The Best $3,000 Ultra-Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – June 2022
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 Intel and Nvidia!
For June 2022, the $3,000 Ultra-Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features the awesome Intel Core i7-12700K 12-core, 20-thread CPU, which lays down the law when it comes to gaming. When paired with the Z690I Unify motherboard from MSI and 32GB of DDR5-6000 RAM from G.Skill, it will seriously rip! This setup is supporting a beast of a GPU, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB, a fully-upgraded version of the proven RTX 3080 10GB, with more VRAM, a wider memory bus, and more cores. Thanks to a recent price drop, it’s a fantastic deal for an ultra-high-end GPU!
Also on board is an amazingly-fast 2TB PCIe Gen 4-based solid-state drive and a 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 housing the system is the trend-setting 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.
The DIY Build
Intel Core i7-12700K$380Intel reclaims the gaming lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12700K is the CPU to get for extreme performance without going overboard on cost. It handily beats the previous-gen darlings, AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X, and is nearly as fast as Intel’s top-end 12900K for a lot less money!
This hot processor needs a great cooler, which is what we suggest later in this guide!
MSI Z690I Unify$400This mini-ITX board has what it takes to support the most powerful socket 1700 Intel-based systems. It features a 10+1+1 phase VRM design, a 105-Amp power stage, and of course packs in a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot and triple PCIe Gen 4 M.2 drives, which is way ahead of the curve! Also onboard is 802.11ax (WiFi 6) wireless networking, Bluetooth, and 2.5Gb LAN.
We've gone with a DDR5 motherboard here to ensure that this system is on the cutting edge!
Video Card –
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 Ti OC 12GB$1090For extreme gaming, nothing less than the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB will do! This model offers up a sweet triple-slot, triple-fan cooler, and a nice factory overclock. It will rip though any game, beating everything in AMD’s stable while serving up Nvidia-only features like DLSS and dedicated Ray Tracing cores.
This card is 320mm long, which corresponds exactly to the 320mm limit of the case.
G.SKILL 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000$340For the ultimate in speed, you must go with DDR5 RAM, but not just any DDR5 RAM, because you need high-frequency DDR5 to blow past DDR4 RAM performance. And that’s what you get with G.Skill’s Trident Z5 kit, running at DDR4-6000 with timings of 36-36-36-96 at 1.35V. This is the real deal when it comes to DDR5 performance!
We've selected a DDR5-compatible motherboard that will easily support the ultra-high frequency of this kit!
Solid-State Drive –
WD_Black SN850 2TB NVMe$240The fastest M.2 drive on the planet…. many drives compete for that title, but the mighty SN850 is right at the top. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and maxing out the PCIe Gen 4 bus, it’s the one you want!
While you don't really need a drive this fast for gaming, given the reasonable price, there's no reason not to go for the best!
Lian Li Q58X4 Black$158Lian 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!
This case can fit video cards up to 320mm long. We have confirmed that the model recommended in this guide is within that limit.
Power Supply –
Corsair SF750$165Offering 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!
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 –
MSI MAG CoreLiquid C280$124For a hot-running processor, you need serious cooling, and this 280mm liquid cooler from MSI has what it takes. Offering up tremendous performance, along with very classy looks, it’s the perfect match for this system.
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! Also note that you have to be extremely careful selecting other 280mm coolers - the hoses must some out of the side of the pump, not the top, otherwise it won't fit in the chassis!
Operating System –
Windows 11 Home USB$139Windows 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!
Microsoft took its sweet time launching the retail version of W11, previously limiting the release to upgrades for existing W10 customers. But it's here now, and this is definitely the OS you want on a PC running Intel's latest hybrid CPU architecture!
The Typist's Gaming Keyboard –
Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky)$230 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$119 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$180 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 M32U$730 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
The DIY Build
- CPU – Intel Core i7-12700K ($380)
- Motherboard – MSI Z690I Unify ($400)
- Video Card – Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 Ti OC 12GB ($1090)
- Memory – G.SKILL 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 ($340)
- Solid-State Drive – WD_Black SN850 2TB NVMe ($240)
- Case – Lian Li Q58X4 Black ($158)
- Power Supply – Corsair SF750 ($165)
- CPU Cooler – MSI MAG CoreLiquid C280 ($124)
- Operating System – Windows 11 Home USB ($139)
- The Typist's Gaming Keyboard – Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) ($230)
- The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse – Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless ($119)
- The Deluxe PC Headset – Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset ($180)
- The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor – Gigabyte M32U ($730)