The Best $2500 Extreme 4K Gaming PC Build – May 2023

By Ari Altman | Published May 1, 2023 | Updated May 8, 2023

Phanteks P500A Black

Game to the Extreme!

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!

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

For May 2023, the $2,500 Gaming PC Build continues to feature Intel’s awesome Core i7-13700KF, a 16-core, 24-thread hybrid masterpiece, which simply rips through games. It’s backing up a tremendous powerhouse of a GPU, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB, which beats every previous-gen GPU by a landslide!

But this build is about more than just a fancy CPU and GPU. For starters, you’re getting 32GB of DDR5-7200 RAM (which offers a huge boost in performance versus even the best DDR4 kits) and a high-end 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, both upgraded this month thanks to price drops. Defining the build is the high-airflow G500A mesh case from Phanteks, and it will be packing a huge liquid CPU cooler and a potent 850W Gold-rated power supply. In other words, it’s great in every way!

Parting Thoughts

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!

Throughout this guide, we provide direct links to Amazon or Newegg 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 Premium Gaming PC

    Skytech Eclipse 13600K/RTX 4080

    Skytech is all about delivering incredible power and hand-crafted quality at every pricepoint, and the Eclipse is no different. You get a fantastic gaming chip, the Intel Core i5-13600K, a 14-core, 20-thread beast, along with the ultra-fast Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 16GB video card. Also on this list are 32GB of DDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, a massive 360mm AIO liquid cooler, a 1000W Gold-rated power supply, and Windows 11.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This may be slightly more expensive that the build we spec out below, but it also has a faster GPU, which on its own would represent half the budget of our system if bought at retail!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i7-13700KF

    With the 13700KF on the market, it’s game over for AMD! The 13700KF blows away Intel’s previous leader, the 12900KS, which was already unbeatable, and in doing so, drives a serious bargain at the extreme high-end of PC gaming performance. Offering up 16 cores, 24 threads, and the pumped-up cache and clockspeed, it’s the chip every serious gamer will want in their system!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU doesn't come with a cooler, so make sure to pick up the high-powered model we list later in this guide!

  • Motherboard

    MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi DDR5

    MSI’s Tomahawk line is legendary for offering up tremendous performance for the price, and this Socket 1700 model based on the Z790 chipset is a perfect match for Intel’s latest CPUs. It features a massive 16+1+1 Phases VRM, four M.2 slots (all being Gen 4 x4), a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, ten USB ports (two being Type-C), and integrated WiFi 6E. Note that it conforms to the DDR5 RAM standard, providing the ultimate in performance for high-end Intel processors.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This board requires DDR5 RAM, which is of course what we recommend in this guide.

  • Video Card

    XFX Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB MERC310

    AMD broke new ground with its RX 7900 series, and the 7900 XTX is a perfect showcase of that. Matching Nvidia’s more expensive GeForce RTX 4080 16GB while offering 50% more VRAM and a lower price, it’s an easy choice for serious gaming. And this awesome model from XFX uses the stylish and effective MERC310 cooler, which is far better than the reference cooler from AMD!

    The Guru’s Tip

    The 7900 XTX has been in short supply since launch, but with pricing and availability now in order, it's a must buy!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-7200 CL34

    For the ultimate in speed, you must go with DDR5 RAM, but not just any DDR5 RAM, because you need high-frequency DDR5 to blow past DDR4 RAM performance. And that’s what you get with G.Skill’s TridentZ5 kit running at DDR5-7200 with timings of 34-45-45-115 at 1.40V. This is the real deal when it comes to DDR5 performance!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This RAM is the perfect match for this build's DDR5-based motherboard.

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD_Black SN850x 1TB NVMe

    WD started off with the SN850, blowing by the competition, and only made it better with the “x” model. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and maxing out the PCIe Gen 4 bus, it’s the one you want!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While a Gen4 drive isn't necessary for gaming, the price-performance of this blazing-fast drive is hard to pass up!

  • Case

    Phanteks Eclipse G500A Digital RGB

    Phanteks cases are simply exquisite; no other manufacturer can quite match the great blend of quality materials, attention to detail, and high performance, especially for the price. And the G500A may be Phanteks’ crowning achievement: an ultra-high performance ATX case with killer looks! The three 140mm ARGB fans in front look great and provide massive airflow. A few other cool touches on this case include the hinged glass door on the left side and the integrated RGB light pipe on the PSU shroud. No one does it better!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This case's ARGB lighting can be controlled via the motherboard.

