$5,000 Build

If you're looking for a PC offering content creation performance that goes beyond extreme, then this is the build for you. With a budget of $5,000, you can max out just about everything, without venturing too far into the land of diminishing returns. And when your work is done for the day, it offers plenty of gaming muscle to sneak a whole lot of fun in too.

For October 2019, this build continues to feature AMD's awesome Threadripper 2950X processor. Using the 12nm Zen+ architecture, it can push its 16-cores and 32-threads up to 4.2GHz, and comes with the built-in advantages of the workstation-class Threadripper platform. Do you want to encode, while simultaneously gaming, streaming, and decompressing? No problem, Threadripper has you covered! That's in part due to its quad-channel memory layout, and we make the most of it here with a 64GB DDR4-2933 kit specifically designed for Threadripper. Cooling this beast is be quiet!'s Threadripper-specific version of the massive Dark Rock Pro. Not only will it keep your 2950X out of the red zone, but it will also keep your entire system silent! In the graphics department, we go with the best high-end card on the market, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB, featuring all the latest enhancements, including dedicated ray tracing cores and a USB Type-C video output. In terms of storage, we suggest you go straight to the top: Intel's Optane 905p 1TB-class drive, which beats every other SSD on the market, hands down. For additional storage, we suggest two XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB in RAID0, for a total of 5TB of massively-fast storage! Powering the system is the best 1000W Titanium-rated power supply on the market, and for the chassis, we go with the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X, decked out in glass and aluminum.

To see previous versions of the build, flip to the $5,000 Archive, and to check out all our recommended add-ons for this build, scroll down to the end of this guide. Because we use real-time pricing engines, you'll always see up-to-date U.S. prices in our guides. We also provide direct links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany for each product, making regional substitutions when necessary. To help support the continued development of this guide, please use the links we provide if you purchase products we recommend.

The $5,000 Ultra-Extreme Gaming / Productivity PC - October 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X

    Oh, how times have changed. AMD owns the productivity crown, as its 2950X offers up to 40% more power than the ten-core Intel Core i9-9820X can muster for less money. That's thanks to the 2950X's 16-core, 32-thread design, using a 12nm architecture and running at a minimum of 3.5GHz, with boost to 4.4GHz. It's the ultimate content creation CPU for people actually spending their own money, with amazing performance in 3D modeling, video encoding, encryption, and decompression.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that AMD will add a 16-core CPU to its mainstream Ryzen lineup in November, it won't come with the advantages of the Threadripper platform, including quad-channel memory and 60 PCIe lanes. And it will cost more than the 2950X, meaning it's not really worth waiting for if you are focused on content creation. Its main advantage will be in gaming.

    Motherboard:

    GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Xtreme

    This X399 board is truly top-of-the-line, despite a mainstream price. It features 13 power phases for rock-solid stability, three Ethernet ports, integrated 802.11ac wireless networking, triple M.2 slots PCIe-based SSDs, and 10 USB ports, including a USB 3.1 Type C port, plus a Type-C internal header.

    The Guru's Tip:

    In addition to its excellent Realtek ALC1220 sound codec, this board features an ESS 9118 Sabre Audio DAC!

    Video Card:

    MSI Geforce RTX 2080 TI Ventus 11G OC

    For this build, there's only one GPU we're interested in: the ultra-extreme RTX 2080 Ti 11GB. It showcases all the best technology Nvidia has to offer, including built-in ray tracing cores for next-gen animation, as well as a USB Type-C video output for high-end monitors. It exceeds the performance of the last-gen 1080 Ti by an impressive 30%!

    The Guru's Tip:

    While we used to recommend dual GPUs in SLI for this build, we really think users of Threadripper will be better-served spending that money on faster, higher-capacity storage and additional RAM, which is what this build features. If you just want to game, you should be going for our $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC, which will perform slightly better than this system in games.

    Memory:

    Corsair 8x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-2933 for Threadripper

    Holy cow, this RAM is almost too cheap to believe! You can now take full advantage of Threadripper's quad-channel memory configuration with this 64GB kit running at a blazing-fast 2933MHz, specially designed for the Threadripper platform. Seriously, as recently as mid-2018, this kit was $800!!!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Don't select just any four- or eight-stick RAM kit and expect it to work on Threadripper. You need sticks that are confirmed to work on the platform, and this was designed from the start to run in a full 64GB configuration at full speed on Threadripper.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Intel Optane 905P 960GB

    For your main SSD, don't just get any drive, get the fastest drive on the planet! The Optane 905p blows every thing else out of the water, thanks to its revolutionary Optane non-volatile memory, which is generations ahead of standard NAND flash memory used in every other SSD.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another advantage of Optane memory is that it offers extremely high endurance, even in the face of constant I/O operations.

    Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB

    For all your data and media files, you'll want another fast drive: the PCIe-based SSD SX8200 2TB.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This drive is one of the very few 2TB PCIe drives on the market.

    Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB

    OK, we know, 2TB of secondary storage just isn't enough, so pick up a second SX8200 2TB, bringing your total system storage to an incredible 5TB!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Get even more speed out of your system by running the two SX8200 drives in RAID0!

    Case:

    Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X Grey

    This awesome case has everything you want in a "prestige" model. You get dual tempered glass side panels mounted on slick hinges, brushed aluminum panels everywhere else, triple 140mm fans for cooling, and space for all your high-end gear. Plus, its digital (addressable) RGB lighting can be sync'd with the motherboard for a truly "pro" look.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case even has a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 connector up front, providing access to ultra-high-speed removable storage.

    Power Supply:

    CORSAIR AX1000 Titanium

    There's no doubt that an overclocked Threadripper paired with a high-powered video card is going to draw a lot of power - we'd estimate it at around 600W. So don't take any chances - head straight for the very best 1000W PSU on the planet, this Titanium-rated model from Seasonic. Thanks to its zero-fan mode, it will be silent except when the system is under full load.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This PSU is backed by a 10-year warranty and the best customer service in the business.

    CPU Cooler:

    be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4

    For a hot-running processor like Threadripper, you need serious cooling, and while liquid cooling may seem like the obvious choice, we're recommending high-end air for a number of reasons. First of all, this cooler comes from be quiet!, maker of the quietest coolers in the business. Based on the proven Dark Rock Pro, this version has an oversized transfer plate specifically designed for the large Threadripper heat spreader.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another important factor in choosing an air cooler is that liquid cooling radiators can interfere with optical drive placement, and furthermore need to be exhausted out the top of the case, which increases noise. This build's case actually has a noise-dampening panel on top, and this would have to be removed for use with a liquid cooler. In other words, air cooling is really superior in this build.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Flash Drive

    Windows 10 has so many improvements versus both Windows 7 and Windows 8 that it alone will make your system feel more up-to-date. We particularly like the return of the Start Menu, the broader settings options, and the fact that it packs in DX12, which is has unleashed a whole new generation of next-gen games that won't work on earlier operating systems. The Pro version of W10 adds disk encryption and advanced remote-access functionality.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This version of Windows, which comes on a USB 3.0 flash drive, loads in under five minutes!

Optional Components

    Sound Card:

    EVGA Nu Audio Card

    There hasn't been much new in the audio market for years, but video card giant EVGA is shaking things up with its appropriately-named "Nu" card, which offers exceptional sound output for audio professionals. Engineered by Audio Note, based in the UK, its DSP has native DSD support up to x256. 384kHz, 32-bit stereo playback, and a 123dB SNR, along with an exceptional headphone amp.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this card requires SATA power to drive it, so you'll need to route a SATA power cable to the main compartment of the case. SATA power is otherwise only used for optical drives, 2.5" SSDs, and 3.5" hard drives.

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    Our favorite keyboard ever, period. That's the new K70 Rapidfire Low Profile. Ultra-fast, utlra-responsive, and ultra-quiet (yes, much quieter than any other mechanical keyboard!).

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review here!

    The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G502 Lightspeed

    Featuring the most accurate sensor and the most reliable wireless system on the market, along with a exterior design that has generated more devoted followers than any other mouse in history, the new G502 Lightspeed simply has no equal. Read our full review to learn more!

    The Guru's Tip:

    For the ultimate mousing experience, pick up the Logitech PowerPlay Charging Mat, which charges your mouse while you use it, meaning you never, ever have to plug it in!

    The 32-inch Professional 4K Monitor:

    ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO

    Want to pair your productivity rig with a stunning monitor? Look no further than the awesome VP3268-4K PRO from Viewsonic, a 32" 4K IPS  monitor that achieves 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB color space, whilee also offering HDR10 certification!

    The Guru's Tip:

    It doesn't hurt that the 4K Pro looks pretty classy, too!