The Best $2000 Premium Gaming PC Build – August 2022

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

Lian Li Lancool II Mesh ARGBTreat 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 August 2022, the $2,000 Premium Gaming PC Build  features the blazing-fast Core i7-12700KF, a 12-core, 20-thread wonder that can easily drive any GPU on the market. And our GPU of choice is the newly-discounted Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 12GB, which has officially dropped in price 50% since its release during the height of the cryptocurrency boom. From a gaming point of view, this 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 a high-airflow case from Lian Li 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

    iBUYPOWER Slate Mono 237i 12700KF/RTX 3070 Ti

    $1854
    INSANE VALUE! Don’t want to build your own? No problem – iBuyPower has you covered with an amazing deal on its Gladiator Gaming PC. It features a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-12700KF 12-Core, 20-thread processor, along with the ultra-fast Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB video card. Also on this list are 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, and Windows 11.
    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 i7-12700KF

    $378
    Intel reclaims the gaming lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12700KF is the CPU to get for extreme performance without going overboard on cost. It handily beats the Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X, and is nearly as fast as Intel’s top-end 12900K!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU does not come with a cooler, so make sure to pick up the one we recommend later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4

    $183
    MSI as usual packs tons of value into its “A” series motherboard, and this Socket 1700 model is a perfect match for Intel’s latest CPUs. It features four M.2 slots (three being Gen 4), a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, eight USB ports (including a Type-C port), and integrated WiFi 6. 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

    This board has the advanced USB Type-C header required to connect the Type-C port on this build's modern case.

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 12GB Trinity

    $799
    The absolutely mind-blowing RTX 3080 12GB is the card enthusiasts have wanted ever since the original 3080 10GB hit the market in 2020. With more RAM, and more important, a much wider RAM bus, it’s a whole lot faster. It doesn’t hurt that it has nearly as many stream processors as the more expensive 3080 Ti.
    The Guru’s Tip

    After a massive price cut from its original $1200, the RTX 3080 12GB is uncontested at its current pricepoint.

  • Memory

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Steel DDR4-3600 14-16-16

    $88
    To get the most out of DDR4 memory, you want high frequencies, and Patriot’s Viper Steel 2x8GB DDR4-3600 CL14 kit delivers! DDR4-3600 is the sweet spot in terms of compatibility with the majority of DDR4-based systems, and to get the most out of 3600 RAM, you want tight timings, which this delivers in spades: 14-16-16 at 1.45V, to be exact. We asked Patriot to create this kit back in 2020 when we tested their ultra-fast (but hard to use) 4400 kit. We knew Patriot could win a lot more users if it simply reprogrammed its kit for ultra-low latency rather than ultra-high frequency, and now it’s here!
    The Guru’s Tip

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

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD_BLACK SN770 1TB NVMe

    $100
    WD knocked it out of the park with its ultra-high-performance, bargain-priced SN770 PCIe Gen 4 drive. 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 5150MB/s and write speeds of 4900MB/s.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While Gen 4 speed isn't necessary in a gaming rig, the price on this drive makes it impossible to pass up!

  • Case

    Lian Li Lancool II Mesh C RGB-X

    $130
    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

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

  • ARGB Fan

    ARCTIC P12 PWM PST A-RGB

    $17
    Arctic started with its proven P12 design and made it even better with the ARGB version. It adds not only very slick ARGB effects, but also a stabilizer ring at the blade edges, rubber bumpers on the corners, and a 0dB mode, allowing it to spin smoothly down to zero with a low PWM signal. In our shootout, this fan performed amazingly well, beating even the P12! Basically, if you’re looking for the best all-around ARGB fan on the market, whether for heatsink, radiator, or case fan applications, this is the one!
    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

    SilverStone ST75F-GS-V3 Gold

    $91
    Offering up 750W of power and top-notch build quality, this PSU is a great value among high-end models. Thanks to its fully-modular cables and compact design, it’s very easy to install, allowing you to minimize cable clutter by leaving out cables you don’t need for this build. The best part: thanks to its Gold-rated efficiency, the power supply will operate in virtual silence!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU is a fantastic deal, with every competing model selling for a lot more!

  • 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 12th-Gen 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

    After launching Windows 11 as an update in late-2021, it took Microsoft six months to pack it up into a retail product, but now it's here and it's what you want!

Optional Products

  • The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire

    $136
    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

    $80
    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

    $390
    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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