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The Best PC Builds for Gaming/VR

2023 Recommended Parts for New Custom PC Builds (Maximize Bang for Buck)

best 2023 pc builds guide

Last Updated: August 8, 2023

In this latest update to the best PC builds for gaming series, we'll take a look at some of the best value components on the market right now for anyone planning to build the best value computer this month for PC gaming, VR gaming, or live game streaming (on Twitch or YouTube).

Choosing parts for your own custom PC build can be confusing, as PC hardware is a vast sea of endless choice and near limitless configuration possibilities, with new component models releasing all the time. Plus, not all parts are equal in terms of value, with certain components (and more specifically certain combinations of components) making for much smarter purchases than others when it comes to getting the best gaming performance for your money.

Finding these sweet spots in the market takes experience, so if you want the opinion of someone who has kept a close eye on the PC building market for well over a decade now and who has built dozens and dozens of custom PCs locally for others over the years, it's my hope that this detailed gaming PC build guide serves as a solid foundation for your research.

Each and every component recommended below has been carefully vetted and selected over others based on various factors including price vs performance, reliability, upgrade flexibility, brand quality, as well as matching color themes and aesthetics to make for a slick setup that will be universally attractive to most people.

So, let's cut straight to the component chase, and when you're ready to build see the PC assembly guide if you want everything explained in layman's terms and with plenty of photos. Also don't miss the intro to building PCs if you're new to hardware and want a quick refresher on the various parts.

Table of Contents

The Best PC Builds (Overview)

Best Gaming PC Build Under $500

Best Gaming PC Build Under $700

Best Gaming PC Build Under $1000

Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000

Best Gaming PC Build Under $2500

Software, Accessories, & Installation


Questions / Feedback

The Best PC Builds (Overview)

Swipe Left to Scroll:

Best PC Builds for Gaming, Airflow, Reliability, & Overall Value

< $500 Gaming PC Build


AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

- 6 Cores

- Socket AM4

- APU (Has Integrated Graphics)

AMD Stock Cooler

- Comes With CPU

Gigabyte B550M DS3H



- Best Cheap Micro ATX B550 Boards

- All Specs: Gigabyte, MSI

TeamGroup T-FORCE Vulcan Z 16GB


Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB


G.Skill Ripjaws V

- 2x8GB 3200MHz

- Get Cheapest in Your Region

Radeon Integrated Graphics

- Fine for Non Demanding Games at Low Settings

WD Blue SN570 1TB


Silicon Power 1TB

- Best Budget M.2 SSDs (NVMe Gen3)

- Get 2.5 Inch Version if Wanting Portability

EVGA 550 B5 Bronze (Modular)


Thermaltake Toughpower GX2 600W Gold


EVGA 500 GD Gold (if no future GPU upgrade)

- 550-600W Enough for Future Mid-Tier GPU

Thermaltake Versa H18

- Mini Tower

- 1x 120mm Fan (Rear)

- Max GPU Length: 350mm (All Specs)

- H15 Also Good


SickleFlow 120mm LED

- Install in Front

- 1 Enough if No Plan to Upgrade GPU

- Get 2 for Maximum Airflow

- NF-P12 Better (But No LED)

< $700 Gaming PC Build


Intel Core i3 12100F


Intel Core i3 12100

- Socket LGA 1700

- 4 Cores

- 'F' Model Lacks Integrated Graphics

- Ryzen 5 5500 Also Good if < $100 (& Get B550 Motherboard)

Intel Stock Cooler

- Comes With CPU

Gigabyte B660M DS3H AX DDR4



- Micro ATX

- Best Budget B660 Boards

- All Specs: Gigabyte, MSI

As Above AMD Radeon RX 6600 8GB


AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT 8GB


AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB
As Above As Above As Above


Cooler Master NR400

- Mini Tower

- 2 120mm Fans

- Max GPU Length: 410mm (All Specs)

< $1000 Gaming PC Build


Intel Core i5 12400F


Intel Core i5 12400

- Socket LGA 1700

- 6 Cores

- 'F' Model Lacks Integrated Graphics

Intel Stock Cooler

- Comes With CPU

ASUS Prime B660-PLUS D4 (ATX)


ASUS TUF Gaming B660M-PLUS WiFi D4 (Micro ATX)


ASUS ROG Strix B660-A Gaming WiFi D4 (ATX)

- All Specs: ASUS, ASUS, ASUS

As Above AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB


AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT 12GB


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB
As Above Corsair CX650M Bronze


Corsair RM650x Gold


EVGA 600 BQ Bronze


Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold

- 550w Fine if No Future GPU Upgrade

Phanteks P400A


Corsair 4000D Airflow

- Both Have 2x 120mm Fans

- P400 Max GPU Length: 420mm (All Specs)

- 4000D Max GPU Length: 360mm (All Specs)

- NR600 Also Good (Specs)

- H510 Flow Also Good (Specs)

- CK560 Also Good (Specs)

< $2000 Gaming PC Build


Intel Core i5 13600KF 14-Core


AMD Ryzen 5 7600X 6-Core (Most Longevity)
Noctua NH-U9S Black


Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2 (if prefer liquid)


Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black (if not over-clocking)

- Mount ML240L to Top With Fans Blowing Upwards

- ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports Also Great

MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4 (if Intel)


MSI PRO B650-P WiFi DDR5 (if AMD)

- ATX (Full Size)

- All Specs: Intel, AMD

- ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi DDR4 Great if Want White

G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16GB 3600MHz DDR4 (or 32GB kit)


Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 (if Cheaper)


Vengeance LPX 32GB 3600MHz C18 DDR4 (value 32GB)


Kingston Fury 16GB 5200MHz CL40 DDR5 (if AMD)

- Avoid Corsair RGB Pro and Ripjaws V for Hyper 212 (RAM Too Tall)

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB


AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT 16GB


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti 12GB
WD Black SN770 1TB

- Best Value Gen4 NVMe SSD

- Samsung 980 Also Good (But Gen3)


Seagate Barracuda 2TB (7200 RPM)

- Store Tons More Games

- Avoid 5400 RPM Drives (Slow)

Corsair RM750x


Older RM750x (if Cheaper)


Super Flower Leadex III Gold 750W


RM750e (Budget Version)

