$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 Build. 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 looks fantastic, it's easy to build, it's quiet, and it's incredibly powerful right out of the box.

For December 2017, this build goes with the brand-new Core i5-8600K, which matches the last-gen Core i7-7700K at a lower price, by virtue of its six "Coffee Lake" cores. It's a true gaming powerhouse! And you'll need all its power to feed the ultra-fast GeForce GTX 1080 8GB video card, which can easily run any game at a 1440p resolution. Also on board is 16GB of RAM, a 500GB-class solid-state drive, a 2TB hard drive, along with a great supporting case of components!

To learn how this month's build compares to previous builds in the $1,750 Build Archive page. If you need help building your new PC, you'll want to read through our step-by-step Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017). 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 - December 2017

    CPU:

    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.

    Motherboard:

    MSI Z370 SLI Plus

    Packed with great features at an amazingly-low price, this board is a perfect match for this build. 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.

    Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Windforce 8GB

    After selling out over the summer due to a massive cryptocurrency mining craze, the GTX 1080 is back on store shelves, and this model comes in at a great price given its big factory overclock and powerful cooler. In fact, Gigabyte has led the way in providing value to gamers while its competitors have seen fit to raise prices across the board.

    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.

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000

    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:

    We've been warning our readers about this for months: RAM prices are spiraling out of control, due to a very serious worldwide chip shortage.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Samsung 850 Evo M.2 500GB

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

    The Guru's Tip:

    To install this drive, you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver.

    Hard Drive:

    Seagate Barracuda 2TB

    To store all your games, you'll want a big hard drive, given that most games today take up 50GB each!

    The Guru's Tip:

    If you don't have a huge game collection, you could also go for a single large solid-state drive, like the SanDisk Ultra 3D 1TB.

    Case:

    Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Acrylic Anthracite

    The Pro M is one of the very best cases available for under $100, offering stellar cooling, great styling, and a user-friendly interior.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We really like the anthracite color Phanteks uses on its cases, which makes them look totally unique.

    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 MasterBox 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

    Monitor:

    AOC Agon AG271QG

    There's simply no better monitor at this pricepoint than the Agon AG271QG from AOC. Offering a big 27" 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 VA-type panel.

    The Guru's Tip:

    AOC is also leading the way in trendy yet subdued styling, perfect for professionally-minded people who want to do a little gaming on the side!