Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000 (Updated for 2018)

  • Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000 (Updated for 2018)
  • cpu
  • cooler
  • gpu
  • ram
  • ssd
  • hdd
  • psu
  • mobo

PART LIST

  • cpuIntel i7-7700KView
  • coolerCorsair H75 Liquid CPU CoolerView
  • gpuMSI GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founder’s EditionView
  • ramCrucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB DDR4-2666View
  • ssdCrucial MX300 525GBView
  • hddSeagate Barracuda 3TBView
  • psuCorsair HX Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum-Certified Fully-Modular PSUView
  • moboMSI Z270-A PRO ATX LGA1151 MotherboardView
  • caseNZXT H440View
Order this build

Here you are. You’re on the highest echelon, now.

This is the best gaming PC build under $2000, which we’re calling the Dual-Grand Grandmaster.

Requirements of The $2000 Gaming PC

This is our highest price range.

The 2000 dollars PC build makes no compromises. This is the best performance you’re going to get out of consumer-grade hardware for a long time.

With this build, you can game at 4K, destroy VR, stream with no issues, and render at incredible speeds...you’re unstoppable. Here are the requirements we set to make that happen.

Unparalleled streaming/rendering performance. With the overclockable i7-7700K at the heart of this build, you can enjoy the best streaming and rendering performance the PC market has to offer. This CPU looks at the heaviest workloads and laughs. You should, too.

The absolute best gaming performance. The GTX 1080 Ti is the best GPU on the market right now. Pushing at and over 60 FPS in 4K titles and 100+ FPS at 1440/1080p, it’s a true powerhouse no matter what games you’re playing.

VR also buckles beneath the sheer power of the 1080 Ti. The entry-level requirement for VR starts around the GTX 1060, but even then occasional lag spikes can happen. Not so here.

You’ll be so far above the recommended spec that you’ll only notice lag if the game is bugged or your system is having problems. Lag in VR can cause actual nausea, too, so having a GPU this well-specced can save you some literal head/stomachaches in the future.

You aren’t going to get better than the 1080 Ti right now, and you won’t for a while. Whenever something comes along that can dethrone it, we’ll upgrade this build to compensate.

Nothing but quality components. We have a focus on quality in general, but we made absolutely sure that everything in this build has great reviews and great reliability before putting it in. You’re paying top-dollar, and we, at The Great Setup, firmly believe that you should get what you pay for.

Components of The Dual-Grand Grandmaster Update:

Intel i7-7700K
cpu

Intel i7-7700K

An utter beast of a CPU in gaming, productivity and just about everything else

Corsair H75 Liquid CPU Cooler
cooler

Corsair H75 Liquid CPU Cooler

An easy-to-use liquid cooling system that’ll allow you to push your system farther

MSI GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founder’s Edition
gpu

MSI GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founder’s Edition

A God-tier graphics card for the worthy and wealthy

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB DDR4-2666
ram

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB DDR4-2666

A staggering amount of quality, Crucial RAM.

Crucial MX300 525GB
ssd

Crucial MX300 525GB

A huge SSD for faster booting and loading times, in and out of games.

Seagate Barracuda 3TB
hdd

Seagate Barracuda 3TB

A gargantuan 3TB HDD, perfect for storing all the media you want

Corsair HX Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum-Certified Fully-Modular PSU
psu

Corsair HX Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum-Certified Fully-Modular PSU

A high-end Corsair power supply that’ll ensure your system is stably, properly powered.

MSI Z270-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
mobo

MSI Z270-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

A great high-end motherboard from MSI.

NZXT H440
case

NZXT H440

A sleek case with amazing cooling, expandability and build quality.

Estimated $1159.9 at Amazon

(Price are accurate as of November 16, 2017)

order this gaming pc build

Build Breakdown

The Dual-Grand Grandmaster is the powerhouse of powerhouses. You have all the computing power you need, and more.

No mortal machine can hope to compare to what you’re about to build.
This is the best gaming desktop under $2000. Congratulations- you’ve went above and beyond all the rest.

cpu

First and foremost is the i7-7700K.

This is the highest-grade consumer CPU on the market right now, and it offers amazing gaming, streaming, rendering and encoding performance. While its actual gaming performance won’t be much higher than that of an i5, it knocks its little brother out of the park in every other conceivable area.

cooler

To support the i7-7700K and the overclocking you’ll likely be doing with it, we’ve included the Corsair H75 Liquid CPU Cooler. With liquid cooling, you’ll enjoy much lower noise and temps, alongside safer overclocking.

We recommend this one for its simple, no-frills setup and usage. Liquid cooling used to be a scary project for those new to building PCs, but, with solutions like this, it’s easier than ever to get a liquid cooling solution on your PC and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

gpu

The 1080 Ti is an unsurpassed beast of gaming performance. Expect to be able to wipe the floor with VR and 1440p titles, as well as the ability to play 4K games at high-to-max settings, depending on the title. If you want the ultimate gaming GPU for 2017, the 1080 Ti is an amazing pick, though it will come at a price premium.

