Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000

Today, we’re going to show off the best gaming PC build under $2000. If you’re willing to spend this much money on a gaming PC, then we want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible gaming experience on the market!

In addition to a primary Intel-based gaming PC build, we’ll also be offering an AMD-powered alternative and a prebuilt option. While these articles are primarily for PC builds, we believe in providing options for every kind of user, even those who aren’t ready to start building yet.

In addition to the Gaming PC builds and prebuilt, we’ll also be offering peripheral recommendations and a few other goodies.

With no further ado, let’s dive into it.

Introducing The Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000

The gaming experience offered by our $2000 gaming PC build is unrivaled by anything else on the market. The Intel Core i9 CPU offers the most powerful gaming performance of any CPU, period, and the RTX 2080 offers unparalleled performance at 4K/60FPS and 1440P/144FPS. VR, even with a higher-end headset like the HTC Vive Pro, should be easily achievable with this rig.

No console will ever be able to match the power you’re playing with.

Let’s dive into the specs, shall we?

The PC Parts

 

Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

Case

Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

A massive, gorgeous RGB case to house this beast of a gaming PC.

 

Intel Core i9-9900K

CPU

Intel Core i9-9900K

While not as powerful as an i5 or i7, the i3-8100 on its own should be more than enough for driving a 1080p gaming build.

 

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R

Cooler

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R

While not as powerful as an i5 or i7, the i3-8100 on its own should be more than enough for driving a 1080p gaming build.

 

ADATA XPG Gammix D10 16GB

RAM

ADATA XPG Gammix D10 16GB

While not as powerful as an i5 or i7, the i3-8100 on its own should be more than enough for driving a 1080p gaming build.

 

Gigabyte Z390 UD

Motherboard

Gigabyte Z390 UD

A high-end Z390 motherboard, offering all the extras you need in a gaming PC, including overclocking.

 

Zotac RTX 2080

GPU

Zotac RTX 2080

The second-most-powerful consumer GPU on the market, offering stellar gaming performance at native 4K.

 

 Crucial P1 1TB M.2 NVMe

SSD

Crucial P1 1TB M.2 NVMe

A 1TB M.2 SSD running at blazing fast speeds.

 

 Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB HDD

HDD

Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB HDD

A 3TB SATA HDD offering all the space you’ll need for the foreseeable future.

 

 EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold

PSU

EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold

A strong PSU with high efficiency and semi-modularity.

The PC Parts Details

Now that you have a brief understanding of the components that make up this build, we’re going to dive into each one in more detail.

Case: Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

The Corsair Crystal 570X is an RGB Mid Tower case boasting three RGB fans up front, four tempered glass panels, and spacious internals suited for any gaming PC build. In terms of aesthetics and building experience, this case really can’t be beat.

 

 

 

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel Core i9-9900K

The Intel Core i9-9900K thrashes any other consumer CPU on the market. The i7 8700K and Ryzen 7 2700X don’t really compare, and its stellar single-core performance means it should offer by far the best in-game FPS. (Provided your GPU can keep up.)

While we could have, in theory, skimped on this and other components to squeeze an RTX 2080 Ti into this build, we decided not to. For longevity’s sake, we opted for the i9 here, which should be more than able to keep up with any GPU upgrade you may find yourself making in the next six years or so.

 

CPU: Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R Liquid Cooler

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R Liquid Cooler

In order to push the i9 to its limits with overclocking or just enabling it to run cool at its built-in Turbo frequencies, we’ve included a liquid cooler with this build. The MasterLiquid ML240R is one of the best liquid coolers on the market, and that’s before you take into account the slick RGB presentation. This liquid cooler should add yet another level of visual flair to your PC build, especially if you sync it with the RGB fans elsewhere in the case.

 

 

RAM: ADATA XPG Gammix D10 16GB

ADATA XPG Gammix D10 16GB

The XPG Gammix D10 kit has fairly strong pricing, and provides all the speed and capacity needed in a high-end gaming PC build.

While 16GB of RAM is a little bit overkill for gaming purposes, it does come in handy in a high-end PC. Serious multitasking, especially live streaming and video rendering, will help you utilize every last gigabyte of this 16GB RAM kit.

 

 

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 UD

Gigabyte Z390 UD

In order to make the most of the components in this build, we needed a motherboard with an Intel Z390 chipset. This unlocks overclocking capabilities for our i9 processor and also features support for our NVMe SSD to run at its full speeds. With an additional RGB connector and some other built-in features, this motherboard offers all you need in a high-end gaming PC build.

