$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 June 2019, this gets a number of upgrades, making it truly better than ever. It all starts with AMD's awesome Threadripper 2950X processor. Using the latest 12nm Zen+ architecture, it can push its 16-cores and 32-threads up to 4.2GHz. While AMD has announced its next-gen Ryzen 3000 series, conspicuously absent was a 16-core processor, which makes it clear that the 2950X will continue to be AMD's premium option for the foreseeable future. And that's just fine, as Intel can't come close to matching the value offered by this CPU for a workstation-class PC. Do you want to encode, while simultaneously gaming, streaming, and decompressing? No problem, Threadripper has you covered! Cooling this beast is Noctua's finest Threadripper-specific cooler, the NH-U14S TR4-SP3. Not only will it keep your 2950X cool, 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 welcome Samsung's brand-new, long-awaited 970 Evo Plus 2TB to the market, and in fact we suggest using two of them in RAID0. They join the Samsung 970 Pro 1TB SSD, which we continue to recommend for OS and app duty. Together, these three PCIe drives provide 5TB of massively-fast storage! They're joined by a Blu-Ray burner for archiving use. This system doesn't skimp on RAM either, using a 64GB DDR4-2933 kit, which will be more than enough for any professional task, and thanks to a major price drop, is now a ridiculous bargain. Powering the system is the best 1000W Titanium-rated power supply on the market, and for the chassis, we go with the new ultra-quiet Define R6 from Fractal Design.

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 - June 2019


    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:

    One of the new features of 2nd-gen Threadripper is Precision Boost Overdrive, which allows it to auto-overclock up to around 4.2GHz on all cores when run with ample cooling, which of course this build provides!


    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:

    Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme 11G

    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.


    Corsair 8x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-2933 for Threadripper

    Holy cow! After an absolutely mind-blowing price drop, 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:

    Samsung 970 Pro 1TB PCIe M.2

    The 970 Pro is the undisputed market leader, and no other M2-based SSD should even be considered for this build's main drive. It far exceeds the speed of any SATA drive due to the use of the next-gen PCIe interface and the NVMe protocol.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The 970 Pro is the last remaining SSD on the market to use ultra-high endurance, ultra-fast MLC NAND flash. 

    Solid-State Drive:

    Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB PCIe M.2

    While the 970 Pro above will be ideal for the OS installation and storage of all your critical apps, you'll quickly run out of room even on a 1TB drive, so make the most of your high-end system by installing a second ultra-fast PCIe-based SSD, specifically the brand-new 970 Evo Plus 2TB.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This drive is one of the very few 2TB PCIe drives on the market, and by far the fastest 2TB drive ever released.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB PCIe M.2

    Take advantage of all your motherboard's PCIe slots by adding a second 970 Evo Plus 2TB, bringing your total storage to an incredible 5TB!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Get even more speed out of your system by running the two 970 Evo Plus drives in RAID0!


    Fractal Design Define R6 Black TG

    This stunning Define R6 is classis Fractal Design, which pioneered the professional/performance case segment. It not only offers premium aesthetics, it also offers fantastic versatility. It features a hinged tempered glass side panel, a sleek brushed aluminum front fascia, along with bays for a multitude of hard drives as well as a optical drive bay, which is becoming very rare these days. It has three high-quality 140mm fans, plus sound dampening material to keep noise levels at bay.

    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:

    Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium SSR-1000TR

    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 an industry-leading 12-year warranty.

    CPU Cooler:

    Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3

    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 Noctua, the best name in the business. Based on the legendary NH-U14S (our favorite cooler ever!), it has a large heatplate specifically designed for Threadripper. And like all Noctua coolers, it's easy to install and incredibly quiet.

    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.

    Optical Drive:

    LG 14x Blu-Ray Burner

    For access to disc-based material, we recommend adding this 14X Blu-Ray burner. It also allows you to burn your big directories for archiving or for sharing with others.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, to access commercial Blu-Ray content, you need a licensed software package. We recommend Cyberlink PowerDVD 19 Ultra.

    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 G703 Lightspeed

    Featuring the most accurate sensor and the most reliable wireless system on the market, the G703 simply has no equal. No other manufacturer even comes close!

    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!