The Best $2500 Extreme 4K Gaming PC Build – February 2024

By Ari Altman | Published January 28, 2024 | Updated January 28, 2024

Phanteks P500A BlackGame 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 Exclusively by AMD!

For February 2024, the $2,500 Gaming PC Build continues to feature AMD’s shockingly-fast Ryzen 7 7800X3D, an 8-core, 16-thread gaming masterpiece. It’s endowed with 3D V-cache, allowing it to beat every other CPU on the market, regardless of price – even Intel’s latest “14th-Gen” CPUs can’t top it. We figure if you’re interested in serious 4K gaming and not much else, you might as well optimize for maximum framerates! The 7800X3D is backing up a powerhouse of a GPU, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB, which equals Nvidia’s more expensive competing GPUs while also offering far more VRAM for future-proofing.

But this build is about more than just a fancy CPU and GPU. For starters, you’re getting an amazing 64GB of DDR5-6000 RAM (vs. 32GB in our lower-end builds) and a high-end 2TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive. Defining the build is the high-airflow Phanteks G500A mesh case, in which you’ll be mounting a big liquid CPU cooler and a potent 850W Gold-rated power supply. In other words, this build is 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 Workstation PC

    Empowered PC Sentinel 14900KF/RTX 4080 Super

    $2700
    This pre-built PC is packed with premium components that will get you gaming at warp speed! These include a liquid-cooled Intel Core i9-14900KF 24-core, 32-thread processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super 16GB video card, and 32GB of RAM. In terms of storage, you’ll get a 1TB Gen 4 solid-state drive plus a 3TB hard drive for file storage. The system is built in an ultra-professional case, and comes pre-loaded with Windows 11.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This system will be just as fast as the custom build we spec out below!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D

    $369
    AMD has done it again with its 3D cache technology, turning an average CPU, the 7700X, into the 7800X3D, the best gaming CPU ever released! This CPU can take on any CPU, regardless of price, when it comes to gaming, thanks to its advanced stacked cache design. It also has a leg up on Intel by offering the latest connectivity standards thanks to the AM5 platform.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU doesn't come with a cooler, so make sure to pick up the powerful liquid cooler we list later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    ASUS ROG Strix B650E-F Gaming WiFi

    $254
    This B650E board from Asus allows you to tap into the potential of AMD’s cutting-edge AM5 platform at a great price. You get a potent 12+2 phase power solution, a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot (which is what the “E” in the chipset name signifies) plus three PCIe additional slots, three M.2 slots (one being Gen 5, two being Gen 4), and built-in WiFi 6E. On the back you have 12 USB ports, including two Type-C ports.

    The Guru’s Tip

    We strongly recommend paying extra for a B650E board versus a B650 - the one benefit is the PCIe Gen 5 graphics card slot, and that's what you'll need for next-gen GPUs. The CPU in this system will still be able to push huge framerates in a few years, so having that upgrade path open is critical.

  • Video Card

    XFX Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB MERC310

    $922
    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

    While this card is massive, it will fit easily in the spacious case we recommend for this build.

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x32GB Trident Z5 Neo RGB DDR5-6000 CL30 EXPO

    $210
    To get the most out of AMD’s latest CPUs, you want fast RAM, and DDR5-6000 is the sweetspot not only in terms of price, but in terms of making the most of the AM5 platform. It allows for the highest overall performance thanks to running in 1:1 sync with the memory controller. And this 64GB Trident Z5 Neo kit from G.Skill is specially designed for AM5, thanks to the extraordinary 30-40-40-96 AMD EXPO timings. It offers tremendous capacity and speed in a single package!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This RAM is the fastest kit you can run on this board's motherboard, leaving nothing on the table!

  • Solid-State Drive

    Samsung 990 Pro 2TB

    $168
    For primary storage, you don’t just want high-end, you want ultra-high-end, and that means going for the 990 Pro PCIe 4.0. It offers mind-blowing performance, up to 7,450MB/s read and 6,900MB/s, plus blistering random speeds that no other drive can touch. The 990 Pro will go down in history as the drive that truly maxed out the PCIe Gen 4 bus.

    The Guru’s Tip

    While a high-end Gen 4 drive isn't necessary for gaming, the performance of this blazing-fast model is hard to pass up!

  • Case

    Phanteks Eclipse G500A Digital RGB

    $130
    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 P14 PWM PST A-RGB

    $18
    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 upgrade, mounting this to the rear of the case will vastly improve cooling performance.

  • Power Supply

    SilverStone DA850R

    $108
    Offering up 850W of power and top-notch build quality, this PSU is a great value among high-end models. Thanks to its fully-modular cables and compact 150mm length, it’s very easy to install, allowing you to minimize cable clutter by leaving out cables you don’t need for this build. It’s also forward-looking, with both traditional video card power cables and a 12V-2×6 connector (an improved version of the 12VHPWR connector), allowing you to directly connect to any current or future GPU. The best part: thanks to its Gold-rated efficiency and zero-fan mode, the power supply will operate in silence most of the time!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU will easily handle the CPU and GPU in this system, which together will draw around 500W at max load.

  • CPU Cooler

    SilverStone IceMyst 360

    $137
    There has been tremendous innovation in the AIO liquid cooler market over the past few years, and the IceMyst 360 is the perfect example of this. Not only does its advanced pump, radiator, and fan design provide a tremendous leap over previous-generation coolers on a noise-normalized basis (which is what counts!), you also have the option of adding up to three 70mm accessory fans to the pump to cool RAM, VRMs, or SSDs. This is a truly unique feature that sets the IceMyst apart and makes it the clear choice among 360mm AIOs!

    The Guru’s Tip

    You'll be mounting this cooler to the top of the case, with the fans set to blow through the radiator and out of the system.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home (USB) @Newegg

    $139
    Windows 11 built on everything people loved about Windows 10, and then took 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! Note that we’re linking to Newegg, because Amazon long ago stopped selling this physical USB version of Windows, which is the most convenient one to use.

    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

    $650
    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

    SteelSeries Apex 7

    $159
    SteelSeries has always delivered an amazing blend of performance and value for gamers, and the stylish and responsive Apex 7 is a perfect example of that. It has Cherry MX Red linear switches, an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy chassis, RGB illumination, and a premium magnetic wrist rest. And it has one thing none of its competitors offer: an OLED smart display for adjusting and tracking settings.

    The Guru’s Tip

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

  • The Ultralight Gaming Mouse

    Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro Wireless

    $148
    Sometimes a product is so far ahead of the competition comes along that it resets the entire industry. So it is with the DeathAdder V3. Featuring the same ergonomic grip as the original from years ago that set the gaming world on fire, this is nonetheless leagues ahead of that classic. Weighing in at a scant 63g, while offering up a 30K DPI sensor, optical switches, wireless operation, and an incredible 90 hours of battery life, this is as cutting-edge as it gets. To have all of this in a mouse that weighs half as much as the best wireless mice from a few generations ago shows you just how far the bar has been raised!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Download the Synapse software to control parameters of this mouse.

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless

    $160
    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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