Even though this guide recommends the best custom PC for under $3000, we also understand that some people aren't quite ready for building their own PC. They'd rather order a prebuilt one to take away the stress of manually putting one together themselves. For those people, we've found this excellent CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC that has similar punching power as our build but in a smaller, more refined case. With the i9-9900k and a 2080Ti at its heart, this build is going to smash AAA games as you've never seen before.
Today we’re going to be looking at our best gaming PC for under $3000. It’s a build that can handle pretty much anything you have to throw at it, including 4K gaming and virtual reality. We’re talking about a build that has one of the best graphics cards money can buy paired with 32GB of high-speed RAM, and pretty much the don of X570 motherboards. At this price point, you leave behind compromises and concentrate on extracting the maximum amount of performance and aesthetics out of this build. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.
With a $3000 price budget, you have the luxury of being able to tailor this build to your exact specifications. We’ve opted for a build that has maximum performance power, and beautiful aesthetics rolled into one. Before we take a look at what’s in this build, let’s go over exactly what we expect from this goliath gaming PC.
The first thing most of us consider when looking to build a new gaming PC is the budget. It pretty much dictates what performance your new build will be capable of and how aesthetically pleasing it will be.
Having said that, with a budget of $3000, those compromises and sacrifices become much less frequent. Want that shiny new 2080TI? No problem. What about the best CPU on the market? That’s absolutely fine as well. With a $3k budget, you have the freedom to create a build that suits your requirements to the absolute tee.
After you’ve established what budget you have to play with, the next most important aspect to consider is the performance. Let’s be honest, this a gaming PC, and you want the absolute best performance for your money. You’ll be glad to know that at $3,000, the performance of this build is pretty outstanding.
From a gaming point-of-view, the $3k build is going to be able to handle anything you throw at it. Yes, that means gaming at 4k in ultra settings, play any VR game you can think of, and multitasking to your heart’s content. This thing can do it all.
At the heart of this build lies Ryzen’s current flagship CPU, the Ryzen 9 3900X. It’s a chip that’s become famous for knocking Intel off the top spot for the first time in, well, forever. Paired alongside that is the best consumer-grade graphics card, the 2080TI. This combination has enough power to run every AAA game titles at 4k in ultra settings. Furthermore, streaming, multitasking, and hugely taxing workloads will become a seamless, enjoyable task on this rig.
With this build, you’ll won’t have to worry about game specs for the next ten years; it’s the definition of an ultimate gaming PC.
AMD Vs. Intel
Thanks to the huge budget given to us, we had a chance to explore an AMD build and an Intel build, both of which showcased hugely impressive in-game and workload performance. Ultimately, we decided to run with the AMD build as it beat the Intel in a number of different gaming/workload scenarios. On average, the Intel build, which played host to an i9 9900K and 2080TI pairing, showcased slightly better in-game performance. However, in desktop and workload tasks, the AMD was by far the superior.
How We Choose The PC Components
Our team has years of experience behind them, building PCs for a range of needs and budgets. All this knowledge, combined with hours of research, user feedback, and onsite benchmarking, is what goes into choosing the best components for our builds.
We look for value for money, how the components perform together, and focus on gamer’s needs to make sure our builds are the best your budget can buy.
We build all these PC’s ourselves, in house, so trust us when we say we want to make them as good as possible. We actually use all these builds ourselves day-to-day in the WePC offices.
How We Test
We build each of our selected PC’s from scratch to make sure all the parts we recommend work well together, fit into the selected case, and provide the best performance possible for the price range.
Once built, the PC’s are used in the office for everyday work as well as a range of games from light to heavy-duty. While we test, we also run benchmarking tests to see how well our builds perform, all while keeping an eye on the temperature of the components themselves.
We tested our AMD builds against their Intel counterparts and found that these CPU’s performed better across the board, and for a lower price. This is why we only recommend an AMD version.
The Best $3000 Gaming PC Build Update:
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
If you're looking for the best CPU money can buy, then look no further. The Ryzen 9 3900X ticks all the boxes you'd want in a gaming CPU.
Corsair H100i RGB Platinum Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair's H100i RGB liquid cooler is the perfect way to keep internal temps low and your hardware running to an optimal level.
ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080TI Overclocked 11G
This premium-tier graphics card will offer everything you'd need for a truly immersive gaming experience.
