The majority of Mysteryblock Review’s PC gaming hardware lists have been about budget builds. From our list of under-$1000 and under-$500 desktops to our budget-based processor buying guide, we have doubled down on looking for affordable solutions so we can all enjoy PC gaming. With the exception of our 4K gaming computer guide, this is our first post that extends beyond the typical gaming PC budget.
On this buying guide, we will discuss the best gaming PCs under $2000. With an extended budget range, gamers are able to utilize far more power and do more exciting things in terms of raw graphical and processing capability. Games will run far smoother at much better resolutions and more detailed in-game environments. In fact, all of the desktops below will be able to consistently play games at 4K resolution on at least medium settings. The $2000 gaming PC build I have put together directly below should be your number 1 option, though. Putting together your own desktop will almost always result in better gaming performance, so take a look at all the parts I have recommended to build. Final price for the computer should be under $2k. If you are not comfortable building your own desktop, we don’t blame you. It can be daunting, which is why we also listed some of the best prebuilt gaming PCs under $2000. Just like our best 4K gaming desktops guide, this article is intended to provide you with the best computers under $2000, regardless of whether you build it yourself or buy it prebuilt. The goal is to get you gaming with a very powerful PC, all while spending less than or very close to $2000.
Best $2000 gaming PC build
No more rambling about anything else. Here’s the build I spent a few hours finding the best parts at the best prices for.
|CPU||Intel - Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor||Check current price|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair - H60 54.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler||Check current price|
|Motherboard||Asus - STRIX Z270-E GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard||Check current price|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz||Check current price|
|Storage||SanDisk SSD PLUS 240GB Solid State Drive|
Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
|Check 240 GB SSD price
Check 1 TB HDD price
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC GAMING ACX 3.0, 8GB GDDR5X||Check current price|
|Case||NZXT - S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case||Check current price|
|Power Supply||EVGA - SuperNOVA G2 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply||Check current price|
|Total (as of publication)||$1820.78
The build comes out to around $1820.78 total. That is of course at the time of writing, since prices fluctuate all the time. But even better news is that none of these parts were on sale at the time of publication. This means that $1820 is about what you should expect to pay, unless there is a sale in which case the build will cost even less. On top of that, RAM is exceedingly expensive right now, which inflates the price of this build even more. Once memory prices start settling down, the build becomes even cheaper. You should be able to add a 4K gaming monitor, PC accessories, and even upgrade the 1TB hard drive to a 2TB hard drive and still remain close to a $2000 budget.
This $2000 PC build has a lot to offer. First, we had to allocate the most money to our CPU and graphics card. The i7-7700K and the GTX 1080 8GB video card are top-of-the-class components for gaming builds like this one. That combination is absolutely prime for 4K gaming. The STRIX Z270-E motherboard has enough features to power your components and also allow you to overclock the i7-7700K CPU, which you absolutely should do since we spent the money on an unlocked processor. If you aren’t interested in overclocking, make sure to change out our processor selection. The price difference between the i7-7700K and i7-7700 are significant enough not to waste if you aren’t going to be overclocking. The power supply is also more than enough to make sure your hardware runs energy-efficiently. Do not switch this out if you are going to use our build!
We used a little less money on storage, since you can always add in additional storage later on. It is far easier to add storage in the future when you need it than to compromise the build. For this PC, we decided to allocate resources to the most important parts first, then add in upgrade-able parts later. The NZXT S340 case has enough hubs for more storage anyway. With this case, it should be pretty damn easy to build as well. The instructions to put together the computer are surprisingly easy to follow, even for a beginner, which is why we recommend buying this $2000 build first.
In all, buying all of these parts and putting it together is going to be your best option under $2000. The i7 + GTX 1080 combo is amazing for 4K gaming at high framerates and the rest of the build ensures you save money on electricity as well as cooling. The hardware is also strong enough to absolutely power through games for the next several years.
Best pre-built gaming PCs under $2000
With our custom PC build out of the way, it’s time to check out the under-$2000 pre-built desktop options out there. We looked through a tremendous amount of pre-built computers, many of which unsurprisingly had pretty terrible components placed inside a good-looking tower. The goal when purchasing already-built desktops is to get as close in value as possible to what you would get if you just built it yourself. Evidently, you almost will never get the same value, but you can get pretty damn close if you look hard enough. Thankfully for you, we did a great deal of research already and found computers that are close enough in value to what you can build yourself with a $2000 budget.
