As an avid gamer, you deserve to have the smoothest experience possible when gaming. With a decent budget, that’s certainly possible, especially if you build your own PC.
But where do you even start? How do you sift through all the possible parts and pick the best ones?
Here’s a guide for the best gaming PC under 2000 USD, so you don’t have to do the painstaking research and can get to gaming faster.
The Best $2000 Gaming PC Build For For 2019
Updated: June 19, 2019
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With a generous budget of $2000, you can expect to see some truly remarkable in-game performance. In fact, there aren’t many things that we could even think of that this PC won’t be able to handle. So it’s easier to talk about what it can handle:
If you’re looking to take your gaming to the next level by immersing yourself in the wonderful world of 4K graphics, then you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with this PC. There shouldn’t be any titles that this PC can’t run with at least 60FPS in 4K, and that’s without turning the graphics down at all. And when you do end up having to manually tinker with the graphics options, you usually only have to turn off some resource-intensive but entirely redundant settings like anti-aliasing.
More on precisely just how this PC handles some specific AAA titles when we get to the GPU section, but for now all you need to know is that if you’re looking to game in 4K, this PC has got you covered.
Streaming and VR
What’s also great about this PC is that it’s fully capable of and ready for streaming and VR.
Streaming games, either for your friends or a large audience, will be a breeze, and unless you’re trying to stream in 4K you shouldn’t have to turn down the graphics settings at all while you’re doing so. Cool as this is, however, it isn’t something that you specifically need a $2000 PC for.
One of the ways to truly get the most out of this ludicrously priced build is to turn your attention to VR. Whether you’re already a VR veteran with your own headset or an aspiring newbie, rest assured that this PC will let you run any VR title at max settings without any hiccups. So if you’re looking for the ultimate VR experience, this is it.
And finally, there’s upgradeability. Now, $2000 is a lot of money. Most gamers, even avid ones, have PCs that cost only a fraction of this. So it’s safe to say that, barring any malfunctions, this PC should have you covered for the next five years without you having to upgrade anything or even a whole decade (depending on whether you’re content to turn down some of the graphics sliders as the years go by).
However, this doesn’t mean that we chose the easy way out by robbing you of any and all upgradeability paths. Granted, you probably won’t be able to upgrade the CPU without also swapping in the motherboard for a different one, but there never was a motherboard that could see you through ten years of high-end gaming and there never will be, so this is just something you need to accept. However, the motherboard is incredibly powerful and it will be able to support future graphics cards that are way more powerful than even the RTX 2080 Ti without bottlenecking. And upgrading the RAM is as easy as buying a couple of more sticks. So you can rest when you’re buying this PC that it not only is the best $2000 PC around but also that it will remain as such with minimal further investments.
And if $2000 is a lot for you and you want to save some money, here’s our guide for the best $1500 gaming PC!
The PC Build
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for: the actual components for this $2000 gaming PC build. These parts will create a monster of a gaming rig!
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K
This 9th-generation CPU is one of the best on the market. It has great overall performance and is less expensive than the i9-9900K. While the i9-9900K is more powerful, the i7-9700K already has more than enough muscle for gaming. Gaming requires powerful CPUs, but the i9-9900K might be overkill. So you have plenty to work with when you choose the i7-9700K.
Plus, the FPS you get with the i9-9900K is barely better than with the i7-9700K. So when you compare the two, you get more bang for the buck with the i7-9700K. Besides, you want to save your budget for what really matters – the graphics card.
This CPU is so powerful you won’t even need to overclock to run your games on your ultra – but if you want to, you can. In fact, the Intel K-series is specially designed for overclocking. It gives you higher clock speeds, which result in better in-game performance. Thanks to the recommended fan and case, you’ll have enough airflow to overclock your PC moderately.
This CPU is also great for other applications like video editing and music production. So if you’re into those things, this gaming PC can also double as a great workstation. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have hyperthreading, but the single-core performance here is phenomenal, and 8 cores will still be enough for both gaming in VR and running said professional programs.
Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
Noctua is seen as one of the best cooler companies, so you can’t go wrong with choosing this brand. The Noctua NH-D15 provides some of the best cooling you can get without having to resort to liquid cooling.
While liquid has better cooling performance than a fan does, it’s more expensive. Not to mention it’s also riskier since any little bit of leakage can ruin your entire gaming rig.
With the Noctua NH-D15, not only do you save money, but you also lessen your chances to practically zero of your setup getting ruined by the cooling system. While you can’t overclock as much with fans as you can with liquid, they’ll still allow you to overclock your CPU to a reasonable level.
When you weigh the benefits and risks of each type of cooling, fans come out on top, seeing as you can still get decent performance without risk to your PC.
