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Plan the Best $2000 Extreme Gaming PC Build

Q2 2019 Recommended Hardware Components (US, Canada, UK & Australia)


Recommended $2000 Custom Parts-List for 4K Gaming

We've done the painstaking research to hand-pick the current best value, well-matched, fully compatible $2000 PC parts-list


 How to Strategically Stretch 2000 Dollars When Building a PC to Maximize Gaming Performance, Cooling, Reliability, Longevity & Matching Aesthetics




Last Updated: Apr 8, 2019

In this guide we tackle how to build the very best $2000 extreme gaming PC in Q2 2019 (April, May or June) by choosing optimal parts to maximize gaming performance, cooling, component reliability, upgrade flexibility, and aesthetics including a nice amount of RGB lighting. This type of custom PC build is suitable for a range of gaming resolutions such as 4K, 1440p, or high refresh rate 1080p/1440p (100-144Hz or higher).

It's also more than capable of excellent VR gaming performance now and into the future. This recommended parts-list is here to help you in your research, and we break down all the carefully-selected components in detail, offering alternate picks where necessary as well as suitable optional add-ons to give you ideas of how to effectively tweak a $2000 gaming PC build like this to your liking.

We'll also cover what sort of frame rate you can expect from this extreme gaming PC in either 1440p or 4K resolution in some of the most popular AAA titles on the market right now, and everything else you might need to know when planning the current best gaming PC build under 2000 dollars right now.

Before we dissect the the current best $2000 gaming PC build (IMHO), keep in mind that if you're more of a casual gamer who's playing in 1440p or 1080p resolution (ie not 4K), and you're using a standard 60-75Hz display (where 60FPS is all the performance you need to aim for), this extreme gaming PC build is overkill and you should consider lowering your budget as you could put together a very capable system for much less and easily achieve that sort of performance.

But if you do wish to play in stunning 4K resolution and get solid performance now and into the future (or you're rocking a high-end 144Hz or higher monitor), keep reading because the formidable extreme gaming CPU and GPU pairing included in this extreme rig (the Intel i7-9700K and NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 respectively) will be put to good use.

We provide direct products links for your local Amazon store whether you're in the US, Canada, UK, or Australia, and make substitutions when necessary (such as when a certain part isn't available in a certain country or overpriced etc). We also include alternate stores that we recommend. To support us continuing to create in-depth objective build guides like this, if after your ongoing research you do decide to purchase one of our recommendations please consider using the links we provide as we may earn a small commission. Good luck guys and we hope this guide helps in some way.

See Also: 

Plan the Best $1500 Gaming PC Build (Flawless 1440p)

Plan the Best $2500 Gaming PC Build (Flawless 4K Ultra)





The Q2 2019 Extreme PC Build (Parts-List)



Best Gaming PC Build Under $2000 (April 2019 Updated)

Check Price (US)
Graphics Card ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 8GB OC
CPU Intel Core i7-9700K (3.6GHz, 9th Gen, 8 Cores, 8 Threads, Unlocked)
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

OR

be quiet! BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4




Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E (Intel 9th Gen, ATX, 4 DDR4 Slots, SLI, WiFi)
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB, DDR4, 3000MHz)
SSD Samsung 860 EVO 250GB
HDD Seagate Barracuda 2TB (7200 RPM, 64MB Cache)
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 (80+ Gold, 750 Watts, Fully Modular)
Case Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid Tower

Estimated Total:

$1965 - $2005 (US Dollars)




(Orders Parts on Amazon, Our #1 Recommended Store)


Notable Build Features

Total Wattage 364W
RAM Slots 4 (2 slots free)
Max RAM Support 64GB
CPU Overclockable? Yes
Built-in WiFi? Yes
Storage Support 6 x SATA 6Gb/s Drives, 2 x m.2 SSD
VR-Ready? Yes (wet your appetite)
Front Panel USB Ports 2 x USB 3.0 on top of case (+ tons more on rear of case)
Optical Drive Support? No
Multi-Monitor Support Yes
Case Fans 3 x 120mm RGB LED Fans Included (Room for 6 Total)
Case Dimensions 18.9 x 9.21 x 20.16 (inches)
Max GPU/PCI-E Card Length 370mm
Max CPU Cooler Height 170mm
AMD CrossFire Support Yes (up to 3-way)
NVidia SLI Support Yes (up to 2-way)
Full Motherboard & Case Specs ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E  |  Corsair Crystal 570X

