The Best $2,500 Ultra-Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – September 2021

By Ari Altman | Published September 1, 2021 | Updated September 1, 2021

Ssupd MeshliciousGo Big, but Build Small!

If you’re looking for a no-holds-barred extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build in a sleek, compact chassis, this is the one for you! Our $2,500 Ultra-Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build might be dwarfed by standard towers, but it can easily keep up with them thanks to its truly extreme components. And amazingly, there is virtually no price premium for getting a system of this caliber down to a portable size, making this PC a pretty good value too.

This Month’s Build, Powered by AMD!

For September 2021, the $2,500 Ultra-Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features the awe-inspiring AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-thread CPU that lays down the law when it comes to gaming.  The 5800X finally has something to do, now that you can actually grab one of AMD’s high-end GPUs at retail. We’re recommending the Radeon RX 6800 16GB, which matches Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, but is actually available!

Also on board is an amazingly-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM, and a big 240mm liquid CPU cooler, which allows this mini-ITX rig to stay as cool as the big boys! Keeping the PC running is a 750W Platinum-rated power supply, and the big news this month is the switch to the trend-setting new Ssupd Meshlicious mini-ITX chassis, which comes in at under 17 liters despite the capacity to hold all this gear, and more importantly, keep it all cool!

Parting Thoughts

You’ll find our recommendations for the best accessories for this build later in this guide. For all products, we provide links to Amazon, Newegg, or B&H in the US, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for our readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with regional substitutions made automatically where necessary. To support continued development of this guide, please use the affiliate links we provide in the guide.

Required Components

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

    Based on AMD’s revolutionary Zen 3 architecture, the Ryzen 7 5800X is a truly fantastic processor. It has 8 core and 16 threads all running from a single complex for maximum efficiency, with boost up to 4.7GHz. That means it’s actually the fastest processor available for single-threaded tasks, which many tasks still are.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Remember that this CPU does not have built-in graphics, so the video ports on the motherboard will not be functional.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX

    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 for our ITX test rig, and it's been flawless!

  • Video Card

    PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 16GB Red Dragon


    It’s time to get gaming again! This Radeon RX 6800 16GB has impressive gaming power, matching the RTX 3070 Ti, while actually being in stock and ready to game 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

    Note that one of the advantages of the case we recommend for this build is that it can actually fit huge GPUs like this one!

  • Memory

    Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black

    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 suggest skipping RGB kits for this build, as you won't be able to see the RAM from outside the case.

  • Solid-State Drive

    Samsung 980 1TB


    There’s lots of competition in the SSD market, but SSD pioneer Samsung has put all the other mid-priced offerings to shame with its 980 1TB. It uses the speedy PCIe 3.0 interface and Samsung’s superior TLC NAND to vastly outperform every other PCIe 3.0 drive! To achieve performance any faster, you’d have to spend at least 50% more!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This M.2 drive will slot right into the motherboard - no cables required!

  • Case

    SSUPD Meshlicious @Newegg


    The Meshlicious, designed by industry veteran Lian Li and sold under its sub-brand SSUPD, offers amazing capacity and airflow in its compact 14.7-liter frame. It can fit triple-slot video cards up to 13.1″ long, and a 280mm liquid CPU cooler. The fully-meshed side panels come off easily thanks to push-pins, and the footprint of the case is tiny given the vertical layout. Note that this version includes a high-quality (and expensive) PCIe 4.0 riser card, and we think it’s worth the investment for use with modern high-end GPUs.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This case specifies a PCIe version because it requires a "riser card", which changes the orientation of the video card as it relates to the motherboard. The video card does not plug directly into the motherboard, and the PCIe 4.0 version has a higher-quality riser card that supports the latest GPUs.

  • Power Supply

    Corsair SF750


    Offering a tremendous 750W of power output and Platinum-rated efficiency in an ultra-compact package, Corsair’s SF750 sets the standard for ultra-premium SFX power supplies!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While you can use a larger PSU in this case, we recommend the smallest possible unit to provide maximum airflow and cable routing space. Don't worry, this model has more than enough power!

  • CPU Cooler

    SilverStone PF240-ARGB

    To keep a powerful CPU build cool, this 240mm liquid cooler will fit the bill. It provides exceptional performance for the price, great compatibility with most systems, and sweet looks!
    The Guru’s Tip

    You'll likely want to set this up to exhaust heat out of the case, otherwise it will blow hot air into the GPU, which actually relies on the radiator fans for exhausting its own hot air.

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive

    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

    Windows 10 on USB sells out often. You can also get W10 via download - all you need is an 8GB or bigger flash drive to load the image onto.

Optional Products

  • The Typist's Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) @Newegg

    Best. Keyboard. Ever. And the only wireless mechanical keyboard with full RGB lighting on the market. This thing is a dream come true, so sleek, so responsive. Honestly, it’s in a class of its own.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the keyboard we've been using every day since it was released, and we'll never give it up!

  • The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse

    Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless


    Logitech designed the G502 Lightspeed Wireless to be the ultimate technological tour de force in the gaming mouse industry. Featuring a mesmerizing 25K Hero sensor, tunable weights, RGB lighting, and the best wireless connectivity, it is impossible to beat. And you can even upgrade it to ultra-elite status with the optional PowerPlay charging mat, which allows you to use it forever without stopping to charge thanks to the exclusive wireless charging capability!

    The Guru’s Tip

    We've been using this mouse since release, and it's been absolutely stellar the entire time!

  • 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.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This headset is our daily driver, and it's never let us down!

  • The 34-inch Gaming Monitor

    MSI Optix MPG341CQR @Newegg

    Without a doubt, our top pick among monitors to pair with this elite system is the equally-elite ultra-wide model. It offers a huge 34″ 3440×1440 IPS panel, a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, and G-Sync compatibility (via FreeSync) to achieve the smoothest possible gaming experience.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While 4K monitors get all the press, ultra-wides are where the real technological advancement is.

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