Best Gaming PC Build under $2000

A $2,000 gaming PC budget implies a high-end CPU and GPU coupled with a capable motherboard and lots of fast storage. All that packed into an attractive and feature-rich case.

We managed to build a $2,000 gaming build based on the Core i9-10900K, the best gaming CPU at the moment, and the RTX 2080 Super, the best graphics card on the market that won’t set you back more than $1,000.

For all of those who use their PC for more than just gaming, browsing the web, and watching movies, we’ve built another gaming PC powered by the Ryzen 9 3900X. It has almost all of the same components aside from the obvious ones: the motherboard and faster memory that can allow the CPU to unleash its full potential. Check out both builds down below.

Core i9-10900K Gaming PC Build

The first build today is the one based on the 10900K. This is a top-tier gaming PC build since the Core i9-10900K is the best gaming CPU on the market right now.

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K

Intel Core i9-10900K
Cores10
Threads20
Base Frequency3.7 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency5.3 GHz
TDP125 W

The best gaming CPU should be the cornerstone of a high-end gaming build. The 10900K is a gaming beast of a CPU and it has enough horsepower to run every game faster than any other CPU. Sure, it can eat a ton of power and it needs a serious cooling solution but this CPU is the best processor for gaming you can get right now.

Best of all, with its 10 cores and 20 threads you don’t have to worry about next-gen games. Just update the graphics card in a year or so and you will be able to run any title at max details and high frame rates, no matter the resolution.

Cooler: EVGA CLC 280mm AIO

EVGA CLC 280
Dimensions280mm (312 × 139 × 27 mm)
Number of Fans2
Advertised Fan Noise Level39.5 dB(A)
Max Fan Speed2200 RPM

The EVGA CLC 280mm is a superb cooling solution for those on a budget. It offers performance in line or better than more expensive AIO coolers while providing excellent noise levels. If you want to cool your 10900K while running without power limits and while being overclocked, this is the cooler to get. If you want something even more powerful but still budget-friendly, check out the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 360 or the Fractal Design Celsius S36.

If you don’t like AIO coolers and want an air cooler to pair up with the 10900K we have one recommendation and that’s the legendary Noctua NH-D15. This is still the best air cooler on the market and it’s capable of cooling the stock 10900K without issues. You can also run the CPU with a low to moderate overclock. In that case, watch those temps and power limits.

Motherboard: MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × 1G LAN
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × HD Audio Connectors
Wi-FiNo

The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk is the best budget motherboard you can get for the Core i9-10900K. The board has excellent VRM, good enough for 5GHz or higher overclock. It also has a nice set of features that should be enough for most users.

The board has support for fast 4800MHz DDR4 memory, multiple M.2 slots, lots of SATA III Ports, and dual gigabit LAN. The audio section is solid and you get two PCIe x16 slots with support for Crossfire. The rear panel hosts six USB 3.2 ports including one USB-C port. Overall, this is an excellent package that has one major weakness – the lack of Wi-Fi connectivity.

If you need a motherboard supporting Wi-Fi there are multiple choices to pick from. You can get the MSI Z490 Gaming Edge. Or maybe the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-H. And there’s also the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC.

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 16GB RGB DDR4 3200MHz

G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16GB RGB DDR4 3200MHz
Capacity16GB (2 × 8GB)
Frequency3200 MHz
Timings16-18-18-38
Voltage1.35 V
FormatNON-ECC Unbuffered DIMM

Intel chips aren’t sensitive to high-speed memory as Ryzen CPUs. 3200MHz DDR4 memory should be a standard in a build like this. The Trident Z is an excellent memory and 16GB (2x8GB) kit should be more than enough for comfy gaming in any resolution.

Once you need an upgrade you can get another 16GB kit of the same manufacturer and have a cozy ride through the whole next-gen console cycle.

AMD Ryzen 3900X Build Components

The Ryzen build is almost the same as the Intel one. The only difference, aside from the CPU and motherboard, is the memory used. We’ve picked DDR4 3600MHz because that’s the sweet spot for Ryzen CPUs. 3200MHz is fine but you’ll get about five percent more performance if using DDR4 3600MHz. Everything else is the same making this another amazing gaming build that’s also great for serious work.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Ryzen 9 3900X
Cores12
Threads24
Base Frequency3.8 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency4.6 GHz
TDP105 W

If you ask us, we would always pick the Ryzen 9 3900X over the 9900K. Almost the same IPC, a bit lower clocks, and four cores and eight threads more on top of noticeably lower price is a better deal than 10-15 percent better gaming performance on average the 9900K has over 3900X. And then we have productivity performance, where the 3900X annihilates the 9900K. If you use PC both for gaming and work the 3900X is a much better choice.