Recommended Parts for Canada, UK & Australia *

(2 stores included for Australia because Amazon AU isn't always best)


GPU:       
CPU:       
CPU Cooler:       
Motherboard:       
RAM:       
SSD:       
HDD:       
PSU:       
Case:       



Performance and Benchmarks for 1440p & 4K




1080p 60Hz:

1080p 144Hz:

1440p 60Hz:

1440p 144Hz:

4K 60Hz:

Virtual Reality:

Solitaire:

FLAWLESS

FLAWLESS

FLAWLESS

GOOD

GOOD

GREAT

UNPLAYABLE


The above is the average expected performance of this build at different gaming resolutions and refresh-rates when playing a typical, graphically-demanding modern PC game on high/ultra/maxed settings. If you're not sure what refresh-rate your gaming monitor is, chances are it's a standard 60Hz screen. See refresh rates 101 to learn more.


Below are aggregated benchmarks based on analysis of multiple online benchmark sources to estimate what frame rate you can expect from the parts of the $2000 extreme gaming PC build in a handful of popular AAA titles in 1440p and 4K on Ultra settings. If you turn down the settings you'll get a nice boost in frame rate than what is listed below:



Estimated Frame Rate for 1440p ULTRA

(i7-9700K, RTX 2080, 2x8GB DDR4 3000MHz)

GAME AVERAGE FPS
The Witcher 3 80 - 90 FPS
Assassin's Creed Origins 75 - 85 FPS
Monster Hunter World 70 - 80 FPS
Fortnite 120 - 130 FPS
Deus Ex Mankind Divided 110 - 120 FPS
SW Battlefront 2 100 - 110 FPS
World of Tanks 175 - 185 FPS

Estimated Frame Rate for 4K ULTRA

(i7-9700K, RTX 2080, 2x8GB DDR4 3000MHz)

GAME AVERAGE FPS
The Witcher 3 50 - 60 FPS
Assassin's Creed Origins 45 - 55 FPS
Monster Hunter World 35 - 45 FPS
Fortnite 55 - 65 FPS
Deus Ex Mankind Divided 55 - 65 FPS
SW Battlefront 2 50 - 60 FPS
World of Tanks 85 - 95 FPS

Side Note: How We Calculate Average FPS

The average FPS (Frames Per Second) ratings are an aggregated estimation based on carefully studying multiple online benchmark sources. Note these are averages, meaning that in the most action-packed scenes the frame-rate will go lower. For example, if we list the Witcher 3 average as 50-60FPS, your FPS may drop to 30-40FPS in the most intense scenes, so take that into account in your build planning.

Whilst we do everything we can to make these as accurate as possible, please note there's no guarantee you'll get this exact average as there are different factors that could affect your frame rate such as other hardware differences, software differences (OS, drivers, game patches/versions, etc), cooling/airflow of your build, enabled game features/settings such as Anti-Aliasing, different RAM setups you might be using, and so on.

We always err on the side of being conservative with our numbers though, so we'll round things down if we need to instead of rounding up, so you can rest assured our averages are pretty safe bets in terms of what performance you can expect from a certain setup.




Detailed Breakdown & Honorable Mentions


Recommended GPUs for a $2000 Gaming PC Build

Top Pick: ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 8GB OC

Honorable Mentions:
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB XC ULTRA Edition
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB XC GAMING
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 8GB Ventus OC Edition
Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 8GB Twin Fan Edition

The fairly new-ish GeForce RTX 2080 range of cards are monsters that come in second only to its big brother 2080 Ti, but a standard 2080 is more than enough graphical firepower for most gamers and will give you very solid 4K performance with a consistently super-smooth 60FPS and above when playing pretty much all modern AAA games on high/ultra settings. As you can imagine a 2080 is also very good for virtual reality performance in any VR title on either the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, and it should keep up with advancements in VR requirements over the next few years.


RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti

In 4K running ultra/maxed settings you might not get a constant 60FPS and above in the most demanding titles with a RTX 2080 though, so if those are your perfectionist aims then you'd need a 2080 Ti to guarantee that. But the 2080 is the better value buy for 4K gaming, and will also dominate 1440p as you can imagine. An RTX 2080 also mostly beats the previous-gen GTX 1080 Ti, but only slightly and not in every single game. Therefore, if you don't mind missing out on the new RTX features, a 1080 Ti is also worth considering for this type of extreme PC build if you can either find one in stock at a good price (rare these days) or you don't mind buying second hand to save some coin.

