The Best Mini ITX Build For Gaming

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Our Mini-ITX AMD Custom Gaming PC Build
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Best Mini ITX Gaming PC

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Our best Mini-ITX gaming PC build is for the space-conscious gamer with limited desk space or someone who just loves a clean-looking setup. This may be a small form factor system, but the components offer big performance. This custom mini build is capable of 1440p gaming, with some incredible FPS counts thanks to the powerful CPU/GPU combination. So throw out your console, and let’s get building this mini gaming rig.

With airflow, cooling, and affordability all improving over recent years, it is finally viable to build a mini-ITX gaming PC without breaking the bank or creating a mini oven. We haven’t built this with a budget in mind, but we were aiming to keep this high-end build as cost-effective as possible, without compromising on performance.

What You Get For Your Money

While a small form factor PC build isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, a Mini-ITX gaming PC is a great option for space-conscious gamers or users who are frequently on the move with their system. In the past, it could often be too costly to build a mini ITX PC and, in some instances, not worth the trade-off with limited component compatibility. Now though, with many motherboard manufacturers offering excellent quality ITX boards, the mini build is certainly worth a look but beware ITX components could increase the budget.

Performance

As mentioned, this PC is made to be powerful, and this machine’s gaming performance alone is of stellar quality. Inside we see one of the best price to performance CPUs on the market, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. This multi-threaded CPU comes with 6 cores running at 3.7GHz out of the box and 12 threads. Furthermore, the processor can be overclocked to an impressive 4.6GHz for improved performance. This CPU won’t let you down, and it also offers some workstation performance too!

Backing up the CPU is very powerful graphics card, which will easily run any AAA game you throw at it in immense detail. This GPU will smash anything in 1080p but impressively has shown to perform well while playing in 1440p and 4K, without getting poor FPS counts on those demanding titles.

Reinforcing those strong components, we see a reliable, feature-packed motherboard. This mobo will handle overclocks without a sweat, giving you the reassurance you need to push this system to its full potential. To help boost the overall gaming performance, we have included 16GB of fast RAM, which works hand in hand with the Ryzen 3rd-gen CPU. Lastly, a generous 1TB M.2 SSD has been included, to store your operating system, applications, and games, while also saving on space.

AMD Vs Intel

We wanted to get the absolute most out of this Mini-ITX build, so naturally went for AMD over Intel. This isn’t to say Intel would be a bad choice. After all, they offer fantastic single-core performance for gaming and generally have cheaper ITX boards, but AMD’s value is undeniable. You are simply getting more for your money with the AMD CPU, and the added benefit of multi-threading with your day-to-day tasks is always a great addition to any build. While a small form factor PC build isn’t everyone’s concern, a Mini-ITX gaming PC is a great option for space-conscious gamers or users who are frequently on the move with their system. In the past, it would often be too costly and not worth the trade-off with limited component options suited to fit. Now though with many motherboard manufacturers offering excellent quality ITX boards, the mini build is certainly worth a look.

How We Choose

Our team has years of experience behind them, building PCs for a range of needs and budgets. All this knowledge, combined with hours of research, user feedback, and onsite benchmarking, is what goes into choosing the best components for our builds.

We look for value for money, how the components perform together and focus on gamer’s needs to make sure our builds are the best your budget can buy.

We build all these PCs ourselves, in-house, so trust us when we say we want to make them as good as possible. We actually use all these builds ourselves day-to-day in the WePC offices.

How We Test

We build each of our selected PCs from scratch to make sure all the parts we recommend work well together, fit into the selected case, and provide the best performance possible for the price range.

Once built, the PCs are used in the office for everyday work as well as a range of games from light to heavy-duty. While we test, we also run benchmarking tests to see how well our builds perform, all while keeping an eye on the temperature of the components themselves.

We know how much some of our readers enjoy overclocking their PCs, so we made sure to test that out too. So, you can feel safe knowing that these machines can be pushed beyond their basic capabilities. But, please make sure you know how to overclock before trying to over-task your builds.

