Building a Small Form Factor PC – The May 2022 Update
By Ari Altman | Published May 11, 2022 | Updated May 11, 2022
If you’re ready to build your own dream Small Form Factor (SFF) PC and need help picking the perfect parts, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve been publishing our comprehensive SFF component buyer’s guides and hands-on assembly guides since 2013, so no one else can get you up and running in the world of SFF PCs better than we can! Whether it’s a budget-friendly kitchen PC, a compact yet powerful small office, or an ultra-high-end gaming system, we’ve got you covered.
We define SFF systems as anything having a total volume of under 25 liters, although that’s just a starting point, and every system in our guides at this point is under 20 liters! We fully believe these PCs represent the future of desktop computing. Once you’ve built your own SFF PC, we know you’ll agree! So, if you’re ready to take the plunge, keep reading and you’ll find all the information you need.
This Month’s Updates
For May 2022, there’s plenty of good news in the SFF market, with prices plummeting on GPUs, along with price cuts on and increased availability of Intel’s game-changing 12th-Gen CPUs. We’ve moved most of our high-end systems to these processors, which offer clear performance advantages over AMD for those willing to pay for it!
By the way, with regard to our popular Intel “NUC” guide, we now recommend two non-Intel options, including one that’s not even a DIY build, but rather an enthusiast-class pre-built machine, the Minisforum Elite HX, shown here.
As you consider building your own SFF system, keep in mind that every compact case is unique, so no single build guide can tell you exactly how certain components will fit together in that case. SFF cases often arrange components in a way that makes it difficult to install otherwise standard PC parts. That’s why in addition to our many SFF Buyer’s Guides, we’ve worked hard to put together a comprehensive set of step-by-step assembly guides covering a wide range of case layouts. We believe these are the most comprehensive step-by-step PC building guides you’ll find anywhere!
One last thing: all of our Buyer’s Guides shown below provide product links to select retailers. If you purchase any of the components profiled in this guide, please use our links, which helps support continued development of this guide.
Scroll down to find the buyer’s guide for your dream system, and click on Articles to see our huge catalog of reviews and how-tos!