RTX 2080 vs Radeon VII

AMD's latest Radeon 7 (R7) graphics card is also worth mentioning for a $2000 gaming computer build, but to not beat around the bush the RTX 2080 wins this round fair and square as it delivers better overall gaming performance, better temperatures, and lower noise. What sort of performance difference are we talking about here between the R7 and the 2080? Only 5-10% roughly speaking, but that's significant considering the 2080 is going to be either the same price or lower (as it's been out longer). Furthermore, the drivers are pretty average at best for the R7 right now, although yes they'll get better over time. For gaming purposes, if you're choosing between a 2080 or R7 just stick with NVidia for this tier.

Which RTX 2080 Card to Buy?

As for which RTX 2080 model to get when planning the best gaming PC build under 2000 dollars or so, that's a solid question, and for this Q2 2019 setup we've managed to squeeze the high-end ASUS ROG Strix model into this budget which will give you superior cooling and slightly faster performance than other 2080 cards out there (as it's nicely overclocked out of the box). It'll also match the recommended ASUS ROG Strix motherboard.

However, there are plenty of good 2080's to consider and you're not going to notice a world of difference between the extreme triple fan ASUS model and the other dual fan models on the market in terms of gaming performance and cooling. So if you want to cut costs on the extreme gaming computer a little then look at getting a cheaper model; even the super-cheap Zotac would be fine. But if you want the very best performance, cooling, and looks - and you don't mind spending the extra amount on the most premium 2080 on the market - the ASUS ROG Strix is worth getting IMO.


Recommended CPU for a $2000 Gaming PC Build

I love a good underdog as much as the next guy as this is what BGC is about through and through (there's some seriously big players in our space) but for this recommended $2000 gaming desktop build, not only does NVidia (fairly easily) take the cake in the graphics department with their hard-to-beat RTX 2080, but Intel is also the best bet here if you care primarily about gaming performance.

Definitely feel free to build a Ryzen 7 2700X gaming build (and throw a 2080 into that build) instead though, especially if you're putting together a hybrid gaming/workstation setup, or you care about getting the absolute highest bang for buck possible. But if gaming is your main focus and you want the highest frame rates possible in most games, and willing to pay a little extra to get that, then an Intel i7 is your best friend.

Whilst AMD is usually the better multitasking and workstation chip as they typically have higher cores/threads, an i7 is no slouch in that regard either and in certain specific applications like video editing with Adobe programs an Intel is going to win, too.


But unlike in the high-end graphics card market where its a bit of an easy win right now for NVidia, in processor land as of mid 2019 it's a much closer call at the top of the CPU game and either Intel or AMD is going to serve you well (and the differences aren't huge). But from a purely gaming standpoint, and especially for high refresh rate monitors (ie for getting really high frame rates), Intel is usually the best choice if you're willing to spend a little more on an i7 compared to say an R7 2700X.

Specifically, for this extreme gaming rig we have the very latest 9th generation i7-9700K, which is the best gaming CPU on the market right now in mid 2019 second only to the outrageously fast 9900K (which is overkill for 99% of gamers). An i5 is indeed the better overall value for money pick for gaming though, and most gamers won't see much of a difference between an i5 vs 97, but for a 2000 dollar build you can definitely fit an i7 into your budget for extra performance and longevity (and an i7 is better for 144Hz+ displays as CPUs play a big part in getting high framerates).


Recommended CPU Coolers for a i7-9700K PC Build

For Non-Overclockers or Light/Medium Overclocking

Top Pick: Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

Honorable Mention: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition


For Heavier 9700K Overclocking

Top Pick: be quiet! BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4 Air Cooler

Honorable Mentions:
Noctua NH-D15
Cooler Master H100i Pro RGB


The i7-9700K requires you to buy your own cooler as it doesn't come with one. Your choice will mostly come down to whether you'll be overclocking or not, and if so, how much of an overclock you'll be doing. First of all, for the beginners who won't be overclocking (or those who just can't be bothered), a basic aftermarket cooler under 50 bucks is going to be just fine, and in that category the Cooler Master 212 Evo is hard to beat.