The only thing it’s missing is Wi-Fi, which you can easily add on your own with a $20 USB adapter.

 

 

GPU: Zotac RTX 2080

Zotac RTX 2080

Our graphics card is where most of the magic happening.

The RTX 2080 itself offers all you need for 4K gaming at 60+ FPS and 1440p gaming at 144+ FPS. This applies to every GPU with RTX 2080 branding, and it is overall the second-most-powerful GPU on the market. Its “RTX” branding also means that it’s capable of real-time ray-tracing and DLSS in supported titles, which further enhance graphical quality and performance where supported. (Only a few games support these features, and ray-tracing, in particular, may require you to turn the resolution down to 1440p in some cases.)

For a more detailed breakdown of what the RTX 2080 can play, we recommend looking at the “What This Build Plays” section.

In terms of the specific Zotac RTX 2080 we selected, we chose it for a few different reasons. Not only is it one of the cheapest RTX 2080s currently available on the market, it also offers excellent cooling and RGB lighting, which is a bit of a theme for this build.

SSD: Crucial P1 1TB M.2 NVMe

Crucial P1 1TB M.2 NVMe

The Crucial P1 is a dream of a product. Offering a whopping 1TB of SSD storage is good enough on its own for its ~$130 price range, but this is NVMe storage we’re talking about. NVMe SSDs are able to use PCI Express bandwidth to push speeds magnitudes higher than anything possible with a SATA connector, and in this case that translates to a 2GB/1.7GB read/write speed. That’s about four times the peak capabilities of a SATA SSD, which peaks out at around 500 MB/s for each of those measurements.

Plus, the M.2 form factor means it’s tiny! It slots right into your motherboard and doesn’t stick out or require its own drive bay, which is always nice.

 

HDD:Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB HDD

Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB HDD

The Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 is a 3TB hard drive. While it may not be as fast as even a SATA SSD, it doesn’t really need to be- you can’t beat this in price-per-gigabyte with an SSD. While games will load a bit slower on this HDD than an SSD, things like music and movies- even in 4K- will not be affected by the limitations of an HDD. Use the 1TB drive for your OS and favorite games- everything else can go on this drive.

 

 

PSU: EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold

EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold

Last but not least is our PSU, from EVGA.

The EVGA 650 GQ is a Gold-Certified, Semi-Modular PSU that is perfect for this build. The 650W of supplied power is more than enough for all of the components within- by a couple hundred watts, actually- and the Semi-Modular form factor lends itself to an easier building experience. Combined with the massive Corsair Crystal case, neat cable management shouldn’t be a problem.

There aren’t really any issues we can think of with this PSU. If you want something a bit quieter and higher-end, though, you can always opt for this Corsair PSU instead.

What This Build Plays

Don’t let the title of the video above fool you: this is the most up-to-date video showing detailed performance results of the RTX 2080. The focus of the video is on the Radeon VII, the AMD competition, but you’ll see the RTX 2080’s results in each and every benchmark as well.

If you want to go over benchmarks in text form, you can also check out the TechSpot article.

If you don’t want to do either of those things and just want an idea on how this PC will perform in games, keep reading.

The Intel Core i9-9900K is the best CPU for gaming, hands-down. This is because its single-core performance is far beyond anything else available on the market and it has the best multicore performance of any consumer-grade CPU. With these points in mind, it becomes the best choice for gaming at or above 144 FPS at any resolution, and also serves as a great option for streaming your gameplay in the background.

The RTX 2080 is the second-most-powerful card on the market, beaten only by the exponentially more expensive RTX 2080 Ti. The RTX 2080 boasts the performance to push most games to 4K and 60 FPS at maximum settings, sans perhaps anti-aliasing in a few particularly taxing games. If your goal is to push 144 FPS, however, you’ll want to go down to 1440p or 1800p.

In summation, this build should offer the best possible performance in true, native 4K gaming and 144 Hz gaming. (For the record: consoles rarely, if ever, use native 4K images, even the PS4 Pro/Xbox One X. That and 60 FPS is practically unheard of.) Any VR game should be a breeze, too.

Our Selection Process

Our selection process is actually fairly simple.

We find the best hardware we can feasibly put into a gaming PC in a given price range, then we pick from reputable brands to fill out the case, the PSU, and the rest. Our builds boast the highest-performance components from the likes of AMD, Intel, and Nvidia; these components are then backed by high-quality picks from Corsair, EVGA, and others to fill out the rest of the build.

We only look at competitors to see what to compete against, not to ape anyone else. We’re confident in all of our picks, but if you have any questions…feel free to ask about them in the comments below.

