This $2500 build is a complete and utter beast! It’s giving you 2 8GB GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI, a brand new i7 8700K processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1.5GB of storage split between an SSD/HDD!
I’m not going to go as far and say that this is the ultimate 4K gaming PC build, but it’s definitely way up there. The only way it could get more insane would be to go with an even crazier motherboard and run a 3-way or 4-way SLI setup, which probably wouldn’t even give you any better performance in most cases.
If you want to run a single card setup with a GTX 1080 Ti instead, check out my ultimate 4K gaming PC build!
GPU Shortage 2018
Due to a recent and major GPU shortage, almost all graphics cards from the GTX 1050 Ti and up have become all but impossible to buy. This includes both AMD and Nvidia cards and there’s no way to say when the shortage will end.
That being said, building a gaming PC is going to be difficult right now if you can’t buy the graphics card you need. So, you have 2 (maybe 2.5) options.
Option 1 is waiting until the shortage ends, whenever that might be. It could be a couple of weeks or it could be a couple of months, there’s no way of knowing.
Option 1.5 is buying a GPU from a scalper who’s trying to sell it for 100% more than the actual value. This option sucks.
Option 2 is buying a prebuilt gaming PC. Now, I know you might have heard all sorts of bad things about buying a prebuilt desktop, but not all of them are bad! There are actually some great prebuilt options that offer really decent value. It won’t be of the exact same quality as if you built it yourself, but it’ll come with Windows installed and ready to fire up right out of the box. Sometimes, you have to take the good with the bad.
Below you’ll find some options that I’ve hand-picked for this level of build. They range from $600-$1500 in price and are ordered from cheapest to most expensive.
$2500 Gaming PC Build – Pure Insanity!
Updated: November 27th, 2017
Corsair Graphite Series 780T
Full-tower. Supports 2 380mm radiators! Looks great and works even better!
ASUS Prime Z370-A
LGA 1151 socket Z370 chipset ATX motherboard. Comes with RGB lighting, 7.1 audio, and 6 USB ports including 2.0, 3.1 Gen 1, and 3.1 Gen 2 (Type A and C).
Intel i7 8700K
6 core/12 thread 4.7GHz (turbo) beast of a processor! Currently the king of all consumer CPUs!
Due to their popularity, you might have to shop around to get one.
Corsair H80i V2 Liquid CPU Cooler
Since the i7 8700K does not come with a stock CPU cooler, you need an aftermarket cooler like the Corsair H80i V2.
EVGA GTX 1080 SC x2
8GB GDDR5x! Absolutely insane, probably even overkill amounts of power!
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G3
850W fully-modular gold-rated power supply, 90%+ efficiency and a 10-year warranty!
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4
2x 8GB sticks of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM, CL15.
WD Black 1TB HDD
7200 RPM, 64MB cache, 5-year warranty.
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD
540MB/s read, 520MB/s write.
- A couple different styled/sized screwdrivers
- Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. Building your PC is actually a lot easier than it sounds, and it’s something that you can easily accomplish by yourself. The actual build process is pretty straight-forward, and it’s about as easy as matching shapes together.
If you’re still thinking that it’s a super-difficult process, just click (or tap) below, skim through the video, and then you’ll know for sure.
Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
- Install the Power Supply into the Case
- Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
- Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
- Mount the CPU cooler
- Place the rear I/O plate
- Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your GPU in
- Install any storage
- Plug everything into the appropriate spots
- Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!
Instead of me typing out a ton of of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by EasyPCbuilder.com? He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.
Although not entirely necessary, some add ons like optical drives can sometimes improve your experience. If you’re installing your operating system from a disc opposed to a USB flash drive, then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.
Windows 10 (Flash Drive Installer)
You’re going to need an operating system for your build, Windows 10 is your best option when it comes to compatibility. This version is on a flash drive and doesn’t require an optical drive to install! View
Not feeling comfortable with a closed-loop liquid cooler? No problem! The Cryorig H7 is an awesome air CPU cooler that you can use to replace the H80i!
Corsair H100i V2 Liquid CPU Cooler
Looking for an upgrade to the H80i V2 liquid cooler? The H100i V2 offers a much larger radiator and far greater cooling potential! Corsair’s Graphite 780T case is guaranteed to work with the H100i V2 liquid CPU cooler. View
Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD
Sure, SATA SSDs are pretty fast, but they don’t come close to an M.2-based NVMe SSD like Samsung’s 960 EVO! View
Samsung Internal 24x CD DVD±R/RW kit
Comes with mounting hardware & cables. An optical drive isn’t necessary, but if you’re installing your OS from a disc you’ll need it. View
Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW
External optical drives are quickly overtaking their internally mounted counterparts in both popularity and practicality, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better options to consider.
When it comes down to it, this build is packing more power than most people are going to dream of needing for a long time. Running 2 GTX 1080s in SLI is giving you insane levels of power that is easily capable of handling even the most demanding games with ease. The insanely powerful i7 8700K only adds to insanity of this build’s power!
The full-tower Corsair Graphite Series 780T is not only a great looking case, but an awesome choice for a build like this one. It’ll support up to 2 380mm radiators for custom water cooling setups, and it comes with 3 fans (2 intakes in the front and 1 exhaust in the rear) that’ll help to keep those temps nice & low. On the inside, there’s a ton of room for future expansion in basically any way possible.
