The Best $2000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – October 2022

By Ari Altman | Published September 21, 2022 | Updated September 21, 2022

Small Footprint, Big Performance!

This system is designed for gamers who want a compact system but aren’t willing to sacrifice performance to get it. The $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build has all the power of a full-blown desktop gaming PC, packed into a compact, stylish case that’s dwarfed by standard towers. Amazingly, there’s no price premium to pay to get such a unique PC, making this PC a pretty good value too.

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

For October 2022, the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features Intel’s blazing-fast Core i7-12700F 12-core, 20-thread CPU. It’s the perfect processor for an ITX gaming system, thanks to its impressive power and efficiency. It’ll have no trouble maxing out our GPU of choice, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 12GB, which has had an official price cut, putting it in the same price range as the older 3080 10GB! Yes, Nvidia has announced a new RTX 4080 12GB, but it’s going to be only nominally faster, will cost $100-$200 more, and won’t be available until mid-November. Besides being too expensive for this build, it would mean you’d miss out on months of gaming while you wait!

Just as important as all the computational firepower used in this system is the case, which truly defines this build. The Cooler Master NR200 brings high-end capabilities down to a compact size and a very reasonable price. With competitors only available from boutique manufacturers at over twice the price, the NR200 stands alone. Inside, you’ll be installing 32GB of fast DDR5 RAM, a speedy 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, and a fantastic air cooler from Scythe. Keeping the system running is a compact 750W Gold-rated SFX power supply, which will have more than enough power for all the gear in this build.

Parting Thoughts

To see recommended accessories for this build, just scroll down to the bottom of this page, or check out our dedicated Monitor Buyer’s Guide and Peripherals Buyer’s Guide. Throughout this guide, you’ll see direct links to Amazon or Newegg for US readers, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in the UK, Canada, and parts of the EU, with automatic reginal substitutions made where necessary. To support continued development of these guides, please use these links when you’re ready to buy your ITX machine!

The DIY PC Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i7-12700F

    $313
    Intel reclaimed the performance lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12700F offers the perfect blend of performance and efficiency. It has eight multi-threaded “performance cores” plus 4 “efficiency cores”, making it the perfect choice for any application, whether gaming or content creation! Note that the 12700F is the “locked” version of its 12700KF cousin, which means it cannot be overclocked, but it’s also much less expensive, and luckily it’s blazing fast right out of the box!
    The Guru’s Tip

    For this build, a locked processor, rather than an overclockable "K" model, is a far better choice. The cost of ITX motherboards with OC support would add another $200 to the price of this system, and that's in addition to the upcharge for a "K"-series CPU. We've instead allocated the budget to the GPU and RAM for a much bigger performance boost!

  • Motherboard

    ASUS ROG Strix B660-I

    $200
    This high-end B660-based ITX board is packed with features at a great price. Using the latest 1700 socket, it features 8+1 power stages to support multi-core processors, a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, and on-board Intel WiFi 6 (802.11ax) plus 2.5Gbps LAN. And take note: it uses next-gen DDR5 RAM for enhanced performance, so make sure not to pair it with older DDR4 memory!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The video ports on this board will not be functional with the "F" series CPU we're using, but that's just fine given the add-in video card this build uses!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 12GB Trinity

    $750
    The absolutely mind-blowing RTX 3080 12GB is the card enthusiasts wanted ever since the original 3080 10GB hit the market in 2020. With more RAM, and more importantly, a much wider RAM bus, it’s a whole lot faster. It doesn’t hurt that it has nearly as many stream processors as the more expensive 3080 Ti.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that at 12.5" long, this will fit easily in the ITX case we recommend, which has a card limit of 13".

  • Memory

    Corsair 2x16GB Vengeance DDR5-5600 C36

    $160
    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 Corsair’s Vengeance kit, running at DDR4-5600 with timings of 36-36-36-76 at an efficient 1.25V. This is the real deal when it comes to DDR5 performance!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This DDR5 kit is a great match for the DDR5-compatible motherboard we've selected.

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD_BLACK SN770 1TB NVMe

    $100
    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

    While you don't really need Gen 4 speed in a gaming PC, the price on this drive makes it irresistible!

  • Case

    Cooler Master NR200

    $110
    This amazing case is one of a kind. Coming in at 18 liters, it has space for just about every component you could imagine, and looks fantastic too! That includes a huge GPU, a variety of powerful cooler options, and an SFX-class PSU.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that Cooler Master also sells a more expensive "NR200P", which we strongly discourage you from buying. It has a tempered glass panel that not only cuts down on airflow tremendously, it also cuts into interior space, meaning you cannot use the CPU cooler we recommend in this guide.

  • Power Supply

    EVGA Supernova 750GM

    $90
    This high-quality SFX-class power supply offers an incredible 750W of Gold-rated power, fully-modular cables, and a 7-year warranty, backed by EVGA’s legendary customer service. You simply cannot go wrong with this well-priced unit!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU has plenty of headroom for the high-powered components in this system, which will pull about 500W at load.

  • CPU Cooler

    Scythe Fuma 2 Rev. B

    $66
    Offering amazing performance thanks to its big heatsink and dual 120mm fans, along with excellent compatibility thanks to its offset design and 155mm height, this is our favorite cooler at any price. The latest Rev. B version swaps out the “classic” grey fans with more on-trend black models, and ups the RPM level from 1200RPM to 1500RPM. To keep noise in check, the new Kaze Flex II fans use a specially-designed fan frame to minimize turbulence on heatsinks and maximize static pressure.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This cooler is 155mm tall, which is a perfect fit for this system.

  • 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

    Microsoft took its sweet time releasing Win11 to retail after announcing the upgrade version in 2021, but it's here now and it's what you need on a system running Intel's latest hybrid CPU architecture!

Optional Products

  • The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire

    $160
    The Corsair K70 set the standard for mechanical gaming keyboards and is still the benchmark by which all others are judged. With its solid aluminum construction and detachable wrist rest, it’s a truly premium option. And for the very fastest gameplay, there’s nothing better than the Rapidfire version, which uses Cherry’s unbeaten MX Speed switches. Their short throw give you amazing response and feel.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Once you go mechanical, you won't go back!

  • Mouse

    Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

    $80
    Offering up awesome functionality, a sleek design, and an ultra-fast 18,000 DPI sensor, the Dark Core Pro simply has no competition at its pricepoint. This “SE” version can be easily charged with an Qi-compatible charging pad!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Sync the mouse's lighting using the Corsair iCUE software!

  • The 34-inch Gaming Monitor

    AOC CU34G2X

    $380
    Are you ready for serious big-screen gaming? Then feast your eyes on this 34″ monitor from AOC, which breaks new ground in terms of features and performance per dollar. The Nitro packs in an ultra-wide 3440 x 1440 VA panel with a 1500R curve, a fast 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync technology to keep your frames running smoothly. It also offers a height-adjustable stand (unusual at this pricepoint), plus a 3-year hassle-free warranty for screen defects!
    The Guru’s Tip

    You'll have no trouble taking advantage of the full resolution of this monitor with the $2,000 ITX Gaming PC Build!

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset

    $180
    Combining ultra-high-end performance with incredible comfort, this wireless headset from Corsair is the ideal all-day companion for listening to the latest market news. This headset also has an audiophile-grade microphone, perfect for teleconferencing. Free free to check out our full review right here!
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've used these since they were released in late 2019, and they have never let us down.

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