Recommended Upgrades

RGB FAN: Corsair SP120 RGB

 Corsair SP120 RGB
The only conceivable cooling upgrade you should need in this build is an extra fan. Since Corsair only included 3 fans with their case, you’ll want to either move one of those fans to the back to serve as an exhaust fan, or buy an additional fan so you don’t lose the triple-fan setup up front.

Either get this fan or move one of the other fans to the back: you want a complete airflow solution for a build like this. Not having an exhaust fan is a no-no for good airflow.

GPU: RTX 2080 Ti

RTX 2080 Ti
The RTX 2080 Ti didn’t really fit in the price range of this build, and even if it did…it may not be worth the extra cash. On paper, it’s 30% more performance for almost twice the price but in actual games, the gap is much more narrow than that.

If money is not an object and you simply want the best possible gaming experience, the RTX 2080 Ti is for you. Otherwise, you’re probably better off pocketing the extra cash and sticking with the RTX 2080 in this build.

AMD Ryzen Edition: Best Gaming Build under $2000

 

 Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

Case

Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

 

 AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

 

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R

Cooler

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R Liquid Cooler

 

ADATA XPG Gammix D10 16GB

RAM

ADATA XPG Gammix D10 16GB

 

Gigabyte X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WiFi

Motherboard

Gigabyte X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WiFi

 

Zotac RTX 2080

GPU

Zotac RTX 2080

 

Crucial P1 1TB M.2 NVMe

SSD

Crucial P1 1TB M.2 NVMe

 

Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB HDD

HDD

Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB HDD

 

EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold

PSU

EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold

An observant eye will notice that the AMD version of this build is mostly the same as the Intel version and a chance in motherboard and CPU.

This is completely true, but we feel the need to explain those two changes.

At the time of writing, the Ryzen 7 2700X is the best AMD CPU for gaming. Threadripper CPUs are excellent processors but have much poorer gaming performance than this chip. The Ryzen 7 2700X competes more with Intel’s i7 chips, as well: it does lose in a head-to-head battle with the i9-9900K. So, why bother with this build at all?

For one, it’s cheaper and the motherboard is far better. The Gigabyte AORUS motherboard we’ve selected for the AMD build has built-in Wi-Fi, a thorough RGB solution , and high-quality VRMs to allow for the best possible CPU overclocking and also RAM overclocking. If you like saving cash, aren’t afraid to overclock, and want the highest-quality AMD gaming experience on the market, the AMD alternative build here is surprisingly strong.

Recommended Peripherals

In this section, we’re going to provide a few peripheral recommendations for you to start with. If you’re interested in something truly high-end for your input and sound devices, we highly recommend looking to Corsair and Logitech– especially their RGB hardware. What we’ll provide here are starting recommendations. Aside from our three display choices, these may not be as high-end as the rest of the PC build.

Mouse and Keyboard

Gaming Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion Mechanical Keyboard

Logitech G610 Orion Mechanical Keyboard

If you don’t want to dig through a bunch of different peripheral options and just want fundamentals to start with, it’s hard to go wrong with Logitech. This mechanical keyboard should be more than enough for a great gaming experience, even with a comparatively high-budget build like the one in this article.

 

Gaming Mouse:Logitech G403

:Logitech G403

Logitech G403 mouse should be more than enough for a great gaming experience. It’s advanced optical sensor delivers unbeatable fps.

 

 

Sound

Budget Headset: AUKEY GH-S4 Scepter

AUKEY GH-S4 Scepter

Next up is a budget gaming headset from AUKEY. It won’t win any awards for outstanding sound quality or anything, but it’s incredibly solid for gaming and even has a nice, albeit basic, RGB implementation. If you want something higher-end, Corsair or Razer is a good place to look but if you just want something to start with, this is great.

 

 

 

Budget Speakers: Logitech Z313

Logitech Z313

Don’t let the “budget” fool you: the Logitech Z313 speaker set is still pretty much the best stereo speaker set you’re going to find on the market. More advanced sound setups are an entirely different beast, outside of the scope of this article. But for basic dual-speaker goodness, the Logitech Z313 offers all the sound clarity and bass you should need for media consumption and gaming.

 

 

Display

144 Hz Gaming Monitor: BenQ GL2706PQ

144 Hz Gaming Monitor: BenQ GL2706PQ

If you prioritize gaming performance above all else, then you want a 144 Hz monitor. Specifically, you want a 144 Hz monitor with a TN panel to minimize input lag and ensure the highest possible reaction times in your games. Combined with the build we’ve listed above, you should be more than equipped to handle games at 1440p and 144 Hz, enabling you to compete in the highest tiers of competition.