Since we’re putting an Intel i7 8700K in this beast, we have to have a good LGA 1151 socket motherboard running the Z370 chipset – some random budget board just won’t do for a build like this. For that reason, I picked the highly-rated ASUS Prime Z370-A. It will support everything we need, including running an 8x/8x SLI setup and support your NVMe M.2 SSD as well as everything else. The BIOS is awesome and allows for quick and easy overclocking. The Prime Z370-A also comes with RGB backlighting, numerous USB ports including 3.1 Gen 2 Type A and C, great onboard audio, and plenty of the various ports and headers you’ll need for future expansions.
2x GTX 1080s in SLI is a serious amount of gaming power. There’s really no game that won’t perform flawlessly on this build. That said, some games won’t even benefit from an SLI setup, and that’s something to keep in mind for sure. You could very well get by with a single GTX 1080 (or a Titan X) and still have an extremely enjoyable experience, then add another down the line when more demanding games are released. It really just boils down to what you see yourself doing with this build down the line.
16GB of DDR4 3000MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM is everything you need, and then some. Running 16GB of RAM or more opens doors for higher levels of multi-tasking and quicker computing in general, but for strictly gaming, you don’t really need more. If you do lots of video editing, rendering, streaming, and things of that nature, you might want to consider adding more RAM for an even more streamlined experience.
The power supply in this build is easily one of the best and most reliable units you can get right now. The 850 G3 from EVGA has received nothing but amazing reviews everywhere that it’s been reviewed, and it’s really easy to see why when you start to dig into the finer details of what makes it tick. That said, this build can pull anywhere up to 700W of power which is still below the limits of the 850 G3, but just barely. If you want more peace of mind, upgrading to a 1000 G3 should hopefully do that for you.
With 1.5GB of internal storage spread between 1TB WD Black HDD and a 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, you shouldn’t run short on space anytime soon. Definitely install your operating system to the SSD, as well as any games you plan on playing regularly, everything else can go on your HDD without a problem. The NVMe SSD in the potential upgrades section would work as an amazing upgrade to the 850 EVO, or you could run them both – it’s entirely your call!
As far as cooling goes, I picked out a Corsair H80i V2 closed-loop liquid cooler because it’s what I use and I know it will work great with the i7 8700K. If you’re uncomfortable with a liquid cooler, the option for air cooling isn’t out of reach and it’ll actually save you a lot, check the Upgrades section just below the build list. Or, if you want a bigger liquid cooler, check out the H100i V2 which is also listed under Upgrades!
If you’re looking to get an absolutely mind-blowing gaming PC build to make everyone jealous, you’re in luck, because this setup is exactly what you’re looking for! The only way to really step it up is by throwing the 2x GTX 1080 away and replacing them with 2x GTX 1080 Ti instead. But no one’s that crazy, are they?
When it comes down to which operating system you’re going to use, Windows is always going to give you the best results in regards to overall compatibility. But, with that said, Linux-based operating systems are generally more secure.
If you don’t mind shelling out an extra $100 for a copy of Windows, that would be your best path to the most compatibility with programs, drivers and stuff like that. I mean, you just spent $2500 on a gaming PC, you might as well go all the way and grab a copy of Windows to boot (ha, get it?).
However, there is a free alternative, if you’re looking for that path, and that’s Ubuntu. It’s a Linux-based OS which is actually compatible with the bulk of programs and games. As Linux is becoming more and more popular, more dev studios are extending their support out to Linux-based operating systems as well.
Buying an absolutely amazing gaming PC like this one means you’re probably the kind of person who likes to have the “best of the best”, and to do that, you’re also going to need the best peripherals.
Things like a keyboard & mouse can make, or break, your gaming experience, and if you decide to cheap out on something crucial like your mouse, you could find yourself getting your a** whooped a lot more than you should. For this reason, it always pays to not only educate yourself on what you need, but to think quality over quantity. A good mouse might cost you between $50-$150, but it’s going to last for a couple of years, where a cheaper alternative might only last for 6 months.
ASUS PB287Q 4k UHD 28-inch
3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz, 1ms respond time, AMAZING fidelity! Under $500!
Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum
Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard for around $120!
Logitech G502 Proteus
The G502 is a super versatile mouse fit for every gaming situation!
Creative Sound BlasterX H7
The Sound BlasterX H7 gaming headset will absolutely blow you away with amazing quality!
Reflex Lab Mouse Pad
Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″! View
If you plan on using a WiFi connection, then you’re also going to need some kind of WiFi adapter as very few motherboards come with it built-in.
You have a couple of options, either a USB-based WiFi adapter, or one that mounts internally, but you only need one. USB is more convenient and much cheaper in most cases, but they’re often less reliable than an internally mounted unit.
At the end of the day, this is an absolutely epic gaming PC build to make all of your friends (and enemies) green with envy. No matter what game you load up, you’ll be running it maxed out in 4k @ 60FPS or higher. A build like this is guaranteed “future-proof” for a seriously long time.
If you’re going to stream with this build, make sure you read my guide on how to stream on Twitch!
With 2x GTX 1080s in SLI and a brand new i7 8700k, you really are at the top of the food chain. This build is the Maserati of custom gaming PCs, only you get to build it yourself so you know that everything is perfect and exactly the way you want it.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!