The Best $2500 Extreme 4K/VR Gaming PC Build – September 2022
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 Nvidia!
For September 2022, the $2,500 Gaming PC Build is better than ever. It starts off with Intel’s amazing Core i7-12700K, a 12-core, 20-thread hybrid masterpiece, which rips through games and everything else. It’s backing up a powerhouse of a GPU, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB, which we can now fit in the budget thanks to a massive closeout discount!!!
But this build is about more than just a fancy CPU and GPU. It also includes 32GB of DDR5-6000 RAM (upgraded from DDR4-3600 in previous builds), a fast 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, the high-airflow P500A mesh case from Phanteks, a huge liquid CPU cooler, and a potent 850W Gold-rated power supply. In other words, it’s great in every way!
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 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 Ultimate Gaming PC –
iBUYPOWER TraceMR 234i 12700KF/RTX 3080 Ti$2000ULTRA-HOT! This pre-built gaming PC from iBuyPower is simply packed with premium components, and it will get you gaming at maximum framerates today and for years to come! The spec list starts with an Intel Core i7-12700KF 12-core, 20-thread processor cooled by a 240mm AIO liquid cooler. For the GPU, you get nothing but the best: the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB. Also on board are 16GB of RAM and a 1TB solid-state drive, with Windows 11 pre-installed!
Thanks to a recent price cut, this pre-built machine is a tempting alternative to the DIY build we spec out below!
The DIY Build
Intel Core i7-12700KF$378 The Guru’s Tip
This CPU doesn't come with a cooler, but the high-powered model we list later in this guide will keep it nicely chilled!
MSI Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR5$275 The Guru’s Tip
We're going with a DDR5-based board at this point thanks to the steep price drop on superior DDR5 RAM, which has made DDR4 obsolete at the high end.
Video Card –
Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB Trinity$870 The Guru’s Tip
This card is nearly as fast as a 3090, but has been discounted down to around the price of a 3080!
G.SKILL 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000$220 The Guru’s Tip
This RAM is the perfect match for this build's DDR5-based motherboard.
Solid-State Drive –
WD_BLACK SN770 1TB NVMe$100 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!
Phanteks Eclipse P500A Digital RGB$160 The Guru’s Tip
This case's ARGB fans can be sync'd with the 3-pin ARGB header on the motherboard we recommend. You'll also have full access to the case's front Type-C port thanks to the motherboard's Type-C header.
ARGB Fan –
ARCTIC P12 PWM PST A-RGB$17 The Guru’s Tip
While it may seem like a small change, adding this case to the back of this build's case will dramatically improve cooling performance!
Power Supply –
EVGA Supernova 850 G5$110 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 –
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 ARGB$120 The Guru’s Tip
This cooler will have no trouble keeping the power-hungry CPU cool, and will fit perfectly at the top of the large case we recommend.
ARCTIC Intel LGA1700 Upgrade Kit for Liquid Freezer II Series$7 The Guru’s Tip
While Arctic will eventually ship all LFII coolers with this adapter, to ensure you're ready to build on day one, we recommend you buy this adapter kit in addition to the cooler.
Operating System –
Windows 11 Home USB$139 The Guru’s Tip
Microsoft took its sweet time launching Win11 at retail after making it available as an update for existing W10 users, but it's finally here and it's what you want on a new system!
The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor –
Gigabyte M32U$700 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 –
Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire$160 The Guru’s Tip
Once you try a mechanical board, you'll never go back!
The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse –
Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless$120 The Guru’s Tip
We've been using this mouse since the day it launched and we absolutely love it!
The Deluxe PC Headset –
Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset$180 The Guru’s Tip
We use this headset everyday, and it's a solid as the day we took it out of the box!
Total Cost: $2396
The DIY Build
- CPU – Intel Core i7-12700KF ($378)
- Motherboard – MSI Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR5 ($275)
- Video Card – Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB Trinity ($870)
- Memory – G.SKILL 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 ($220)
- Solid-State Drive – WD_BLACK SN770 1TB NVMe ($100)
- Case – Phanteks Eclipse P500A Digital RGB ($160)
- ARGB Fan – ARCTIC P12 PWM PST A-RGB ($17)
- Power Supply – EVGA Supernova 850 G5 ($110)
- CPU Cooler – Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 ARGB ($120)
- Adapter – ARCTIC Intel LGA1700 Upgrade Kit for Liquid Freezer II Series ($7)
- Operating System – Windows 11 Home USB ($139)