The Best $3,000 Ultra-Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – October 2021
Go 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 $3,000 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 October 2021, the $3,000 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 6900 XT 16GB, which matches Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090, but is actually available!
Also on board is an amazingly-fast 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3600 RGB RAM, and a big 280mm 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 Lian Li Q58 mini-ITX chassis, which comes in at 14.5 liters despite the capacity to hold all this gear, and more importantly, keep it all cool!
You’ll find our recommendations for the best accessories for this build later in this guide. For all products, we provide links to Amazon or Newegg 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.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X$394Based 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.
Remember that this CPU does not have built-in graphics, so the video ports on the motherboard will not be functional.
Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX$210This 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.
This is the board we use for our ITX test rig, and it's been flawless!
Video Card –
Sapphire Radeon RX 6900 XT NITRO+ OC Gaming @Newegg$1650
Long name, but this one’s earned it! Step into gaming today with a video card that puts Nvidia non-existent GPUs to shame, the RX 6900 XT Nitro+ OC Gaming from Sapphire. Clocking in at a boost frequency of 2285MHz, this impressive card can take on any game and put up amazing framerates! Plus, the custom 2.7-slot, triple-fan cooler looks great and works even better! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but everything’s been reset by the cryptocurrency mining craze, and this is a card that makes an RTX 3090 tremble!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, which comes in at 12.2"! Also keep in mind that these GPUs sell out instantly whenever they are listed, so grab one if you can!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black$90This awesome 16GB kit will provide more than enough capacity for any game today and for years to come, and thanks to its mind-blowing DDR4-3600 speed and 16-18-18 timings, it will keep your fast CPU fed with data. Plus it offers sweet RGB effects!
You'll be able to see this sweet RGB kit through the side panel on the case!
Solid-State Drive –
XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe$100Harnessing 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.
While you could go for a PCIe Gen 4 drive here, we've allocated the budget to other components that will more directly impact gaming performance.
Lian Li Q58X4 Black @Newegg$160
Lian Li has taken its design expertise and one-upped the entire Small Form Factor case industry with the Q58X4. Coming in at just 14.5 liters, it’s impossibly-small for its capacity. It uses a sandwich-style layout, putting the GPU behind the motherboard, while making room at the top of the case for a liquid cooler up to 280mm in size to exhaust all the system’s hot air. Plus it combines mesh and glass panels in a modular format to provide both plenty of air intake and a great view of your high-end components. And take note: the X4 edition of this case includes a high-quality PCIe Gen 4-capable riser cable to ensure full bandwidth to the latest video cards!The Guru’s Tip
This case can fit video cards up to 12.5" long. We have confirmed that the model recommended in this guide is under that limit.
Power Supply –
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 –
EK 280mm AIO D-RGB$135
EK puts its impressive liquid cooling know-how on display with its 280mm AIO. Featuring dual 140mm EK Vardar fans, a custom cooling block, and sweet ARGB lighting, it’s the total package, from a name synonymous with cooling performance!The Guru’s Tip
This cooler will act as an exhaust for the entire system, as it will be mounted at the top of the chassis. Make sure to set it up with fans blowing up and out through the radiator!
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130Windows 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!
Windows 11 is coming soon and will be a free upgrade to all owners of Win10!
The Typist's Gaming Keyboard –
Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) @Newegg$250 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$124 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$170 The Guru’s Tip
This headset is our daily driver, and it's never let us down!
The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor –
Gigabyte AORUS FI32U @Newegg$1000 The Guru’s Tip
If you want a monitor to show off the power of your new ultra-extreme PC, this is the one!
Total Cost: $3036
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 5800X ($394)
- Motherboard – Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX ($210)
- Video Card – Sapphire Radeon RX 6900 XT NITRO+ OC Gaming @Newegg ($1650)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black ($90)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe ($100)
- Case – Lian Li Q58X4 Black @Newegg ($160)
- Power Supply – Corsair SF750 ($167)
- CPU Cooler – EK 280mm AIO D-RGB ($135)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)
- The Typist's Gaming Keyboard – Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) @Newegg ($250)
- The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse – Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless ($124)
- The Deluxe PC Headset – Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset ($170)
- The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor – Gigabyte AORUS FI32U @Newegg ($1000)