This is a monitor for eSports gamers, complete with the BenQ branding. If you aren’t a pro, though, you may want to consider the other two options listed below.

 

4K IPS Graphics Monitor: LG 27UD58-B

 LG 27UD58-B

The LG 27UD58-B is a 4K IPS monitor. The 4K resolution is self-explanatory- combined with the 27-inch screen size, you’ll be enjoying unparalleled fidelity and immersion in your gaming experience. The IPS part requires a bit more explanation.

Compared to a TN panel like the monitor listed above, an IPS panel boasts far better color reproduction and viewing angles. This comes at the cost of higher response time and higher cost, though, so a monitor like this may not be the best choice for a true eSports competitor. For most others with this build, though, it should provide the best experience.

 

144 Hz IPS Gaming Monitor: ASUS ROG Swift

ASUS ROG Swift

But let’s say you want to game competitively and enjoy superb graphical quality.

In that case, a 1440p, 144 Hz, IPS monitor is the right choice for you!

While the ASUS ROG Swift will be very marginally less responsive than the TN panel linked initially, it’ll still provide a stellar competitive gaming experience thanks to its 144 Hz refresh rate. It doesn’t quite match the 4K panel with its 1440p resolution, but it’ll still look incredibly clear and vibrant in-game.

Depending on your needs, this compromise pick might actually be the best of both worlds.

Getting Your Operating System

You’ll need an operating system to use with your PC. Here are our recommendations.

Windows 10

Windows 10

For most users, a Windows 10 installation is by far the best option. Windows has the best gaming support and generally the best gaming performance, and it’s the most familiar desktop interface to the public at large. If all you want to do is play games and use familiar apps like Microsoft Office and Google Chrome, Windows 10 offers the most straightforward way to do that.

If you’re worried about the cost of a Windows license, don’t be: you can install and run an unactivated copy of Windows 10 for as long as you please with little negative repercussions to speak of. For gaming and common use, there is essentially no downside: just a restriction on customization options and an annoying watermark.

You can always pay for a license and activate later.
Click here to download Windows 10 and create Windows 10 installation media.

Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux

If you want a fully-free operating system that you can customize down to the bone, then Ubuntu Linux is probably the best choice for you. It will require a lot more setup and tech-savviness to get working properly, so we don’t recommend this to the faint-hearted!

If you’re confident in your technical prowess, Ubuntu is a great option. Otherwise, though, you may just want to use Windows instead.

 

 

How To Build

Let’s face it: a written PC building tutorial probably wouldn’t be very helpful, especially if you’re new to assembling your own hardware. Instead, we’ve opted to include one of the most informative guides on the Internet, embedded above.

With the help of this video and the instruction manuals that come with each of your components (but most especially your cooler, motherboard, and case), you should have all the resources you need for a smooth PC building experience. Just be sure to work in a static-free environment and ground yourself with an antistatic wristband!

You can also simply take your components to a local computer shop and have them assemble it for you, instead.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $2000

iBuyPower Gaming Desktop RTX 2080

iBuyPower Gaming Desktop RTX 2080
Compared to our main build and its AMD alternative, this PC build should come close in gaming performance.

The main benefit of this build over the other options we’ve provided is actually its lower price- at the time of writing, it is available for a significant discount and is by far the best prebuilt gaming PC under $2000. However, it comes with multiple compromises over our build offerings, which we’ll list below:

  • Weaker CPU – This provides the build with less future-proofing and pure gaming performance needed for driving 144 Hz displays.
  • Much less storage – Compared to our whopping 4TB total storage setup, including a 1TB NVMe SSD, this build uses a 240GB SATA SSD and a 1TB SATA SSD. This is much slower storage, and much less of it, too.
  • No overclocking support – The included CPU is an i7 8700, which does not support overclocking. The motherboard most likely does not, either.

The benefits it offers are:

  • Cheaper price – Self-explanatory.
  • Built for you – Self-explanatory.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi – Actually a solid improvement, but you can just grab a USB Wi-Fi adapter for the above PC instead.

Conclusion

And that’s it!

This concludes our best gaming PC build under $2000 article. We hope that one of our three options- Intel, AMD, or prebuilt- appeals to you. Regardless of your choice, you should be equipped for a truly stellar gaming experience- even video creation and live streaming, if you see fit!

Comment below and let us know: did we do the job? Would you have changed anything in our selections? All feedback is eagerly welcomed, and we’re happy to help if you need any assistance!

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