ITX Build - Suggestion on build and Prebuilt Vs Self-Built

Hi Community,

Wanted to get some thoughts and recommendations on building an ITX or buying a pre-built.

My current workstation is a surface pro 6 in a study nock that is no bigger than 1.1meter (W) and 60cm (D). I only have a physical desk space for a case about 23cm (W) and 37(L) and I do not have any room under the table as there is a built in cupboard to the desk.

My Aim is to have a machine that is capable of 1440p gaming on AAA titles and be able to handle video/photo editing in the future. I already have a 1440p 144hz 32inch gigabyte screen. I want to spend around $1700 at this stage and upgrade in the future once the rtx3000 series are out.

I am leaning towards the NZXT H1 case but it is a bit pricy but the case size is perfect.

The build I am thinking right now is:
PCPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($300)
MOBO: Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($260)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 ($120)
CPU Cooler: AIO Stock from the CASE
Case: NZHT H1 ($620)
Storage: P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($180)
Graphic Card: Galax GeForce GTX 1650 Super ($240.00)
PSU: Stock included in case 650W Gold
Total Est: $1720

Does the build seem reasonable for now?

Is there much I would need to upgrade if I wanted to have a 2080ti for example in the future?

Should I get a better motherboard if in the future I want to get the AMD Ryzen 7/9 series?

Is there a cheaper and better case I should look at with a similar size? (I think the h200i is a bit too big and won’t fit on the table)

On the other hand I could save up more and buy a MSI Trident or Corsair One but I think the value to cost is pretty high. 3k for the entry model but the small form is a plus.


  • +4 votes

    $620 for a case??? I know you have space limitations, but Wow!

  • I'm thinking of doing a microATX build. The Cooler Master NR400 is only 40L.

  • Yeah that case is overkill. PSU can be 200, which makes that case 400 bux…just get a $150 one and then get a 3700x.

    • Hey, yeah i thought the case was a bit much i bleive it was $300USD pre-covid i will be looking aorund then for another case.

  • I built an ITX machine last year, and overall am happy with it. I went with an Raijintek Ophion Evo (From Newegg) as it was the smallest case I could find without stepping into NCase prices. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the case - however I did remove the tempered glass on the GPU side as it got a bit warm (2080ti ran at mid 80-degree temps from memory) and replaced it with some steel mesh instead, and now it runs fine.

    You'll need to factor in PSU and Cooler costs with the Raijintek (From memory I paid about $300 for them - Corsair 750 Platinum PSU and Corsair 120MM AIO).

    • Hi Thanks for the suggestions i will look into the case and other parts, looks good so far from web searches.

  • I love the minimalist look of the Dan A4. It's a tad expensive though, in the $2-300USD range. It's gone through a few minor revisions each year. If you haven't seen it:

    The MSI b450i seems to be a go-to recommendation on the smallformfactor subreddit. No idea how it compares to your desired Asus motherboard, I imagine they're very similar. There's little point in going anything other than a b450 when ITX motherboards only have a single pci-e slot.

    • Great thanks for the info it did help a lot :) i will check out te Dan A4

      • I looked at the MSI vs the Asus. The MSI has better VRM's, however there seemed to be a lot of complaints about the BIOS (At least there were when I was looking a year ago). I ended up going with the Asus, because I had no plans to overclock (who wants even more heat in a small space!) and it has a 2nd M.2 slot (Which I still don't use). Ultimately, I think either choice would be fine.

  • Check out the SG13. Brilliant little case, usually cheap as, looks cool, tiny.

    My build is now:
    - SG13 Case
    - AMD R7 3700X
    - RTX 2060 Super (Galax - SG13 fits many full size GPUs)
    - SFX-L 650W PSU
    - 32gb RAM, forget the exact make.
    - Gigabyte B450 mobo
    - 8TB 3.5" HDD
    - 1TB 860 EVO SSD

    Absolute beast. Space is tight and it can get hot, so I recommend watercooling it with a Corsair H60 or equivalent.

    Dan A4 is nice but expensive as feck.

    Edit: Your case is definitely overkill. Your experience would be much better either spending that money on another important component, or saving it for something else.

    Ignore the 2080Ti's now, the 3000 series will be out soon which will drop prices on the 2000s, and probably knock them out for performance as well. For reference I am now gaming on a 49" 5120 x 1440 monitor, which my card does okay on but not great. I will upgrade once the next series comes around.

