$1,750 Build

If you're after the perfect blend of power, efficiency, and usability in a PC, look no further than our $1,750 Advanced Gaming/Productivity PC. This system combines some of our favorite components to deliver what we believe is the ideal all-around PC. Yes, this system can game, and yes, you can even dabble in serious overclocking if you wish. But what's really great about this system is that it offers a fantastic balance of components for the price.

For March 2018, we are back to recommending that PC builders actually build their own PCs, now that video cards are finally starting to return to store shelves. Cryptocurrency mining has proven to be no friend to PC gaming, that's for sure! Luckily, with this system, you'll definitely be able to get your game on. It offers the best gaming value in a gaming CPU on the market today, Intel's Core i5-8600K, which packs in six "Coffee Lake" cores, plus a huge amount of overclocking headroom. Also on board is the ultra-fast GeForce GTX 1080 8GB video card, which can easily run any game at a 1440p resolution, along with 16GB of RAM, a 500GB solid-state drive, and a 2TB hard drive. Topping it all off is an ultra-quiet CPU cooler from Scythe, a great power supply from Seasonic, and a stylish high-airflow case from SilverStone.

To learn how this month's pick compares to previous builds in the $1,750 Build Archive page. And if you're looking for a complete PC setup, also check out our Monitor Buyer's Guide and Peripherals Buyer's Guide for all the best add-ons!

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 $1,750 Advanced Gaming / Productivity PC - March 2018

The Build-Your-Own Option


    Intel Core i5-8600K

    The Core i5-8600K is the CPU mainstream enthusiasts have been waiting for - a true six-core CPU that can be overclocked to the moon! This 8th-gen "Coffee Lake" processor offers performance equivalent to the more expensive last-gen Core i7-7700K, but without needing to rely on Hyperthreading tricks. It just has six fast cores, period. And yes, with just a bit of work, you can take it up to 5GHz with the cooler we recommend in this guide. Just note that you'll need to backorder it if you have any expectation of getting one this year!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this CPU requires a new Z370-based motherboard.


    MSI Z370 PC PRO

    Based on the Z370 chipset, this board doesn't skimp on connectors. It has eight USB ports (including USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports), a full array of PCIe slots, and two M.2 slots that will work with either SATA M.2 solid-state drives or high-end PCIe SSDs. It also offers MSI's Mystic Light RGB controller, which will work with the awesome case we recommend later in this guide!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this is a Z370-based board, which work only with 8th-gen Coffee Lake processors. Also note that it does not support running two GeForce cards in SLI.

    Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB G1

    Note that the GTX 1080 is just now coming back in stock after selling out worldwide to cryptocurrency miners. If you see it in stock or available for backorder, don't hesitate to pull the trigger, because it won't be around for long!

    The Guru's Tip:

    One of the great features of GeForce cards is G-Sync frame-syncing technology, which provides ultra-smooth gaming unmatched by traditional fixed-refresh rate monitors. Need help picking a great G-Sync monitor? Check out our Monitor Buyer's Guide, which profiles all the leading Nvidia G-Sync models on the market.


    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 White

    To get the most out of the new Coffee Lake platform, you need high-speed RAM, as we found in our DDR4 Benchmarking article. This 3000MHz kit offers that in spades, along with unbeatable style. Just remember to engage the XMP profile in the UEFI to hit this speed; it will default to 2133MHz.

    The Guru's Tip:

    RAM prices went up over 300% from mid-2016 to early-2018, but luckily, they've now stabilized, and will likely stay at current levels until the end of the year.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5"

    Featuring cutting-edge 3D TLC NAND, this drive offers better performance than anything at its pricepoint. And with 500GB of capacity, it can hold around a dozens applications and games.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We previously recommended a slimmer M.2 drive for this build, but the new MX500 is only available as a 2.5" version, and it's unbeatable in terms of price-performance.

    Hard Drive:

    Seagate Barracuda 2TB

    For bulk storage, we go with this budget-priced 7200RPM 2TB hard drive from Seagate, which offers unmatched capacity per dollar.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, you'll want to choose your SSD for your OS and most-used applications.


    SilverStone RL06-Pro Black

    The RL06-Pro is one of the very best cases available for under $100, offering sleek styling, fantastic airflow thanks to its four included 120mm fans, a sleek interior design, and red LED lighting.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case also comes in white with white lighting, which can see in our hands-one review!

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-650FX

    Offering fully-modular cables, exceptional Gold-rated efficiency (that means over 90% at 50% load), unbeatable voltage regulation, and silent operation, this unit is better than anything else you'll find at this price. Plus, it's backed by an amazing 10-year warranty. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    This PSU measures just 140mm long, making it exceptionally easy to mount in the case.

    CPU Cooler:

    Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B

    The new Mugen 5 Rev. B from industry veteran Scythe is a true wonder of engineering. Designed to be exceedingly quiet and ultra-simple to install, it's one of the best all-around CPU coolers we've ever tested. Note that at 155mm tall, it will fit perfectly in the case we recommend, which has 160mm of clearance.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read more about this great cooler in our recent 120mm CPU Cooler shootout!

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Download

    With Windows 10, Microsoft delivered a follow-up to the immensely-popular Windows 7 that enthusiasts could get behind. It features a fully-functional Start Menu along with numerous other usability and performance enhancements.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is the downloadable version of Windows, so you might want to pick up a USB 3.0 thumb drive if you don't have any spares laying around.

Optional Components

    The Gamer's Dream Monitor:

    Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

    There's simply no better monitor for productivity and gaming than this big 27" model from Asus. Featuring a 2560x1440 panel and an astounding 165Hz refresh rate, plus the benefits of Nvidia's ultra-smooth G-Sync system, it will transform your gaming experience, while also offering excellent productivity performance thanks to its IPS-type panel.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The subdued styling of this monitor is perfect for professionally-minded people who want to do a little gaming on the side!