The Best $5000 Dream Machine Gaming PC Build – November 2021

By Ari Altman | Published November 6, 2021 | Updated November 18, 2021

Lian Li 011Build the Gaming System of your Dreams!

If you want to build a dream gaming system, but can’t stand the idea of having another huge desktop by your side, stop dreaming and jump into a new reality! This build has all the power you could want, packed into an awesomely-compact high-end chassis. It’s everything you want in a PC, and nothing you don’t!

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

For November 2021, the $5,000 Dream Machine Gaming PC Build offers the best of the best… what else would you expect?!? It starts with the insanely-powerful Intel Core i9-12900KF, a 16-core, 24-thread CPU that puts everything AMD offers to shame. It’s joined by a liquid-cooled Asus Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB GPU for extreme gaming potential!

This build is also packing a massively-fast 4TB PCIe Gen 4 drive sporting transfer speeds of over 7,000MB/s, plus 64GB of DDR4-3600 RAM. To keep things cool, this system uses a 360mm liquid CPU cooler, offering immense cooling capacity along with low noise operation. Powering the system is a quiet and ultra-efficient 1000W Platinum-rated power supply. Finally, the system comes together in the best-looking ATX chassis ever released, the glass-enclosed Lian Li 011 Dynamic, which will allow you to truly show off this build!

Parting Thoughts

We list all of our top picks to accessorize your Dream Machine in the optional products section later in this guide, including our personal favorite keyboard, mouse, and headset. To support continued development of this guide, please use the links we provide in the guide. For readers in the US, we list either Amazon or Newegg links, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with automated substitutions made by region where necessary.

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i9-12900KF


    Intel reclaims the gaming lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12900KF is the CPU to get for extreme performance when cost is no object. It handily beats the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X in gaming, and with its 8 multi-threaded performance cores plus 8 efficiency cores, it’s also a beast for content creation or multi-tasking!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU draws a ton of power, so the 360mm liquid cooler we recommend for this build will not go to waste!

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Elite AX


    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

    Yes, we know there are fancy DDR5 boards out there, but most of the DDR5 RAM available is not only twice as expensive as the DDR4 RAM we recommend, it's also much slower!

  • Video Card

    ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 6900 XT TOP 16GB


    Long name, but this one’s earned it! Step into gaming today with a video card that puts Nvidia non-existent GPUs to shame, the super-secret 6900 “XTX” edition from Asus. Fitted with a 240mm AIO liquid cooler, and sporting boost clocks of 2525MHz thanks to the black magic “XTX” tuning. Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but everything’s been reset by the cryptocurrency mining craze, and this is a card that would make an RTX 3090 tremble!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Mount this card's cooler to the case's side exhaust.

  • Memory

    Kingston 2x32GB Fury Renegade RGB DDR4-3600


    These ultra-dense, ultra-fast modules will get you set up for years to come, offering a total of 64GB of capacity and a frequency of 3600MHz and 18-22-22 timings. They also have sleek RGB effects that can be controlled via the motherboard.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Do you need 64GB for gaming? No, but you know you want it!

  • Solid-State Drive

    Sabrent 4TB Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0


    Take your I/O to the next level with this bleeding-edge 2nd-Gen PCIe 4.0-based 4TB SSD, featuring transfer speeds of over 7,000MB/s! It’s the biggest, fastest M.2 SSD on the market!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While you don't really need a drive this fast for gaming, for the dream machine, nothing else will do!

  • Case

    Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic


    Lian Li put itself back on the enthusiast map after years of relative anonymity when it launched the immensely-stylish 011 Dynamic. Offering two glass panels arranged to provide an unparalleled view of the interior of the system, the 011 Dynamic is a true showcase.

    The Guru’s Tip

    The layout of this chassis is truly unique, and we suggest the best fan and radiator placement for each component throughout this guide.

  • ARGB Fan

    ARCTIC BioniX P120 A-RGB


    Add a whole lot of style to your system with Arctic’s BioniX P120 A-RGB 3-pack, featuring a legendary blade design for extreme system cooling at low noise levels. We’ve found it to be among the best case fans on the market, and the very best case fan available with the ARGB treatment! It also has a sleek cabling system that eliminates clutter and simplifies installation.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Mount these fans to the bottom of the chassis blowing up and in.

  • Power Supply

    Corsair HX1000 Platinum


    Featuring 1000W of Platinum-rated power, a fully-modular cable design, a zero-fan mode for near-silent operation, and a 10-year warranty, this is an exceptional choice for a premium PC build!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU will have more than enough power for you to overclock all the gear in this system to the max!

  • CPU Cooler

    Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 ARGB


    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

    Mount this radiator to the top of the chassis as an exhaust. Note that while it may not include a socket 1700 bracket in the box, Arctic will provide one at no cost with proof of purchase.

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive @Newegg

    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 recently launched, and while it's not available at retail, it's practically a must-have to get the most out of Intel's 12th-Gen platform. We recommend you download the free update as soon as you have the OS installed, and before you load up all your games and apps.

Optional Products

  • The Typist's Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky) @Newegg

    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

    We use this as our daily driver, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

  • The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse

    Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless


    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

    We've used this mouse since the day it launched and have never looked back!

  • 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.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the headset we use every day for hours at a time, and it never lets us down!

  • The Ultimate Gaming Monitor

    Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

    Samsung has changed the gaming monitor market… again! As if the original G9 wasn’t enough, now Samsung has gone and added a mini-LED backlight with over 2000 dimming zones, allowing for insane HDR 2000 performance. And like the previous G9, it still sports a massive 49″ panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, a super-ultra-wide resolution of 5120 x 1440, full G-Sync capability, and a massive 1000R curvature. For gaming, there is nothing else!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The best gaming PC deserves the best gaming monitor!

The Pre-Built Option

  • The Ultra-High-End Gaming PC

    ABS Legend 12900K/ RTX 3080 Ti Gaming PC @Newegg


    Step into flat-out extreme gaming with this pre-built from Newegg’s ABS division, featuring the best from Intel, Nvidia, and Corsair. That includes a shockingly-fast Core i9-12900K 16-core CPU, a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti video card, 32GB of Corsair RAM, a 280mm Corsair AIO liquid cooler, a Corsair RM850X Gold-rated PSU< and the Corsair 5000X RGB case. The system also features a big, ultra-fast 2TB NVMe SSD and an Asus Z690-A WiFi motherboard.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This system will game just as fast as the DIY build we spec out, but without some of the nice-to-have upgrades to RAM, the SSD, and cooling that we recommend.

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