  • I love my case's size + how quiet it is, check it out yo. Spent abouts 1.8k on it but that's not the main point. My case was 89 bucks and from pccasegear(who ship stuff out (profanity) fast btw)

  • Have mATX myself, killer 👍

  • I have similar issues with the (desk) space in my room. My dimensions are almost identical.
    My tower used to live behind the monitor and really cluttered the desk.

    I now use my (m)ATX case as a footrest/warmer

    Look free desk space!.

    Temporary fixtures/wall mounts are generally permissible in rentals since recent law changes.

    • wow, almost look the same as my situation! unfortunately i don't even have enough leg space to put it under the table. and yes i am renting also but prefer not wall mount/fixtures etc.

  • The case, nada, way too expensive

    I like everything else, the 3600 is also a great CPU, but if you're going to go for a super high end like an RTX 3080 or above in the future ($1000+ GPU right), I'd go for these instead along with what you already have

    Ryzen 7 3700X
    CRYORIG H7 ULTRA (or a lower profile one if you change the case (this is 145mm tall, case I chose supports up to 165mm in height)
    SeaSonic FOCUS SGX (Super expensive right now but it's 650W)
    NZXT H210 don't go for the i, waste of money

    You'll have 20mm of width and I think it'll just fit underneath, if not then there's plenty of smaller ITX cases

    Good price on the 1650 Super, great choice should resell well when you're ready to upgrade. EDIT I missed the motherboard on the first go, I have this MSI board and it's one of the best for VRM in your budget.

    AIOs, they're louder, the biggest advantage is that they give you 2 extra fans (if going 240 or 280 which is plenty), and the dust collects on the radiator instead of the finstacks of a aircooler, downsides is the pumps can fail then the unit is essentially useless, can obviously leak, can develop gunk and lose performance, and they're expensive for the performance they give, not worth it in my opinion

    • hi just a noob question on the part picker site it say the following warning message; "Warning!Some AMD B450 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Matisse CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions." Is this a warning message i can ignore and the suggested mobo int eh build is actually Ryzen 7 ready?

      • sorry just to add to this do you think i can just use the stock CPU cooler in the Ryzen 7 3000x for now?

        • Not a noob question at all, it's a very important question.

          the chipset for B450 was released with Zen+ CPUs (Ryzen 2000), so in order to run with Zen2 (Ryzen 3000) a bios update is required. This normally means you need a Zen (Ryzen 1000) or Zen+ CPU to boot up in order to update the bios, to get it to work with a Ryzen 3000 CPU.

          Alternatives are, find a B450 ITX board that online says 'Supports Ryzen 3000', these will support Zen2 out of the box (As long as it's a newer model that states this on the box you buy). Find a Ryzen 2000 chip, not ideal obviously, or, buy a B550 motherboard.

          The B550 chipset supports Zen2 immediately, however it was delayed being released by about 6 months after the launch of Zen2 which came out with the top of the line X570.

          That's the other alternative, get an X570 ITX board, but the majority opinion now is, there's really no reason to get X570 now that B550 is released… Other than a lack of B550 availability.

          So looking for a B550 and X570 ITX board on PCP, this is what we find

          B550 - Wow there's some in stock and they're cheaper, great options $180 and $230. There's an Asrock board but I'd avoid that one. Check reviews of both of these too I'd say

          X570 (generally really not recommended), again Wow, not a huge price jump compared to the more expensive B550, again check reviews to see what is better, but also a great option

          I would buy any of these instead of the B450 boards you and I selected earlier, there's no concern for bios updates, Zen2 processors will work out of the box on all 3 of these boards.

          Finally, should you use the stock CPU cooler, well, they will 'work' with it, the 3700X's cooler is slightly better than the one with the 3600 as well, but it's the noise levels that are the concern, either the chip will be running very hot and it will be tolerable, or it will run warm and be quiet loud.

          Ryzen processors act more like GPUs, where the more thermal headroom they have, the better performance they give overall, so they'll boost up higher until they reach their comfortable limit, based on headroom. So for the stock cooler, it could be constantly going up and down in clock speed as it gets hotter it will lower voltage and clock speed, so it could also show occassional stutters, and slow down application performance intermittently.