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB DDR4 3600MHz
If you're looking for the perfect pairing to go with the Ryzen 9 3900x, then look no further. This 3600MHz RAM kit from Corsair is the perfect combo for a fantastic gaming experience.
Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0
This rapid SSD has more than enough room to accommodate your primary games, operating system, and plenty of back up storage too.
Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDD
With 4TB of backup storage, you're going to have the freedom to store a huge backup media library.
CORSAIR RMX Series (2018), RM650x, 650 Watt, 80+ Gold Certified, Fully Modular Power Supply
This 650W PSU is just about perfect for this build. It comes with a platinum rating and provides excellent efficiency during use.
MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE Motherboard
One of the best motherboards we've had the pleasure of using. It comes with endless features, superb aesthetics, and fantastic connectivity.
Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE Mid-Tower
Corsair is known for providing some of the best cases money can buy. The Obsidian 500D is a superb example of this and offers everything you'd want from a premium case.
If you're looking for the absolute best results, whether that be gaming or workstation tasks, then look no further. The $3000 high-end gaming PC will handle everything you have to throw at it, and all in stunning 4K high-definition visuals. Let's check out the parts that make this build in a little bit more detail.
The Ryzen 9 3900x is, without doubt, the best all-round CPU on the market right now. Even though it falls ever so slightly short of the i9-9900K in the gaming category, it destroys the Intel competition in every other area.
It boasts an impressive 12core/24thread design, which makes it more than capable of handling the most intensive workload scenarios. Its single-core performance is still extremely high, and it only falls short of the Intel by a couple of frames in certain titles.
A fantastic all-round CPU that is the perfect start to this high-end power-house custom build.
Every high-end build needs a top-performing cooler to ensure everything is running at optimal levels. For this build, we’ve gone for the hugely popular H100i from Corsair. This liquid cooler is a twin fanned AIO cooling solution that comes with 2 x 120mm ML PRO Series RGB fans for excellent cooling and stunning aesthetics.
The H100i supports Corsair’s iCUE software package meaning you can set the RGB to your exact specifications. It can be fully customized via the app to help adjust fan speeds and light modes.
All-in-all, if you’re looking for a cooler to provide low temps, no matter how much your build is under, look no further. Corsair’s H100i will serve you well for years to come.
The $3000 build was designed with gaming performance in mind, for that reason, the first component that was chosen for this build was the immensely powerful ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080TI. It comes to the table boasting an impressive 11GB of GDDR6 VRAM, a core clock speed of 1,650MHz, and a triple-fan cooling solution.
This GPU is by far one of the coolest (temps) in the 2080TI lineup, and it provides sub 70-degree temps through the most stressful situations. It supports ASUS Aura Sync as well, which means you’ll be able to customize the look and fan speed to your exact requirements.
If you’re after the best consumer-grade graphics card money can buy, look no further.
When you look up the perfect RAM pairing for a Ryzen 3rd Gen CPU, 3200MHz RAM is pretty hard to beat. The Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 3600MHz RAM kit is an excellent choice for this warhorse of a build. We decided to go for Corsair as it offered the best value for money, especially in the 32GB category, and it’s going to make this build look superb.
With 32GB at your disposal, you’ll be able to run every game you could imagine, plus stream, multi-task, and do plenty of heavy workload tasks as well.
Having a rapid SSD for your operating system and primary games is essential in the modern age of PC gaming. SSDs, on average, offer massively increased performance over their HDD counterparts. The same difference can be said for M.2 SSDs over SATA ones. This Sabrent PCIe 4.0 M.2 is one of the highest performing SSDs on the market and offers impressive sequential read/write speeds that are unrivaled by its competition.
This one has a 1TB storage capacity, which is more than enough for your O/s, most of your games, and some backup media storage as well.
Even though this build already comes with a pretty large 1TB solid-state drive, you can always use some additional backup storage, especially if you’re into video editing or the likes. This Seagate Barracuda offers a 4TB backup capacity, which boosts the overall storage to an impressive 5TB. It’s rated at 5400RPM, which isn’t the fastest but is certainly enough for what you’ll likely be using it for (backup media and secondary games). With 5TB overall storage, you have the freedom to save, create, and backup as many media files as you could possibly need.
A safe and efficient PSU is essential for a build of this quality, and that’s why we’ve gone for the popular Corsair RMX series 650 Gold-rated PSU. It offers superb efficiency and enough power to allow maximum overclocking potential from this PC.