NOTE: Due to the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are experiencing stock issues. WePC constantly updates our pages to reflect current availability, so if the PC you want shows as out of stock, check back later or check out these alternatives.

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

Small form factor gaming has never been better, this high-end Mini-ITX build has got you covered and features some of the best components available on the market.

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Our Mini-ITX AMD Custom Gaming PC Build

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The best Mini ITX build for gaming brings high-quality components together to produce a spectacular gaming experience in a compact package. When it comes to gaming in a smaller form factor, no longer does size matter, you’re going to play the latest AAA games in pristine quality at a multitude of resolutions.

AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X is one of the most competitively priced CPUs on the market, making this a very popular 5000-series CPU. The 5600X features a base clock speed of 3.7GHz straight out of the box with boosting potential up to 4.6GHz. This processor isn’t just a great choice for gaming; with its 6 cores and 12 threads, you get some workstation performance too. We’ve run various benchmarking tests on the Ryzen 3rd gen lineup and found the Ryzen 5600X to be a solid CPU for the price. You can check out our YouTube channel and benchmarking videos here

This mini-ITX build is going to need a reliable motherboard with overclocking capabilities. The GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro WIFI is loaded full of features to give you more than just a great overclocking board.

This board comes with a direct 8-phase design and an extended heatsink to keep those thermals down when overclocking. We see WiFi and an M.2 slot available.  The two DDR4 DIMM sockets support up to 64GB of RAM if you ever decided to upgrade to that amount, and it can, of course, handle the fast speeds put out by the memory we have selected.

Overall a great mini-board and some RGB is the cherry on top.

NZXT Kraken M22

NZXT Kraken M22

Air or liquid?

Liquid

Max RPM

2000 RPM

Max Noise

36 dB

Dimensions

H(152) x W(120) x D(32) mm

With this being a mini form factor build, things tend to heat up inside the case due to restricted airflow. With this in mind, we have selected NZXT’s very own M22 to provide all the cooling your CPU will need, overclocked or otherwise. This AIO cooler is the 120mm unit, with one 120mm fan and a very nice looking water pump. This cooler will work in conjunction with the cases fan hub, giving you greater control over your fans and CPU cooler.

This 16GB kit from Corsair offers more than enough for any computer, regardless of whether you go for AMD or Intel. This memory kit will enhance your gaming experience, streaming, and general computing tasks, as the fast speeds work together well with the multi-threaded CPU. This RAM kit, after being overclocked, is capable of running at 3600MHz, meaning with this speed, you are guaranteed never to be bottlenecked by your RAM.

asus tuf

ASUS TUF GAMING Radeon RX 6800 OC 16GB

Clock Speed (Base/Boost)

1925MHz/ 2155MHz

VRAM

16GB GDDR6

Ports

HDMI x 1 DP x 3

While this is the best mini ITX gaming PC, it is designed to be gamed on while still being affordable. Well, what about AMD’s latest RX 6800? That’s right; we are going for one of the latest graphics cards on the market. This GPU is one of the highest performing cards in the benchmarks and features the specifications you are going to need game without a hitch.

The Sabrent PCIe 4.0 SSD features sequential read and write speeds up to 5,000 MB/s and 4,400 MB/s, which is already much faster than the highly regarded Samsung EVO 970 Plus (PCIe 3.0). With this 1TB device, you have enough space for your operating system and a selection of your most played gaming titles. This SSD goes straight into the motherboard, making installation a doddle and keeps your small system free of extra cables.

The H210i comes from a line of successful cases that have barely changed over the years. This is constructed of steel and tempered glass and would look superb on anyone’s desk. Like NZXT’s larger form factor variants, this case is available in a variety of colors, and it is easily one of the nicest looking mini cases on the market.

The case features a handy PSU shroud, removable SSD options, and excellent cable management, all for a reasonable price. Furthermore, this case ca support some very creative water-cooled builds if you ever decided to go full aquatic in the future.