- Tier-A PSUs

Cooler Master MasterCase H500 ARGB

- Mid Tower

- 2x 200mm RGB Front Fans

- 1x 120mm Rear Fan

- Max GPU Length: 410mm (All Specs)

- Pro M (Specs) Also Great

- Enthoo Pro (Specs) Also Great

- Lancool 215 Mesh Also Great (Specs)

- 500DX Also Great

< $2500 Gaming PC Build

Cutting Edge

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D 8-Core


Intel Core i7 13700KF 16-Core
Noctua NH-U12S Black (if Meshify C case)


BK024 Dark Rock Slim (if Meshify C)


Noctua NH-D15 Black (if bigger case eg P600S or H500)

- NH-U12S and BK024 Are Compact for Easy Meshify C Install

- Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B Also Great (Meshify C)

MSI MAG B650 Tomahawk WiFi Gaming (if AMD)


MSI PRO X670-P WiFi (if AMD)


MSI PRO Z790-P WiFi DDR5 (if Intel)

- ATX (Full Size)

- All Specs: B650, X670, Z790

Gigabyte X670 AORUS Elite AX Also Good

Corsair Vengeance 32GB 5600MHz C36


Corsair Vengeance 32GB 5200MHz C40

- Best Value DDR5 Memory

- Compact (Best Clearance for NH-D15)

- 2x16GB

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 16GB
Sabrent Rocket 1TB


Samsung 980 Pro 1TB

- Very Fast Yet Affordable Gen4 NVMe SSDs


WD Black 2TB

- Premium 7200RPM HDD

Corsair RM850x


Older RM850x (if Cheaper)


RM850e (Budget Version)

- Tier-A PSUs

- G2 and G3 and P2 Also Great

Fractal Meshify C

- Compact Mid Tower

- 2x 120mm Fans

- Max GPU Length: 315mm (See All Specs)


2 x Noctua NF-A14 PW 140mm Fan

- Install Both in Front

- Move Stock Front Fan to Rear Top

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Please keep in mind:

  • Any prices mentioned are in USD (US Dollars).
  • Build price targets are only estimates as hardware prices fluctuate often.
  • If you slept through all math at school (understandable), the < and > symbols mean "less than" and "greater than".
  • Recommendations are my personal opinion, so I encourage you to do your own research to make sure you choose the right parts for your specific needs. But I do strive to be as objective as possible in terms of continually considering as many different models and brands as I can in order to make these builds the best bang for buck they can be.

Best Gaming PC Build Under $500

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G (6 Core, Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Stock Standard (Included)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B550M DS3H (Micro ATX, Socket AM4)
  • RAM: TeamGroup T-Force Vulkan Z 16GB (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics: Integrated With CPU
  • SSD: Western Digital Blue SN570 1TB (M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen3)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX550M (Semi Modular, 80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Thermaltake Versa H18 (Mini Tower, 1 Included Fan)
  • Extra Fans: Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm (1 or 2, Any Color)

When planning the best PC build for gaming on a really tight budget, getting an AMD CPU that has good integrated graphics is a great bang for buck option worth considering if you only play less demanding games and will save you a lot of money. Integrated graphics on Intel CPUs aren't as good for games, so if you do want to save money and go the integrated graphics route, the latest AMD CPUs that come with integrated graphics are what you should be looking for (which are technically called APUs: Accelerated Processing Units).

The latest AMD APUs are currently the Ryzen 3 5300G, Ryzen 5 5600G, Ryzen 7 5700G. Each is a decent step up from one another in terms of actual processing power, but for integrated graphics performance, they are all relatively close to each other, making the cheaper 5600G and 5300G the better value options if you're building a gaming PC on a budget.

Besides, you can't fit a 5700G in a cheap PC build anyway - at its price point you might as well get a good budget graphics card and get much better gaming performance (and pair it with a cheap CPU like an i3 12100F as with the next build below). When you also throw in a healthy 16GB of RAM at the fairly fast speed of 3200MHz, you end up with a solid gaming experience at 1080p (full HD) in many popular titles if you keep those graphics settings on low (or medium if it's an older or less-demanding title).

For modern graphically demanding games (or for VR gaming), integrated graphics is not enough and you'll need a graphics card, but for the right type of games the integrated graphics included with the 5300G or 5600G can be enough. Graphics performance aside, they're also decent CPUs, especially the 6-core Ryzen 5 5600G. So if you want to add a graphics card later on then you'll be fine to do so and keep the 5300G or 5600G as your system's CPU.

To go along with a 5600G and 16GB of RAM to make for the best gaming PC build on a budget around $500 or less right now, you'll want to eye off a cheap yet respectable B550 motherboard such as the Gigabyte B550M DS3H which is of good enough quality for a basic gaming PC build like this.

Like many motherboards, it doesn't have built-in WiFi though, so if you want wireless capability in your PC look at a different B550 board such as the also-good value MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi (or ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming if you want the latest WiFi 6 standard for next-gen gaming routers

Also keep in mind, instead of buying a WiFi-ready motherboard, you can include a PCIe WiFi adapter in your PC build instead, which slots onto the motherboard underneath where the GPU goes. Wired LAN is better for online gaming though, so you don't absolutely need WiFi when building a new gaming PC if you'll just be using that fast and secure Ethernet cable.

Rounding out the best PC build for gaming under 600 US dollars is the decent quality yet very affordable 550 watt power supply, the Corsair CX550M, that'll comfortably handle an upgrade to a mid-range GPU such as a RTX 3060 or RX 6600/XT in future. You also want a budget case that still has decent airflow; the Versa H18 has a mesh front panel which makes for better airflow than a lot of other cheap PC cases. 

I'd also install an extra 120mm fan in the front to boost airflow, especially if you chuck in a graphics card down the line, though if you wanted to save as much as possible you would be just fine only having the H18's one included rear fan - a Ryzen 5 5600G on its own (without a graphics card) doesn't need much in terms of overall system cooling.

Cooler Master SickleFlow fans are cheap but perform well enough, aren't too loud, and come in different LED colors. I put two blue ones in a Versa H18 build I did a while back (pictured above) to match the built-in blue LED strip on the front of the case (not shown since I had it turned off for that photo). 