It’ll also age much more gracefully. 12 cores will leave you with enough extra power to run a browser, Discord, and a multimonitor setup when games start utilizing 8-cores and 16-threads or something like that once next-gen consoles arrive.

There’s also the upgrade path that actually exists if you buy the 3900X. The X570 chipset will be compatible with the 4th gen Ryzen CPUs. That means you can upgrade to a beefy 16-core CPU with better IPC and higher clocks than the 3950X if you want down the line.

Finally, the 3900X runs quite well with the box cooler. And since Ryzen CPUs aren’t great for overclocking you don’t have to pay extra for an aftermarket cooler. If you really want one get the Mugen 5 or the EVGA CLC 280mm we recommended for the 10900K CPU.

Motherboard: ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus WiFi / Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite WiFi

ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus
ChipsetAMD X570
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 8 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort, 1 × HDMI
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
3 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (1 × Type C, 2 × Type A)
1 × LAN (RJ45) port
1 × Optical S/PDIF out
5 × Audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

Both of these boards have top of the line VRM taken from high-end X570 models making them great for the 12-core 3900X. They can run the 3950X without issues making them great for future upgrades. Also, the X570 boards come with PCIe 4.0 support.

This doesn’t matter when it comes to graphics cards, and it won’t matter for years. But you should feel the difference with NVMe SSDs in a couple of years. As we already mentioned the recent UE5 demo ran on the PS5, which features a 5.5GBps M.2 SSD.

PCs with PCIe 3.0 won’t be able to run SSDs this fast once they arrive late this year or during early 2021. It’s because PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth is too slow for 5.5GBps SSDs or faster. But PCIe 4.0 x4 goes up to 7800MBps, more than enough for SSDs with PS5-like speeds.

While next-gen games won’t need SSDs that fast (the Xbox Series X features 2.4GBps SSD), they will benefit from them. But for now, don’t waste your money. A SATA SSD is more than enough for current titles. Save those two M.2 slots you get on both of these boards for future NVMe SSDs that come with blazing-fast transfer rates.

Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite Wifi
ChipsetAMD X570
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 2 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports2 × SMA antenna connectors
1 × HDMI
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
4 × USB 2.0/1.1
1 × LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF Out
5 × Audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

Aside from two slots for ultra-fast SSDs, these boards offer 6 SATA III (Aorus Elite) and 8 SATA III (TUF Gaming) ports. They can house up to 128GB of memory that runs at 4400MHz (TUF Gaming) or 4000MHz (Aorus Elite). Both boards come with two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots running at x16 and x4 as well as two PCIe x1 slots. They both offer gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi (no PCIe WiFi card required), and Bluetooth. Overall, either of these two boards is an excellent choice for any Ryzen CPU, especially the 3900X.

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16 GB RGB DDR4 3600MHz

G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16GB RGB DDR4 3600MHz
Capacity16GB (2 × 8GB)
Frequency3600 MHz
Timings16-19-19-39
Voltage1.35 V
FormatNON-ECC Unbuffered DIMM

Finally, we have the memory. 16 gigabytes is enough for a gaming rig. We picked DDR4 3600MHz because faster memory doesn’t offer noticeably performance bump unless you’re ready to overclock AMD’s Infinity Fabric. If you plan on doing that get some 3800MHz memory to run the setup at 1:1 ratio.

Overall, this is another beastly gaming PC build. The 3900X is a blazing fast CPU with a ton of cores and threads and is better suited for gamers who also use their PC for heavy workloads. You should get the 3900X over the 9900K not only if you use your PC for work but also if you want to have an upgrade path.

Parts for Both Builds

Graphics Card: ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super Overclocked

ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super Overclocked
Memory8 GB GDDR6
Base Clock1680 MHz
Boost Clock1860 MHz
Outputs3× DisplayPort
1× HDMI

An affordable RTX 2080 Super card that works excellent is just what you need when building a Core i9-9900K or Ryzen 9 3900X-based system. The ASUS RTX 2080 Super Overclocked card is the best one to get if you’re into high refresh rate 1440p gaming. You can also use it for 4K gaming, if you’re ready to lower some settings.