What better way to give your PC build some style than with the NZXT H210i?

Every PC needs a solid power supply to bring efficient power to those components, and that is precisely what you get from this Seasonic PSU. This is a 650W model, giving you more than enough power and leaving some headroom for overclocking and future upgrades. A higher wattage than needed will also keep the fan quieter for longer, giving you better acoustic performance. The Seasonic FOCUS GX-650 PSU comes with an 80+ gold rating and is fully-modular, giving you greater control over the cable management.

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Prebuilt Mini-ITX Gaming PC

If you are going for a Mini-ITX build, you are most likely an experienced PC builder, as these tend to be on the tricky side. Building a computer in a mid or even full-sized tower can have some people sweating, so we have included a small form factor prebuilt gaming PC. Take any stresses away with this MSI Trident prebuilt gaming PC that is roughly the size of a console.

What Games Can This PC Run?

In this section, we’re going to tell you how this game should be able to run your favorite games.

  • Fortnite – This build well exceeds Fortnite’s required specs- 4K60FPS at Max settings shouldn’t be a problem at all.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – Unfortunately, PUBG still needs optimization work…while 4K will be achievable, you will need to turn down some settings to land at 60FPS.
  • Monster Hunter: World – At max settings and 4K, this intensive title will push your system to its limits. Expect 30-40 FPS if you don’t turn anything down.
  • League of Legends – League of Legends is optimized to run on low-spec PCs, so don’t even worry: 4K60 should be nothing for this PC build.
  • Dota 2 – eSports titles in general are well-optimized (they have to be for accessibility purposes), so 4K60 shouldn’t be a problem here.
  • Overwatch – Overwatch is a bit more intensive than the other aforementioned eSports titles, 4K60 should still be plenty achievable. You should also consider 1440p @ 144hz.
  • Rainbow Six: Siege – At max settings and 4K, you should be able to easily achieve 70+ FPS with this build.
  • Warframe – Warframe is pretty well-optimized, so at 4K and max settings you should be able to easily push 120+ FPS.
  • Grand Theft Auto V – At 4K and Ultra settings, GTAV should be playable at anywhere from 70-100 FPS with this build.
  • Team Fortress 2 – Despite being well over a decade old, Team Fortress 2 is still regularly in Steam’s most-played. Fortunately, the game should still be easily run on this PC setup at 4K and high settings, though if you play competitively you may want to turn some things down if you experience lag spikes.

Things To Consider

Budget

The majority of builds on WePC are split into a variety of budget categories. Of course, there are a few of our custom builds that don’t fit in with our main recommendations, but that doesn’t mean a budget wasn’t in mind. When putting these parts together, the main goal was to try and keep it around $1500, which for a high-end build such as this, isn’t a bad price. The budget was merely a guideline, but it ensured greater thought about what would power this mini machine.

Upgradability & Future-Proofing

This Mini-ITX gaming PC is packed to the rafters with top quality components, but there are a few areas that can certainly be upgraded in the future, depending on your needs. One thing we made sure while making this was to leave you with some of the basic components that will enable you to improve this at a later date. The motherboard was chosen so that you could install a Ryzen 5000 CPU without the need of flashing the BIOS first. Furthermore, the motherboard supports overclocking and can handle the quickest RAM speeds out there.

Overclocking

This is a high-end gaming PC, so overclocking is certainly not a requirement. That being said, it is still nice to have the option to boost your system’s overall performance without extra cost. So if you are someone who likes to squeeze every drop of juice out of your gaming PC then don’t worry, we have you covered.

The RAM will naturally come at a lower speed as the advertised speed is simply letting you know what speeds you can clock it to. To get your RAM running at its best, you will need to go into the BIOS and XMP the RAM to 3600MHz.