Recommended Usage:

  • 1080p 60Hz (Low Settings)
  • 720p 60Hz (Medium Settings)
  • Stopgap PC (GPU Upgrade Later)
  • Cheap Office PC

Don't be fooled by price; the B550M DS3H is fine for budget AMD builds

Cheap yet decent fans

The CXM is a good value PSU

If you don't care for matching blue lights, any color fans will do. I added 2 fans and not just one because I used the case to house an upper mid-tier GPU and wanted maximum airflow as the climate here is hot, but 1 extra fan might be all you need for your setup. If you don't mind spending a little extra to get the best performing fans that are also the most quiet, look out for Noctua or Arctic fans which are two of the best manufacturers in that regard.

Lastly to storage, and there's no reason NOT to include an SSD in a PC build these days as they are much faster and more reliable than HDDs, and well worth the extra money. One of the best value SSDs right now is the WD Blue SN570 (more on that in the $700 build breakdown), which will conveniently slot into your motherboard, freeing up space within a small-ish build like this. You could get a more traditional 2.5 inch sized SSD instead (which installs on one of the H18's two 2.5 inch drive bays), but the thin and compact M.2 format is ideal to save space.

See Also: The Best Budget Graphics Card for Gaming

Best Gaming PC Build Under $700

  • CPU: Intel Core i3 12100F (4 Core, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Stock Standard (Included)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B660M DS3H DDR4 (Micro ATX)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB Black (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RX 6600 (8GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Western Digital Blue SN570 1TB (M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen3)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX550M (Semi Modular, 80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Cooler Master NR400 (Mini Tower, 2 Included Fans)

Recommended Usage:

  • 1080p 60Hz (High Settings)
  • 1080p 144Hz (Low Settings)
  • 1440p 60Hz (Medium Settings)
  • VR (Medium Settings)

Moving onto the best PC builds for gaming that include an actual discrete/dedicated graphics card, starting with this great value $700 build. Thanks to a more normal GPU market these days, it's possible to put together some good budget gaming PC builds again. With a budget of under 800 US dollars or thereabouts, building a desktop with an Intel Core i3 12100 processor (or 12100F) and an AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card (or RX 6650 XT or RX 6600 XT which are slightly faster yet slightly more costly) is what I'd personally go for based on current pricing if you want to maximize gaming performance for the money.

For reasons why these components were chosen see the best value CPUs for gaming and also the best value GPUs for gaming articles for full details and alternative choices, but to summarize the RX 6600 and its XT variants are the best value budget gaming GPUs right now, while the i3 12100/F is still a great value budget gaming CPU and probably worth getting over the newer i3 13100 or 13100F if you want to fully maximize your budget since those latest i3 models currently cost quite a bit more than the 12th-gen models (and they do not noticeably improve on performance).

As for choosing between the i3 12100 vs i3 12100F, the 'F' model simply means it lacks an integrated graphics chip and is therefore a bit cheaper. Apart from the 12100F not having integrated graphics, the 12100F and 12100 are exactly the same CPU. When building a PC with a discrete/dedicated graphics card like in this $700 build example, there's no strong need for having a CPU that comes with integrated graphics, so the 12100F is the best value overall. 

There is the odd case where integrated graphics is worth having as a backup, for example if you ever sold your GPU and wanted to continue using your PC in the meantime until you bought another one, or in the rare case your GPU failed in which case you could just fall back to the integrated graphics until you replaced it. But overall, while less flexible, the 12100F is best if you just want to stretch every dollar as far as you can, which is what this gaming PC build guide is mostly all about.

Choosing a motherboard for the i3 12100 comes down to looking at Intel's latest 12th-gen motherboard chipsets which use the LGA 1700 CPU socket. The Z690 chipset is Intel's high-end platform which allows for overclocking, but on a budget you want to look at H670, B660, or H610 motherboards. These are cheaper than Z690, which can be quite expensive, but B660 or H670 can still have plenty of features so you won't be missing out on much (though I'd give H610 boards a miss as they're very limited).

Besides, you can't overclock the 12100 or 12100F, as these are 'locked' processors, which make Z690 motherboards and their overclocking ability are waste of money for these CPUs anyway. To overclock an Intel CPU, you must have a CPU that has a "K" at the end of the model name (eg i5 12600K, 11600K, 10600K, 9600K, and so on). As a side note for anyone wondering, unlike Intel, you can overclock any AMD Ryzen CPU.

So, to build the best PC build for gaming using a Intel Core i3 12100 (or even an Intel Core i5 12400 if you want a faster CPU), I chose the Gigabyte B660M DS3H AX DDR4 which is one of the cheaper options yet is still of fair quality and has all the features you'd need for a basic gaming or work system. The MSI PRO B660M-A WiFi DDR4 is another good value option with similar features.

For RAM, 16GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory is still a nice sweet spot for value for money, and a staple recommendation for most of these example builds. Just make sure to always get two sticks/modules of 8GB, and not just a single 16GB stick - having 2 sticks leads to faster performance. The same good value power supply recommendations remain from the $500 build, as 500 - 500 watts is still plenty of power for these parts. It's also enough to accommodate a future GPU upgrade to a stronger card than the RX 6600, such as the RTX 3060 Ti or RX 6700 XT. However, if you plan to a more serious graphics card upgrade down the road with this build, say a RTX 3070/4070 or equivalent AMD card, consider getting a 600 to 650 watt power supply from the get-go to be on the safe side (see the PSU recommendations from the $1000 build).

The SN570 1TB SSD remains a recommendation for the $700 build, since it's one of the best value PCIe Gen3 drives out right now as explained here and is fast enough for modern gaming. No need to spend more on a PCIe Gen4 drive as the difference between PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 SSDs for gaming in terms of load times is typically negligible (in other words, Gen4 SSDs are not hugely important for gaming, though the extra speed does help for general PC productivity hence why I recommend them in the high-end PC builds further below).

Last but not least for the current best gaming PC build under $700 is the compact Cooler Master NR400, which is one of the best budget PC cases that still has decent airflow with its front mesh design and 2 pre-installed fans. There's no need for more fans unless you throw a much more powerful GPU in, or if your room gets real hot. Like all cases mentioned in these sample builds, the NR400 has a universally attractive style that will appeal to most, and you can always spruce it up by adding more lighting if that's your style (eg buying some RGB fans, getting a CPU cooler or RAM with RGB, installing an LED strip, etc).

