The Best $3,000 Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – September 2023

By Ari Altman | Published September 2, 2023 | Updated September 2, 2023

CoolerMaster NR200P MAXGo 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 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’s 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 and Nvidia!

For September 2023, the $3,000 Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build continues to feature the awesomely-powerful AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-core CPU, endowed with 3D V-Cache to accelerate games beyond what any Intel CPU can do. New this month is an upgrade to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4080 16GB, which is the perfect GPU for a high-end ITX build, thanks to its extreme performance and efficient design.

Also on board is an incredible 64GB of ultra-fast DDR5-6000 RAM, along with an ultra-high performance 2TB PCIe Gen 4-based solid-state drive. It all comes together in the Cooler Master NR200P Max chassis, which is uniquely designed for ultra-high-end components like the ones we recommend. It includes a pre-installed 280mm liquid CPU cooler and an 850W Gold-rated power supply, while coming in under 20 liters, making it about 1/3 the size of the typical full tower!

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 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.

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

    AMD has done it again, blasting past Intel in terms of gaming performance thanks to its proprietary, cutting-edge 3D V-Cache technology. By adding this stacked cache on top of one of the two core complexes of the standard 16-core 7950X, the AMD has turned a multi-threaded monster into a true gaming dynamo. It gives you the best of all worlds, along with far greater efficiency and a more advanced platform than Intel.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Another great feature of this CPU is its low power use, a far cry from Intel's top-end CPUs, which game slower while drawing at least 100W more power - something you positively don't want in a small ITX chassis.

  • Motherboard

    Asus ROG Strix B650E-I

    This is a high-end motherboard for a serious small form factor system! It features 10+2 power stages, a future-proof PCIe Gen 5 video card slot (for GPUs that probably won’t launch until 2025, LOL!), dual M.2 slots (one being Gen 5, with a dedicated heatsink, the other being Gen 4), eight USB ports (two being Type-C), Intel Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E wireless networking, plus the high-end ALC4080 audio codec and a Savitech SV3H712 Amp.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the perfect high-end ITX board - in fact, while Asus has an X670E version, the B650E chipset is a much better choice for the ITX format.

  • Video Card

    PNY GeForce RTX 4080 16GB XLR8

    The RTX 4080 blows away the previous king-of-the-hill RTX 3090 Ti while using far less power, and with much more advanced Ray Tracing and DLSS technology. And this model from PNY offers up a powerful cooler and sweet RGB lighting for a custom look.

    The Guru’s Tip

    At 331mm long and 71mm wide, this card fits perfectly in the case we recommend, which has a 336mm x 75mm limit! Beware... many ultra-high-end cards are actually too long or too wide for the case we recommend!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x32GB Trident Z5 Neo RGB DDR5-6000 CL30 EXPO

    To get the most out of AMD’s latest CPUs, you want fast RAM, and DDR5-6000 is the sweetspot not only in terms of price, but in terms of making the most of the AM5 platform. It allows for the highest overall performance thanks to running in 1:1 sync with the memory controller. And this 64GB Trident Z5 Neo kit from G.Skill is specially designed for AM5, thanks to the extraordinary 30-40-40-96 AMD EXPO timings. It offers tremendous capacity and speed in a single package!

    The Guru’s Tip

    For an elite ITX rig, you want a 2x32GB kit, since you're limited to two RAM slots - this gives you a total of 64GB of super-fast RAM.

  • Solid-State Drive

    Samsung 990 Pro 2TB

    For primary storage, you don’t just want high-end, you want ultra-high-end, and that means going for the 990 Pro PCIe 4.0. It offers mind-blowing performance, up to 7,450MB/s read and 6,900MB/s, plus blistering random speeds that no other drive can touch. The 990 Pro will go down in history as the drive that truly maxed out the PCIe Gen 4 bus. Want something faster, you’ll have to wait for next gen!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While you don't really need a drive this fast for gaming, in a system this good, you know you want it!

  • Case

    Cooler Master NR200P Max

    Building on the immensely-popular NR200P, the NR200P Max offers next-level performance. It was designed out of the box for the hottest, most power-hungry CPUs and GPUs. In fact it includes both a powerful 280mm AIO liquid cooler and an 850W Gold-rated SFX power supply. The cooler is mounted at the top for optimal exhaust (most cases, including the original NR200P, are side-vented). Also included is a PCIe Gen 4 riser card, allowing big triple-slot video cards to be mounted vertically, which was not possible in the original NR200. Coming in at around 20 liters including feet, it’s the best-optimized SFF case on the market for extreme CPUs and GPUs!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This case can fit video cards up to 336mm long. We have confirmed that the model recommended in this guide is within that limit. Note that the case comes with both glass and vented side panels, and we strongly recommend the vented panel due to how close the GPU sits next to it.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home (Download)

    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! This version can be instantly downloaded and installed from any USB stick with 8GB or more capacity. If you don’t have one handy, we recommend you pick up a fast USB 3.1 thumb drive to install it, which can then be re-purposed for backup or file transfer use.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Win11 is definitely the OS you want on a PC running the latest CPU architectures!

Optional Products

  • The Typist's Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky)

    Best. Keyboard. Ever. This thing is a dream come true, so sleek, so responsive. And yeah, it’s wireless, and it’s RGB. 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 G502X Plus Lightspeed Wireless

    Logitech designed the G502X Lightspeed Wireless to be the ultimate technological tour de force in the gaming mouse industry. Featuring a mesmerizing 25K Hero sensor, hybrid optical-mechanical switches, RGB lighting, and the best wireless connectivity, it is impossible to beat. And you can even upgrade 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

    The best features, the best performance, the best ergonomics - this is the one!

  • The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor

    Gigabyte M32U

    It took seemingly forever for the elusive 32″ 4K 144Hz panels that gamers had dreamed of for years to finally hit the market, and surprisingly Gigabyte was first out of the gate with one widely available at retail. Known for its high-end video cards and motherboards, Gigabyte has quickly made a name for itself in the gaming monitor market, and the M32U simply astounds with its features. Get a load of these specs: a 31.5″ 3840 x 2160 4K IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms (GTG) response time, FreeSync, 10-bit color,  90% DCI-P3  and 123% sRGB color space, and VESA DisplayHDR 400. It even has a built-in KVM switch, allowing you to use it on multiple systems with the push of a button!

    The Guru’s Tip

    If you want a monitor to show off the power of your new extreme PC, this is the one!

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless

    From humble beginnings as a mousemat manufacturer, SteelSeries has come to absolutely dominate the gaming headset industry. And that’s because it’s not rocket science, it’s audio science! SteelSeries took a careful look at what gamers needed and and then applied all the proven techniques to get them everything they wanted. That includes ultra-high-fidelity audio, 360-degree surround sound for immersive gaming, dual audio streams for simultaneous connection to a PC and a smartphone, multi-platform support, and amazing 38-hour battery life plus quick-charge over USB-C, providing a 6 hour boost in 15 minutes! It also has among the best microphones in business, providing clear audio for everyone you’re talking to!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Arctis simply owns the market for high-end, performance-oriented gaming headsets.

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