How to Build a Small PC With the Mini-ITX Form Factor

MakeUseOf | 1/24/2019 | Christian Cawley
jenny1246 (Posted by) Level 3
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Ready to build a new PC, but don’t have much space and a limited budget? It’s time to consider the Mini-ITX form factor. Compact motherboards measuring just 170mm by 170mm can revolutionize how you use a computer.

As with any PC build, you need to have the right components, carefully matched for compatibility. Here’s everything you need to know about building a powerful, compact PC using the Mini-ITX form factor.

PC - Uses

Building a small, Mini-ITX PC is ideal for several uses.

The steps below show you how to build a standard, low power, compact desktop computer. For a dedicated HTPC or a gaming computer, you may opt to add a dedicated graphics card. Similarly, if you’re building a server, you’ll probably opt to max out the storage options.

Size - PC - Requirements - Hardware

Whatever the size, building a PC has the same basic requirements: making sure the hardware is compatible.

For a Mini-ITX PC, you’ll need a suitable motherboard of 170mm x 170mm, along with low profile heatsink and fan. Looking for a more graphic intensive gaming experience? Look for a suitably powerful GPU that will fit the case.

PC - Guide - Components

The PC demonstrated in this guide features the following components:

The total cost for this low-cost build was under $500. Your build might be more elaborate.

Documentation - Motherboard - Case - Device - Connects

Before you proceed, it’s imperative that read the documentation that accompanies your motherboard and case. Understanding what device connects where, what jumpers to use, and how to correctly configure the BIOS will overcome most issues encountered when building a new computer.

You’re about to build a small computer, but the general principles for building a standard desktop apply. Our downloadable guide on how to build your own PC provides a more detailed approach.


How To Build Your Own PC

It's very gratifying to build your own PC; as well as intimidating. But the process itself is actually quite simple. We'll walk...
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