2012 Budget Mini-ITX Desktop PC System Build Guide

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Going Mini-ITX on a $650 Budget

Earlier this year I wrote up an article on how to build an Small Form Factor (SFF) PC that could rival nearly any full tower PC on the market. When I started that build I focused on integrating the following components into a tiny PC.

  • Mini-ITX Mainboard & Case
  • Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Powered
  • Intel Z77 Express Chipset
  • NVIDIA Kepler Video Card 
  • USB 3.0 and SATA III Devices
  • Water Cooled 

The end result was an epic mini-ITX PC, but it ended up costing just under $3000 to build.  Since that article was published in May 2012, I have always wanted to do another to show what you can build on a budget. The year is over, so I figured that there is no better time than now!


For a budget Mini-ITX system I wanted to create a good performing system that was able to stay under the $650 price point. After a a ton of searching and number crunching I was able to put together a PC with an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, a 120GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 video card just to highlight a few of the components. This system should be able to easily tackle normal usage scenarios during the  work week and then switch roles to a nice gaming machine on the weekends.

Legit Reviews Budget Mini ITX SFF PC Parts List:

  • Intel Core i3-3220T Ivy Bridge Processor – $127.99
  • ASUS P8H77-I mini-ITX H77 Motherboard – $99.99
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Video Card – $114.99 after $10 rebate
  • Bitfenix Prodigy Red Mini-ITX PC Case – $89.99
  • Kingston HyperX Blu Red 8GB 1600MHz DRAM Kit KHX16C9B1RK2/8X – $29.99
  • Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SSD – $104.99
  • ASUS 24x DVD-RW Drive DRW-24B1ST – $22.79
  • Corsair CX 430W Builder Series PSU – $35.99 after $10 rebate
  • Rosewill 3-pin fan power supply cable – $0.79

As you can see, from the list of hardware that this budget build comes in at ~$650 with shipping after two $10 manufacturer rebates. The PC should look great, use very little power and it takes up less space thanks to the Mini-ITX components being used. Oh, and most importantly it should do the tasks that you ask it to do! Let’s start building this system!

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