GPU: Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming OC
So, how’s the performance. Well, to put the PC really to the test, we figured we should see how it fares in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, a notoriously unoptimized game. At 4K and with all the graphics cranked up to eleven, you’ll actually be getting 40FPS. Now we know this may not be the best start if we’re looking to sell you on this PC’s 4K capabilities, but it’s important to keep in mind that benchmarks are run using presets. This one was run with everything maxed out. And if you’re gaming on a 4K monitor, chances are you won’t need anti-aliasing at all, since the pixel density will be so high as to render it obsolete. Get rid of a couple unnecessary graphics enhancers like this, and you can even run Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey at a stable 60 FPS while still having it look just as gorgeous.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins, a game that wasn’t as rushed as Odyssey, gets close to 60FPS with all graphics options turned up to the max, hovering around 55FPS. Project Cars 2 will yield the desired 60FPS even with anti-aliasing thrown into the mix, although the FPS will fluctuate below this point at some moments. And for those of you interested in Fortnite, this PC will land you an upwards of 200FPS in 4K playing that game
But you may be wondering: Why the Asus RTX 2080 Gaming OC in particular and not any other variant of this GPU? In truth, there are some more affordable RTX 2080s like the Gigabyte RTX 2080 Windforce, that’s cheaper by $100. But since we couldn’t very well put an RTX 2080 Ti in this PC, we figured we should give you the best this GPU has to offer, and the Asus is just that. It’s factory overclocked and can reach a clock speed of 1860MHz out of the box (and you can up this number a bit quite easily). They also feature the new dust-resistant Axial Tech fans for better airflow, Max-Contact technology to make sure you get the most out of the heatsink, and of course some great RGB lighting. And the added pins allow you to sync up your case fans to the GPU so that they give you extra airflow once the GPU gets hot instead of the CPU, which is the usual setup. All of these features add up to make the Asus RTX 2080 Gaming OC a contender for the best RTX 2080 graphics card and most certainly the best one for this monster of a PC.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz
The Corsair Vengeance LPX is a fast, high-performance RAM that’s very reasonably priced.
It has also been popular with gamers for years. Why? Because it’s reliable. This RAM not only provides fast performance but also years of consistency. You won’t have to worry about it failing, which means less chance of replacement costs and troubles down the line.
Now 16GB of RAM is a given for a PC this expensive, but for this particular build, we’ve decided to up the ante by including RAM that clocks in at 3200MHz. RAM speed isn’t as instrumental as RAM capacity is, but at this price, you’ll certainly appreciate the added speed, be it for regular gaming or for VR.
The regular Vengeance LPX not the best looking RAM stick, and it certainly lacks the RGB lighting than many high-speed RAM sticks like this one have, but it’s definitely a top pick as it doesn’t falter behind the other models in terms of performance.
And as always, we highly advise you to go dual-channel here, since it’ll not only boost the performance a bit but also act as a failsafe should one of the two 8GB sticks malfunction.
Motherboard: AsusPrime Z390-A
The Asus Prime Z390-A motherboard is an excellent choice for your gaming PC. It has good overclocking capabilities in the BIOS and an overclocking wizard that simplifies the process.
As mentioned in the RAM section, this PC setup gives you lots of flexibility. The ASUS Prime motherboard has four RAM slots, which means you can always upgrade your RAM later on if you so wish. But with 16GB of RAM available, that should be plenty for gaming already.
If you’re someone who’s always running out of USB ports, this is the ideal motherboard for you. It has eight USB ports available: three USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and two USB 2.0 ports.
With eight ports available, there will be little frustration whenever you need to plug something in. And if you ever manage to run out of free ports, you can make use of the USB passthrough on the recommended keyboard.
For those who enjoy lighting aesthetics, this motherboard has RGB lighting that oscillates in a relaxing manner. If you sleep your PC, it can also add some ambiance to a dark room.
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB
HDDs were, of course, never an option as a primary means of storage for a PC this beefy, but we’re taking it a step further than even SATA III SSD with the state of the art Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD! If you thought regular old SSDs were fast then buckle up because the Samsung 970 EVO is as many as four times faster than this, with a write speed of 3.3 GB/s and a sequential read speed of 3.5 GB/s.
We’ve also stacked this PC with 1 TB of storage space, which should be ample enough for all of your favorite games and movies. In case you need something more spacious for your hoarding needs, you can always resort to a second means of storage for all the file-storing that doesn’t require this level of performance. In fact, you don’t need anything faster than an HDD to store pictures and such, although you may want to explore some cloud options as well.