Related: Save More Money When Building a PC

Best Gaming PC Build Under $1000

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 12400F (6 Core, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Stock Standard (Included)
  • Motherboard: ASUS Prime B660-PLUS D4 (ATX)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB Black (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (12GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Western Digital Blue SN570 1TB (M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen3)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX650M (Semi Modular, 80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Phanteks P400A (Mid Tower)

Recommended Usage:

  • 1080p 60Hz (Ultra)
  • 1080p 144Hz (Low/Medium)
  • 1080p 240Hz (Low)
  • 1440p 60Hz (High/Ultra)
  • VR (High/Ultra)

Moving up into more serious gaming performance territory, and in 2023 when planning the best PC build for gaming under $1000 (US dollars) or around that ballpark amount, you should be fine to squeeze in the very capable AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card which has come down in price quite nicely in recent months to the point where you can pick one up new for well under $400 US. The 6700 XT is one of the best value gaming GPUs right now, along with the very similar RX 6750 XT, but the NVidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti (8GB version) is also worth considering if you find it at (or ideally under) its MSRP of $400 USD. Overall, the 6700 XT and 6750 XT are better value right now though. As for the CPU, it's hard to look past the 12400 or 12400F given current pricing, as they're still great value overall as explained in the gaming CPU buyer's guide.

For storage, the WD Blue SN570 is still a great value option, NVMe SSDs at the moment, and are slightly faster than SATA SSDs like the WD Blue included in the $700 build above. To power these parts, you ideally want a 650 watt PSU (Power Supply Unit) to keep your options open, but 550 watts is enough if you're not planning on much (or any) future upgrades. One of the most important things to remember when building your first computer is to never go too cheap when choosing a PSU for a gaming PC, as your system is only as reliable and strong as its weakest link (a bad PSU puts your whole build at risk).

For the case, the slick Phanteks P400A has good airflow out the box with a top-notch front mesh design and 2 good-quality 120mm fans included. Feel free to add an extra aftermarket fan to the front to boost airflow further, though you're better off just getting the 'Digital' version of the P400A instead that comes with 3 front RGB fans. For mid-range systems like this though, 2 fans is adequate. You only really need 3 fans or more if your setup will live in a particular warm room or if you're using a higher-end GPU that generates a lot of heat (or, for aesthetic reasons). 

Rounding out the best PC build under $1000 is a good value 16GB 3200MHz RAM kit, which is the sweet spot in terms of RAM size and speed - you just don't need more than 16GB (or faster than 3200MHz) for a gaming desktop, and spending more on RAM is a luxury and you're better off putting that extra money elsewhere for a more noticeable return on investment (in other words, 32GB is overkill for gaming).

But last and definitely not least, your power supply, and 650 watts is plenty for this system. The official PSU requirements is 650w for a 6700 XT (and 600w for a RTX 3060 Ti). This wattage is also generally going to be enough for a GPU upgrade in future, assuming you stick to decent-quality PSU units like the ones recommended for these builds, though it depends on how much you upgrade. If you're planning to throw in a much more expensive graphics card in future, look to get a 750w PSU from the get-go if possible. Otherwise, a good quality 650w unit will go a long way for most people.

Oh, and if you're wondering about PSU cables for a 6700 XT (or RTX 3060 Ti if you go that route), you can technically get away with a PSU that has a single 8pin PCIe cable, but ideally you want a PSU that has 2 8pin PCIe cables (but any good model will have this). Some 3060 Ti and 6700 XT models require 2x 8pin connectors, and while you can technically just use one of the PSU's PCIe cables to connect them both (PSU cables have multiple connectors daisy-chained on the same cable), for the best stability you want to use 2 separate PCIe cables to connect to the 2x 8pin ports on the card.

Related: How to Connect PSU Cables

Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-13600KF (14 Cores, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9S chromax.black
  • Motherboard: MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4 (ATX, WiFi 6, LGA 1700)
  • RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo RGB 16GB DDR4 (2x8GB, 3600MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (16GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: WD Black SN770 1TB NVMe (M.2 SSD, PCIe 4.0)
  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB (7200RPM)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM750x (Fully Modular, 80+ Gold)
  • Case: Cooler Master MasterCase H500 (Mid Tower)

Recommended Usage:

  • VR (Ultra)
  • 4K 60Hz (Ultra)
  • 4K 144Hz (Medium/High)
  • 1440p 144Hz, 240Hz (High)
  • 1080p 144Hz / 240Hz (Pro)

Now to the best $2000 gaming PC build which allows you to assemble an absolute powerhouse rig that will essentially run any resolution and refresh rate display that you desire. As explained more in-depth in our CPU and GPU buyer's guides, the latest 13600K from Intel is a gaming powerhouse and the RX 6900 XT currently offers some of the best value in the high-end GPU market at the time of writing.

To keep a 13600K, 13600KF, or 7600X nice and cool, whether at stock speeds or if overclocking it a little, you'll want a decent mid-range cooler of which there are many out there. Noctua are the best of the best when it comes to air coolers, not just in their quality and performance but in their support and ease of installation as well (factors I always keep in mind when making component recommendations in this guide). So, considering their range of coolers is always something I recommend as a starting point for high-end PC builds. Specifically, the NH-U9S would do well with the 13600K/F - it's powerful enough to keep it under wraps yet not overkill so as to be a waste of money.

If you prefer to get a liquid CPU cooler instead (referred to technically as a liquid AiO: All In One), the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB is one of the best bang for buck models on the market right now and is also easy to install (can confirm as I've personally used it in two builds). If you also get the H500 case I've used in this build, I suggest installing the AiO to the top of the case, and make sure to orient the AiO's fans as exhausts so that they blow air out the top of the case (instead of sucking air into the case). 

Liquid value; a very decent AiO for the price

Also worth noting is the tubes on the ML240L isn't that long, meaning if you install it in the front of a case with the tubes on the bottom of the radiator (the optimal way to install an AiO as Gamer's Nexus explains here), the tubes may not reach in larger cases. Do your research in advance if wanting to use the ML240L in a difference case. Oh and if you're wondering, overall it doesn't really matter whether you use an air cooler or a liquid AiO, as the difference in cooling performance is rarely significant. Liquid will typically win slightly, but air coolers are better bang for buck and have less maintenance (plus less potential for issues such as water leaks). Choosing either way is really more of a personal preference in terms of aesthetics.

The MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4 is my current top value pick for a good, reliable Z690 that won't break the bank and that has everything you need including WiFi 6 support. Also be aware this is the DDR4 version of the motherboard; there's a more expensive DDR5 model of the board. Intel 12th gen was the first series to support cutting-edge DDR5 memory, however it also supports DDR4 as well, and since the difference between DDR4 vs DDR5 for gaming is minimal (we're talking a few FPS faster) DDR4 is more than fine and will save you money, and is arguably the best bang for buck. That said, if you want to be on the cutting edge and don't mind paying extra, consider getting a DDR5 motherboard and some DDR5 memory sticks instead of DDR4. In which case I'd also get the 13600KF instead of the 12600KF. Just don't feel like you're missing out by sticking with the tried and true DDR4, as DDR5 is brand new and won't be taking over anytime soon. And again, the performance difference is so small that it just doesn't matter.

As for the amount and speed of DDR4 RAM to include in a high-end $2000 build like this, 16GB of 3200MHz or 3600MHz RAM is still honestly all you really need to maximize gaming performance, even for the most demanding modern PC games. Having 32GB would help in heavy non-gaming applications that lean heavily on memory such as video/photo editing and game development, and even perhaps in a small handful of gaming situations, but the jump from 16GB to 32GB gives you diminishing returns on the extra investment. Put another way, if you mostly just care about gaming performance and want the most bang for buck, 16GB is still fine in 2023, and IMHO you're better off putting the extra money you would have spent on another 16GB towards something else (like the GPU). That said, go for 32GB if you don't want to ever have to think about upgrading your RAM down the road in a few years time when 32GB may eventually become more beneficial in new games.

Moving onto storage real quick, and at this point you can afford a very fast NVMe SSD using the latest PCIe Gen4 standard (PCIe 4.0 to be exact) such as the good value WD Black SN770 that'll make for blazing fast load times. Saving money with a PCIe Gen3 drive would be absolutely fine though, even for a high-end build like this, as the difference is not going to be noticeable for gaming. But PCIe Gen4 drives aren't much more expensive these days, so for a 2K build you might as well go for it IMO.

When in genuine "high-end" territory, your choice of power supply starts to become very important. Not that it's ever NOT important, as you should always choose a good PSU for your gaming PC, but when building with a very powerful GPU like a RX 6900 XT (or even lesser cards like a RX 6800 or RTX 3070 or better) if you want your PC to be as reliable and long-lasting as possible without encountering issues, as well as to be well positioned to potentially upgrade to an even faster GPU in future, it's wise to use a reliable, trustworthy PSU of high quality that has good feedback from professional reviewers (don't solely judge units by customer reviews as PSUs are complex products to assess fairly). Doesn't mean you need to spend a truckload on your PSU purchase, but I highly suggest sticking to top-tier units when planning a powerful gaming PC build.

The SuperNova G3 or G2 series from EVGA, the RMX series from Corsair (both the 2018 and 2021 versions), and the Super Flower Leadex III are some of the best gaming power supplies on the market today that are worth the extra dollars over inferior, more "mid-tier" models. I'd look to get whichever of the aforementioned units are at a better price in your region. Oh, and 750 watts is plenty for 12600K 6900 XT build, even if overclocking your CPU. If you plan on upgrading to a monster GPU in future though (ie RTX 4090), do consider a 850 watt PSU instead though.

Topping off the $2000 build is the MasterCase H500, one of Cooler Master's best gaming PC cases that features standout 200mm RGB front fans which look awesome in action, and along with the front mesh case design provide good airflow. The H500 also comes with a rear 120mm fan, meaning complete airflow out the box without needing to buy and install extra PC fans. I've recommended this case a lot over previous editions of these builds, but it's still a great choice in my opinion. If you want more lighting inside the case to supplement the front RGB fans, RGB RAM, and Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition (if that's the cooler you decide on), consider a 3-pack of RGB 120mm fans and use one to replace the stock exhaust fan and mount the other 2 on the top of the case. I wouldn't get a 3-pack of 140mm fans as the H500 only supports a rear 120mm fan (though you could buy 2x 140mm fans as the top of the case does support that size).

See Also: Best Surge Protectors for Gaming PCs

Best Gaming PC Build Under $2500

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D (8 Cores)
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black
  • Motherboard: MSI MAG B650 Tomahawk WiFi (ATX, AM5, WiFi 6)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 5600MHz DDR5 (2x16GB, C36)
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX (24GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 1TB NVMe (M.2 SSD, PCIe 4.0)
  • HDD: Western Digital Black 2TB (7200RPM)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (Fully Modular, 80+ Gold)
  • Case: Fractal Design Meshify C (Mid Tower)
  • Extra Fans: 2 x Noctua NF-A14 PW 140mm Fan (Black)

Recommended Usage:

  • VR (Ultra / 120Hz / 144Hz)
  • 4K 60Hz / 144Hz (Ultra)
  • 1440p 144Hz / 240Hz (Ultra)
  • 1080p 240Hz+ (Pro Settings)
  • Best Build for Streaming (Twitch)
  • Best Workstation Build

If planning the ultimate gaming PC build, this is the zero compromises parts-list of near perfection that I can suggest based on the current market featuring the new Ryzen 7 7800X3D that tops many gaming CPU benchmarks thanks to AMD's special 3D V-Cache that specifically increases gaming performance. This beautiful monstrosity of a machine ticks all the boxes that matter to hardcore PC or VR gamers wanting the very best PC build for gaming right now (which also doubles up nicely as a fast workstation for video editing or game development etc).

But it's not just about super performance but optimal cooling and airflow for maximum efficiency and longevity, future upgrade flexibility with the brand new AM5 socket that'll allow you to upgrade to a future Ryzen series, cutting-edge DDR5 memory, a premium dual storage setup including a super fast yet affordable Gen4 SSD and premium HDD for mass extra storage, an all-class spacious tempered-glass case with extra high-quality 140mm fans, and the latest high-end flagship GPU from AMD, the RX 7900 XTX.

