Here you are. You’re on the highest echelon, now.
This is the best gaming PC build under $2000. Period.
You want to know how is this possible? Let’s take a dive then.
This is our highest price range.
The 2000 dollar PC build makes no compromises. This is the best performance you’re going to get out of consumer-grade hardware for a long time.
With this build, you can game at 4K, destroy VR, stream with no issues, and render at incredible speeds...you’re unstoppable. Here are the requirements we set to make that happen.
Unparalleled streaming/rendering performance. With the overclockable i7-8700K at the heart of this build, you can enjoy the best streaming and rendering performance the PC market has to offer. This CPU looks at the heaviest workloads and laughs. You should, too.
The absolute best gaming performance. The GTX 1080 Ti is the best GPU on the market right now. Pushing at and over 60 FPS in 4K titles and 100+ FPS at 1440p/1080p, it’s a true powerhouse no matter what games you’re playing.
VR also buckles beneath the sheer power of the 1080 Ti. The entry-level requirement for VR starts around the GTX 1060, but even then, occasional lag spikes can happen. Not so here.
You’ll be so far above the recommended spec that you’ll only notice lag if the game is bugged or your system is having problems. Lag in VR can cause actual nausea, too, so having a GPU this well-specced can save you some literal head/stomachaches in the future.
You aren’t going to get better than the 1080 Ti right now, and you won’t for a while. Whenever something comes along that can dethrone it, we’ll upgrade this build to compensate.
Nothing but quality components. We have a focus on quality in general, but we made absolutely sure that everything in this build has great reviews and great reliability before putting it in. You’re paying top-dollar, and we, at The Great Setup, firmly believe that you should get what you pay for.
How We Choose the Parts and Components
This is the Mt. Everest when it comes to custom building computer this 2018.
We opted to make sure you’re not getting any cons or disadvantages in this build. In fact, it’s all about the pros and advantages.
With almost over 10 years of experience in both gaming and building computers, we know just what matters.
To make sure you’re getting everything you need in this price range, we went straight ahead to the best graphics card to date, the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition. Other custom built computers we found in this criteria only settled with the regular GTX 1080 Ti.
We give only the best value for your money on all our builds so we decided to keep this updated every month. In fact, it’s likely that we’ll update this soon now that the GTX 1180 is just around the corner.
To learn more about the components of the best 2000 dollar gaming rig, let’s check the specs below.
The Best $2000 Gaming PC Update:
Intel Core i7-8700K
An utter beast of CPU in gaming, productivity, and just about everything else.
A quality air cooling from Noctua that’s preferred by professional builders and enthusiasts.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 - 2666
A high-quality RAM from the guys at Corsair - Vengeance.
EVGA 1000 GQ, 80+ Gold Semi Modular
A high-end power supply from EVGA that’ll ensure and power your system.
Estimated $2126.19 at Amazon
(Price are accurate as of June 18, 2018. Click the button to see the latest prices)
This 2000 rig is the powerhouse of powerhouses. You have all the computing power you need, and more.
No mortal machine can hope to compare to what you’re about to build.
This is the best gaming desktop under $2000. Congratulations - you’ve gone above and beyond all the rest.
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 it’s 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.
To make sure you’re getting the best performance, we went straight ahead with Noctua NH-D15. The fact that this is an air cooler triggers a lot of questions. You can find great liquid coolers out there like the H75 but like most liquid coolers, a lot of problems pop up after a couple of months.
This is a $2000 rig so we went to make sure you’re not getting any compromise down the line. Not only that NH-D15 cools better than a handful of liquid coolers, you also avoid the risk of problems like leaking. Phew!
This is the top of the line. The 1080 Ti is an unsurpassed beast of gaming performance – for now. Expect to be able to wipe the floor with VR and 1440p titles, as well as the ability to play 4K games at high-to-max settings, depending on the title. If you want the ultimate gaming GPU for 2018, the 1080 Ti is an amazing pick, though it will come at a price premium.
