Welcome. You’ve now reached the true high end. The alpha and omega of gaming PCs. This is our VR ready, 4K gaming, under $2,000 PC; the best gaming PC build of 2018. No modern console can even come close to competing with this PC. With the ability to play games at true native 4K, to stream your games in real-time and render videos faster than ever, this is the true PC Master Race build.
Okay, this might all be a little dramatic, but you get our point. This is a powerful machine. And with $2,000 of capital, it is time to let loose and have some fun.
With $2,000, there are no compromises. You get a top of the line gaming performance, a seamless streaming performance, and great rendering performance. Here’s how it breaks down:
Overclockability and liquid cooling - For this build, we chose the best i7 processor, a great watercooling setup, and an overclocking-compatible motherboard with extra room for expansion so you’ll be able to upgrade as needed down the line.
Great storage (and a lot of it!) - In addition to the pure power in the rest of the build, we have a powerful 1TB SSD and a massive 3TB HDD. Combined, these two will hold all of your games, media and etc with stretch room. The old saying goes “quality over quantity”, but here we figured,”Why not both?”
The best gaming performance - The included GTX 1080 Ti offers the best gaming performance currently available on the market and should easily wreck any game that you throw in its direction.
This is the best 4K gaming PC build that you’re going to find, we’re confident of that. If you want more detail on the parts we chose and why that is, keep scrolling!
How We Choose the Parts and Components
Those of us who write for WePC have years of experience with PC hardware, building, and repair. This experience informs our decisions, but we don’t stop there: we also like to do the extra research required to ensure we’re picking the best components. Using benchmarks and reviews from trusted sources like Tom’s Hardware, JayzTwoCents, and LinusTechTips, there isn’t a single component in any of our builds that isn’t vetted by a reliable authority-- if not multiple-- in the PC hardware industry.
We also look at what our competitors are doing. Every month, we challenge ourselves in two ways:
- Making sure we have the best possible PC build at every price range
- Making sure that our PC builds are better than any others out there
The PC build we’re presenting today is packing a bigger SSD, better graphics, and better storage than our competitors. Unlike them, we’re also making sure that all of our parts are actually available and our build is up-to-date. We’re very serious about our gaming PC builds, and we want to make sure beyond any doubt that you’re getting the best $2,000 gaming PC out there.
The Best $2000 Gaming PC Update:
Intel Core i7-8700K
Unparalleled gaming, rendering and streaming performance in an unlocked processor.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB Liquid CPU Cooler
A large but quiet liquid cooling setup, perfect for your needs.
EVGA GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Black Edition
The strongest GPU currently on the market, perfect for 4K gaming and beyond overkill for 1440p, 1080p and VR.
Samsung 860 Evo 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive
A massive SSD with great value and performance...in a tiny M.2 drive.
HDD- Hitachi Ultrastar 3TB HDD
This 3TB hard drive will be more than enough to hold all the games and media you need, but won’t be as fast as your SSD.
EVGA SuperNOVA P2 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular PSU
One of the best PSUs from EVGA that will offer all the power this beast needs to stay alive.
MSI Z370 GAMING PLUS CFX Motherboard
A Z370 motherboard that is perfect for overclocking purposes - with extra features on top of it.
Corsair Crystal 570X ATX Mid Tower Case
A towering case featuring RGB fans and a mirror-sheen tempered glass finish...unless your components inside are RGB, in which case it can become any color you want it to.
Estimated $2,026.91 at Amazon
(Price are accurate as of November 13, 2018. Click the button to see the latest prices)
This high-end gaming PC is the powerhouse of powerhouses. No mortal machine can hope to compare to what you’re about to build. This is the best gaming desktop under $2000.
First and foremost is the i7-8700K.
This is the highest-grade consumer CPU on the market right now. It offers amazing gaming, streaming, rendering, and encoding performance. While its actual gaming performance won’t be much higher than that of an i5, it still knocks its little brother out of the park in every other conceivable area. Whether you’re a streamer, a professional, or you just want the best of the best, congratulations: you’re here.
The i7 achieves this with six hyper-threaded cores, enabling what is essentially 12 virtual processors (threads) to tackle the tasks your PC is doing. These stay on par with the i5 in terms of gaming performance, with slight improvements in particularly well-optimized titles, and also make this system much more equipped to handle heavily-threaded workloads.
Since it’s a K-series processor, it’s capable of being overclocked with a compatible motherboard. Fortunately, we’ve included both an OC-capable motherboard and liquid cooler in this build, so you should be able to push a fairly strong overclock on an already-powerful chip!
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid M240L is a massive RGB all-in-one water cooler. The large radiator will help keep temperatures low and your system quiet, enabling more overclocking headroom and preventing your CPU from throttling at high loads. In addition to high-performance, low-maintenance water cooling, you also get the benefit of great aesthetics.