If building a custom PC using our build above doesn’t interest you, our first recommendation would be the AM003i. It actually has very similar specs to the build we created above, although the performance decrease will be noticeable. Here are the full system component breakdown:
- Intel i7-7700K 4.20 Ghz Quad-Core Processor
- MSI Z270 Chipset
- Liquid cooling
- 16 GB DDR4-2400
- NVIDIA GTX 1080 TI 11 GB
- 3 TB hard drive
- 240 GB SSD
As you can see, the specs are very comparable. In this build, you still get the unlocked Intel i7-7700K and even an 11 GB GTX 1080 TI, a perfect combination for high-end gaming. The 16 GB of RAM is standard for an expensive computer like this. 3 TB of hard drive space is a welcome addition, though, since our build only had 1 TB of storage. The solid state drive is nice to have to install your operating system on as well.
There are a few notable differences between this as our top pre-built $2000 desktop and the build we came up with, though. The first is in the graphics card. Yes, both are GTX 1080 cards and they should perform very similarly. But our build had an EVGA GTX 1080 SC with 8 GB of GDDR5 graphical memory, compared to the 1080 TI on this computer. The 1080 TI is an upgraded version of the GTX 1080, but our EVGA GTX 1080 SC performs very similarly to this 1080 TI, while consuming less power. They both should be able to power through games, but the EVGA is just considerably more efficient.
The second difference is with the RAM: our build has 3000 Mhz speed DDR4 RAM while this build has 2400 Mhz speed of DDR4 RAM. Memory speed becomes much more important in higher-end PCs. The performance discrepancy between 3000 Mhz and 2400 Mhz at this budget range is fairly significant. The last difference between this build and ours is the motherboard to place your i7-7700K, RAM, and video card on. This MSI chipset has all the basic functions and actually works very well, but the Asus Z270-E motherboard from our build has a few more ports and far better features from being one of the a higher-end motherboards.
The differences are significant for the advanced PC gamer, but shouldn’t be make-or-break for you. This is still the best $2000 gaming PC in the market, based on all of the research we have done to make this guide. It is still fully capable of giving you ultra settings at 1440p, everything turned on, and still give consistent framerates above 140 per second. To add, the case has a sleek look to it and even has more room than expected for future upgrades. This is even bundled with Windows 10, which is great if you don’t already have a copy.
The specs on this computer are almost identical to that of the iBuyPower AM5204Ei, save for a different solid state drive, power supply, and motherboard. Here are the full specs for your comparison:
- Intel i7-7700K 4.20 Ghz Quad-Core Processor
- MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Motherboard
- 16 GB DDR4-2400
- NVIDIA GTX 1080 TI 11 GB
- 2 TB hard drive
- Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SSD
The differences in gaming performance are negligible. However, the value per dollar is different depending on your needs. The Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB solid state drive is a costly drive because of its raw transfer speed. The case’s tempered glass and overall build quality also makes it slightly better than the case on the AM5204Ei’s. Other than those, these two leading computers are similar in that they are outstanding gaming desktops. If you need a faster solid state drive for transferring your files or for a faster work computer, the SkyTech Omega is an excellent powerful computer that is VR-ready.
CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme SLC8782OPT
The Gamer Supreme has amazing specs for a computer under this budget. The most notable of them all has to be the Intel i7-8700K inside, which is a brand new processor by Intel released in quarter 4 of 2017. Specs:
- Intel i7-8700K 3.7 Ghz Processor
- Intel Z370 Express Chipset
- 32 GB DDR4 RAM
- NVIDIA GTX 1070 8 GB
- 3 TB hard drive
There are a few things to note out of these specs. First of course is the Intel i7-8700K processor. This is a new generation processor that has tested very well in speed. Gaming with a recently released CPU like the 8700K should be a breeze in the future. The next notable spec is the 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. This is at only 2400 Mhz of speed, but 32 GB of RAM is a considerable amount and more than most users will need at any given time, even while gaming. Still, it’s a welcome addition, especially as video games continue to get larger in size. The GTX 1070 is a less powerful card than the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 TI cards that were in the previous builds. This may be the only component that will need an upgrade in the near future if you want to do more than 2K gaming. Still, the 1070 is a very good video card that has tested well in several of today’s games.
This desktop is sort of a strange one, with a stronger processor, more RAM, but weaker card than its competition above. But it is a welcome top competitor in the market, compared to the ones we have seen. Some $2000 gaming desktops try to rip the customer off with sub-par hardware, but CyberPowerPC made sure to give you as much value as it can pack in a $2000 computer. Companies that show concern for their customers like that are always welcome in my book.
Best gaming PC under $2000?
So what is the best gaming PC under $2000? Our number one option would always be to build your own, and we provide a nice value-per-dollar template for you above. You have more control over which parts make it to your PC while also reducing overall cost since you cut out the middleman. But if that doesn’t sound feasible for you, it’s not a big deal. Out of the hundreds of gaming computers out there at this price range, we found three of the very best that provide similar hardware value. These are the best the market offers and we highly recommend taking a look at each of them carefully. If you see the other gaming computers under $2000, you will quickly notice how much worse some of the components are within those builds. These three desktops successfully give you as much dollar value in hardware as possible, which is all you can really ask for in prebuilt computers.