Let's get into a little more specifics on certain components starting with graphics, and because I enjoy sleeping peacefully at night, it's hard to recommend the RX 7900 XTX (or a RTX 4080) over the RX 6900 XT from the previous build. High-end cards like a 4080 / 7900 XTX give diminishing returns over an already super-fast GPU like the 6900 XT, so think very carefully before investing such sums of cash into a GPU to ensure you really need the extra graphical firepower.

But if you do seek the absolute best gaming performance money can buy right now besides borderline burning money on a ridiculously costly RTX 4090 (the single fastest GPU at the moment), then the RTX 4080 or RX 7900 XTX are the cards to get (you could also include the RX 7900 XT in that conversation as it's not far behind the 7900 XTX).

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the current top choice for gamers wanting the absolute fastest gaming CPU possible, but the Intel Core i7 13700K (or 13700KF) is a great alternative which can perform better in certain productivity tasks. Choosing a motherboard for the 7800X3D comes down to picking between the higher-end X670 platform, or the more cost effective B650 platform. X670 boards have more features and connectivity options, but for most people (especially if you're mainly just gaming) a B650 is more than enough and will save you money. Just keep in mind you'll likely need to update your motherboard BIOS before installing the 7800X3D.

The MSI PRO X670-P WIFI is my top value pick right now if you want an X670, and has everything you need for a very good 7800X3D build including good quality onboard audio, the latest WiFi 6 built-in, and high quality VRMs to keep the board cool even if overclocking the 7800X3D. Or if you want to save a little money and not miss out on much features at all, the MSI MAG B650 Tomahawk WiFi Gaming is a great high-quality B650 motherboard to get.

Adding 2 extra Noctua fans in the front of a white Meshify C

You'll also need some brand spankin' new DDR5 memory for a 7800X3D build, seeing as the new AM5 socket only supports DDR5 (DDR4 is now a thing of the past for AMD CPUs moving forward). Enter good old Corsair and its Vengeance sticks - the 32GB 5600MHz and 5200MHz options offer good value right now from what's out there at the moment, and these speeds are more than enough for a 7800X3D gaming build (6000MHz or faster will give diminishing returns for gaming AFAIK).

To cool a powerful CPU like the 7800X3D, or 7900X/7950X (or 7900X3D/7950X3D) if wanting to build a powerful hybrid gaming and workstation PC, there's nothing more effective than the menacing, notorious Noctua NH-D15 (see the NH-D15 install guide if you need) which has long-been the best air cooler on the market. But Noctua's flagship cooler is a beast in every sense of the word - the better the performance of an air cooler, the larger its surface area.

This means you need to think through the other components when using this monster - you need a case that fits it comfortably, a motherboard that won't have its top PCIe slot covered by it, and RAM modules that aren't too tall in height so that they clash (especially if you want all 4 RAM slots occupied either now or in future). If mixing and matching parts to use with this legendary cooler, check out the Noctua compatibility charts to confirm motherboard and case compatibility.

For example, if choosing a more compact case like the Meshify C, while the NH-D15 will fit, it'll be a tight fit and installation won't be that easy (speaking from experience here; I've used the NH-D15 and Meshify C for someone's build once and it was tricky). For the Meshify C, the ideal would be a more compact, low-profile cooler like the Noctua NH-U12S Black or BK024 Dark Rock Slim, both of which are still excellent coolers that'll handle a top chip like the 7800X3D no problems (even if overclocking).

Lastly on CPU coolers, and as with any of these PC build examples, feel free to install a liquid AiO (All in One) instead if you prefer the look, but make sure to choose the right radiator size for your case (ie 240mm or 280mm) and also plan where you're going to install it etc.

The air cooler to end all air coolers

Back to the choice of case, and the Meshify C has been an extremely popular choice among PC builders for a long time thanks to its high-airflow, slick design and good build quality at a reasonable price. The second version of this case is out (Meshify 2, not to be confused with the Meshify S2), but it'll set you back a fair bit more and the original Meshify C remains a better value proposition in my eyes. But if it's not up your alley or you want a different style of case, any of the recommended cases from the $2000 build from above would work just great for this setup too (and would provide more room for a NH-D15 cooler if you want the very best of the best cooling in your rig possible).

Airflow of the Meshify C is decent out the box with its 2 included fans, but for optimal cooling of an extreme gaming build like this you ideally want to add another fan or two. Fitting a couple high-quality Noctua NF-A14 140mm fans in the front will do exactly that, as these are some of the best fans on the market. 140mm fans are also better than 120mm ones for the least noise (as they don't have to spin as fast in order to move the same amount of air as a 120mm). If you do get extra fans for the Meshify C as I suggest, consider putting 2 x 140mm fans in the front as mentioned, and move the front stock fan to the rear-top of the case (positioned as an exhaust so that it pushes air out the top of the case through the vents).

That wraps up the breakdowns of the best PC builds for gaming and VR (in my humble opinion). Hope it's helped you in your research, but we're not done yet so let's now go over everything else to know about building your first PC including choosing software, accessories, installation, and everything else to know as a first-time builder to make the process a smooth and fun one.

See Also: Recommended Prebuilt PCs

Software, Accessories, & Installation

Recommended Operating System

When planning the best PC build for gaming, choosing an operating system basically comes down to either Microsoft Windows or some variant of Linux (such as Ubuntu or Manjaro just to name a couple).

If you're new or unsure, just stick to Windows. While Linux is free and can offer more control and security features, it's a more advanced OS that takes a while to learn and get used to, and it also has less support overall for gaming compared to Windows (see the Linux PC build guide for more).

To get Windows 10 or Windows 11 for your new gaming PC build (either is fine but you might as well get 11 these days), you have 3 options:

1) Download Windows Onto a USB Drive (For Free), Then Buy/Activate Later

This is the cheapest way to get Windows 10 or 11 up and running on your new PC build as you don't have to buy a Windows license/key straight away. You can do this for free and then buy a key later when you have perhaps saved up more money, and until then your PC will still be 100% functional without any limitations. The only downside is you'll see a watermark image in the bottom right of your screen reminding you to upgrade (watermark disappears when gaming). All you need is an empty USB flash drive that's 8GB or bigger (like this) and access to another desktop or laptop to download Windows onto the USB.

