The Best $1,500 High-End Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – June 2021

By Ari Altman | Published June 2, 2021 | Updated June 17, 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.

SilverStone SG13Are 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

    $1962
    HOT 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!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This system comes in at 7 liters, which is shockingly small!

The DIY Option

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

    $299
    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 the most advanced platform in the business, which will provide you tremendous 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, and while it would fit in this build, it will run hot. We recommend a liquid cooler later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX

    $190
    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 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 new king-of-the-hill in the midrange segment is the RTX 3060 Ti 8GB, which offers simply exceptional performance per dollar, beating last-gen’s $700 RTX 2080 Super! Unfortunately, since its launch it’s been hard to find in stock, as with all the great GPUs launched around the same time.
    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!

  • Memory

    Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black

    $94
    To get the most out of your PC Build, you want 16GB of RAM, and this kit comes in at a great price. But more importantly, with a combination of serious speed (3600MHz) and serious timings (16-18-18), this isn’t just a slow 3200 kit rebranded to sell at a higher price, it’s the real deal!
    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
    Harnessing the power of cutting-edge TLC V-NAND, the NVMe protocol, and the PCIe interface, this SSD is by far the fastest drive at its pricepoint. It can hit sequential speeds of up to 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 storage space in the $1,500 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build.

  • Case

    SilverStone SG13

    $52

    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

    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
    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

    You'll need the adapter below to use this power supply in this build.

  • Adapter

    SilverStone PP08

    $13
    This nifty little component is what allows you to use an SFX-class power supply in this build, despite the case having only an ATX power supply bracket.
    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
    Keeping a CPU cool in a high-powered system like this one can be a challenge, but this liquid cooler has what it takes to get the job done. In our testing, a liquid cooler 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

    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
    Windows 10 was a big step up from Windows 8.1, and Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every six months. And the USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The USB version of Windows installs in under 5 minutes.

Optional Products

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    $47
    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

    You can control the RGB effects of this keyboard using Logitech's GHub software.

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    $46
    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 27-inch G-Sync Gaming Monitor

    Gigabyte M27Q

    $320
    Offering up a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS panel capable of a 170Hz refresh rate, and enhanced with FreeSync frame-syncing technology, this is a true high-end monitor that won’t break the bank! Gigabyte may be new to the monitor market, but it’s making a huge splash, offering up tremendous quality at low prices. Previously, you couldn’t get anything but an inferior TN panel for this price!
    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
    Great sound, a great look, and wireless freedom. That’s what the HS70 from Corsair gives you, along with a great price!
    The Guru’s Tip

    These will even work with your smartphone, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth!