The Best $3,000 Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – September 2023
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 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!
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
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D$659AMD 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.
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.
Asus ROG Strix B650E-I$328This 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.
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$1100The 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.
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!
G.Skill 2x32GB Trident Z5 Neo RGB DDR5-6000 CL30 EXPO$205To 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!
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$135For 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!
While you don't really need a drive this fast for gaming, in a system this good, you know you want it!
Cooler Master NR200P Max$390Building 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!
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)$130Windows 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.
Win11 is definitely the OS you want on a PC running the latest CPU architectures!
The Typist's Gaming Keyboard –
Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky)$208 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$144 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$680 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$150 The Guru’s Tip
Arctis simply owns the market for high-end, performance-oriented gaming headsets.
Total Cost: $2998
The DIY Build
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D ($659)
- Motherboard – Asus ROG Strix B650E-I ($328)
- Video Card – PNY GeForce RTX 4080 16GB XLR8 ($1100)
- Memory – G.Skill 2x32GB Trident Z5 Neo RGB DDR5-6000 CL30 EXPO ($205)
- Solid-State Drive – Samsung 990 Pro 2TB ($135)
- Case – Cooler Master NR200P Max ($390)
- Operating System – Windows 11 Home (Download) ($130)
- The Typist's Gaming Keyboard – Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) ($208)
- The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse – Logitech G502X Plus Lightspeed Wireless ($144)
- The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor – Gigabyte M32U ($680)
- The Deluxe PC Headset – SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless ($150)