One of the very best bang for buck air coolers on the market (for what seems like an eternity), the 212 Evo comes in various styles and we've included the slick black RGB edition for the $2000 extreme build which you can customize to match the color of your case fans. For non-RGB black edition is also a great choice if you don't care for the extra lighting that the RGB edition would bring your setup. The standard (non-black) version is also a popular choice, but I think the black ones look better personally.

For overclocking, you'll want to invest in something more high-end that will keep the 9700K cool and quiet under load, with the Dark Rock Pro 4 and Noctua DH-15 being excellent choices here if you're going for an air cooler. A liquid CPU cooler isn't necessary, even for high-end overclocking, as you're going to get around the same performance as top air coolers like the ones I just mentioned. But some prefer the look of a fancy liquid cooler, so feel free to get one instead such as the good performing, solid value H100i Pro RGB.


Big black beast; the Dark Rock Pro 4 is a quality high-end air cooler for overclockers



Recommended Motherboards for a $2000 Intel PC Build

Top Pick: ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E (WiFi)

Better for Substantial Overclocking:
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero Z390 (WiFi)


ASUS produce some of the best quality, reliable motherboards in the world are a safe bet when choosing the best motherboard for a gaming PC, with Gigabyte and MSI being the next 2 good manufacturers to look out for. Asrock offer good budget picks, too, and are essentially ASUS's value range.

But we've stuck with ASUS again for the Q2 2019 extreme PC build, and specifically the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E which is a nice middle ground of quality and price; it's not an extremely high-end board costing a few hundred dollars that enthusiast overclockers would ideally want, but it's definitely not a cheap sub-par board either and has an impressive feature set.

At well under 300 dollars the ROG Strix Z390-E is an optimal choice for a $2000 PC build whether you're keeping your 9700K processor at stock speeds, or overclocking lightly. If you're doing extreme overclocking you will want to invest further in a more heavy-duty board with better VRM and power delivery for extreme overclocks (but if that's you, you'll already know that) such as the Maximus Hero XI which is another popular choice for a 9700K build and is essentially the same as the ROG Strix but with better overclocking capability. The Hero also has a few minor improvements like a couple extra USB ports and slightly better design (although that's subjective and the Rog Strix looks awesome as it is). 

For most people though (read: non or light/medium overclockers), I'd say the ASUS ROG Strix is better overall value for money than the Hero, as it practically has the same exact feature set and overall quality. Both boards also come with good-quality built-in WiFi (802.11ac) which is very handy, so there's no need to buy a wireless USB or PCIe adapter for this rig. The onboard audio is also top notch, so definitely no need to buy a sound card unless you work in audio production.


Recommended Case for a $2000 Gaming PC Build

The Crystal 570X from ever-reliable Corsair is easily one of the best looking cases around in 2019 with a slick tempered glass design and built-in RGB LED fans (3 are supplied including a built-in lighting controller), but this model also stacks up flawlessly in terms of construction quality, cooling and features. It's also a beginner-friendly case to work with, includes tool-free drive installation, and supplied velcro straps and cable routing to make cable management a breeze. And for this case you'll want to most definitely do the best job you can with tidying up your cables once installation is done, as well as get a modular power supply to reduce excess cabling, to show off your components in clean style as that is exactly how this bold glass case is designed.

No low-key sleeper look here; the 570X is one of the more aggressive in-your-face gaming case designs and looks impressive in action. Now whilst this description sounds like an infomercial at this point, or that I secretly work for Corsair, but genuinely speaking this is one of the best cases you can select for a high-end PC build if you don't mind investing in a great case, and its immense popularity and great reviews all-round within the DIY sphere proves its worth. Cooling is excellent, and whilst it's technically a Mid Tower, it's on the larger side of Mid Towers and real roomy inside, with space for literally any type of consumer setup.





Recommended PSU for a $2000 Gaming PC Build

Last but not least for this breakdown of the current recommended extreme build we have the power supply, and we've opted for the top-tier EVGA SuperNova G3 750 which rivals other high-quality, efficient PSUs from top-name power supply brands like Seasonic. It's an 80 Plus gold rated unit which is what you want for an extreme desktop like this, and is fully modular which means no excess cabling leading to better/easier cable management and a neater finished product.

EVGA really have taken over the PSU game in recent years, and for good reason as they have a range of quality, super-efficient and reliable units just like the G3 series. 750 watts of power is also more than enough for the full parts-list of the current recommended $2000 gaming PC build, with plenty of included wiggle room to take into account future upgrades (as you'll see when comparing the estimated power draw of this build in the detailed specs table above..plenty of room to move).

