$2500 Build

If you're looking to play all the latest games at 4K, you're going to need some serious processing power. And that's what this build delivers - every component has been selected with one and only one goal in mind: maximum high-resolution performance for $2,500!

For March 2019, this build features a factory-tuned, custom-cooled GeForce RTX 2080 8GB GPU, which can cut through any game at maximum boost rates all day long. Backing it up is Intel's all-conquering Core i9-9900K, an eight-core, 16-thread monster that puts every other CPU to shame in modern games. Plus, it can be overclocked to at least 5GHz with the liquid cooler and high-powered motherboard we recommend. Despite being loaded up with all this ultra-high-end gear, this build still sports 32GB of ultra-high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM and the brand-new, incredibly-fast Samsung Evo Plus 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive. Completing the build is the stylish Thermaltake View 32 case paired with a matching Thermaltake RGB liquid cooler, along with a Gold-rated 850W power supply. Note that for high-end gamers who decide building a PC isn't for them, we have recently added a great pre-built system from HP that offers exceptional performance at the $2,500 pricepoint.

As always, to see our previous part picks and prices, just flip to the $2,500 Build Archive. Also note that we highlight our favorite accessories for this build in the optional components section at the end of this guide, including the best high-end peripherals and monitor. If you're looking for more options, feel free to browse our Monitor Buyer's GuidePeripherals Buyer's Guide, and Speaker/Headset Buyer's Guide for all our favorite picks! By the way, if you'd like to help building this system, we strongly encourage you to check out our Guide to Assembling an Ultra-High-End PC, which will walk you the process of building a system a lot like this one. 

Because we use real-time pricing engines for our links, 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 $2,500 Extreme 4K Gaming PC - March 2019

The Pre-Built Option

    The 4K Gaming PC:

    HP Omen 880-191 Gaming PC

    If you decide you'd like to skip the PC building process and just start gaming as fast as possible, there's no better option than the latest Omen PC from HP. It packs in the best components you'll find in any OEM system at this pricepoint, including the incredible Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU, the Intel Core i7-9700K eight-core processor, 16GB of HyperX Ram, a 512GB solid-state drive, a 2TB hard drive, and a liquid cooler.

    The Guru's Tip:

    With added features like built-in 802.11ac wireless networking, a memory card reader, quick-swap hard drive bays, and the support of a big-name manufacturer, this system is better than any other pre-built PC you'll find on store shelves today.

The Build-Your-Own Option

    CPU:

    Intel Core i9-9900K

    The Core i9-9900K is destined to become a legendary gaming chip. With eight cores and 16 threads, it can chew through any game engine, and with the massive 240mm liquid cooler we recommend in this guide, it should overclock to at least 5GHz! Keep in mind that this is a very power-hungry chip, using at least 140W at stock settings, which is why it really should be liquid-cooled.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Due to massive production shortfalls, Intel processors have been sold out for weeks at Amazon. If you see it in stock, don't hesitate to grab it!

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte Z390 Aorus PRO WiFi

    This board features plenty of high-end features, despite a mainstream price. It has a robust 12+1 phase power delivery system, ten USB ports (including a cutting-edge USB 3.1 Type-C connector, the future of I/O connectivity), two M.2 slots for high-speed SSDs, and ultra-high-end ALC1220 audio. And this special edition of the Aorus Pro even includes WiFi!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the 9900K CPU needs a Z390 chipset for guaranteed compatibility out of the box, and it needs a massive power delivery system for any chance at overclocking.

    Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G

    To get playable framerates at 4K, you need a powerful GPU, and the brand-new RTX 2080 8GB is up to the task, beating the previous king of the hill, the GTX 1080 Ti. But to get the most out of it, you need serious cooling, and this model is up to the task, thanks to its oversized 2.5-slot, triple-fan cooler. It will allow your RTX 2080 to run at maximum boost levels all day long.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model comes in at well under the price of the Nvidia Founder's Edition, despite a much better cooler.

