Best $2000 gaming pc build

Important Update: Due to the non-availability of nearly every video card at retail, we recommend that most gamers purchase the pre-built PC we list in this guide, rather than wait on GPUs to restock.

Looking to build the best gaming PC possible for $2,000? This is it! Incredibly stylish, ultra-quiet, and most importantly, brutally fast, this build offers the very best balance of CPU power, GPU power, and cooling performance out of any of the gaming PCs we profile. We call it "premium" for a reason! And take note: this build 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 build!

For January 2021, the $2,000 Premium Gaming PC Build features the Intel Core i7-10700K, an 8-core, 16-thread gaming powerhouse. And it will be put to good use, as we've designed this system around the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GPU. But take note: despite being launched on Sept. 17th, we expect retail availability to be non-existent until March 2021, so we suggest you pick up a previous-gen EVGA card and simply register to trade it in for a 3080 through EVGA's Step Up program. It's a no-stress solution, allowing you to get your system up and running without having to mash F5 forever! If you simply can't wait for the RTX 3080 to arrive in stock, we do have a solution for you: buy a pre-built from Newegg and get the 3080 right in the system today!

If you go the DIY route, your build will also feature 16GB of ultra-fast DDR4-3600 RGB RAM, a 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, and a super-efficient 750W power supply. Topping it all off is a great-looking high-performance case from Lian Li and an ultra-quiet tower cooler. We also list plenty of ways to accessorize the $2,000 Premium Gaming PC Build - 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 build every month - to see how this PC compares to past months' components and prices, flip to the $2,000 Build Archive page. In our build guide below, we provide direct links to Amazon and Newegg, and for our readers outside the US, we provide links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany for each product, with regional substitutions made where necessary. Your use of these links is the only thing that keeps this site on the 'net!

The $2,000 Premium Gaming PC Build - January 2021

The Pre-Built Option

  • The Premium Gaming PC:

    ABS Gladiator 9900K/RTX 3080 Gaming PC @Newegg

    HOT DEAL - Start gaming on an RTX 3080 without the wait! Given Nvidia's soft launch of its RTX 3000 series, the only way to get one is in a pre-built system, and Newegg's ABS division has the system for you! Check out these specs: a liquid-cooled Intel Core i9-9900K 8-core, 16-thread CPU, a GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GPU (yes, the one you can't buy at retail!), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB NVMe SSD, and a 750W Gold-rated power supply! This is a truly fantastic deal!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Your chances of actually scoring a 3000 series GPU at retail are precisely zero at this point, so picking up this pre-built is the only way to experience next-gen gaming performance today, but even it will be sold out for good soon, as the latest cryptocurrency craze is going to eliminate GPU supply for months to come.

The Build-Your-Own Option

  • CPU:

    Intel Core i7 10700K @Newegg

    Intel's Core i7-10700K is arguably the best gaming chip for the money, offering eight cores, 16 threads, and a boost speed of over 5GHz. In most games, it will provide the exact same performance as more expensive 10-core chips from Intel!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, you need a new Z490 motherboard for this CPU - it will not even fit in older motherboards!

  • Motherboard:

    MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge WiFi @Newegg

    This feature-packed Z490 board gives you everything you need for a premium PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs, eight USB ports (including Type-C), and built-in 802.11ax (WiFi 6) networking plus Bluetooth.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Intel's new socket 1200 featured on this motherboard is required to use 10th-Gen CPUs!  

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce GT 1030 (Temporary Card)

    CRITICAL UPDATE: Nvidia's new RTX 3000 series, and specifically the RTX 3080 that we will eventually recommend, cannot be purchased anywhere, and likely won't be available in reasonable numbers until the end of the year. Therefore, we highly recommend that PC builders pick up this older EVGA card, which will allow you to use EVGA's Step-Up Program to immediately register your card for step up to the EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 when it eventually ships! In the meantime you'll be have your system up and running while everyone else fusses! We've calculated the cost of this build based on the $810 EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3, but your initial purchase price will be lower due to the lower cost of the older card. The Step-Up Program is available in the US, Canada, and the EU.