Of course, not even this type of storage will impact your FPS in any way, but it will drastically reduce load times, so you’d better hope that loading tips aren’t instrumental to beating any boss since you won’t be getting so much as a glance at them. All in all, if you’re looking to build the ultimate gaming rig you’ll want the best-performing storage to complement it, and there is no option currently available better than this one.
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus 650 Gold
And as for the thing that’ll keep the juice flowing to all the other pieces of hardware we’ve listed, we give you the SeaSonic FOCUS Plus 650 Gold. SeaSonic is without a doubt one of (if not the) most well-renowned PSU manufacturer, and their FOCUS series is among their very best. But then again, you probably already know you’re dealing with a supremely well-made piece of anything when it comes complete with a 10-year warranty!
This is a fully-modular PSU as well, so it’s quite easy to work with. (Full disclosure: we normally go for semi-modular PSUs because the fully-modular ones are only significantly more convenient if you’re looking to make the most portable PC, so if you can find a semi-modular variant of this PSU, go for it.) This PSU also features the industry’s first silent hybrid fan with a three-phased thermal control that will adapt to the workload accordingly to emphasize either silence, cooling, or both in equal measure.
And, of course, you’re getting the 80 Plus Gold certificate that’ll not only guarantee your other components aren’t at risk but help reduce your electric bill. And since this is a 650-Watt power supply, you’ll certainly appreciate the extra effort.
Case: Corsair Crystal 460X RGB
Tempered glass and RGB lighting are what the Crystal series by Corsair is all about. What we particularly like about the tempered glass here is that it’s featured both as a side panel and a front panel, putting not only your incredible hardware on display but also the three preinstalled RBG-lit fans on the front. In fact, the only thing that seems like it’s missing is an exhaust fan on the back. This is something we definitely encourage you to install yourself. We know that spending $2000 is already plenty, but case fans can be bought for as little as $10. Just check out this list and find the one that’s most appealing
The airflow here is still okay even without the extra exhaust fan, but with it it becomes exceptional. Also, you’re getting magnetic filters on the bottom, front and top of the panel, so the dust build-up should never be significant. As for the interior of the case, you’ve got enough room to fit even the monstrous GPU such as the one we’ve featured. Add to that lots of room for cable management on the back and you’ve got yourself not only a very convenient case but one that will not compromise the gorgeous aesthetic of the hardware inside it.
You may have some peripherals already since this PC isn’t your first. Or maybe you had a laptop before, so you don’t have an existing monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
Whether they’re a necessity or you just want to make this your ultimate gaming PC, here are some peripherals that go well with this PC build.
Operating System: Windows
When it comes to operating systems for gaming, Windows always wins out. Especially since you’re running a $2000 gaming PC.
When you use Linux or macOS, the majority of games aren’t compatible with nor are they optimized for these operating systems. This means that in order to play your favorite games, you’ll need to make a hard drive partition and emulate Windows first.
Avoid having to go through the troubles of partitioning and just pick Windows from the start.
Monitor: Dell 27” LED QHD G-Sync S2716DGR
Your gaming PC has one of the best video cards available, so do it justice by getting an appropriate monitor.
Screen tearing, display stutter, and input lag won’t be things to worry about. By synchronizing the refresh rates between the GPU and display, the G-Sync technology on this monitor will give you the smoothest gameplay you’ve ever seen.
This Dell monitor also has a super fast response time of 1 ms. This means the pixels can change colors quickly without streaking, blurring, or ghosting. Both intense gameplay and vibrant cutscenes will look amazing.
The refresh rate also contributes to the visual fluidity of your gaming experience. With a refresh rate of 144 Hz, you won’t ever want to go back to the standard 60 Hz.
No matter how much in-game action there is, this quality monitor can always keep up. If you’ve been looking for something to give you an edge whenever you play online, this is it.
Now of course, since you’ve already got yourself a 4K-capable graphics card, you may want to get the most out of it with a 4K monitor. Granted, you’ll be locked into a 60Hz refresh rate, but that’s fine since 4K is all about immersion. High refresh rates are great, but if you want to be truly mesmerized by the game worlds you visit when you game, you’ll require nothing more than a 60Hz 4K IPS monitor. The most crucial part here is the IPS panel since it lets the colors really pop. In we case, you’ll want something along the lines of the magnificent 27-inch Acer Predator XB271HK bmiprz.
Mouse: Logitech G502 Hero
Although the Logitech G502 came out in 2013, the design is so slick that it’s still the mouse of choice for many gamers. With a maximum adjustable DPI of 16,000, you’ve got more DPI than you could ever imagine using. You’ll definitely have plenty of room to play around and figure out which DPI setting is ideal for you.
