The Best $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – September 2021

By Ari Altman | Published September 7, 2021 | Updated September 7, 2021

CRITICAL UPDATE:

Due to the ongoing cryptocurrency mining craze, it’s currently impossible to buy video cards at retail prices. Therefore, you have two options if you want to game now. Either buy a pre-built gaming PC or build up a new PC using a GPU selling for over the retail price. We present both options in this guide. Based on current market conditions, we do not believe this generation of GPUs will ever return to MSRP, so lower prices will have to wait until late 2022 when the next generation arrives!

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 AMD!

For September 2021, the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-thread CPU, which has put Intel in its place and become the go-to high-end gaming CPU. It’s supporting a powerhouse of a GPU, AMD’s Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB, which has performance to drive any game at ultra-high resolutions. It’s selling for about twice its MSRP right now, but that’s better than being entirely unavailable, as has been true for all GPUs for most of 2021.

Perhaps 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 twice the price, the NR200 stands alone. Inside, you’ll be installing 16GB of fast DDR4-3600 RAM, a speedy 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, and our favorite air cooler of all time, the Scythe Fuma 2. Keeping the system running is a compact 650W 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, B&H, 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 Pre-Built Option

  • The Ultimate Compact Gamer

    ZOTAC Magnus ONE 10700/RTX 3070

    $2400

    HOT DEAL – GRAB IT IF YOU CAN! This pre-built system is simply amazing, when it’s in stock, which is not often! Coming in at an insanely-small 8 liters, the Magnus One still packs an epic punch. Of course, it starts with one of Zotac’s custom-designed GeForce RTX 3070 Mini cards, which only Zotac is able to offer. Then you have an Intel Core i7-10700 8-core, 16-thread processor, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive, and a 1TB hard drive. It’s all running through a custom Zotac mini-ITX motherboard, equipped with the latest enhancements, including Killer AX1650 WiFi 6 , Bluetooth 5, and Killer 2.5Gbps Ethernet. Yeah, you could just call this a Killer box!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This deal is seriously too good to be true, so grab it while you can!

The DIY PC Build

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X @Newegg

    $273
    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 includes a low-profile cooler, but we recommend a far superior tower model later in this guide, the largest you can fit in this system!

  • 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 rig, and it's been flawless!

  • Video Card

    PowerColor Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB Red Devil

    $850

    It’s time to get gaming again! This Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB from PowerColor has impressive gaming power, going head to head with the RTX 3070, while actually being available to order today! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but it’s pretty clear at this point that prices have been reset permanently, so rather than wait for a price drop that will never come, grab a great GPU today and get into your games!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While this card is huge, it will still fit in the case we recommend!

  • Memory

    Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black

    $85
    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

    Note that we're not going for RGB RAM in this build, because you wouldn't see the lighting, so it's not worth paying more for!

  • 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

    This will slip right into an M.2 slot on the motherboard, meaning no bulky cables. That's critical in an ITX build!

  • Case

    Cooler Master NR200

    $90
    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

    SilverStone SST-SX650-G

    $132
    For a high-powered build like this one, you need a serious power supply, and this awesome 650W Gold-rated unit is our top pick. It’s incredibly powerful for its size, with more than enough output to handle the CPU and GPU featured in this build (including 4 PCIe power connectors – a single GPU can use up to 3!).
    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU will have no problem handling any GPU you can install in this system.

  • CPU Cooler

    Scythe Fuma 2

    $60
    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 Guru’s Tip

    This cooler is 155mm tall, which is absolutely the largest air cooler you can fit in this build. Note that there is no other air cooler we recommend for this system... this is the one!

  • 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

    This is the USB 3.0 version of W10, which loads in under 5 minutes!

Optional Products

  • The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Corsair K60 RGB Pro Low Profile

    $90
    For the very fastest gameplay, there’s nothing better than the K60 Low Profile. Thanks to Cherry’s unbeaten low-profile MX Speed switches, you get amazing response and feel, plus low noise.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Once you try low-pro, you won't go back!

  • Mouse

    Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE @Newegg

    $90
    Offering up awesome functionality, a sleek design, and an ultra-fast 18,000 DPI sensor, the Dark Core Pro SE simply has no competition at its pricepoint.
    The Guru’s Tip

    The SE version of the Dark Core RGB Pro adds Qi charging to its list of features, allowing you to use any Qi charging pad you have to give its battery a boost.

  • The 27-inch G-Sync Gaming Monitor

    Gigabyte M27Q

    $297
    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

    This model is significantly better than models with similar specs but which use TN panels.

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset

    $160
    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.
    The Guru’s Tip

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

Pin It on Pinterest