It is gold-rated, which means it’s extremely safe and efficient, exactly what a PC of this quality deserves. We could have gone for something more powerful, but unless you’re thinking about going SLI anytime soon, you don’t really require much more.
MSI are no strangers when it comes to providing high-performing hardware offerings. Their MPG GODLIKE X570 motherboard is a fine example of one of their premium tier products. It might be one of the best X570 motherboards currently available thanks to its excellent build quality, high-performance, and the endless amount of features it comes equipped with.
Aesthetically, this thing is an absolute joy on the eye. It comes with a metallic, gnarly look which is embellished by several RGB zones and an OLED display. It has a powerful 14+4+1 digital power phase, which is exactly what you need if you’re looking to overclock the chip in this build. It features a bunch of M.2 slots for future upgrades and plenty of PCI-e lanes, including PCI-e 4.0 support for expansion as well. The M.2 slots come with their own unique heatsinks featuring The I/O panel is extremely versatile and comes with Flash BIOS & clear CMOS buttons, several USB 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi antenna connector, HD audio connectors, 2.5G LAN ports, and a 6.3mm headphone jack.
If you’re looking for the best X570 motherboard money can buy, look no further, this build already has it.
Corsair is widely known as one of the biggest case manufacturers in the business. They offer extremely high-quality cases with superb aesthetics and endless features geared towards gamers. This case makes building the $3000 custom PC a joy even if you’re a newcomer to custom builds. Aesthetically, I haven’t got a bad thing to say about this case. The tempered glass works superbly with the RGB components in this build and the fans provide a high CFM for low temps regardless of how stressed your system is.
Things To Consider
There are a couple of key areas that need to be considered before going out and building a new gaming PC. This will ensure that your new build will suit your exact needs and specifications.
Below are some of the main factors that might affect a custom gaming build and the experience it is capable of.
As we mentioned earlier, budget is a huge factor in any hardware purchase. It’s even more important when you’re in the process of putting eight components together in a custom PC build. Your budget can dictate your PC’s performance, aesthetics, future expansion, and features. Thankfully, our $3k build doesn’t have to compromise in common areas as we can pretty afford the best components out there. You’re in the premium-tier price spectrum now, and you’re able to tailor this build to your exact needs.
Upgradability & Future-Proofing
One of the most critical areas to consider after budget is the future-proofing and upgradability of your build. At lower budgets, such as $500-$800, you need to take this into consideration as your custom build will quickly become outdated. However, at $3,000, you don’t need to worry as much.
The CPU is the very current Ryzen 9 3900x, which is widely considered as the best processor money can buy. The same can be said for the GPU and motherboard, as well. The motherboard has a tonne of M.2 + PCI-e expansion slots, along with PCI-e 4 compatibility as well. The GPU is hugely powerful and comes with real-time ray tracing technology for the next generation of games. This means you won’t be needing to upgrade any of your major parts for the foreseeable future.
In modern computing, overclocking is one of the most sought-after features in any custom PC build. It’s an easy way to increase your computer’s performance at no additional cost. Win-win right? Sort of.
When you have the punching power of a 3900X and a 2080Ti, you don’t really need to overclock. That being said, thanks to the hugely impressive Godlike motherboard, this build is well ready for any level of overclocking you wish to throw at it. The BIOS in MSI boards is extremely easy to navigate, and thanks to a powerful VRM design overclocking can be pushed to the very limit.
Ease Of Building
Thanks to the excellent H500M case from Cooler Master, the process of putting this build together just became a whole lot easier. It has a ton of room for cable management and plenty of room to maneuver parts as well. It’s worth mentioning that, poor cable management can actually affect your builds airflow, which in turn, can reduce how efficient the hardware runs. The motherboard is also designed for an easy building experience. It has endless features, connectivity, and headers, meaning you’ll never be left short when expanding this build.
As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend using some form of anti-static device when building this PC, especially if you’re new to building. It might be necessary, but it certainly reassures your mind and you can concentrate on more important build aspects.
Primarily, this is a custom build that was designed for maximum gaming performance, having said that, thanks to its monster CPU, 32GB of system memory, and large SSD, this build has a lot of potential outside of gaming.
It can handle almost any workload task you can throw at it, thanks to the 12core/24thread design. Pair that with the SSD’s rapid load times and 32GB of 3200MHz RAM, and you have a hell of a workstation as well.
