The Best $2,500 Extreme 4K/VR Gaming PC Build – September 2021
Due to the ongoing cryptocurrency mining craze, it’s currently impossible to buy video cards at retail prices. Therefore, you have two options if you want to game now. Either buy a pre-built gaming PC or build up a new PC using a GPU selling for over the retail price. We present both options in this guide. Based on current market conditions, we do not believe this generation of GPUs will ever return to MSRP, so lower prices will have to wait until late 2022 when the next generation arrives!
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 AMD!
For September 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 the liquid cooler we recommend. The 5800X is backing up a powerhouse of a GPU, which thankfully you can finally buy: the AMD Radeon RX 6800 16GB. It matches the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB, while packing in 8GB more VRAM for better future-proofing. And did we mention you can actually buy it?!?
But this build is about more than just a fancy CPU and GPU. It also includes 16GB of DDR4-3600 RAM (perfect for the AMD Zen 3 platform), a fast 1TB PCIe solid-state drive, the sweet P500A Digital RGB case from Phanteks, and a potent 750W Gold-rated power supply.
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 –
ABS Gladiator 10900K/RTX 3080 @Newegg$2500
INSANE DEAL! GeForce GPUs may be non-existent at retail, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score a high-end RTX 3080 at a great price in an OEM system! This pre-built model from Newegg’s ABS division features a liquid-cooled Intel Core i9-10900K 10-core, 20-thread CPU, a GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GPU, 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, and a 1TB Intel NVMe solid-state drive. The system’s running off an 850W Gold-rated EVGA power supply and a Gigabyte Z590 motherboard, proving that the quality runs deep!The Guru’s Tip
While AMD Zen 3 CPUs get all the attention, the 10900K in this system is an absolute beast, and still tops most gaming benchmark charts!
The DIY Build
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X$394 The Guru’s Tip
This CPU does not come with a cooler, so make sure to pick up the cooler we recommend later in this guide!
MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi$190 The Guru’s Tip
The B550 chipset gives you a whole lot of next-gen features at a great price!
Video Card –
PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 16GB Red Dragon$1170 The Guru’s Tip
It's amazing to think that after waiting all year, you can finally build your own gaming PC. Woo-hoo!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black$110 The Guru’s Tip
You can sync this kit's lighting with the motherboard's RGB software.
Solid-State Drive –
Samsung 980 1TB$130 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.
Phanteks Eclipse P500A Digital RGB$150 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.
Power Supply –
SilverStone ST75F-GS-V3 Gold$101 The Guru’s Tip
This PSU won't even come close to its limits with this build, which will top out at around 500W fully loaded!
CPU Cooler –
SilverStone PF240-ARGB$85 The Guru’s Tip
This will fit easily in the top of the case we recommend for this build and will provide a great ARGB light show!
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$90 The Guru’s Tip
Once you try a low-profile mechanical keyboard, you won't want to go back!
The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse –
Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless$124 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$160 The Guru’s Tip
We use this headset everyday and love it!
The 34-inch Gaming Monitor –
MSI Optix MPG341CQR @Newegg$674 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: $2468
The DIY Build
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 5800X ($394)
- Motherboard – MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi ($190)
- Video Card – PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 16GB Red Dragon ($1170)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 Black ($110)
- Solid-State Drive – Samsung 980 1TB ($130)
- Case – Phanteks Eclipse P500A Digital RGB ($150)
- Power Supply – SilverStone ST75F-GS-V3 Gold ($101)
- CPU Cooler – SilverStone PF240-ARGB ($85)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)