The Best $2500 Extreme 4K/VR Gaming PC Build – February 2023
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 February 2023, the $2,500 Gaming PC Build starts off with Intel’s amazing Core i7-13700KF, a 16-core, 24-thread hybrid masterpiece, which rips through games faster than any previous Intel or AMD CPU, Zen 4 included! It’s backing up a powerhouse of a GPU, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT 20GB, which beats every previous-gen GPU, including the vaunted GeForce RTX 3090 Ti!
But this build is about more than just a fancy CPU and GPU. It also includes 32GB of DDR5-6000 RAM (which offers a big boost in performance versus even the best DDR4 kits), a fast 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, the high-airflow G500A 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 Premium Gaming PC –
Skytech Eclipse 13600K/RTX 4080$2800Skytech 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.
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 more than half the budget of our system if bought at retail!
The DIY Build
Intel Core i7-13700KF$399 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!
Asus Prime Z790-A WiFi 6E$310 The Guru’s Tip
We're going with DDR5-based Z790 boards from here on out, as the performance boost is simply too big. There's no reason to invest in DDR4 today for a serious gaming rig.
Video Card –
XFX Radeon RX 7900 XT 20GB MERC310$881 The Guru’s Tip
Yes, we know that critics have called the 7900 XT a dud because its MSRP is just $100 under the XTX version. But the market had other things in mind after launch day, and the XTX is now a minimum of $300 more, meaning the XT is by far the best GPU to ever sell for under $1000!
G.SKILL 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000$165 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$90 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 G500A Digital RGB$158 The Guru’s Tip
This case's ARGB lighting can be controlled via the motherboard.
ARGB Fan –
ARCTIC P14 PWM PST A-RGB$22 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 –
SilverStone ST85F-GS v2$143 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 360 ARGB$160 The Guru’s Tip
This cooler may or may not include the Socket 1700 adapter you'll need to mount it on the Intel CPU we recommend, so get the optional kit below just in case.
ARCTIC Intel LGA1700 Upgrade Kit for Liquid Freezer II Series$15 The Guru’s Tip
If your cooler includes a 1700 bracket, you can always return this one - just don't open it until you know you need it.
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$148 The Guru’s Tip
Once you try a mechanical board, you'll never go back!
The Ultralight Gaming Mouse –
Logitech G Pro X Superlight$136 The Guru’s Tip
There are plenty of ultralight mice out there, but Logitech's is a great ultralight!
The Deluxe PC Headset –
Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset$174 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: $2482
The DIY Build
- CPU – Intel Core i7-13700KF ($399)
- Motherboard – Asus Prime Z790-A WiFi 6E ($310)
- Video Card – XFX Radeon RX 7900 XT 20GB MERC310 ($881)
- Memory – G.SKILL 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 ($165)
- Solid-State Drive – WD_BLACK SN770 1TB NVMe ($90)
- Case – Phanteks Eclipse G500A Digital RGB ($158)
- ARGB Fan – ARCTIC P14 PWM PST A-RGB ($22)
- Power Supply – SilverStone ST85F-GS v2 ($143)
- CPU Cooler – Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 ARGB ($160)
- Adapter – ARCTIC Intel LGA1700 Upgrade Kit for Liquid Freezer II Series ($15)
- Operating System – Windows 11 Home USB ($139)