A common newbie builder mistake is overestimating how much power you need, and with single GPU setups you really don't need 850/1000 watts and can easily get away with a lot less. Heck, you could even get away with a 650 watt PSU for this particular parts-list if you knew for sure you weren't gonna do hardly any upgrades in future, but since PSUs (even good ones like this EVGA) aren't too expensive you might as well get a version that's 200 watts-ish above what you need instead of just 100-150 watts (which would still be safe). But yeah, many beginners go even higher than this and get like 300 watts+ what they actually need, which doesn't harm your build but is a bit of a waste. Each to their own, though, but I feel 750 watts for this $2000 custom PC is perfect.



Recommended Operating System & Accessories


Operating System

As with all our current recommended custom PC builds, 64 bit Windows 10 is what we recommend for the $2000 gaming beast unless you have a seriously good reason to get another operating system like Linux. You have a few options with buying and installing Windows for your new PC:

Option A: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit (Flash Drive Edition)

Option B: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit (DVD Disc Edition) (buy if you're getting an optical drive for your gaming build)

Option C: Buy Windows from Microsoft and download it to an existing computer/laptop, then put it on a flash drive, then use that flash drive when booting up your PC.

Option D: Reuse your copy of Windows if your edition is eligible for this.


Suggested Accessories




Tips on Building the Extreme Gaming PC


Our install tutorial on on how to build a PC still applies for assembling the parts of this $2000 gaming PC build (even though we cover a budget build in that guide) as the main principles and steps are all the same regardless of your spending budget, but this and the tons of other videos online about building in the Corsair 570X case may also come in handy:

As for the difficulty of building this $2000 gaming computer; there's really nothing complicated about it, and the same skill level as assembling a cheap system. It'll just take you a little longer. And if you're going for the recommended Cooler Master 212 CPU cooler, they're well-known as one of the easier cooler installs out there so there's nothing to worry about there.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler is a little trickier to install if go that route, mainly because of its sheer size (it'll take over your rig), but nothing too overwhelming for someone patient who can follow instructions one at a time. Same thing for installing liquid CPU coolers if you opt for one of those instead; it's nothing to be scared of when building a rig, and a piece of cake compared to the genuinely complicated aspects of PC building such as custom water cooling loopsJust take your time and check videos online if you need to supplement the manuals. Good luck with everything, we hope this guide has helped a little in your research, and happy gaming.


Installing the Dark Rock Pro 4 is a little more involved than say the CM 212, but it's not rocket science. Just be patient with it.




Comparing Similar Prebuilt Desktops


We're all about building your own custom system here at BGC, and it's usually the best way to go, but some gamers will still want the convenience of buying a pre-assembled machine even if they have to pay a little extra and/or get a slightly less overall quality/flexible setup. If that's you, these are similar-spec prebuilt desktops that we can recommend. For those set on building your own as we highly recommend to most gamers, if you compare our custom $2000 gaming PC build above with the following prebuilts, if you look closely you'll notice the custom build will have various advantages such as better upgrade-potential, a better PSU, better CPU cooler, better motherboard, better case, better GPU, etc.

Note: If you want to customize a prebuilt PC instead see our Recommended 2019 PC Builders (USA).


Top Recommended Prebuilt PC:

Honorable Mentions:

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8420A (same as top pick but bigger HDD)
iBUYPOWER Element iBP043iV2
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Supreme SLC10060CPG
CYBERPOWERPC Syber Forti SFG9DX




References

- Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 review: An ice-cold, whisper-silent beast of a graphics card
- ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 STRIX OC 8G Review
- ASUS Republic of Gamers Strix GeForce RTX 2080 8GB OC Edition Specifications
- MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ventus 8GB OC Graphics Card Specifications
- Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming Review
- ASUS Rog Strix Z390-E Gaming ATX Motherboard Specifications
- The Core i7 9700K tested
- Intel Core i7-9700K Processor Specifications
- Corsair 570X RGB Mid Tower Case Specifications
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB - Review
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition and RGB Review: A Legacy for Value
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo RGB Black Edition Specifications
- Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz C15 Memory Kit Black Specifications
- Saumsung 860 Evo 250GB 2.5" SSD Specifications
- EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 80 Plus Gold 750W Fully Modular Power Supply Specifications






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