Plus, since EVGA is the manufacturer, you’re going to be able to enjoy top-notch customer service, performance, and build quality.
While gamers and most common users are fine with 8GB of RAM, high-end streamers and productivity masters need 16GB. This is why we’ve chosen this amount of RAM for this high-end build.
Additionally, the Corsair Vengeance LPX is highly recommended. Corsair is known for making great RAM kits, and with the motherboard included in this build, you’ll be able to take advantage of the higher memory frequency just fine.
Since we’ve entered such a high price range, we’ve always recommended an SSD. The MX500 series is among the best in terms of performance and storage-for-your-cash, and skipping out on one at this price range is criminal.
SSDs offer great benefits to the end-user experience. By putting all your favorite programs, as well as your OS on your SSD, you’ll enjoy unsurpassed responsiveness and loading times.
Since this SSD is so large, you can also fit a good number of your favorite games on it. Note that you don’t really need to do this with other media files though since those are best put on your HDD, a reason why we included a 3TB HDD in this build. See below.
Speaking of the hard drive, Seagate Barracuda offers yet another great mechanical hard drive. Their 3TB model has the top-of-the-line build quality and will offer all the storage you need for the media files you’ll be storing on it.
A large drive like this one is especially helpful for storing raw video and audio files, which are notably larger than finished, compressed counterparts. Be sure to keep all of your non-gaming media on the HDD, and be careful not to fill your SSD up with non-essential games, either.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: buying a bad power supply unit is asking for something to blow up.
So don’t make something blow up and buy a good PSU instead, like the EVGA 1000 GQ 80+ Gold Certified Semi Modular PSU. What a mouthful, right?
The GQ Gold PSU offers 1000W of power, well over the estimated wattage of this build. Having such a large store of power ensures that overclocking your hardware isn’t putting your power supply (and therefore your PC) at risk.
The Gold certification means you’ll save some money on power, too.
Like PSUs, buying a bad motherboard can also blow up. So we’ve opted for a really, really good one – one that also enables the 8700K and your memory to be overclocked.
The ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard was our choice for this reason. But in addition to all of that, we’ve made a change from our usual builds by making this an ATX board instead of an M-ATX board.
This means it’s much larger and has room for a lot more expansion!
The NZXT H440 is a staple among PC builders everywhere, and in this case we opted for a blue-black configuration for some extra style points. It also comes with a whopping 4 case fans pre-installed – 3 for intake and 1 for exhaust. Without needing to invest in any extra fans, you’ll already have superb airflow and in-case cooling.
Why is this the Best $2000 Gaming PC?
It’s a given that you get a GTX 1080 Ti in this price range and what makes this the best in this criteria is the fact that you get a Founders Edition 11GB GTX 1080 Ti.
To top that off, everything here is premium.
Gaming with the best $2000 gaming desktop is all about pushing every in-game settings to maximum and not feeling any compromise - even a bit.
1080p and 1440p is child’s game. In this rig, you’d go with 4K gaming resolution and still get the best gaming performance. In fact, you can play 4K resolution on all titles with an average of 60FPS.
This is not just for gamers but rendering images and videos will also be a cheese in this build. So if you’re not just a gamer but a content creation at the same time, this gives you all the premium feels you need.
Similar Prebuilt Gaming Desktop Under $2000
A computer this expensive is something you don’t want to risk messing up with, especially if this 2000 dollar gaming rig is going to be your first custom built PC.
You may prefer buying a prebuilt because of the GPU shortage. Learn more about the issue by checking this link.
No matter the case…
If you’re down with doing all the hard work yourself, you can simply follow the guide included in this article. On the other hand, if you’re not up for the challenge and prefer buying a prebuilt instead, the following should still give you quality performance.
We did a lot of research on all the options you would find in this category and we did all the comparison for your convenience.
Here are similar prebuilt gaming PC under $2000:
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of ways to upgrade this build beyond personal preference. (Different case, for instance.)
However, a few ways to upgrade your experience with the best $2000 gaming desktop still exists. Here are our recommendations.