Plus, since EVGA is the manufacturer, you’re going to be able to enjoy top-notch customer service, performance and build quality.

ram

While gamers and most common users are fine with 8GB of RAM, high-end streamers and productivity masters need 16GB. This is why we’ve chosen this amount of RAM for this high-end build.

Additionally, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Series is pretty highly-recommended. Crucial is known for making great RAM kits, and with the motherboard included in this build, you’ll be able to take advantage of the higher memory frequency just fine.

ssd

Since we’ve entered such a high price range, we’ve always recommended an SSD and that SSD has always been the Corsair MX300 525GB. This is because the MX300 series is among the best in terms of performance and storage-for-your cash, and skipping out on one at this price range is criminal.

SSDs offer great benefits to the end-user experience. By putting all your favorite programs, as well as your OS, on your SSD, you’ll enjoy unsurpassed responsiveness and loading times.

Since this SSD is so large, you can also fit a good number of your favorite games on it. Note that you don’t really need to do this with other media files, though, and those are best put on your HDD.

hdd

Speaking of the hard drive, Seagate Barracuda offers yet another great mechanical hard drive. Their 3TB model has top-of-the-line build quality and will offer all the storage you need for the media files you’ll be storing on it.

A large drive like this one is especially helpful for storing raw video and audio files, which are notably larger than finished, compressed counterparts. Be sure to keep all of your non-gaming media on the HDD, and be careful not to fill your SSD up with non-essential games, either.

psu

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: buying a bad power supply unit is asking for something to blow up.

So don’t make something blow up and buy a good PSU instead, like the Corsair HX Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified PSU. What a mouthful, right?

The HX Platinum offers 1000W of power, well over the estimated wattage of this build. Having such a large store of power ensures that overclocking your hardware isn’t putting your power supply (and therefore your PC) at risk.

 

The Platinum certification means you’ll save some money on power, too.

mobo

Like PSUs, buying a bad motherboard can also blow up. So we’ve opted for a really, really good one- one that also enables the 7700K and your memory to be overclocked.

The MSI Z270-A PRO was our choice for this reason. But in addition to all of that, we’ve made a change from our usual builds by making this an ATX board instead of an M-ATX board.

This means it’s much larger and has room for a lot more expansion!

case

The NZXT H440 is a staple among PC builders everywhere, and in this case we opted for a blue/black configuration for some extra style points. It also comes with a whopping 4 case fans pre-installed- 3 for intake, and 1 for exhaust. Without needing to invest in any extra fans, you’ll already have superb airflow and in-case cooling.

Potential Upgrades

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of ways to upgrade this build beyond personal preference. (Different case, for instance.)

However, a few ways to upgrade your experience with the Dual-Grand Grandmaster still exist. Here are our recommendations.

Note: These will raise the price of the build!

ssd

A bigger SSD can go a long way. This is of the same series and make as the one in the main build, which we’ve already went over why we like. The big difference here, though, is that this has twice the storage!

The same rules apply, though. Don’t store media on here- just games, programs and your OS. You won’t benefit from putting media on an SSD.

Cooler

Unfortunately, the case only has one intake and one exhaust fan. While this is “fine”, we recommend buying at least one extra intake fan for better airflow.

The fan we’ve recommended here are of the same color and make as the fans that come with the case, too, so they’ll be sure to fit in.

VR Headset

    HTC Vive or Oculus Rift

    HTC Vive or Oculus Rift

    Since you have such a massively powerful PC, these VR headsets are ideal. VR has been feasible since the $500 range, but only now can it be stomped to such an extent that it’s easy lifting for your PC.

    While the choice is up to you, we ultimately recommend the HTC Vive over the Oculus Rift here- unless you can get a really good deal on the latter. This is because the HTC Vive has much better developer support overall.

    Despite the fact that your build can annihilate VR games, VR itself still isn’t cheap. Be prepared to shell out an extra $600 to $700 for a VR headset!

    OS Options and Recommended Peripherals

    This section is separate from the $2000 PC build, since we only factor in the cost of the base hardware and most people already have their own peripherals laying around.

    If you don’t, though, that’s fine- we’re still here for you

    Operating System

      The Dual-Grand Grandmaster is a powerhouse, but that power doesn’t matter without an operating system. To utilize it to its fullest in gaming and productivity, you’ll want to buy Windows 10 or carry over your installation from a retail license.

      Operating System

      If you can’t afford that, you’ll either need to tone down the build in some way or opt for a Linux distribution until you can afford Windows. Ubuntu Linux and Linux Mint are both fine solutions for Linux distros, but they will feel quite alien to most Windows-oriented users.