Really, the 1080 Ti is currently the best GPU out on the market. While the recent RTX models are technically an upgrade, it doesn’t currently pack the value you’d want; even when you’re making a high-end “luxury” build.
As is, the 1080 Ti is a beast. Expect to be able to wipe the floor with VR and 1440p titles. You will also be able to play 4K games at high-to-max settings, depending on the title. Moreover, EVGA is the manufacturer meaning you’ll have access to top-notch customer service, while being able to rest easy that in your GPUs build quality.
This 16GB memory kit offers more than enough RAM to make sure there’s no compromise in speed when multitasking, streaming while gaming, and doing productivity work.
In addition to the sheer utility of having 16GB of RAM, we’ve also chosen a high-end RAM running at 3600 MHz. At these speeds and capacity, you’re guaranteed to never be bottlenecked by your RAM, even when running notoriously RAM-hungry applications like the Cemu Emulator.
It’s also from Corsair! And has RGB! So, you get quality, speed and aesthetics. What’s not to like?
One of the best things this build has to offer is its 1TB SSD + 3TB HDD storage solution.
This SSD is also extremely small and M.2-compatible meaning installation is simple– no cables required. The 1TB Samsung SSD will be more than enough to hold your operating system, programs, and many of your favorite games.
And for anything that doesn’t fit on your SSD, we recommend storing on your HDD. Basically, you’ll want to store all of your media and most of your single-player titles on the HDD, while leaving your multiplayer games on your SSD, that way you aren’t wasting your precious SSD space.
While some may think you need a 1000W PSU for a build like this, 850W is well above the maximum wattage of the components in this build. As Intel and Nvidia’s tech has improved, they’ve actually been consuming less electricity and generating less heat despite providing a better performance. For this reason, an 850W PSU in a 4K gaming PC build like this one is more than enough.
In addition to the high capacity, you also get EVGA’s trademark stellar build quality, an 80+ Platinum Certification, and full modularity for an even easier building experience.
The MSI Z370 GAMING PLUS CFX Motherboard is a massive, feature-packed Z370 motherboard. First, it unlocks overclocking capabilities for our Intel Core i7 8600K (as well as any other K-processors in this socket that you may choose to upgrade to in the future).
Aside from the overclocking capabilities, you also have a ton of expansion options and support for modern technologies. Of the six included USB ports, four are USB 3.1 Gen1! This board also packs M.2 support, NVMe SSD support, and an overall amazing build quality. Finally, there are also RGB LEDs (red by default), which match perfectly with our included case for this build.
Lastly is the Corsair Crystal 570X ATX Mid Tower Case. It’s massive, it’s reflective, it includes three RGB LED fans for great airflow, and if you’re using RGB lighting in your system (like we are), you’ll actually be able to see your PC through the glass whenever it’s turned on.
The aesthetic is sleek, the build quality is top-notch, the cooling and airflow is superb… there’s really nothing to complain about here. This is an excellent, no-compromises case for the best 4K gaming PC build.
Why is this the Best $2000 Gaming PC?
This build has:
- The best gaming performance on the market right now
- A superb 4TB (1TB SSD) hybrid storage solution
- Awesome high-quality components
- RGB for an added level of customization
- Uncompromising build quality
- A liquid cooling setup to keep your temperatures low, your overclocks high and your PC quiet
If you want the best $2,000 gaming PC, you’ve got it. We’ve went through the trouble of picking out the parts for you. All that’s left for you to do is buy it.
What games can this PC run?
In this section, we’re going to tell you how this game should be able to run your favorite games.
- Fortnite - This build well exceeds Fortnite’s required specs- 4K60FPS at Max settings shouldn’t be a problem at all.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - Unfortunately, PUBG still needs optimization work...while 4K will be achievable, you will need to turn down some settings to land at 60FPS.
- Monster Hunter: World - At max settings and 4K, this intensive title will push your system to its limits. Expect 30-40 FPS if you don’t turn anything down.
- League of Legends - League of Legends is optimized to run on low-spec PCs, so don’t even worry: 4K60 should be nothing for this PC build.
- Dota 2 - eSports titles in general are well-optimized (they have to be for accessibility purposes), so 4K60 shouldn’t be a problem here.
- Overwatch - Overwatch is a bit more intensive than the other aforementioned eSports titles, 4K60 should still be plenty achievable. You should also consider 1440p @ 144hz.
- Rainbow Six: Siege - At max settings and 4K, you should be able to easily achieve 70+ FPS with this build.
- Warframe - Warframe is pretty well-optimized, so at 4K and max settings you should be able to easily push 120+ FPS.
- Grand Theft Auto V - At 4K and Ultra settings, GTAV should be playable at anywhere from 70-100 FPS with this build.
- Team Fortress 2 - Despite being well over a decade old, Team Fortress 2 is still regularly in Steam’s most-played. Fortunately, the game should still be easily run on this PC setup at 4K and high settings, though if you play competitively you may want to turn some things down if you experience lag spikes.