If you don’t find the card at this price or if you don’t find it at all, you can get any RTX 2080 Super model from reliable brands. These cards cost a lot so even the most affordable models should have a cooling system good enough to enable acceptable temperatures even under heavy load. OC models are usually not worth the price difference since you’ll get less than a ten percent performance gain.

Storage: WD Blue 2TB SSD

WD Blue 2TB SSD
Capacity2 TB
InterfaceSATAIII
Form Factor2.5″
Sequential Read up to560 MB/s
Sequential Write up to530 MB/s

Look, we didn’t pick an expensive NVMe SSD because you can get about 15 percent faster loading times in games when using NVMe SSD over SATA SSD, at best. Those couple of seconds aren’t worth the price difference. Fast NVMe SSDs will become important once next-gen games start coming out, especially after we saw the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo that ran in real-time on the PlayStation 5.

But until then, getting a SATA SSD like the WD Blue 2TB SSD is much better than buying an expensive NVMe SSD. Instead of shelling out money for an NVMe drive, better get a more powerful graphics card or an AIO cooling system for your CPU.

PSU: Seasonic FOCUS Plus 750 Gold

Seasonic FOCUS Plus 750 Gold
Power750 W
Form FactorATX
Efficiency80 Plus Gold
ModularFully

The Seasonic Focus Plus 750 Gold is sturdy PSU with lots of juice. Yes, it’s a bit of an overkill but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially when you’re building an expensive gaming rig like this one. This PSU has great efficiency, is made out of quality components, and is fully modular.

Once you decide to upgrade in the future you won’t have to get a new PSU since this one can run pretty much any CPU and GPU combo. And if you don’t find this PSU for a competitive price of if you don’t find it at all (PSU listings on Amazon are insane right now, with constant price fluctuations) just follow these simple rules we shared in our $500, $750, $1,000, and $1,500 gaming PC builds:

Don’t cheap out on the PSU. Getting a cheap power supply can fry your system or damage your components. It’s better to save more money and get a decent PSU than to get a no-name brand or a PSU without the 80Plus certification.

80Plus Gold is the minimum you should go for a build like this. Also, don’t go with suspicious brands you’ve never heard about, especially if they have low user rating. Finally, 650 watts should be a minimum for a gaming rig like this one. That way you won’t have to get a new PSU in case you upgrade to a new CPU and/or graphics card.

Case: Fractal Design Meshify C

Fractal Design Meshify C
Case TypeMid-Tower
Dimensions (L×W×H)413 × 217 × 453 mm
Drive Bays2 × 3.5/2.5”
3 × 2.5”
Expansion Slots7
GPU Clearance315 mm
Total Fan Mounts7 (4 × 120/140 mm, 3 × 120 mm)
Front I/O Ports2 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out

This is one of the best mid-tower cases on the market. Excellent airflow, attractive design, and a load of features are the best things about the Meshify C. The case comes with two preinstalled fans and room for two more on the front. If you want to go with an AIO you can fit a 360mm (or smaller) radiator on the front and another 240mm radiator on the topside.

The case can house up to five 2.5” storage devices or three 2.5” and two 3.5” storage drives. It has lots of room for component installation and excellent cable management. If you want something quiet get a nice and quiet PC case. Ff you put airflow in front of everything else, get a case with superb airflow.

Overall, this is an extremely potent gaming build. The Core i9-9900K will stay a beastly gaming CPU for years to come. The RTX 2080 Super is an excellent card that should be good enough for next-gen games. For instance, the recent UE 5 demo should run smoothly on an RTX 2070 Super so you should be fine with the RTX 2080 Super.

16GB of memory should be enough even when next-gen games hit the market. The SATA SSD might be too slow for next-gen games but you’ll probably be fine with a fast NVMe SSD once proper next-gen games arrive. Until then SATA SSDs will be more than enough. Yes, the CPU upgrade path is nonexistent and if you want to have at least some upgrade choice, wait for 10th gen Intel CPUs to arrive or get a Ryzen CPU.

Goran Damnjanovic
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.

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