      Once you’ve decided on your OS, install it via USB. We’ll tell you how to do that later on.

      Mouse and Keyboard

        You need these to start using your PC at all.

        For Starters: ($15)

        For Starters: ($15)

        If, for some reason, you don’t have any, you could start with these:

        The Logitech MK120 Kit is a perfectly serviceable set of keyboard and mouse, and it’ll do all you need it to for basic input.However, if you’re spending so much on an awesome gaming/productivity build, we really recommend that you get some better peripherals.

        Better peripherals like…

        For Advanced Users: ($100)

        For Advanced Users: ($100)

        …the Logitech G502, one of the highest-rated gaming mice there is. It’s been out for a while, but its optical sensor is no less badass now than it was on launch.

        Because of that, it’s still at the top of many people’s recommendation lists.

        In addition to great sensory capabilities, the G502 is extensively customizable through included weights and Logitech software. The G502 is high-quality, high-end mouse for the best and the best only.

        Meanwhile, the Redragon K551 offers something amazing: an entry-level mechanical keyboard that actually works! Even though it’s from a relatively lesser-known manufacturer, it has great reviews and great build quality.

        While you can opt for more expensive peripherals if you like, the G502 and K551 are amazing pieces of hardware at their price range, and are more than enough to work alongside your Two-Grand Grandmaster.

        Monitor

          Don’t have a spare display lying around? Worry not, we got you covered.

          For Starters: ($100)

          For Starters: ($100)

          Our entry-level 1080p display is the Asus VH238H, coming in at around $100 with 23 inches of real estate and a 2ms response time. It’s not the best of the best, but it’ll certainly get you started if you don’t have a screen already.

          That being said, though, you really shouldn’t settle for a cheapo monitor with a build like yours.

          For Advanced Users: ($180+)

          For Advanced Users: ($180+)

          Shoot for one of these instead, 144Hz is great for gaming, and with the GTX 1080 Ti, you’ll actually be able to push frame rates high enough in 1080p games to enjoy that bump in refresh rate.

          The Acer GN246HL is our entry-level 144Hz monitor, coming in at around $180. If you can’t afford the extra $30 or so, it’s a fine choice

          That being said, we recommend paying just a little bit higher for the Acer XF240H. It includes extra adjustments and comfort features that the previous monitor doesn’t have, and comfort goes a long way.

          Sound Options

            Sound design is integral to all kinds of media, gaming included. Don’t skimp out on these if you plan on having an enjoyable, immersive gaming experience.

            Serviceable Speakers

            Serviceable Speakers

            Sound design is integral to all kinds of media, gaming included. Don’t skimp out on these if you plan on having an enjoyable, immersive gaming experience.

            Gaming Headset

            Gaming Headset

            As a gamer, chances are these are more worth prioritizing.

            The Corsair Raptor HS40 is a budget-oriented gaming headset that doesn’t compromise anywhere it counts. The build, mic and sound quality are all as solid as it gets, allowing you to comm with the best and not die like the rest.

            Getting Online

              If you’re streaming and gaming, go ahead and buy an ethernet cable. Anything less will cause your performance, both in-game and on your network, to suffer.

              High-bandwidth and low-latency applications need ethernet cables to perform at their best, so don’t skimp on this.

              If you need Wi-Fi for those occasions where you go on vacation or to a friend’s house…go with the TP-Link Archer T4U. You obviously can’t stream on it and gaming will be finicky at best, but it’s about as good as Wi-Fi is going to treat you.

              Building Tips

              Just in case you’re new to this whole “PC building” thing, here are a few hot tips from us.

              Invest In Antistatic Equipment

              anti-static wristband

              Buy an anti-static wristband, and use it properly. Failing to do so places you and your components at risk of static discharge that can ruin your expensive components- and that’s the last thing you’d want after spending all of this time working toward the best $2000 gaming PC .

              An anti-static mat may also help you by providing a safe surface for you to rest your components.

              Watch Building Guides

              Tek Syndicate’s excellent guide, linked above, will walk you through the PC building process step-by-step. It’s one of our favorites, and as long as you mind your manual alongside it, your building process should go fairly smoothly.

              Install OS Via USB

              To save yourself money on shipping an OS and buying a disc drive, USBuse any old 4GB+ USB drive you have around the house. (Or grab a cheap one from a friend.)

               

              From there, you can create a Windows 10 installer with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. If you’re using one of the Linux distros for the time being, go with UNetbootin or Rufus.

              Closing Thoughts

              This is it.

              The Two-Grand Grandmaster is ready to ascend to its throne once you order your components. You have the best 2000 dollars gaming PC - but not just that.

              You also have the best streaming, rendering and encoding performance around.

              What happens now? Well, that’s up to you.

              Not the right one for you?