The Best $3500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build – November 2021

By Ari Altman | Published November 23, 2021 | Updated November 23, 2021

CoolerMaster H500PBLACK FRIDAY PRICING IN EFFECT! – Save over $200 on this build today!

Jump 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 AMD!

For November 2021, the Ultimate $3,500 Gaming PC Build starts with Intel’s brand-new Core i7-12700K 12-core, 20-thread CPU, which leapfrogs AMD’s Ryzen CPUs with simply astounding gaming performance. And it will have a worthy GPU to feed, thanks to the fact that AMD’s awesome Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB is back in stock. We recommend an amazing factory-overclocked model, which puts anything Nvidia can offer to shame, and more importantly is actually available!

Of course, the rest of the system is up to the task of keeping this system fed with data, thanks to 32GB of ultra-high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM, along with a blazing-fast 2TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive. Completing the $3,500 Gaming PC Build is the high-performance Cooler Master H500P Mesh ARGB chassis, a powerful 360mm liquid cooler, and an awesome 850W Platinum-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

    CyberpowerPC Gamer Master 5900X/RTX 3080 Ti @Newegg

    $3450

    EXTREME DEAL! Not ready to build your own PC, or just want the best value in an ultra-high-end gaming PC? No problem! As of our latest update, this awesome system from CyberpowerPC is in stock, and will definitely sell out fast. It’s equipped with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-thread CPU and the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB GPU, along with 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, a 2TB hard drive, and a 1000W Gold-rated PSU!

    The Guru’s Tip

    The GPU in this system sells for about 2/3 the cost of the entire PC!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i7-12700K @Newegg

    $418

    CYBER MONDAY PRICING IN EFFECT! Intel reclaims the gaming lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12700K is the CPU to get for extreme performance without going overboard on cost. It handily beats the Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X, and is nearly as fast as Intel’s top-end 12900K! Note that the “K” version includes built-in graphics, unlike the “KF” version.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This hot-rod CPU does not come with a cooler, and we recommend the perfect liquid cooler to keep it cool later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Elite AX

    $270

    This stylish Socket 1700 board from Gigabyte is a perfect match for Intel’s latest CPUs. It features a potent 16+1+2 VRM design with 70A power stage, four PCIe Gen 4 M.2 slots, a PCIe Gen 5 video card slot, ten USB ports (including a Type-C port), and integrated WiFi 6 plus 2.5Gbs LAN. Note that it conforms to the DDR4 RAM standard, allowing the use of less expensive memory while maintaining similar performance to DDR5-based systems.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Some new Socket 1700 motherboards have compatibility issues with high-end coolers, but we've confirmed that this one will work with our chosen cooler.

  • Video Card

    ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB OC Formula @Newegg

    $1550

    CYBER MONDAY PRICING IN EFFECT! Long name, but this one’s earned it! Step into gaming today with a video card that puts Nvidia’s non-existent GPUs to shame, the RX 6900 XT OC Formula from ASRock. Clocking in with a massive overclock of 2475MHz, this card can take on any game and put up amazing framerates! Plus, the custom triple-slot, triple-fan cooler looks great and works even better! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but everything’s been reset by the cryptocurrency mining craze, and this is a card that makes an RTX 3090 tremble!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Grab this card quick, because it is definitely going to sell out!

  • Memory

    Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 C16 Red @Newegg

    $186
    For serious work or gaming, you practically can’t have “too much” RAM. That being said, we think 32GB of RAM is going to be perfect start for all but the most extreme cases, and this 2x16GB kit is only fast, at 3600MHz, but also sports very tight timings of 16-18-18.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Make sure to get the most out of this kit by selecting the XMP profile in the motherboard's UEFI (BIOS).

  • Solid-State Drive

    WD_Black SN850 2TB NVMe

    $320

    CYBER MONDAY PRICING IN EFFECT! The fastest M.2 drive on the planet…. many drives compete for that title, but the mighty SN850 is right at the top. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and maxing out the PCIe Gen 4 bus, it’s the one you want!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Sure, you don't need Gen 4 speed for a gaming PC, but you know you want it!

  • Case

    Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh White ARGB @Newegg

    $153
    CYBER MONDAY PRICING IN EFFECT! Our favorite high-performance gaming case has now been updated to with awesome ARGB lighting, making it better than ever! The H500P Mesh White is the star of high-end cases. It features a tempered glass side panel, dual 200mm front fans behind a big mesh intake, and a 140mm rear fan. It will keep your components nicely chilled thanks to a constant wall of air.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the case we use for our personal gaming system, and it is simply amazing!

  • Power Supply

    be quiet! Straight Power 11 Platinum 850W

    $175

    be quiet! offers up amazing specs with its Straight Power 11, which puts out 850W of Platinum-rated power while staying cool and quiet, thanks to its 135mm Silent Wings 3 fan and custom-designed air intake. It’s also fully modular, providing easier cable management.

    The Guru’s Tip

    High-capacity PSUs continue to sell out regularly due to the cryptocurrency mining crisis, but luckily this one is restocked regularly!

  • CPU Cooler

    Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 ARGB

    $118

    CYBER MONDAY PRICING IN EFFECT! To run a high-wattage CPU, you need extreme cooling, and we suggest you go straight for this awesome 360mm liquid cooler, which offers the best performance of any 360mm AIO on the market based on our testing! That comes down to its big 38mm-thick radiator, effective pump, and the best ARGB fans on the market, the Arctic P12 A-RGB models. They provide both great looks and superior performance at low noise levels.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that this cooler may not have a socket 1700 bracket in the box, but Arctic will provide one free of charge with proof of purchase.

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive @Newegg

    $130
    Windows 10 is the most popular operating system in the world, and Microsoft continues to support users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every year. This USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 11 has launched, but it won't be coming to retail for a while. The way to get it is to install Win10, and then immediately download the free update to Win 11. Do this before loading all your apps so you can perform a clean install.

Optional Products

  • The Typist's Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) @Newegg

    $250
    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 Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse

    Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless

    $124

    Logitech designed the G502 Lightspeed Wireless to be the ultimate technological tour de force in the gaming mouse industry. Featuring a mesmerizing 25K Hero sensor, tunable weights, RGB lighting, and the best wireless connectivity, it is impossible to beat. And you can even upgrade it to ultra-elite status with the optional PowerPlay charging mat, which allows you to use it forever without stopping to charge thanks to the exclusive wireless charging capability!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the mouse we've used since the day it was launched, and we love it!

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset

    $169
    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.
    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 AORUS FI32U @Newegg

    $1000

    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 AORUS FI32U (AORUS being Gigabyte’s gaming brand) 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 Premium Pro, 10-bit color, 95% DCI-P3 color space, and VESA DisplayHDR 400. Folks, this is a heck of a monitor for the price!

    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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