The Best $3500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build – January 2023

By Ari Altman | Published December 26, 2022 | Updated December 26, 2022

Lian Li LanCool IIIJump Into Ultra-High-End Gaming Today!

If you’re looking for the ultimate $3,500 Gaming PC Build, truly the best of the best, then this is the build for you! Sure, you could spend more, but in most games you won’t see better performance than what this PC Build can provide. It’s a showcase of the very best tech available in PC gaming today. And while the $3,500 Gaming PC Build isn’t exactly a bargain, it’s custom-tailored to deliver flat-out extreme gaming performance!

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

For January 2023, the Ultimate $3,500 Gaming PC Build features Intel’s shockingly-fast Core i9-13900K, a 24-core, 32-thread chip that blows away everything that has come before it, including the vaunted 12900KS and AMD’s entire Zen 4 lineup. Simply put, it is the CPU of choice for serious gamers. It will have a worthy GPU to feed in the form of Nvidia’s superb GeForce RTX 4080 16GB. It beats out every previous-gen card, while coming in at a reasonable price and boasting extreme efficiency!

Of course, the rest of the system is up to the task of keeping this system fed with data, thanks to 32GB of ultra-fast DDR5-6400 RAM, along with an extreme 2TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive. Completing the $3,500 Gaming PC Build is the ultra-high-airflow Lian Li Lancool III RGB chassis, a powerful 360mm liquid cooler, and an awesome 1000W Gold-rated power supply!

Parting Thoughts

Note that we list a number of “Optional Components” at the end of this guide that highlight the accessories we think best match a system of this caliber, including our favorite keyboard, mouse, and monitor picks. To browse even more options, check out our Monitor Buyer’s Guide, Peripherals Buyer’s Guide and Speaker/ Headset Buyer’s Guide, which provide our picks for the best accessories at every pricepoint.

Throughout this guide, we provide direct links to Amazon or Newegg, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in the UK, Canada, and parts of the EU, with automatic substitutions being 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

    Skytech Pro Eclipse 13900K/RTX 4090

    Want mind-blowing performance without having to build your own PC? Then go for the incredible Pro Eclipse by Skytech. This system features an Intel Core i9-13900K 24-core, 32-thread processor cooled by a massive 420mm liquid cooler, a GeForce RTX 4090 24GB video card, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, a Phanteks P500A case, and a massive 1200W power supply. In other words, it’s locked, loaded, and ready to rock the latest games!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This pre-built is almost too good a deal to pass up. You couldn't build a PC with these specs for anywhere near the price!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i9-13900K

    The 13900K, based on the cutting-edge Raptor Lake architecture, takes everything to the next level. It packs in 8 Hyperthreaded performance cores that can boost up to 5.8GHz, along with an incredible 16 efficiency cores, for a total of 32 threads. It’s simultaneously the world’s fastest gaming processor, and an elite-level multi-tasking monster. Simply put, it’s what you want in a killer PC!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This chip runs ultra-hot, so the liquid cooler we recommend later in this guide will be put to good use!

  • Motherboard

    MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi

    MSI offers up tons of high-end performance with its Z790 Carbon. This Socket 1700 model is a perfect match for Intel’s fastest CPUs. It features a massive 19+1+1 Phases VRM, five M.2 slots (one Gen 5, the others Gen 4), 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

    While older Z690 boards could support the 13th-Gen chip we recommend, going with Z790 gets you enhanced PCIe lane functionality, plus firmware that is guaranteed to support the CPU out of the box!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Trinity OC

    The RTX 4080 does the impossible, blowing by the previous king-of-the-hill RTX 3090 Ti while using far less power. It doesn’t hurt that it comes in at the original MSRP of the lower-end RTX 3080 Ti! And this model from Zotac is fitted with a powerful, stylish cooler, with sweet RGB lighting for a custom look!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The 4080 offers exceptional all-around performance in its price class. While the 4090 is faster, it's also about $1000 more!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x16GB Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 CL32

    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 DDR5-6400 with timings of 32-39-39-102 at 1.40V. This is the real deal when it comes to DDR5 performance!
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've gone with DDR5 RAM and a matching motherboard to ensure that nothing holds back this build's performance!

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD_Black SN850X 2TB NVMe

    WD took its vaunted SN850 and endowed with even greater speed, creating the 850X. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and offering transfer speeds up to 7,300MB/s, it’s the one you want!
    The Guru’s Tip

    You don't really need a drive this fast for gaming, but it's always nice to know you won't be held back!

  • Case

    Lian Li Lancool III RGB

    Lian Li has been on a mission to totally dominate the high-end case market, just as it did in the early 2000s. There’s no clearer sign of its resurgence than the Lancool III. Building on the huge success of the Lancool II, the III goes bigger and cooler! You get triple 140mm ARGB fans up front, a 140mm black fan in the rear, and space for practically any CPU cooler on the market. But it goes beyond extreme airflow, with convenient and stylish hinged glass panels on both sides, plus flip-down doors providing access to PSU cabling and hard drives. This kind of innovation is what makes building a system a whole lot more fun. The Lancool III really is the best of all worlds!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This case is also available in white, listed on the same product page.

  • Power Supply

    Corsair RM1000x Gold (2021)

    Corsair revolutionized the PSU industry with its wide range of award-winning models, offering tremendous output, efficiency, and quality. Boasting a 10-year warranty and a zero-fan mode, this PSU will keep you running silently for a long, long time!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Given the massive firepower of this system, we've given it an equally-massive PSU. The PC will draw about 700W at load, meaning you'll make good use of this unit's capacity!

  • 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 360mm model will fit easily in the top of the case 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!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is absolutely the OS you want on your system to take full advantage of the Intel 13th-Gen CPU!

Optional Products

  • The Typist's Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky)

    Best. Keyboard. Ever. And the only wireless mechanical keyboard with full RGB lighting on the market. This thing is a dream come true, so sleek, so responsive. Honestly, it’s in a class of its own.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the keyboard we've used since it was released in late 2019, and we've never even considered using another!

  • 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

    While there are plenty of other ultralight mice out there, you want one that's backed by a company with legit engineering behind it. That's Logitech!

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset

    Combining ultra-high-end performance with incredible comfort, this wireless headset from Corsair is the ideal all-day companion for listening to the latest market news. This headset also has an audiophile-grade microphone, perfect for teleconferencing. Free free to check out our full review right here!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Another feature we really like is the ultra-high quality mic. You'll be heard loud and clear on this headset, as it's a completely different league than any other headset on the market.

  • 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

    This monitor will allow you to truly take advantage of all the power your new PC can deliver!

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