Here's how you do it: follow the steps in how to create a bootable USB using another PC or laptop. Then, when you've finished installing all your PC parts follow all the steps in the guide on what to do after building a PC (and insert the USB drive you created when it's time to install Windows). Then in your own time, buy a product key from the Microsoft Store or from Amazon (or elsewhere, but make sure it's a legit key you're buying).

2) Buy Windows Physical Copy (USB or DVD)

Instead of downloading Windows onto a USB drive explained above, you could just buy the official USB or DVD version either online or in a physical store. You simply insert the USB or DVD when you've finished building your PC (and finished BIOS setup).

The DVD version (available at Amazon, and B&H) is usually cheaper than the USB flash drive version, so get that if you're including a DVD drive for your PC build (and don't forget to ensure your case has a 5.25" drive bay as not all do). But if you're not including a DVD drive in your build (which will actually be most people these days since physical media is fast becoming ancient), get the USB version (available at Amazon, B&H, and BestBuy).

Consider Windows 10/11 Pro instead of Home if you're building a hybrid gaming and workstation PC for professional use if you need its advanced features like BitLocker, remote desktop, and domain join. If you don't know whether you need Windows 10 Pro or Home, chances are you're not going to benefit from Pro, so just stick with Home to save money. Besides the Microsoft Store, you can also find Windows 10 Pro on Amazon (DVD, can't find USB version), B&H (DVD or USB), or BestBuy (USB).

3) Reuse Your Previous Copy of Windows

If you already have Windows on another PC and it's a full retail version that's eligible to be reused on another system, this is the way. See our reusing PC parts guide for more details on this, but I can pretty safely say that if your previous PC was a prebuilt one (and not a custom built one by either you or someone else), then chances are you won't be able to reuse Windows as it's likely tied to that single machine.

Other Software for New PC Builds

You don't want to immediately bloat your fresh new PC build with a ton of software, but there are some key programs that will make your gaming PC more secure, useful, and/or fun. I'm talking anti-virus and malware software (crucial if you use your PC for important work), hardware monitoring and benchmarking programs to check GPU temperatures, CPU temperatures, show FPS on-screen when gaming to see how your build is performing, stress-test your CPU and GPU, and so on. Plus, VPN software if you want to further secure your PC when online.

For vetted recommendations for all of these things and more (including the best places to actually buy PC games), see our continually updated list of recommended applications for gaming/workstation PCs:

Recommended PC Gaming Accessories

If you want recommendations for accessories, see the following guides:

Recommended Wireless Setups

Last but not least, if you choose a motherboard that doesn't have built-in wireless, you can still get wireless functionality (for WiFi) by buying a wireless adapter. These come in either USB or PCIe models; the latter is usually best for signal strength and range, but make sure you have a spare PCIe slot on your motherboard to accommodate it (most boards will) and that your graphics card doesn't cover that extra slot (if it's a huge GPU with a smaller board for instance).

You'll also want a good router if you'll be gaming online via wireless, especially if you'll be using an Oculus Quest 2 for wireless PC VR via AirLink/Virtual Desktop. Just remember wired Ethernet is best for online gaming so your best bet for the fastest, most secure online gaming sessions is to just plug your PC straight into your router or modem using an Ethernet cable (if you don't have a cable you can buy one for cheap almost anywhere).

Building Your Gaming Computer

Required Tools:

  • Phillips-head screwdriver size #2 (medium head) like this or this. Ones with a magnetic tip such as these ones are handy to avoid dropping screws into the deep dark depths of your case.

  • Phillips-head screwdriver size #1 (small head) like this, this - but only if installing a M.2 SSD as the screw used to secure M.2 drives to the motherboard are smaller than all other computer screws.

Optional Tools:

  • Anti-static wrist strap like this one or this one if you want to be extra safe (but you can instead simply periodically touch a metal object before handling components).

  • Flashlight or directional lamp to see inside your case better if your room lighting is poor, which may come in handy when trying to connect cables to the motherboard (or just use your phone's flashlight).

  • Cable/zip ties and scissors (however most cases comes with zip ties already).

  • Full PC toolkit if you want to get fancy and be prepared for anything both now and in future (see recommendations in our computer tools guide). Or just get a basic screwdriver kit to save money as most builds don't need anything other than screwdrivers.

For your first gaming PC build, you will need a full walkthrough/tutorial to follow; manuals that come with hardware components don't contain detailed instructions or explanations that you probably need as a beginner (though don't throw them out as you will need to refer to them during installation; especially the motherboard and case manuals). To learn how to put together your first PC, it boils down to either following a written or video tutorial:

Option A: Written Tutorial (Most Detail)

Our complete photo guide to assemble a PC was carefully crafted with complete beginners in mind and includes all the little important details you need to know as a first-timer, including photos from multiple builds (one Intel, one AMD), along with diagrams throughout to help illustrate certain steps. Our tutorial has been fine-tuned over multiple years to be as easy to follow (yet detailed) as possible so that no noob gets left behind - even if you're a complete beginner who's never seen the inside of a PC before.

Option B: Video Tutorial (Quicker)

Linus's POV build guide. While a YouTube video doesn't provide as much in-depth guidance and instruction as a written guide, and generally moves through the steps quite quickly while missing certain little details that could be important to understand as a beginner, in conjunction with using other guides it may be enough for you to build your first PC (especially if you're a little more tech savvy and understand the basics of computers).

Reminder: No matter how you learn to build your PC, don't forget to manually change your RAM speed in your motherboard BIOS after building your computer. All DDR4 and DDR5 modules are automatically set to their base frequency (eg 2133MHz or 2400MHz for DDR4 sticks).

Scared to Build Your Own PC?

If it's your first time building a gaming PC, don't stress as it really isn't anything to be overwhelmed by if you take your time and follow safety precautions. If you're afraid because you perhaps don't consider yourself tech-savvy, transform that fear into excitement because it's actually quite hard to go too wrong assuming you take it slow one step at a time, and if you get stuck, everything is "figureoutable" with a few internet searches or posting in a helpful community like r/BuildAPC.

If you've heard the saying that building a PC is like adult Lego, that's not much of an exaggeration, as it really is just a matter of plugging things in, connecting things, screwing a few things in here or there, tidying and tying cables, and so on. Sure - building a PC takes a little patience, and your first go will likely span a good few hours minimum (sometimes a whole day), but it's well worth it to not only get the fastest gaming PC for your money but to become way more self-sufficient and prepared to handle upgrades, to troubleshoot and overcome potential problems in future, and to reap all the other benefits of building your own PC.

