The Best $2000 Premium Gaming PC Build – December 2022

By Ari Altman | Published November 29, 2022 | Updated November 29, 2022

Fractal TorrentTreat Yourself to a Premium Gaming PC Experience!

Looking to build the best gaming PC possible for around $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!

This Month’s Build, Powered by Intel and AMD!

For December 2022, the $2,000 Premium Gaming PC Build continues to feature the blazing-fast Core i5-13600KF, a 14-core, 20-thread wonder that can easily drive any GPU on the market. This chip blows away everything AMD has to offer anywhere near its pricepoint! And our GPU of choice is the newly-discounted AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT 16GB, which offers extreme performance for the price, matching the GeForce RTX 3090 at a fraction of the price. From a gaming point of view, the 13600KF/RX 6950 XT combo is nearly unbeatable, offering tremendous value to high-end gamers.

Beyond the CPU and GPU, this build includes all the other components that will give you that extra edge: 16GB of ultra-fast DDR4-3600 RAM, a 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, and a high-wattage Gold-rated power supply. Topping it all off is an extreme airflow case from Fractal and a powerful yet quiet tower cooler from Scythe.

Parting Thoughts

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, and provide direct links to Amazon or Newegg. Our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in the UK, Canada, and several countries in the EU, with regional substitutions made where necessary. Your use of these links is the only thing that keeps this site on the ‘net!

The Pre-Built Option

  • The Premium Gaming PC

    Skytech Chronos 12700K/RTX 3080

    $2282
    Hot DEAL! Jump into high-end gaming today without needing to build your own rig! Featuring the ultra-fast Intel Core i7-12700K 12-core, 20-thread processor, the awesome GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GPU, plus 32GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, it’s ready to take on the latest games!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This system is nearly as fast as the DIY build we spec out below, so don't feel bad if you decide you'd rather just skip the whole building process!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i5-13600KF

    $310
    The 13600KF is simply revolutionary in terms of performance across the board. With a total of 14 cores (6 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores), and a total of 20 threads (yes, it’s getting hard to keep up!), it can handle just about anything. And for gaming in particular, it offers simply incredible performance per dollar, beating everything AMD has, while nearly matching its big brothers in the Core i7/i9 lines.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This chip runs fast and hot, so you'll appreciate (and need!) the powerful tower cooler we recommend later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    MSI PRO Z790-P WIFI DDR4

    $240
    MSI packs tons of value into its “P” series motherboard, and this Socket 1700 model is a perfect match for Intel’s latest CPUs. It features four M.2 slots (all being Gen 4 x4), a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, eight USB ports (including a Type-C port), and integrated WiFi 6E. Note that it conforms to the DDR4 RAM standard, allowing the use of less expensive memory while maintaining similar performance versus DDR5 RAM.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While Z690 boards could support the 13th-Gen chip we recommend, going with Z790 gets you new features and firmware guaranteed to support the chip out of the box!

  • Video Card

    XFX Radeon RX 6950 XT 16GB MERC 319

    $800
    Step into gaming today with a video card that puts Nvidia ultra-high-end GPUs to shame, the RX 6950 XT  from AMD’s partner XFX. This card can take on any game and put up amazing framerates! Plus, the custom triple-slot, triple-fan cooler looks great and works even better! It offers performance equal to the GeForce RTX 3090 for far less money!
    The Guru’s Tip

    With Nvidia cards skyrocketing in price yet again (this time due to Nvidia cutting production), it's great to have a top-tier GPU available at an amazing price from AMD!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x8GB Ripjaws V DDR4-3600 16-19-19

    $60
    To get the most out of DDR4 memory, you want high frequencies, and G.Skill’s Ripjaws V 2x8GB DDR4-3600 CL16 kit delivers! DDR4-3600 is the sweet spot in terms of compatibility with the majority of DDR4-based systems, but most kits have weak timings. This one, on the other hand, is the real deal: 16-19-19 at 1.35V, to be exact.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Remember to engage this kit's XMP profile to take advantage of its insane speed!

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD Blue SN570 1TB NVMe

    $70
    WD knocked it out of the park with its high-performance yet bargain-priced SN570. Optimized for excellent real-world performance thanks to WD’s years of SSD development, it easily keeps up with much more expensive drives. This 1TB model can provide sequential read speeds of 3500MB/s and write speeds of 3500MB/s. Note that you’ll need a jeweler’s-type screwdriver to affix it.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This drive is plenty fast for gaming, and while Gen 4 drives are tempting, we've allocated the budget to gear that will amp up your gaming experience instead!

