The Best $2,000 Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – September 2021
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.
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
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X @Newegg$273 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!
Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX$210 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 The Guru’s Tip
While this card is huge, it will still fit in the case we recommend!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black$85 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 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!
Cooler Master NR200$90 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 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 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 The Guru’s Tip
This is the USB 3.0 version of W10, which loads in under 5 minutes!
The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard –
Corsair K60 RGB Pro Low Profile$90 The Guru’s Tip
Once you try low-pro, you won't go back!
Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE @Newegg$90 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 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 The Guru’s Tip
We've used these since they were released in late 2019, and they have never let us down.
Total Cost: $1940
The DIY PC Build
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 5600X @Newegg ($273)
- Motherboard – Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX ($210)
- Video Card – PowerColor Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB Red Devil ($850)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black ($85)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe ($110)
- Case – Cooler Master NR200 ($90)
- Power Supply – SilverStone SST-SX650-G ($132)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Fuma 2 ($60)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)