The mouse itself weighs 121 g, which makes it a bit heavier (and larger) than most gaming mice. It’s ideal for people who have big hands and have trouble finding suitable mice because of that. There are five additional 3.6 g weights you can use if you prefer an even heavier feel for your mouse.
If you’re a fan of key binding, you’ll be pleased to know that this mouse has 11 fully programmable buttons. By pushing these buttons, you’ll crouch, run, and switch weapons in a split second without having to think twice. On the flip side of things, this is more buttons for you to accidentally mash, so if you’re clumsy, you may not have such a great time with the Logitech G502.
Keyboard: HyperX Alloy Elite
The HyperX Alloy Elite offers you the best in both comfort and style. This mechanical keyboard has a red backlight and switch choices of Cherry MX Blue, Brown, and Red. Because it has three initial switch choices, you have more options when compared to other gaming keyboards.
You won’t be forced to make a purchase if you really like the keyboard but hate the switch. If you’re not sure what switch you’d like, you can try some keyboards out at a store to figure out which one works for you.
Its other great design points include a detachable wrist rest and USB passthrough. If you find yourself wrestling with the wrist rest, you can simply take it off. With the USB passthrough, you won’t have to climb under your desk to access your USB ports only to find they’re all taken up already; all you have to do is stick the USB into your keyboard, and you’re set!
For your WASD and 1234 keys, you get some fancy silver keycaps. If you like to level up your keyboard aesthetics, you can replace these keys straight away. Otherwise, you can save them and use them as spares should those vital keys get damaged or worn out.
If macro columns are something important to you, you may want to sit this keyboard out, as it lacks in this department. But if affordability and great design are your main concerns, the HyperX Alloy Elite is what you want.
Here are some other “nice-to-haves” if you’ve still got some cash to spend.
VR Headset: HTC Vive
It was mentioned earlier that this PC-rig is fully VR-ready, so you’ll definitely want to consider getting an HTC Vive. With the PS5 set to continue support for the PSVR and games like Nostos hopefully kicking the VR gaming scene out of the tech-demo funk it’s been stuck in for a while now, things are definitely looking up. In case you’re not up to date with VR, here’s a link to our list of the best SteamVR games currently out. Hopefully, it will give you a good idea of what you can expect from this technology.
And as for the VR headset of choice, we’re still sticking to the HTC Vive, primarily because of its Steam support and the fact that most of you probably already have expansive game libraries on Steam. What’s more, SteamVR can even run certain games in VR even if they weren’t developed for it, so it can let you get extra mileage out of some games that you may have thought you were done with.
On a technical level, however, it isn’t all that better than the Oculus Rift, so if you wish to support the godfather of VR, then, by all means, do so.
Second Monitor: ASUS VS247HR 23.6″
A second monitor can come in handy if you like to multitask. Whether you’re getting on a Skype call or looking up strategies for the video game you’re playing, having that second monitor can make a world of difference.
Because it’ll be used for non-gaming purposes, you don’t need a big fancy 4K monitor. This modest 23.6-inch monitor will do just the trick, and at a very low cost.
Headset: Razer Nari Ultimate
Your gaming experience isn’t complete without a solid headset. So get rid of your ratty old ones and upgrade to the Razer Nari Ultimate. This is a top-of-the-line headset that will heighten gameplay. The THX Spatial Audio will give you accurate sounds from 360 degrees, which gives you a huge advantage against other players.
The headset is also wireless, with controls right on the headset, so you don’t have to mess around with wires. And for your comfort, there are cooling, gel-infused cushions that block out sound so you can enjoy uninterrupted gameplay.
Speakers: Logitech G560
When you’re not using your headset, you’ll still want high definition sound so you can get a good feel for your gaming environment. These Logitech G560 speakers have integrated DTS:X Ultra surround sound to completely immerse you in your games.
Again, if you love cool aesthetics, these speakers’ lights will rock your world. Not only do they have built-in LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting, but the lighting also responds to the audio in your games.
Mouse Pad: Corsair MM300 Extended
You may not give the mouse pad much thought, but having an oversized one can make a huge difference when it comes to games that require low DPI and sensitivity settings. Because this involves a large sweeping motion, you probably find your mouse running off the pad and onto the table; this can lower your gaming performance.
The Corsair MM300 Extended is made specifically to accommodate this problem. This soft cloth mouse pad is long enough that you can fit your keyboard on it as well. Plus, its anti-fray material ensures a durable, smooth surface that won’t affect your gameplay.
The Final Word
So there you have it – the best gaming PC under 2000 USD right now.
Prices for each individual component may change over time, but the overall price shouldn’t fluctuate too much. Although you can look around online to get the best deals, you may want to stick to just one website for your purchases to keep things simple.
So what are you waiting for? Get to shopping and building your new gaming PC!