    The Guru's Tip:

    As an alternative to buying this card, you can simply use the built-in graphics on the Intel CPU until the 3080 is available, or better yet, get the awesome pre-built system featured earlier in this guide and start gaming today!

  • Memory:

    Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black @Newegg

    This awesome 16GB kit will provide more than enough capacity for any game today and for years to come, and thanks to its mind-blowing DDR4-3600 speed and 16-18-18 timings, it will keep your fast CPU fed with data. Plus it offers sweet RGB effects!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Most DDR4-3600 kits are much more expensive, and many have weaker timings. This is the real deal!

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG Gammix S11 1TB @Newegg

    Harnessing the power of cutting-edge TLC V-NAND, the NVMe protocol, and the PCIe interface, this SSD is by far the fastest drive at its pricepoint. It can hit sequential speeds of up to 3500MB/s! And this model even comes equipped with a heatsink to lower temperatures and allow for maximum throughput.

    The Guru's Tip:

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

  • Case:

    Lian Li Lancool II Mesh RGB

    Lian Li tops itself once again with the amazing Lancool II Mesh RGB case. It includes triple 120mm ARGB fans for an eye-catching look, along with a fully-meshed front panel for excellent airflow. And unique among its competitors, it offers dual hinged glass panels for great looks and usability, plus dedicated doors for the PSU chamber, providing great access to cabling!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Lian Li was the undisputed king of high-end cases in the early 2000s, and it's finally come out of hibernation to dominate the market anew!

  • Power Supply:

    SilverStone ST75F-GS-V3 Gold

    Nearly all PSUs from reputable manufacturers are sold out, and most cannot even be backordered. But this high-end 750W Gold-rated, fully-modular model was in stock as of our latest update. Grab it if you can!

    The Guru's Tip:

    One of the things we really like about this model that distinguishes it from cheaper units is that it has dual EPS (CPU) power connectors, allowing it to fully support all CPUs on the market.

  • CPU Cooler:

    Scythe Fuma 2

    Offering amazing performance thanks to its big heatsink and dual 120mm fans, along with excellent compatibility thanks to its offset design, this is our favorite cooler at any price. Learn more about this cooler in our full review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This cooler is immensely popular and is often sold out or backordered. As an alternative, we recommend the similarly-performing Noctua NH-D15S.

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 on USB @Newegg

    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 version of Windows will load in under 5 minutes thanks to the speed of USB 3.0!

Optional Components

  • The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile @Newegg

    For the very fastest gameplay, there's nothing better than the K70 Rapidfire Low Profile. Thanks to Cherry's unbeaten low-profile MX Speed switches, you get amazing response and feel, plus low noise.

    The Guru's Tip:

    See our review right here!

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse:

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    Offering up awesome functionality, a sleek design, and an ultra-fast 16,000 DPI sensor, the Basilisk X from Razer simply has no competition at its pricepoint. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    Razer's Hyperspeed wireless technology makes the Basilisk more responsive than most wired mice!

  • The Best 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor:

    Gigabyte M27Q @Newegg

    Offering up a 27" 2560x1440 IPS panel capable of a 170Hz refresh rate, and enhanced with frame-syncing technology, this is a true high-end monitor that won't break the bank! Gigabyte may be new to the monitor market, but it's making a huge splash, offering up tremendous quality at low prices. Previously, you couldn't get anything but an inferior TN panel for this price!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model was designed around AMD's FreeSync technology, but Nvidia has enabled its use on GeForce cards, which means you save money versus a G-Sync monitor!

  • The Wireless Gaming Headset:

    Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless

    Want an awesome headset to complete your system? Then go for the Void RGB Elite, which offers up great sound, the best microphone in the business, and RGB lighting. Oh, and it's wireless!!!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Nothing in this price range comes close in terms of audio quality!