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

By Ari Altman | Published May 11, 2022 | Updated May 11, 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 May 2022, the $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features Intel’s awesome Core i7-12700KF 12-core, 20-thread CPU, which is the perfect processor for an ITX gaming system, thanks to its prodigious speed and reasonable power draw. It’ll have no trouble maxing out our GPU of choice, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB, now down to its lowest price ever!

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 16GB of fast DDR4-3600 RAM, a speedy 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, and a fantastic air cooler from Scythe. Keeping the system running is a compact 700W Platinum-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 i7-12700KF


    Intel reclaims the gaming lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12700KF is the CPU to get for extreme performance without going overboard on cost. It handily beats the Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X, and is nearly as fast as Intel’s top-end 12900K!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU does not include a cooler, so make sure to pick up the powerful model we list later in this guide!

  • Motherboard

    ASRock Z690M-ITX/ax @Newegg


    ASRock delivers a great Intel-based option for small form factors builders with its Z690M-ITX/ax, which offers a whole lot for the price. That includes 8-phase power, a PCIe Gen 5 graphics slot, dual PCIe Gen 4 M.2 slots, built-in WiFi 6E networking, and seven USB ports, including a Type-C port.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This board uses the DDR4 standard, which allows you to use much more affordable RAM while maintaining the same performance level.

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Trinity 8GB


    The RTX 3070 Ti offers amazing performance, and this model’s triple-slot, triple-fan cooler will keep temperatures in check and allow maximum boost. It of course has an overclock applied from the factory, and can go even higher with manual tuning. While it’s selling for slightly above its MSRP, it’s among the best deals on the market today!

    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

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


    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

    Be wary of other DDR4-3600 kits out there... most have weak 18-22-22 timings that make them slower than DDR4-3200! This RAM, on the other hand, is DDR4-4400 by another name!

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD_Black SN850 1TB NVMe


    The fastest M.2 drive on the planet…. that title has been held by many drives, but for now, the WD_Black holds it. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and maxing out the PCIe Gen 4 bus, it’s the one you want!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Do you need this absurdly-fast Gen 4 drive in this system? Of course not, but thanks to a recent price drop, it's an easy pick for a high-end system!

  • Case

    Cooler Master NR200

    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 SX700


    Offering a tremendous 700W of power output and Platinum-rated efficiency in an ultra-compact package, the SX700 defies reality.  SilverStone practically invented the SFX class of power supplies, and it’s still the leader!

    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

    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


    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

    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. The short throws 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

    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

    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

    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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