  • ARGB Fan


    Arctic started with its proven P14 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. Basically, if you’re looking for the best all-around 140mm 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 big fan to the back of this build's case will dramatically improve cooling performance!

  • Power Supply

    Thermaltake Toughpower GF A3 850W Gold

    A power supply is about so much more than just a wattage rating, and with Thermaltake’s Toughpower GF A3, you get a modern platform to last you many builds. Of course it has an impressive 850W of capacity, but it also offers Gold efficiency certification, a fully-modular design, and an ultra-silent 120mm FDB fan with zero-RPM mode. But perhaps most important, and what really sets this unit apart, is the Gen5 12VHPWR PCIe connector, meeting the Intel ATX 3.0 specification standard. It means no adapters are required when paired with the latest power-hungry GPUs from Nvidia!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU will easily handle the CPU and GPU in this system, which together will draw around 600W at max load.

  • CPU Cooler

    DeepCool LT720 360mm

    This 360mm liquid cooler is up to the task of cooling any CPU. It provides exceptional performance for the price, thanks to its high-performance fans, which use a heavily-swept 9-blade design that offers the optimal static pressure for extreme performance on radiators. It also has great looks, due to the ARGB lighting built into the infinite mirror cover on the pump.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This cooler includes the Socket 1700 adapter required for use with the Intel processor we recommend.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home (USB)

    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! This version ships on a convenient USB stick, allowing it to be easily installed by just plugging it in.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Win11 is what you want on a new system!

Optional Products

  • The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor

    Gigabyte M32U

    It took seemingly forever for the elusive 32″ 4K 144Hz panels that gamers had dreamed of for years to finally hit the market, and surprisingly Gigabyte was first out of the gate with one widely available at retail. Known for its high-end video cards and motherboards, Gigabyte has quickly made a name for itself in the gaming monitor market, and the M32U simply astounds with its features. Get a load of these specs: a 31.5″ 3840 x 2160 4K IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms (GTG) response time, FreeSync, 10-bit color,  90% DCI-P3  and 123% sRGB color space, and VESA DisplayHDR 400. It even has a built-in KVM switch, allowing you to use it on multiple systems with the push of a button!

    The Guru’s Tip

    There's no better way to show off what your 4K gaming rig than with this awesome, value-packed 4K monitor!

  • The Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Razer BlackWidow V3 Clicky

    Razer has been in the gaming peripheral business a long time, and the BlackWidow is perhaps the most legendary bit of kit in history. It has practically defined the mechanical gaming keyboard market, and all the while has offered surprising value as well. That’s the story with the V3, which undercuts the other big names, while offering more style and more functionality. Razer’s Green mechanical switches deliver super-responsive tactile action. The keycaps are the high-quality Doubleshot ABS that enthusiasts pay extra for to fix other brands’ boards. And then there’s the stunning Chroma RGB effects that allow endless customization plus integration with countless games. In short, the BlackWidow is better than ever!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Once you try a mechanical board, you'll never go back!

  • The Ultralight Gaming Mouse

    Logitech G Pro X Superlight

    Logitech has a long history of pioneering the best wireless peripherals, and with the Pro X has taken that to the next level, engineering an ultra-responsive wireless mouse that is somehow just 63 grams, or about half the weight of typical wireless gaming mice. Combined with the 25,600dpi HERO sensor and extra-large PTFE feet, it’s ultra-smooth, and ultra-fast. If you want effortless control, this is the one!

    The Guru’s Tip

    There are plenty of ultralight mice out there, but Logitech's is a great ultralight!

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless

    From humble beginnings as a mousemat manufacturer, SteelSeries has come to absolutely dominate the gaming headset industry. And that’s because it’s not rocket science, it’s audio science! SteelSeries took a careful look at what gamers needed and and then applied all the proven techniques to get them everything they wanted. That includes ultra-high-fidelity audio, 360-degree surround sound for immersive gaming, dual audio streams for simultaneous connection to a PC and a smartphone, multi-platform support, and amazing 38-hour battery life plus quick-charge over USB-C, providing a 6 hour boost in 15 minutes! It also has among the best microphones in business, providing clear audio for everyone you’re talking to!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This offers sound quality on par with much more expensive headsets!

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