendary bit of kit in history. It has practically defined the mechanical gaming keyboard market, and all the while has offered surprising value as well. That’s the story with the V3, which undercuts the other big names, while offering more style and more functionality. Razer’s Green mechanical switches deliver super-responsive tactile action. The keycaps are the high-quality Doubleshot ABS that enthusiasts pay extra for to fix other brands’ boards. And then there’s the stunning Chroma RGB effects that allow endless customization plus integration with countless games. In short, the BlackWidow is better than ever!

    The Guru’s Tip

    You can control the RGB effects of this keyboard using Razer's Synapse software.

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse

    Razer Basilisk V3 X HyperSpeed Wireless

    Offering cutting-edge performance, there’s nothing like the Basilisk V3 for anywhere near the price. Ultra-sensitive 18K sensor, mechanical switches, Razer’s awesome HyperSpeed wireless system with up to 285 hours of battery life, 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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