          For your budget, and if you're going to put in a 250W+ GPU into a small case adding more heat to the system, definitely I would recommend going with an aftermarket cooler, and I don't recommend an AIO either.

          Finally, for your choice on the Shift X. I was thinking about this case, definitely go for the mesh to let it breathe, just check what CPU cooler height restrictions you have, the one I chose will almost certainly not fit. A Noctua L12S or another low profile big air cooler would be the way to go there.

          • @conza: X570 is even more pointless on ITX cause you have no room on the board for the extra devices that could use the PCIe4.0 bandwidth. At best a board with a second chipset based M2 slot on the back and a CPU one on the front for NVMe RAID1, otherwise the chipset is just SATA and USB ports, so no benefit of X570 over B550

          • @conza: thanks for the in depth comments appreciate it alot, it does help!

    • I've got the Cryorig H7 Ultra and love it, everything else in that sort of class is too tall for my mATX build & the better retention mechanism over the original H7 is way more important than the extra heat pipe.

  • Hi All, thanks for all the suggestions, I think the majority all agree the NZHT H1 is overkill and not worth the price after all. I will look around for a nice itx case but thanks for the builds there are some good suggestions out there.

    Edit: i was looking at the phanteks-enthoo-evolv-shift-itx-case; seems like a decent size however the question is tempered glass or mesh? the mesh would cool better but would be louder?

    • Unless you specifically want the H1 and are crazy into small form factor PCs, it's hard to justify yeah.

      I have the Shift Air and really like it. It's a tad larger IRL than I was expecting but the small footprint is still very nice. I've only heard bad things about the regular Shift's thermals, so much so that people were selling it off as a result (before the Air released) - so probably wouldn't recommend. I was waiting for the Shift since they demoed the concept, but stayed away because of the thermals (until they released the Air, obviously). Thermals on the Air are much better, and noise isn't much of an issue IMO (paired with my 3700X). I have all Noctua chromax fans and while you can notice them sometimes, it's pretty quiet, hardly a jet engine. I do also play with headphones though and did adjust the fan curve myself so YMMV.

      Building in ITX cases can be a bit of a pain in the ass so if you're not an experienced builder, keep that in mind.

    • Mesh often ends up quieter cause the fans don't have to work as hard. Glass is for people with pretty open loops or kids with ARGB crap everywhere. For actual performance mesh all the things

  • I just received my NZXT H1 and I agree it is a nice looking case. Fits just fine on my desk. Currently have a Ryzen 3700X in an Asus B450-I mobo. Still reusing an old GTX 670 for now, but will upgrade to a 2070 Super or something when the 3000 series GPUs are announced and prices fall.

    My last rig (still going strong) has an i7-2600k!

    • out of curiosity can i ask where did you buy your H1 from ? and also did the Mobo I/O fit all into place at the bottom? i watched a video where some usb ports where unusable in particularly motherboards as the case legs was covering them.

      • Pccasegear. Pre-ordered on 14 June because at the time, the website had an ETA of 26 June. A few days later the ETA was amended to 31 July, so I almost cancelled my order. Then out of the blue on 26 June I got a tracking number LOL.

        My motherboard fits fine; no issues whatsoever.

  • If you can save on the case, I'd suggest getting the 1660 Ti rather than the 1650 Super. 4gb vs 6GB GDDR6 and 30+% faster overall.

    Lots of comparisons on the web e.g.

    I've just finished a building a Ryzen 3600X + 1660 Ti for my grandson, and he's very happy with the performance compared to his previous i5 + 1060 build

    • Thanks for the suggestion,i looked into the price and they seem to sell around $500 mark so i dont think i want to spend that much since the Rtx 3000 may drop sometime this year. Since i dont have any parts at all i just wanted a basic GPU to get through the year with decent gaming performance.

      • 1660 supers are basically 1660ti performance with the pricing half way between 1650 super and 1660ti - there was a special for one for $350 on here the other day

        • Yep, second this. Only 16XX series to get are the supers, avoid non-supers and tis. 1650S is very similar priced to the 1650 (the one mentioned above was the same price I could find on a normal 1650, so was a really good price), 1660 performs only marginally better than a 1650S but is more expensive, same story between the 1660S and 1660ti.

          1650S will get you by on 1440p, you just won't get maximum settings until you go for the 3080 or whatever later on, don't forget to checkout RDNA2 or Big Navi (AMDs newer GPUs later this year).

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