The Best $3,000 Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build – February 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 Intel and Nvidia!
For February 2023, the $3,000 Extreme Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build features the awesome Intel Core i7-13700KF-core, 24-thread CPU, which lays down the law when it comes to gaming. It beats the prior king, Intel’s 12900KS, as well as everything in AMD’s lineup. The CPU is supporting a beast of a GPU, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4080 16GB, which blows by every previous-generation card, while increasing efficiency, making it the perfect GPU for a serious ITX system!
Also on board is 32GB of ultra-fast DDR5-6400 RAM, along with a top-of-the-line 2TB PCIe Gen 4-based solid-state drive. It all comes together in the Cooler Master NR200P Max chassis, which is uniquely designed for power-hungry 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 around 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
Intel Core i7-13700KF$399With the 13700KF on the market, it’s game over for AMD! The 13700KF blows away Intel’s previous leader, the 12900KS, which was already unbeatable, and in doing so, drives a serious bargain at the extreme high-end of PC gaming performance. Offering up 16 cores, 24 threads, and the pumped-up cache and clockspeed, it’s the chip every serious gamer will want in their system!
This hot processor needs a great cooler, which comes pre-installed in the case we recommend!
MSI MPG Z790I Edge WiFi$360This mini-ITX board has what it takes to support the latest socket 1700 Intel CPUs. It features a 10+1+1 phase VRM design, a 105-Amp power stage, and packs in a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, triple PCIe M.2 slots (two being Gen 4), and 7 USB ports (1 being a Type-C 20Gbps Port). Also onboard is 802.11ax (WiFi 6E) wireless networking, Bluetooth, and 2.5Gb LAN.
While Z690 boards can support the 13th-Gen processor above, they will require updated firmware, while this Z790 board has it straight out of the box.
Video Card –
MSI GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Ventus 3X OC$1250The RTX 4080 does the impossible, blowing away the previous king-of-the-hill RTX 3090 Ti while using far less power. And this model from MSI is fitted with a powerful triple-slot, triple-fan cooler, which is MSI’s specialty!
At 322mm long, this card just fits within the case we recommend, which has a 336mm limit, along with a triple-slot limit! Beware... most RTX 4080 cards are actually too long or too wide for the case we recommend, so if this one is sold out, our suggestion is wait for it rather than chance it with another model!
G.Skill 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 CL32$190For 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 DDR5-6400 with timings of 32-39-39-102 at 1.40V. 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 SN850X 2TB NVMe$180WD took its vaunted SN850 and endowed with even greater speed, creating the 850X. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and offering transfer speeds up to 7,300MB/s, it’s the one you want!
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$460Building 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. Also note that the included cooler has the necessary Socket 1700 adapter for the Intel CPU we recommend.
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)$216 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 Ultralight Gaming Mouse –
Logitech G Pro X Superlight$150 The Guru’s Tip
There are many pretenders to the throne when it comes to ultralights, but Logitech has the long track record of dominance to back up that light weight!
The Deluxe PC Headset –
Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset$174 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$700 The Guru’s Tip
If you want a monitor to show off the power of your new extreme PC, this is the one!
Total Cost: $2998
The DIY Build
- CPU – Intel Core i7-13700KF ($399)
- Motherboard – MSI MPG Z790I Edge WiFi ($360)
- Video Card – MSI GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Ventus 3X OC ($1250)
- Memory – G.Skill 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 CL32 ($190)
- Solid-State Drive – WD_Black SN850X 2TB NVMe ($180)
- Case – Cooler Master NR200P Max ($460)
- Operating System – Windows 11 Home USB ($139)