  • Case

    Fractal Design Torrent Compact

    $167
    Fractal has always offered premium-quality cases, but it tops itself with the Torrent, thanks to truly premium performance. The open grille front design allows far more airflow than its competitors, and Fractal does not mess around with the fans – the case has dual 180mm monsters blowing air through it. Quite frankly, it’s the best air-cooled case in the business. And unique among its competitors, it goes old-school with the PSU mount, putting it up top, which provides a streamlined interior.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This case's stylish ARGB lighting can be controlled using the motherboard's lighting controls.

  • Fan

    Arctic P12 PWM PST

    $8
    Want to silence your system? Look no further than the excellent P12 PWM from Arctic. It offers fantastic performance at low noise levels, and comes in at a shockingly-low price. Plus, it’s the only fan we’ve found that excels when used on both coolers or as a case fan. And yet Arctic just piles on the goodness by also offering this fan in a value 5-pack, perfect if you want to upgrade a case and a cooler at the same time! The P12 is the best “Jack-of-all-trades” 120mm fan we’ve come across, and the price makes it an easy recommendation.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While it may seem like a small change, adding this fan to the back of the case as an exhaust will dramatically improve thermal performance!

  • Power Supply

    Corsair RM750x (2021)

    $110
    Corsair offers a ton of value in its RMx line, and this updated version of the RM750x is a perfect example of that. You get 750W of Gold-rated power, fully-modular cables, a magnetic levitation fan, and a zero RPM under low loads for silence and increased lifespan. The best part: an incredible 10-year warranty and Corsair’s excellent customer support.
    The Guru’s Tip

    750W offers plenty of headroom for this build, which will pull about 550W at full load.

  • CPU Cooler

    Scythe Fuma 2 Rev. B

    $66
    Offering amazing performance thanks to its big heatsink and dual 120mm fans, along with excellent compatibility thanks to its offset design and 155mm height, this is our favorite cooler at any price. The latest Rev. B version swaps out the “classic” grey fans with more on-trend black models, and ups the RPM level from 1200RPM to 1500RPM. To keep noise in check, the new Kaze Flex II fans use a specially-designed fan frame to minimize turbulence on heatsinks and maximize static pressure.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This cooler includes the Socket 1700 adapter required for use with the latest Intel platform.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home USB

    $139
    Windows 11 take everything people loved about Windows 10, and then takes it to 11! It adds significant under-the-hood changes to make it faster and more secure, and of course, the interface is sleek too!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Running Windows 11 is critical to getting the most out of Intel's hybrid architecture!

Optional Products

  • The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire

    $110
    The Corsair K70 set the standard for mechanical gaming keyboards and is still the benchmark by which all others are judged. With its solid aluminum construction and detachable wrist rest, it’s a truly premium option. And for the very fastest gameplay, there’s nothing better than the Rapidfire version, which uses Cherry’s unbeaten MX Speed switches. Their short throw give you amazing response and feel.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Corsair's powerful iCUE software allows for endless customization of this keyboard.

  • Mouse

    Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

    $75
    Offering up awesome functionality, a sleek design, and an ultra-fast 18,000 DPI sensor, the Dark Core Pro simply has no competition at its pricepoint. This “SE” version can be easily charged with an Qi-compatible charging pad!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Sync the mouse's lighting using the Corsair iCUE software!

  • The Budget Wireless PC Headset

    ‎SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

    $100
    SteelSeries has made a name for itself in the gaming headset world with its no-nonsense focus on performance. The Arctis 1 follows in this tradition with high-end drivers, lossless 2.4 GHz wireless for ultra-low latency wireless connectivity on both PC and PS4/PS5, a detachable bidirectional microphone, and 20 hours of battery life.
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've long believed that wireless is the only way to go with a gaming headset - no getting tangled up in the heat of the action!

  • The 34-inch Gaming Monitor

    AOC CU34G2X

    $350
    Are you ready for serious big-screen gaming? Then feast your eyes on this 34″ monitor from AOC, which breaks new ground in terms of features and performance per dollar. The Nitro packs in an ultra-wide 3440 x 1440 VA panel with a 1500R curve, a fast 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync technology to keep your frames running smoothly. It also offers a height-adjustable stand (unusual at this pricepoint), plus a 3-year hassle-free warranty for screen defects!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Stepping up to an ultra-wide will give you a whole new view on gaming, and luckily the $2000 Gaming PC Build can drive it to the max!

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