Note: These will raise the price of the build!
A bigger SSD can go a long way. This is of the same series and make as the one in the main build, which we’ve already went over why we like. The big difference here, though, is that this has twice the storage!
The same rules apply, though. Don’t store media on here- just games, programs and your OS. You won’t benefit from putting media on an SSD.
Unfortunately, the case only has one intake and one exhaust fan. While this is “fine”, we recommend buying at least one extra intake fan for better airflow.
The fan we’ve recommended here are of the same color and make as the fans that come with the case, too, so they’ll be sure to fit in.
HTC Vive or Oculus Rift
Since you have such a massively powerful PC, these VR headsets are ideal. VR has been feasible since the $500 range, but only now can it be stomped to such an extent that it’s easy lifting for your PC.
While the choice is up to you, we ultimately recommend the HTC Vive over the Oculus Rift here- unless you can get a really good deal on the latter. This is because the HTC Vive has much better developer support overall.
Despite the fact that your build can annihilate VR games, VR itself still isn’t cheap. Be prepared to shell out an extra $600 to $700 for a VR headset!
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
The Dual-Grand Grandmaster is a powerhouse, but that power doesn’t matter without an operating system. To utilize it to its fullest in gaming and productivity, 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 tone down the build in some way 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
You need these to start using your PC at all.
For Starters: ($15)
If, for some reason, you don’t have any, you could start with these:
The Logitech MK120 Kit is a perfectly serviceable set of keyboard and mouse, and it’ll do all you need it to for basic input.However, if you’re spending so much on an awesome gaming/productivity build, we really recommend that you get some better peripherals.
Better peripherals like…
For Advanced Users: ($100)
…the Logitech G502, one of the highest-rated gaming mice there is. It’s been out for a while, but its optical sensor is no less badass now than it was on launch.
Because of that, it’s still at the top of many people’s recommendation lists.
In addition to great sensory capabilities, the G502 is extensively customizable through included weights and Logitech software. The G502 is high-quality, high-end mouse for the best and the best only.
Meanwhile, the Redragon K551 offers something amazing: an entry-level mechanical keyboard that actually works! Even though it’s from a relatively lesser-known manufacturer, it has great reviews and great build quality.
While you can opt for more expensive peripherals if you like, the G502 and K551 are amazing pieces of hardware at their price range, and are more than enough to work alongside your Two-Grand Grandmaster.
Don’t have a spare display lying around? Worry not, we got you covered.
For Starters: ($100)
Our entry-level 1080p display is the Asus VH238H, coming in at around $100 with 23 inches of real estate and a 2ms response time. It’s not the best of the best, but it’ll certainly get you started if you don’t have a screen already.
That being said, though, you really shouldn’t settle for a cheapo monitor with a build like yours.
For Advanced Users: ($180+)
Shoot for one of these instead, 144Hz is great for gaming, and with the GTX 1080 Ti, you’ll actually be able to push frame rates high enough in 1080p games to enjoy that bump in refresh rate.
The Acer GN246HL is our entry-level 144Hz monitor, coming in at around $180. If you can’t afford the extra $30 or so, it’s a fine choice
Sound design is integral to all kinds of media, gaming included. Don’t skimp out on these if you plan on having an enjoyable, immersive gaming experience.
Sound design is integral to all kinds of media, gaming included. Don’t skimp out on these if you plan on having an enjoyable, immersive gaming experience.
If you’re streaming and gaming, go ahead and buy an ethernet cable. Anything less will cause your performance, both in-game and on your network, to suffer.
High-bandwidth and low-latency applications need ethernet cables to perform at their best, so don’t skimp on this.
Building this 2000 dollar gaming desktop needs to be built with accuracy.. If this is going to be your first PC build, don’t get too excited and dive into the building process without reading mistakes that newbie builders make from this link.
You should clear every question you have about building a PC here. Do this and you can guarantee you are on your way to a smooth building process.
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 this is your first time using an antistatic wrist strap, our guide on how to use one should help you out.
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, 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.