    Memory:

    Corsair 4x8GB Vengeance RGB DDR4-3200

    This awesome 32GB kit will provide more than enough capacity for any game today and for years to come, and thanks to its high DDR4-3200 speed, it will keep your fast CPU fed with data.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This high-end kit comes with the added benefit of a very cool RGB lighting system, which can be controlled via the motherboard.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB PCIe

    Harnessing the power of cutting-edge 3D TLC V-NAND, the NVMe protocol, and the PCIe interface, this SSD is the fastest drive available for under $250. It extends the lead set by the original 970 Evo by moving to 96-layer NAND, which is far faster than the previous 64-layer NAND.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Thanks to this drive's sleek M.2 format, it requires no cables at all! Just note that you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver to install it.

    Case:

    Thermaltake View 32 TG RGB

    Offering up a huge dose of style at a very reasonaable price, the new View 32 instantly becomes the best case you can get for under $150. Featuring three 120mm RGB fans equipped with fluid dynamic bearings, along with tempered glass front, side, and top panels, this case takes aesthetics to the next level! And take note: those side panels swing open on hinges, which looks cools and is far easier to work with than the screw-on panels of its competitors.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can move the pre-installed rear RGB case fan to the front of the case. This will give you three 120mm stacked side-by-side up front for an even sweeter look. Or better yet, add the additional fan listed below!

    Power Supply:

    Corsair RM850x Gold

    Offering 850W of ultra-efficient power despite a price that competes with far less capable models, this Gold-rated, fully-modular model also offers a zero fan mode at loads under ~350W.

    The Guru's Tip:

    850W is more than enough power to support overclocking on this build, which will peak at 500W under an extreme load.

    CPU Cooler:

    Thermaltake Floe Dual Ring RGB 240

    To overclock a high-powered CPU to the fullest extent, you need extreme cooling, because you'll be pouring a lot of voltage into that chip. Based on the results of our liquid cooler shootout, we recommend you go straight for a 240mm model from Thermaltake, which offers fantastic performance and quiet operation.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This will look great combined with the Riing RGB fans in the Thermaltake case we recommend.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    Windows 10 represents a huge leap forward from Windows 8.1, and you will definitely want W10 for gaming. It includes the cutting-edge DX12 low-level API, which provides higher performance and better graphics in PC games.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This USB 3.0 version of W10 will install in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    Fan:

    Thermaltake Riing 12 RGB LED 120mm

    Complete the look of your system by adding an additional 120mm Riing RGB fan to the front of your case. The case comes with two pre-mounted fans in the front, and can fit three in total.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While this fan includes an RGB controller with three ports available, you can actually plug the fan into the controller included with the CPU cooler, as it will have one free port, saving you some space in your case.

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    For the very fastest gameplay, the latest K70 RGB Rapidfire has no equal. Harnessing Cherry's brand-new low-profile MX Speed switches with an ultra-short 1mm throw, you can't possibly miss a keystroke with the board. And unlike every other mechanical keyboard on the market, this one is nearly silent!

    The Guru's Tip:

    See our full hands-on review here!

    The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G703 Lightspeed

    Step up to our favorite gaming mouse ever, the G703. With a classic shape, an ultra-high-performance sensor, and the best wireless system, it offers all the responsiveness of a wired model, with none of the drag! You can see our full review right here!

    The Guru's Tip:

    If you want to total package, pick up Logitech's wireless charging mat, which allows this mouse to charge while you're using it, no wires required!

    The 35-inch Widescreen Monitor:

    Acer Predator Z35P

    At 3440 x 1440, this ultra-wide monitor may not be a true 4K screen, but thanks to its awesome 100Hz refresh rate (overclockable to 120Hz!) and G-Sync capability, it is the best gaming monitor on the market! It's the perfect match for an RTX 2080 video card.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The only 4K screen capable of hitting these refresh rates, the new Acer Predator X27, is much smaller, and currently costs $1,000 more!