The Best $750 Small Office Mini-ITX PC Build – August 2021
Want to build the best home or small office PC possible with a budget of around $750? Then this is the guide for you! Our Small Office Mini-ITX PC Build is sleek, compact, powerful, quiet, and expandable. And of course, it’s affordable at just $750!
This Month’s Build, Featuring Intel!
For August 2021, this system features Intel’s Core i5-10400 processor. It offers 6 cores and 12 threads, with a boost speed of up to 4.3GHz. Notably, it has built-in graphics, so you don’t need to worry about adding a video card! Also onboard are 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a responsive 500GB NVMe solid-state drive. Giving this system its sleek profile is the ultra-compact SilverStone ML09 case, which we reviewed here and named our favorite slim case of all time. Providing the power is a quiet 300W Bronze-rated power supply, and keeping the CPU cool is a potent low-profile cooler, the biggest you can fit in this system!
Despite this system’s tiny size (just 7 liters!), it can fit plenty of upgrades, including a low-profile video card (should you ever need to add a gaming-grade model) and up to four 2TB hard drives, bringing the total capacity to over 8TB including the SSD! Learn more about this build, which is truly one of our favorites, in our YouTube overview, and feel free to post any questions in the YT comments section.
Any PC needs a good set of peripherals to get the most out of it, so definitely scroll down to the end of this guide to see our favorite accessories, or check out our dedicated Monitor Buyer’s Guide, Keyboard & Mouse Buyer’s Guide, and Headset & Speakers Buyer’s Guide. Throughout all of our guides, we provide direct links to Amazon, Newegg, or B&H for our readers in the US, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for our readers in the UK, Canada, and the EU, with regional substitutions made automatically as necessary. If you decide to purchase any of the products listed below, please use the links provided, which helps support continued development of this guide.
Intel Core i5-10400 @Newegg$210The Core i5-10400 offers up six cores, 12 threads, and a very high Turbo speed, which all translates to excellent gaming performance! While AMD had been in the lead for a while, significant price increases, including on existing CPUs, has given Intel the clear advantage in terms of price/performance.
This CPU includes a cooler, but for lower noise levels, we recommend you pick up the upgraded cooler listed later in this guide.
This low-cost mini-ITX board offers all the features you need for a compact build. That includes an M.2 SSD slot, dual RAM slots, four USB ports, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.The Guru’s Tip
You'll be able to use this board's Displayport output to drive any monitor of any resolution, or the HDMI port to drive a monitor up to 1920 x 1080.
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-2666$80
With 16GB of RAM, you’ll have plenty of capacity for any typical task. Why do we choose this kit in particular? It offers great speed for the price thanks to tight CL16 timings, rare on 2666 kits. Most are actually much slower.The Guru’s Tip
This is the fastest RAM supported by our recommended motherboard.
Solid-State Drive –
Samsung 980 500GB$60
There’s lots of competition in the SSD market, but SSD pioneer Samsung has put all the other mid-priced offerings to shame with its 980 500GB, launched in early 2021. You simply can’t do better than this awesome SSD, which uses the speedy PCIe 3.0 interface and Samsung’s superior TLC NAND to vastly outperform every other PCIe 3.0 drive! Note that to install this drive, you’ll affix it in an M.2 slot on your motherboard using a jeweler’s-type screwdriver.The Guru’s Tip
If you know you want more space right away, feel free to go for the 1TB version of this drive, listed on the same product page.
SilverStone ML09B$87Silverstone has done some serious engineering work here, and there’s simply nothing else like it on the market today. Despite its compact dimensions, the ML09 can fit a mini-ITX motherboard, a low-profile dual-slot video card, four 2.5″ drives, and an SFX power supply. It’s amazing!
To learn more about this case, don't miss our hands-on build video at the top of this page!
Power Supply –
SilverStone SX300$67This ultra-compact, Bronze-rated SFX PSU is a perfect fit for this build, offering just the right amount of output for an efficient build like this one.
SilverStone actually recommends fixed cables, rather than removable cables for the ML09 case, as the single cable output is easier to route around the case's 2.5" drive cage.
CPU Cooler –
Scythe Big Shuriken 3$45The excellent low-profile cooler will fit easily in this system while providing a huge upgrade in terms of noise and temperatures versus most other low-profile coolers. It’s also one of the very few high-performance low-profile coolers that does not obstruct the RAM slots.
This cooler measures 69mm tall, which means it will fit perfectly in the case, which has 70mm of clearance. You'll need to remove the pre-installed fan that comes mounted in the case, but the resulting cooling and noise levels will be far superior.
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!
If the USB version is ever sold out, you can get the downloadable version from Amazon, which can be installed using any 8GB or larger USB drive.
Hard Drive –
WD Blue 2TB 2.5″$75 The Guru’s Tip
This is only necessary if you will be storing a lot of media on your PC, like photos, music, video, or data files.
The Basic Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo –
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo$25 The Guru’s Tip
This combo uses a single USB receiver to communicate with both devices, meaning you have plenty more USB ports left over!
The 24-inch Small Office Monitor –
Sceptre E248W-19203R$148 The Guru’s Tip
We recommend connecting this monitor to your PC with an HDMI cable, which will provide both display and sound.
Logitech C925-e Webcam$80 The Guru’s Tip
If you don't have speakers already, you'll need to buy the ones below to use for video conferencing.
The Basic PC Speakers –
Creative Pebble 2.0$20 The Guru’s Tip
Despite their name, these are definitely larger than a pebble!
Total Cost: $773
- CPU – Intel Core i5-10400 @Newegg ($210)
- Motherboard – ASRock B460M-ITX/AC ($147)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-2666 ($80)
- Solid-State Drive – Samsung 980 500GB ($60)
- Case – SilverStone ML09B ($87)
- Power Supply – SilverStone SX300 ($67)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Big Shuriken 3 ($45)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)