Ease Of Building

Generally speaking, building a Mini-ITX gaming PC can be a greater challenge than your average build. This is due to the limited space for your cabling to go, meaning you are going to have to get creative when going down the ITX route. To combat the increased difficulty of this, we have gone for the NZXT H210i PC case, which, like its bigger siblings, is incredibly easy to build in.

For a mini-ITX case, this feels spacious, giving you a bit more room to build in, and it doesn’t have a sandwich layout or anything like that you see with other ITX cases, so it’s just a regular build – shrunk down. This case fits the 240mm radiator towards the front of the case, and the panel easily comes off to reveal the bracket, so no worries there. You could go for an air cooler or even water-cool in this, but the recommended AIO cooler in this build will do wonders for your CPU temps.

A screwdriver was the only tool required to complete the build, but if you want to ensure you protect your components fully, then invest in anti-static equipment. It is worth noting that the cooler will come with a small tube of thermal pate for you to apply some fresh paste on your CPU. We advise wiping off the old thermal paste and applying a branded type like the ones from our best thermal paste roundup.

Non-Gaming Performance

The components speak for themselves, and this an unquestionably good gaming PC, but that isn’t all. Thanks to this mini PC’s AMD multi-threaded processor and fast RAM, this PC can handle its self for some heavy-duty CPU tasks too. So if you need to do a bit of light rendering or 4K playback, then this Mini-ITX build will do a superb job.

Aesthetics

The Best Mini-ITX build comes with a case that has aesthetics in mind, the NZXT H210i. Mini builds mostly look superb, but when there is tempered glass involved, it is important to pick the correct components, and cable manage thoroughly. The case features a fan hub that has two lighting channels on it, meaning you can easily add some NZXT HUE lighting to this if needed.

The recommended cooler also is compatible with the case and has one of the nicest pump designs on the market. The board features some lighting, and the Corsair RAM is the RGB PRO version, giving you nice little touches of light through the build. You could pimp your build further with the inclusion of RGB fans, RGB strips, and NZXT’s under-glow lighting.

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Related Prebuilt Gaming PC Guides

Check out some of our related prebuilt PC guides below.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Brands

Every recommended prebuilt gaming PC in this article is from a reputable manufacturer. You are probably wondering how we know what the best gaming PC brands are? Well, we have done our research and purchased PCs from these brands.

Most notable brands:

Alienware
Corsair
CyberPowerPC
SkyTech
iBUYPOWER
Thermaltake
MSI
Scan 3XS
Overclockers UK

Calculating The PSU Wattage

Making sure your PSU provides the correct amount of wattage to your custom build PC is an essential part of the build process. For that reason, we’ve created a handy PSU calculator which will work out exactly what PSU wattage your components require – no matter how many changes you make.

Operating System & Peripherals

Since the budget only factors in the cost of the important components, we have included this section. Most people already have operating systems and gaming peripherals, but for those that don’t, here are our top recommendations.

Note: These will raise the price of the build!

Building Tips

When building a PC, you need to handle it with care. This is especially true if this is the first PC you’ve ever built; definitely read various online tips to clear up any questions you have before starting.

How To Build A PC

Never built a PC before? Let us guide you through everything you need to build your first PC, even if you’re a complete beginner!

Closing Thoughts

Getting a great gaming experience out of this Mini-ITX build is easy; after all, it features some of the best gaming components on the market. This is a superb gaming PC for the money, and it will smash through those AAA games without breaking a sweat, while also giving you a solid general computing experience too. We opted for AMD at the heart of this build purely for its multi-threaded capabilities and price to performance. This processor really rounds the build off well, giving you a mini PC that will stand the test of time. Have you had a crack at our best Mini-ITX Gaming PC build? How did it go? The team here at WePC would love to see how your build went, so share your experience and pictures over at the WePC community.

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The Team That Worked On This Build

Team Shaun
Custom Build Specialist
at
WePC

Shaun is a gaming enthusiast and computer science graduate who has been working with computers for the last 15 years. He took a shine to competitive FPS back in the mid-2000s and hasn’t looked back since.

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