• Build a PC capable of training ML models locally and run AAA games smoothly.
  • Learn in general about computer parts and how to build a computer from scratch.

Design Constrains:

  • Small Form Factor (basically I wanted a fairly small PC that is easy to travel with) 1
  • Max $1500 USD (I wanted the cost to be less than the lowest spec MacBook Pro)


I had no prior experience building a PC so the initial stages of the project consisted on going through various reddit posts to figure out what makes a PC and how do you even start building it (where to purchase parts, what prices are good per each part, etc.) 2.

Generally, the parts that make a PC are the following:

  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • GPU (Graphics Card)
  • Motherboard
  • RAM (Memory)
  • Storage (Long Term Memory)
  • PSU (Power Supply Unit)
  • Case
  • CPU Fans

To start, it is generally recommended to purchase first the CPU and GPU since those parts tend to be the most expensive ones (and will dictate the compatibility of other parts, like the motherboard).

I used PC Parts Picker to keep track of my parts and to make sure they were all compatible. I purchased parts in Amazon, Newegg, and sometimes directly from the manufacturer’s website (in particular for the GPU). I found the buildapcsales subreddit super useful for finding good deals. Procuring the parts took me approximately 3 months since I waited for some parts to be put on discount. I used CamelCamel to track prices on Amazon.

I ended up with the following build:

Type Item
CPU Intel Core i5-13600K 3.5 GHz 14-Core Processor
CPU Cooler Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE 66.17 CFM CPU Cooler
Motherboard Asus ROG STRIX Z690-I GAMING WIFI Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard
RAM G.Skill Ripjaws S5 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL30 Memory
Storage Crucial T500 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
GPU NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 4070 SUPER 12 GB Video Card
Case Cooler Master MasterBox NR200 Mini ITX Desktop Case
Power Supply Corsair SF750 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply
Operating System Windows 11 Pro
Extra Case Fan ARCTIC P12 Slim PWM PST - 120 mm (x2)
Approximate Total Cost $1600

Once the parts arrived, I watched some tutorials and built it. I found these videos to be super helpful:


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  1. I didn’t realize this at first, but there are not a lot of options for good motherboards for small form factor PCs. This should not be a problem for less powerful CPUs but if you are aiming for a high performance SFF PC, you will most likely have to pay a premium price for a good motherboard. 

  2. If I had to figure this out again, I would use Perplexity. It is a program that uses LLMs to browse the web and synthesize information from various sources. It has a feature to browse only reddit post which would have been very useful for synthesizing information.