No Time to Build a PC?

No hard feelings, friend. Buying a premade desktop isn't the end of the world if you don't mind paying a bit more for the convenience of having a pre-assembled system that's ready to go, and if you don't mind the various downsides to prebuilt PCs such as companies typically using cheaper parts.

If going this route, make sure to do your homework to find a respectable model from a reputable company that's not a complete rip off - surprisingly hard to do once you've opened your eyes and gained a little knowledge about building PCs, but definitely possible. If you want my opinion, see the best prebuilt gaming PCs article for hand-picked, vetted recommendations for desktops that won't blow up within the week (and see the best refurbished gaming PCs if you're on a tight budget). Whatever path you take, I wish you luck.


Can I mix and match parts from different builds?

Of course; customizing parts for your exact usage and aesthetic preferences is part of the fun. This best gaming PC builds series is simply my own opinion on what I would personally buy if building a PC at a certain budget based on the current market. Just don't forget to always check compatibility between all of your parts when changing things around, and don't just rely on auto tools like PCPP which don't check for absolutely everything and can make the occasional mistake (though it's generally quite accurate and I'm a fan). If you need help or a second opinion on your parts-list, feel free to ask in the comments.

Why isn't Windows included in the build prices?

Because there are various ways to get Windows for a new gaming PC build. For example, some will already have a (legal) copy of Windows they can reuse from a previous PC, some people will use Linux (which is free but more complicated), and some people will download Windows onto USB using another computer and install it for free on the new build (and then buy an activation key later in their own time). So for simplicity, the above builds just focus on the core parts.

Why aren't accessories included in the build prices?

Choosing accessories such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse and headset comes down to personal preference a lot more than when buying hardware (which is more based on objective data/facts of what performs best), and like the OS, many people will reuse PC parts for a new build too. For specific accessory recommendations, see our main menu.

Should I wait for part X to release before building?

An age-old question that comes down to various factors, including whether you just want to build now or are not in a rush for a new system and are willing to play the waiting game if there is something coming up that could be worth holding out for. The hardware game is a fast moving one with new parts always seemingly (and sometimes actually) just around the corner, either real soon or in the not too distant future.

But if you wait for all new releases before building your computer you'll be waiting forever. However, not all new releases are created equal, so it does depend on your particular build and the particular part you may be waiting for. Some might be worth the wait, others not so much. Also keep in mind that if do hold out for a new part, it may not be the best overall value for money once released, and previous generation parts might drop enough following a new series launch to actually be the better buy overall even after that new part is released.

Do the builds have WiFi capability?

Most modern motherboards don't actually come with built-in WiFi, so if you want wireless internet access for your new desktop you can either buy an external USB or internal PCIe adapter or choose a motherboard that does have WiFi. If the recommended motherboard we suggest for a certain build doesn't have WiFi, in that build's guide we typically mention a secondary motherboard choice that does have WiFi.

How Do You Decide On the "Best" Builds?

When building your own PC, when planning a parts list you have near-limitless combinations to choose from. So how on Coruscant do I begin to narrow the entire hardware market to the absolute best picks to publish on this page each quarter/month? It's not easy, but there is careful strategy behind these recommendations, with an aim of getting as close as possible to what the objectively-best value part combinations are right now for gamers who not only want the fastest gaming performance for the money but that also want a quality, reliable, awesome looking system that's built to last (and that is also flexible for future upgrades).

Countless hours of ongoing research goes into each iteration of this guide, which includes considering the thoughts of the most credible, trustworthy reviewers and testers in the industry, studying many detailed benchmarks and comparisons, as well as blending in my own subjective opinion based on many years of carefully analyzing the hardware market for both work and play. When hand-picking and selecting the parts I take into account everything that makes for a good custom PC build including: 

  • Only recommending high quality, reliable components from top brands and manufacturers
  • Ensuring full compatibility between all parts and manually checking what auto tools like PCPP can't check (ie RAM/cooler clearance among other things)
  • Allowing plenty of future flexibility for easy upgrades down the line, including enough wattage (PSU) to accommodate a more powerful GPU later on
  • Ensuring adequate - and ideally optimal - airflow for each parts-list to keep your PC running cool
  • Designing part lists that will look great with universally attractive parts and matching colors/themes wherever possible (all the builds look great; no eyesores here)
  • Favoring beginner-friendly components for a hassle-free, easy install if building your first PC

All that said, the nature of anything "DIY" obviously implies you should do your own research to ensure you choose the right parts for any particular wants and needs that you have, and so despite these being the greatest gaming PC builds in the known galaxy you shouldn't just take my word for it, especially when it comes to a large and (hopefully) long-lasting purchase like a new gaming desktop.

Though a lot of time and ongoing effort does go into giving the best, most accurate, nuanced, well thought-out recommendations possible, and these example PC builds are not just haphazardly hashed together at random overnight. So if you're after a solid "safe bet" parts-list to buy or to use as a base for your research, I'm confident you may find these build templates to be somewhat helpful in your ongoing research. Thanks for reading and good luck with your setup!

Questions / Feedback

Have a quick question on your build or found this guide helpful and just want to let me know? Feel free to use the comments section below.

Trusted VPNs

VPN software is quite important in this day and age and will improve the security and privacy of your PC when online. There are also benefits to using VPNs for gaming.

There's lots of VPNs out there but the ones I recommend most to gamers is ExpressVPN (special link that gets you 3 months off. they also offer a free trial here) and NordVPN which are both highly rated gaming VPNs because they're the fastest and most secure.

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About the Author

Indie game dev currently working on my first public release after years of hobby projects, a story-driven VR FPS built with Unreal Engine (to be announced soon here for anyone into VR FPS's). Also likes writing about tech, which also helps fund development of the game.

My favs of all time are OOT, Perfect Dark, MGS1, MGS2, GE007, DKC2, THPS3, HL1, and HL2, with the most recent addition to my list of immortals being the VR masterpiece Alyx. If you want help with a new build feel free to ask on the main PC builds guide. If you found the site extra helpful and wish to support the work I do here, sharing an article with a friend helps a lot and is much appreciated. - Julz