You always want your PC looking good, even more so when you’re spending three grand on one. We understand the importance of aesthetics and considered that when building this PC.
The case is one of Cooler Master’s finest to date. What better way to showcase your new $3,000 build than through tempered glass and the vibrant glow of multiple RGB zones? The GODLIKE is, by far, one of the most attractive motherboards to date, and the RAM offers RGB, which further increases the overall look of this build.
What Games Can This PC Run?
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - 4K High 200FPS average
- Dota 2 - 4K High 180FPS average
- Fortnite - 4K Epic 90FPS average
- Rocket League - 4K High Quality 170FPS average
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege - 4K Ultra 100FPS average
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - 4K Ultra 75FPS average
- Overwatch - 4K Epic 110FPS average
- Warframe - 4K High 130FPS average
- GTA V - 4K Very High 100FPS average
- Forza Horizon 4 - 4K Ultra 70FPS average
- Monster Hunter: World - 4K Highest 65FPS average
- Hitman 2 - 4K Ultra 70FPS average
- The Witcher 3 - 4K Ultra 75FPS average
- Total War: Warhammer II - 4K Ultra 50FPS average
Esports titles pose no problem for the RTX 2080Ti and 3900X combo, even at 4K. Having said that, the unoptimized PUBG showcases less than desirable figures, only averaging 75FPS. 4K and the highest graphical settings see many of the demanding AAA titles sit above the 60FPS threshold - and let's be honest, 4K 60FPS and Ultra settings are truly a sight to behold. Total War: Warhammer II is the most intensive title with just a 50FPS average but settings can be reduced to bring it up to the more acceptable 60FPS. AMD has made massive improvements to their Ryzen processors and their 12-core/ 24-thread powerhouse will let the RTX 2080Ti stretch its legs and remain relevant for many years. Thanks to its impressive IPC gains and incredible 4.6GHz single-core boost speeds, the 3900x reaches ridiculously high FPS figures in lightly-threaded games like CS:GO.
Prebuilt Gaming Desktop Under $3000
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not you're going to be able to tackle this $3,000 custom build. If you've gotten to this stage and you think it might be too big of a challenge, then fear not, we have you covered. I mean, custom PC building isn't the easiest thing to do if you're a newbie.
For people who want the same punching power as our $3k build, along with software and a warranty, then why not check out this list of suitable prebuilt gaming PCs that take the stress of PC building away.
Here are our best $3000 prebuilt gaming PC recommendations:
Operating System & Peripherals
We've decided to include this section as the budget only includes the component list for this build. A lot of people will already have an operating system, and if that's the case, you should be able to transfer that over to your new PC. However, for those that don't, here's our top contender for an operating system.
Every computer needs an operating system to function properly. Without one, you’d just have an extremely expensive paperweight. Below is our number one choice for operating systems.
Luckily, you can pick up a copy of Windows these days for a relatively affordable price tag. It’s the only operating system we would recommend for gamers and is extremely userfriendly as well.
Mouse and Keyboard
Having the right peripherals can be the difference between winning and losing, especially in the competitive esports arena. We’ve decided to compile a list of what we believe are the best peripherals for this $3,000. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.
BenQ ZOWIE EC1-B DIVINA
You’ve just bought a $3000 PC, the last thing you want to be doing now is playing games with a below-average mouse. For that reason, we’ve decided to go for the highly-praised BenQ Zowie EC1-B Divina.
It boasts an extremely ergonomic shape and is perfect for every game style from FPS to MMO’s. It has an extremely powerful sensor and is built with the highest quality in mind.
This mouse is one of our top picks for competitive players; you can see how it compares with other high-quality mice here in our in-depth mouse guide.
Logitech G Pro Wireless
If you’re new to gaming, you may not have heard about the Logitech G Pro wireless mouse. However, if you aren’t, then chances are you probably know all about this one.
It’s a mouse that is widely used across the competitive esports scene for its great shape, ergonomic design, and superb accuracy across the board. It comes equipped with the HERO sensor, which is arguably the best in the world right now. If you’re serious about gaming and need a wireless mouse to do your bidding, this is definitely the one to go for.
Logitech G815 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Logitech G815 is one of the best keyboards currently available. It comes jam-packed with features that have been specifically geared towards gamers.
