$2,000 Build

Looking to build the best gaming PC possible for $2,000? This is it! Incredibly stylish, ultra-quiet, and most importantly, brutally fast, this system offers the very best balance of CPU power, GPU power, and cooling performance out of any of the PCs we profile. We call it "premium" for a reason! And take note: this PC doesn't skimp on the wheels and chassis just to cram in a "big engine". We're all about long-term thinking here at TBG, and this is a seriously long-term PC!

The September 2019 version of this guide continues to recommend Intel's new Core i9-9900KF, which offers eight "Coffee Lake" along with Hyperthreading for unmatched performance. It's the best gaming CPU ever released, with the secret being that it drops onboard graphics to lower the price (and the heat). It's supporting a beast of a GPU, the brand-new GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB, which is about 6% faster than the original RTX 2080 despite a similar price, and can easily drive any game at resolutions up to 4K. And thanks to big price drop on it and various other components, there's no skimping anywhere in this build. You get 16GB of ultra-fast DDR4-3200 RAM with slick RGB lighting, a cutting-edge 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, an 850W Gold-rated power supply, a Noctua 140mm tower cooler, and a sleek case from Thermaltake featuring awesome addressable RGB lighting.

We also list plenty of ways to accessorize your PC - just scroll down to the end of this guide to see our top picks among gaming keyboards, mice, and monitors. If you want to see even more options, check out our Monitor Buyer's Guide and Peripherals Buyer's Guide!

We update this guide every month - to see how this build compares to past months' components and prices, flip to the $2,000 Build Archive page. Because we use real-time pricing engines, you'll always see up-to-date U.S. prices in our guide. We also provide direct links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany for each product, with regional substitutions made where necessary. To help support the continued development of this guide, please use the links we provide if you purchase products we recommend.

The $2,000 Premium Gaming PC - September 2019

    The Premium Gaming PC:

    CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8080A7

    Want to get into gaming in a hurry? Then look no further than the Gamer Xtreme VR from CyberpowerPC. It sports an Intel Core i7-9700K, RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, all at a price that's incredibly reasonable for a pre-built machine.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Seriously, this is getting pretty tough to beat with a DIY PC. We especially applaud CyberpowerPC for finally equipping its PCs with decently-sized SSDs. That was the only thing holding them back previously.

The Build-Your-Own Option

    CPU:

    Intel Core i9-9900KF

    The Core i9-9900K is the best all-around gaming CPU on the market, bar none. Offering eight "Coffee Lake" cores, plus Hyperthreading, it's a true powerhouse. Even better, with manual overclocking, this chip is almost guaranteed to run at 5GHz on all cores! And this new "KF" variant shaves a bit off the price by dropping the onboard video chip, which is just fine in a system like thist one that has an add-in video card. Note that this CPU sells out constantly, so grab it if you see it in stock!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This CPU doesn't come with a cooler, so don't forget to pick up the one we list later in this guide!

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte Z390 Aorus PRO WiFi

    Based on the Z390 chipset, this is a great high-end board at a mid-range price. It has ten USB ports (including a Type-C port), a full array of PCIe slots, and two slots for M.2 solid-state drives. It also offers the Fusion RGB lighting system with the required addressable (digital) RGB header allowing you to sync with the advanced lighting used in this build's case. It even has built-in 802.11ac wireless networking!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This board also supports dual graphics cards in SLI, which you can always upgrade to thanks to the SLI-capable GeForce RTX 2080 Super used in this build.

    Video Card:

    Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 Super AMP 8GB

    NEWS FLASH! Nvidia gives gamers a nice upgrade with the new "Super" line of GPUs. The RTX 2080 Super 8GB beats out the original 2080 by about 6%, bringing it within spitting distance of the vaunted 2080 Ti. You'll appreciate the extra bit of power it offers to enable the latest ray tracing effects in next-gen games!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This card comes with two free games - Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Control, through Sept. 16th!

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200

    To get the most from your system, you want high-speed RAM. This DDR4-3200 kit from Corsair will make sure you don't throttle your CPU in the heat of the battle.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This kit also has slick RGB lighting that can be sync'd with the motherboard.

    Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    The SX8200 Pro 1TB is by far the fastest drive under $150. It leverages the speed of the PCIe interface and NVMe protocol to easily beat every SATA drive ever released, and can keep up with the very best PCIe drives, even ones that cost hundreds of dollars more. That's the definition of technological progress!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver to affix it.

    Case:

    Thermaltake Level 20 MT

    Offering up incredible style and great versatility, the sleek Level 20 MT from Thermaltake is the way to go with this build. It includes three addressable RGB fans up front, which can all be sync'd with the motherboard we recommend, plus a 120mm fan in the rear. Even better, it offers two tempered glass panels (one on the side, one in front), which really lets the lights shine through!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case also has plenty of clearance to install our very favorite tower cooler, a 140mm-based model from Noctua, listed later in this guide.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-850FX

    An overclocked 9900KF and RTX 2080 Super will use a huge amount of power (on the order of 400W), so you don't want to skimp on your PSU. We recommend this Gold-rated, fully-modular model. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    This unit is backed up by a 10-year warranty!

    CPU Cooler:

    Noctua NH-U14S

    The incredible Noctua NH-U14S is among the very finest air coolers ever released. Noctua has been in the game for a long time, and its premium designs command respect - they set the benchmark against which all other air coolers must be judged. To learn more about what makes the NH-U14S so amazing, see our 140mm CPU Cooler shootout review pitting the NH-U14S against a number of serious competitors.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While every cooler comes with thermal paste, it's always nice to know you're getting premium quality, and this cooler comes with a tube of the ultra-premium Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste right in the box.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    Windows 10 is the only OS to consider for a gaming system, as it includes the cutting-edge DX12 low-level API, which provides higher performance and better graphics in PC games.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This USB 3.0 version of W10 installs in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    For a simply sublime typing and gaming experience, you simply must try the K70 Low Profile. There's never been any other mechanical keyboard this fast, responsive, or quiet. It uses the new Cherry MX Low Profile Speed switches, exclusive to Corsair, which are a huge generational leap compared to everything else on the market.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review of the K70 Low Profile here.

    The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G703 Lightspeed

    The best all-around mouse on the market, the G703 offers lag-free wireless freedom, an ultra-high-end sensor, and an ultra-comfortable shape. Simply put, it's our favorite mouse, the one we choose above all others, and trust us, we've tried a lot. Learn more in our hands-on review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This mouse will run forever when paired with Logitech's one-of-a-kind PowerPlay charging mat. You literally will never have to charge it again!

    The Gamer's Dream Monitor:

    Acer XB271HU

    Offering a big 27" IPS panel, a 2560 x 1440 resolution, and an incredible 144Hz refresh rate (overclockable to 165Hz!), this monitor offers amazing motion clarity and image quality. But most importantly, it has Nvidia's G-Sync technology, which will help get the very most out of the high framerates that the RTX 2080 Super can deliver.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We also really like that this model includes a fully adjustable stand, but you can easily add a monitor arm to clamp it to your desk and get even more flexibility.

    The Premium Wireless PC Headset:

    Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 Headset

    Want an awesome premium headset to complete your system? Then go for Logitech's G935 Wireless, which features impressive 7.1 surround effects, RGB lighting, and up to 12 hours of battery life.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our review right here!