Best High-End Gaming PC Build
A 4K-capable gaming rig for under $2400.
Shopping for PC components can be intimidating if you’re not up to date on hardware news. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you and have put together three tiered builds (cheap, mid-range, and high-end) geared to deliver great gaming experiences.
Our high-end build retails for more than two grand. While that’s expensive, it’s not overly excessive and will be able to handle max out most games at 4K with playable frame rates. You can spend more money on a gaming rig, but you’ll most likely pay a hefty price for vast diminishing returns. This rig represents a great high-end gaming PC that’s reasonable to build.
|CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K||$329.99|
|CPU cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H115i||$129.99|
|Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition (Updated)||$699.99|
|Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero||$229.00|
|RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB||$220.99|
|SSD: 500GB Samsung 960 EVO||$249.99|
|HDD: Toshiba X300 HDWE140XZSTA||$134.99|
|Case: Phanteks Evolv ATX||$189.99|
|PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2||$138.14|
Listed prices reflect time of publish.
Click through the gallery to read why we chose our respective components.
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K
A few CPUs offer more cores, making them ideal for video encoding and 3D rendering, but for gaming, the quad-core Core i7-7700K is currently the king. Intel’s leading consumer processor offers eight threads, has 8MB of cache, carries a 4.2GHz base frequency, and turbos up to 4.5GHz. This makes it the fastest Kaby Lake CPU. It’s also a K-series SKU chip, which means you can overclock it. While your overclocking mileage may vary, people have been able to overclock the processor past 5GHz.
CPU cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H115i
A great CPU demands a great CPU cooler. That’s why we’re going with the Corsair Hydro Series H115i, which features a 280mm radiator coupled with dual high-static pressure 140mm fans. It also supports Corsair’s Link software, which allows you to fine-tune the fan’s rpm. Overall, it’s a fantastic cooler that runs cool and quiet and will greatly help you overclock the 6700K.
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
The Ti version is essentially a souped-up version of the GTX 1080 before it, with 3584 CUDA cores, 224 texture units, and 11 GB of GDDR5X video RAM clocked at 11 Gbps. Aside from slightly slower stock clock speeds, it features more of almost everything.
The GTX 1080 Ti will be able to max out most graphically demanding games at 4K with playable frame rates. It also overclocks well and runs pretty quietly.
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero
Our enthusiast build needs an enthusiast motherboard. That’s why we’re going with Asus’ ROG Maximus IX Hero. It has the LGA 1151 socket support we need, along with Intel’s new high-end Z270 chipset. The Maximum IX Hero will support Intel’s upcoming Optane storage technology, features two M.2 slots, and supports up to 64GB of DDR4 memory clocked up to 4000MHz. The board also has integrated RGB lighting and a plethora of ports that include two USB 3.1 connectors and a USB-C port.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4
For system memory, we’re going with 32GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM clocked at 2400MHz in a quad-stick dual-channel configuration. Corsair makes excellent RAM and 32GB is admittedly overkill for gaming--but then again, this is one killer rig. The extra RAM headroom is also great for multitasking and content creation.
SSD: 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
Samsung arguably makes the best solid-state drives on the market, and while the company’s Evo line of SSDs aren’t quite as fast as its Pro series, you’ll get more bang for your buck. And fret not, they’re still wicked fast. Samsung’s 960 Evo NVMe drives offer up to 3200MB/s sequential read speeds and up to 1800MB/s sequential write speeds. This makes traditional 2.5-inch SSDs that use the AHCI protocol look slow in comparison. It also scales from 250GB all the way up to 1TB. The 500GB variant should offer plenty of storage for your favorite games and applications.
HDD: TOSHIBA X300 HDWE140XZSTA
While 500GB of storage is good for an SSD, you’ll want more room if you plan on downloading tons of Steam games and storing large amounts of media. That’s why we’re supplementing this build with Toshiba’s X300 HDWE140XZSTA hard drive--4TB of storage is more than enough capacity for most mortals.
Case: Phanteks Evolv ATX
Phanteks’ Enthoo Evolv ATX looks futuristic but clean at the same time. It’s especially brilliant with its tempered glass window variant, which will show off all your rig’s beautiful components. The case comes in three different colors: silver, gray, and black.
The Evolv ATX isn’t a huge case, but it’s feature-rich and has enough room to house all of our components. On the front, it offers two USB 3.0 ports, a mic, and a headphone jack. The case also has removable dust filters, a sexy front LED strip, support for multiple radiator configurations, swivel doors that lift off, and a plethora of cable-management options.
PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2
For a build as nice as this, you’ll want a premium power supply unit that can provide ample power. EVGA makes excellent power supplies, and we’re recommending the company’s SuperNOVA 850 P2, which is an 80 Plus Platinum-rated solution. Its 850 watts ensure we have enough juice for a second GTX 1080 as well, if you’re inclined to upgrade to an SLI setup. The PSU is also fully modular, which will help you keep the case tidy.
Our high-end gaming build cost about $2,323, but it’s an absolute powerhouse that isn’t overly excessive. It’s got everything you need in a great gaming build and will be able to max out most games at 4K.
In addition to the super-fast components, it also offers a ton of storage in a beautiful package. If you’ve got more than $2,000 to spare on a gaming PC, this is generally what we’d recommend.