It offers unrivaled build quality, a brilliant gamer aesthetic, and lightning-quick actuation: All-In-All, the perfect high-end keyboard for this high-end build.
ASUS ROG Sheath Gaming Mouse Pad
The ROG Sheath gaming mouse pad is another example of the high-quality products ASUS brings to the table year-in-year-out.
It offers a huge gaming area and is designed with an ultra-smooth surface for pixel-precise tracking.
Razer V2 Mouse Bungee
If you’ve decided to go for the Logitech G Pro, then you’re not going to have much use for this bungee. However, if you’re using a wired mouse, we can’t recommend this enough.
It helps provide an almost wireless feel when your gaming and helps eradicate any abrasion or resistance you might encounter.
When you have a custom PC that sports the Ryzen 9 3900X and an RTX 2080TI, you really need a monitor which is going to show off what this build is capable of. Below are our two best monitor offering, they both provide a highly-immersive gaming experience and all the features you’d expect from high-end displays.
ASUS ROG PG279Q 27" Gaming Monitor
If you’re looking for the best gaming experience then look no further, the ASUS ROG PG279Q is one of the best monitors on the market and offers endless features and benefits.
It comes boasting a 165Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and built-in G-SYNC technology. All bundled together, these features create the perfect environment for an immersive gaming experience. It truly is one of the best monitors on the market right now.
Acer Predator Gaming X34
If you’re in the market for something a little more elaborate, then why not check Acer’s Predator X34 gaming monitor out.
It’s has a huge 34″ ultra-wide curved display, which comes with 120hz (when overclocked) refresh rate and 4ms response time.
Not only does it produce a stunning picture, but it also looks stunning, sitting on your desk. One of the most sought-after monitors available and for a good reason.
If you’d like a monitor with the fastest refresh rate possible, then check out our Top 240Hz monitors.
VR still isn’t cheap, though. Be prepared to shell out an extra $500, or more, for a VR headset! Still wondering what VR to get? Check out our VR headset guide here!
Sound plays a huge role in your overall gaming experience. It helps to create an immersive atmosphere when your gaming and is also a major factor in the overall entertainment factor.
Below are what we consider to be the best audio options for this build.
Mackie CR Series 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors
The Mackie CR Series 3″ Monitors are going to be a fine addition to almost any setup. They provide superior sound quality over generic, entry-level speakers and look excellent amongst your gaming rig.
MORE: Best Computer Speakers
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset
Steelseries is unrivaled at the top of the wireless headset market thanks to its impressive Arctis Pro gaming headset.
Alongside the headset, you get the GameDAC, an extremely high-end microphone, and a sleek, comfortable design that causes almost zero strain on your ears.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti microphone is a perfect pairing for this high-end build. It comes to the table boasting excellent build quality and high-performance features and benefits.
If you’re looking to stream or take your videos to the next level, don’t miss out on this top of the range microphone.
For a more budget option, why not consider the Antlion Audio attachable boom microphone.
MORE: Best Gaming Microphone
Luckily, this PC comes with a Wi-Fi-enabled motherboard that can connect your internet connection right out of the box. However, for those looking for a rock-solid connection, here’s a great ethernet cable to get you hooked up.
Having all the parts is the most important step in building your new custom PC. However, having the right building tips could be the difference between setting them up correctly and being left with a pile of parts that simply don't work. Below are a couple of the most commonly asked questions and tips to help you have a smooth build.
Install OS Via USB
If you're looking to save yourself money on shipping an OS, use any old 4GB+ USB drive you have around the house. (Or grab a cheap one from a friend.)
Invest In Antistatic Equipment
Buy an anti-static wristband, and use it properly. Failing to do could put your new components at serious risk of irreversible damage. By using an anti-static wristband, you eradicate any potential static damage whilst building your new 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 use an antistatic wrist strap properly.
Watch Our PC Building Guide
Our very own PC building 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.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive guide to the best custom PC for under $3000. Of course, this build is tailored towards high-end gaming, heavy workloads, and multitasking scenarios, and performs them with the minimum of fuss. It will give you a truly immersive gaming experience, especially if you pair it with the premium monitor it deserves and will perform any game you throw at it with spectacular results.
Why not drop us a comment in the section below, letting us know what you thought of our build and what you would change (if anything). Better still, why not head over to our Community page where you can join in local threads and give you advice on what to buy and what not to!