The Best $2,500 Extreme 4K/VR Gaming PC Build – June 2021
Critical Update: if you actually want to start gaming on a new PC any time before Fall 2021, you have two options: go for one of the very few pre-built PCs still on the market, or build up a system using an older video card that you have on hand. That’s because GPUs are sold out worldwide due to the latest cryptocurrency mining crisis. We present both options in this guide. Based on current estimates, we believe that GPUs will not be available at retail prices until September 2021 at the earliest.
If you’re looking to play all the latest games on a 4K or ultra-wide monitor, you’re going to need extreme processing power. And that’s what the $2,500 Gaming PC Build delivers – every component has been selected with one and only one goal in mind: maximum high-resolution performance for $2,500, with a healthy dose of style thrown in!
For June 2021, the $2,500 Gaming PC Build features the sweetest gaming CPU on the market, AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X, an 8-core, 16-thread CPU that simply rips through game engines, thanks to its cutting-edge Zen 3 architecture and single CPU core-complex (CCX) design. In this build, it’s cooled by a massive Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360mm AIO cooler. The 5800X is backing up a powerhouse of a GPU, the RTX 3080 10GB from Nvidia, which thunders into the ring with performance that obliterates the last-gen RTX 2080 Ti and resets the standards for the framerates gamers can expect from the latest games! The only trouble is that you haven’t been able to buy once since its September 2020 launch and likely won’t be until Fall 2021, a year after its release, so you can either bide your time using an older GPU that you have on hand, or jump into next-gen gaming today with the pre-built PC we list down below.
If you decide to go the DIY route, you’ll find plenty of other great gear in this build. That includes 32GB of DDR4-3600 RAM, a high-capacity, ultra-fast 2TB PCIe solid-state drive, the H500P Mesh ARGB case from Cooler Master, and a potent 850W Gold-rated power supply. 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 Guide, Peripherals Buyer’s Guide, and Speaker/Headset Buyer’s Guide for all our favorite picks!
Throughout this guide, we provide direct links to Amazon, Newegg, or B&H in the US, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in other regions, including Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with 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 Pre-Built Option
The Ultra-High-End Gaming PC –
Skytech Siege 3.0 10900K/RX 6800XT$2650
Step into serious ultra-high-end gaming while everyone else waits months for components to come back in stock! This awesome pre-built from Skytech is packed with game-crushing gear, including the Intel Core i9-10900K 10-core, 20-thread processor and the AMD Radeon RX 6800XT 16GB GPU, which matches the GeForce RTX 3080 10GB in performance but offers a lot more RAM. Also onboard is a 360mm liquid CPU cooler, 16GB of DDR4-3000 RAM, a 1TB PCIe-based SSD, and a 750W Gold-rated power supply. The system is wrapped up in the stylish Thermaltake S300 chassis, which really brings this sweet system together!The Guru’s Tip
We're not trying to be dramatic here, but the value of the CPU and GPU alone on eBay would total nearly the entire price of this PC!
The DIY Build
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X$399 The Guru’s Tip
This CPU does not come with a cooler, and even if it did, you'd still want to awesome upgraded cooler we recommend later in this guide!
MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi$180 The Guru’s Tip
The B550 chipset offers the best value in high-end platforms.
Video Card –
EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Black @EVGA$800 The Guru’s Tip
As an alternative to buying any gaming card, you can simply buy the pre-built PC we listed earlier in this guide.
Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black$210 The Guru’s Tip
You can even sync this kit's lighting with the motherboard's RGB software.
Solid-State Drive –
XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB$270 The Guru’s Tip
While you can use a PCIe Gen 4 drive in this system, it will pay very few dividends for gaming purposes.
Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh White ARGB$194 The Guru’s Tip
The case's ARGB lighting can easily be sync'd with the 3-pin ARGB header on the motherboard we recommend.
Power Supply –
Corsair RM850x$131 The Guru’s Tip
This unit will have no trouble dealing with the ultra-high-wattage CPU and GPU in this system, which on their own will draw about 550W at load!
CPU Cooler –
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360$123 The Guru’s Tip
Note that the extra-thick 38mm radiator on this cooler doesn't fit in most cases, but it does fit in the one recommended for this build. We know because we've tested it!
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130 The Guru’s Tip
If the USB version of W10 is ever sold out, go for the downloadable version, which you can simply load on a USB thumb drive.
The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard –
Corsair K60 RGB Pro Low Profile$110 The Guru’s Tip
Once you try a low-profile mechanical keyboard, you won't want to go back!
The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse –
Razer Basilisk Ultimate HyperSpeed$100 The Guru’s Tip
The included base allows you to easily charge this mouse when not in use.
The Deluxe PC Headset –
Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset$180 The Guru’s Tip
We use this headset everyday and love it!
The 34-inch Gaming Monitor –
MSI Optix MPG341CQR @Newegg$650 The Guru’s Tip
Truth be told, while we know people are interested in "4K Gaming", the 4K monitors available today really aren't that great in terms of tech on board. This ultra-wide is a much better bet!
Total Cost: $2467
The DIY Build
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 5800X ($399)
- Motherboard – MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi ($180)
- Video Card – EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Black @EVGA ($800)
- Memory – Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black ($210)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB ($270)
- Case – Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh White ARGB ($194)
- Power Supply – Corsair RM850x ($131)
- CPU Cooler – Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 ($123)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)