Similar Prebuilt Gaming Desktop Under $2000
When you are building a computer this expensive, it can become a daunting task. After all, no one wants to spend a ton of money and then accidentally destroy a part that costs hundreds of dollars by dropping it the wrong way or something.
Because of this, some people prefer to order a prebuilt PC instead. Here are similar prebuilt gaming PC under $2000:
Upgrade Path for this Build
The reality of such a high-end build is that there is not a lot of room for upgrades… until new tech is released in the near future. For now, you’d mostly be limited to aesthetics and personal preference; for instance, buying a different case.
There are a few ways to upgrade your experience with the best $2,000 gaming desktop, though, it’ll just push its price up.
Note: These will raise the price of the build!
While this build already has excellent build quality and cooling, the current setup would require you to move one of the front panel RGB fans on the included case to the back to serve as an exhaust. Instead, you can grab another Corsair RGB fan and have a better airflow setup.
You can also choose to slap another few of these on the bottom of the case for extra exhaust or intake as needed.
OS Options and Recommended Peripherals
This section is separate from the $2000 PC build, since we only factor in the cost of the base hardware and most people already have their own peripherals laying around.
If you don’t, though, that’s fine- we’re still here for you
Note: These will raise the price of the build!
This $2,000 gaming computer is a powerhouse, but that power doesn’t matter without an operating system. To utilize it to its fullest, you’ll want to buy Windows 10 or carry over your installation from a retail license.
If you can’t afford that, you’ll either need to cut some fat off this build to get the money, or opt for a Linux distribution until you can afford Windows. Ubuntu Linux and Linux Mint are both fine solutions for Linux distros, but they will feel quite alien to most Windows-oriented users.
Once you’ve decided on your OS, install it via USB. We’ll tell you how to do that later on.
Mouse and Keyboard
If you want some more gaming-oriented hardware, here are a few high-quality recommendations that won’t break the bank.
The Logitech G502 is one of the highest-rated gaming mice on the market, and for good reason. With a top-of-the-line sensor and build quality, it’s a staple of Logitech’s line of gaming mice and a favorite for gamers everywhere. (I use the G402, personally, but plan to upgrade soon.)
Corsair K70 RGB
For a high-end keyboard, we recommend the Corsair K70 RGB. It has top-notch build quality, RGB lighting and all the features you should need out of a gaming keyboard.
Your monitor is very important. After all, how are you going to take in all these great graphics without the screen to take it in? Here are a few recommendations if you don’t have a monitor or HDTV around your place.
The Acer GN246HL and Acer XF240H are two great 144hz monitors that we highly recommend to any serious gamers who want a competitive edge. Now that you’re playing with the 1k rig, you’ll find that you can push many games into the 100+ FPS range at 1080p.
With these monitors, you can actually see that difference, and chances are it’ll do great things for you and your games.
If you’d like a wider selection of monitors, check out our Top 20 Monitor Picks.
Whether you’re listening to music or immersed deeply in a competitive game, trust us: you need sound. Here are a few options.
The Logitech Z130 Speakers are a great set of speakers with good sound and build quality. These come highly recommended if you don’t have speakers already and you’d like to enjoy making some noise.
If you want a high-end gaming headset, we recommend the HyperX Cloud Revolver S Gaming Headset. Boasting 7.1 surround sound, superb build quality, and a noise-cancelling microphone, you should be more than equipped for competing in your favorite video games.
High-bandwidth and low-latency applications need ethernet cables to perform at their best, so go ahead and buy an ethernet cable. Wi-Fi can cause your performance, both in-game and on your network, to suffer.
Invest In Antistatic Equipment
Buy an anti-static wristband, and use it properly. Failing to do so places you and your components at risk of static discharge that can ruin your expensive components-- and that’s the last thing you’d want after spending all of this time working toward the best $2000 gaming PC.
An anti-static mat may also help you by providing a safe surface for you to rest your components.
If you’re unsure how to use it, then we can tell you how to properly use an antistatic wrist strap.
Watch Building Guides
Tek Syndicate’s excellent guide, linked above, will walk you through the PC building process step-by-step. It’s one of our favorites, and as long as you mind your manual alongside it, your building process should go fairly smoothly.
Refer to this, and check our How to Build a Gaming PC guide for a more detailed PC building guide that addresses every newbie’s needs when building a PC - from choosing a build, installing the corresponding drivers, and maintaining the computer through the years.
Install OS Via USB
To save yourself money on shipping an OS and buying a disc drive, use any old 4GB+ USB drive you have around the house. (Or grab a cheap one from a friend.)
This is it.
The $2000 gaming rig is ready to ascend to its throne once you order your components. You have the best 2000 dollars gaming PC - but not just that.
You also have the best streaming PC build, rendering and encoding performance around. Essentially, you have a build that your friends will envy - that’s a guarantee.
Do you have recommendations or questions about the build?
Fire away down the comments and we’ll get back to you right away.