Mini ITX Build on a $1500 Budget

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edited October 2022 in PC Build Guides

Written by @Julia_V

ITX builds can be challenging. With relatively limited selections for parts, we also have to figure out if the parts will physically fit in a small ITX chassis. However, there are many appeals to an ITX build, such as its space-saving capability and portability compared to a regular-sized desktop. In this guide, we will build a sleek, streamlined, and silvery ITX entry-level gaming build with a budget of $1500.

DAN A4 H2O Build - by Collin B

Case - Lian Li A4 H2O 4.0 Mini-ITX ($169.99)

Our main star of the show will of course be the ITX chassis itself. In this build, we will be using the minimalist Lian-Li A4 H2O case. At only 11 liters, the case is 5 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 9 inches tall. While it comes in both black and silver, we will be using the silver version for this build. The finish is nice and metallic, and the build quality is solid. The front panel gives you one USB Type-A, and one USB Type-C, as well as audio ports. I adore how versatile this case is, despite being one of the smallest ITX cases I have ever seen. I also love the minimalist aesthetic and the streamlined nature of it. 

CPU - Intel Core i5-12400 Alder Lake 2.5GHz Six-Core LGA 1700 Boxed Processor ($179.99) 

The Intel i5-12400 is a great budget processor for entry-level gaming. Utilizing the latest Intel 12th Generation design with 6 Performance Cores and 12 Threads, this processor will be able to handle any 1080p gaming and editing with flying colors. While the i5-12400 is not overclockable compared to the i5-12600K ($249.99), the value is simply unbeatable when we are on a budget. 

Motherboard - Gigabyte B660i AORUS Pro DDR4 ($189.99)

For the motherboard, we will go for a Gigabyte ITX B660i board. This is one of the Intel 12th Generation motherboards that uses DDR4 Memory, which is more budget-friendly than if we were to go with a DDR5 motherboard. I love that this board comes with onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, and an amazingly fast 2.5Gb Ethernet port. There are a total of 7 USB Type-A ports on the back I/O, as well as a Type-C port. The board does include an internal Type-C header as well, for ease of access for Type-C on the front case I/O. While we won’t be able to see much of the motherboard from inside the case, I like its silver aesthetic to go with our overall theme. 

RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 ($56.99)

Our motherboard accepts up to 64GB RAM, but as we are on a budget, 16GB should be plenty for what we are using the PC for. I picked the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit for its lower profile compared to other kits of memory. With lower profile memory, we save a little more space inside of our case. In a small build like this, a little bit of room goes a long way. 

GPU - Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Vision ($379.99) 

The Gigabyte 3060 Vision fits very nicely with our ongoing theme. Out of the many 3060s, this one in particular has a clean, silvery shine to it, and it’s only 11 inches. This means not only will it fit nicely in our case, it will also look nice at the same time. For an entry-level gaming or creator build, the 3060 will be able to run most, if not all games, at 60 FPS and above consistently on 1080p. The card supports up to 4 maximum outputs with 2 HDMI ports and 2 DisplayPorts. 

Storage - Samsung 1TB 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD ($109.99)

An M.2 SSD is an ideal pick for our build here, mainly to save space in our build, as well as ease of access. We don’t have to connect any extra cables to the drive, as it fits nicely into the motherboard directly. I picked the Samsung 1TB 970 EVO Plus because it offers excellent speed to gigabyte-per-dollar ratio. This drive also has DRAM Cache on board, which means that it will run faster than your average M.2 drive with better stability.

Cooling - NZXT Kraken X53 240mm Water Cooling Kit ($134.99) 

For CPU cooling, we do need a 240mm Liquid Cooler that is under a certain height in order to fit inside of the case. One of these coolers is the NZXT Kraken. This is a reliable and quiet liquid cooler that will not only cool the CPU, but the rest of the system as well. 

Power Supply - EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GM ($99.99)

Last but not least for the hardware: the power supply. For all the parts we mentioned in this list, an SFX 650W power supply should be plenty. SFX indicates a small form factor, which is needed for this build. A Gold rated power supply such as this one will run cool and efficiently inside of our case. 

OS - Windows 11 Home ($119.99)

Now that your PC is assembled, it’s time to put an operating system on it! Windows 11 Home is the new standard for Windows-based operating systems, and it runs well on the 12th-Generation Intel Platform. 

BYO Month Price: $1441.91


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