Ultimate 4K Gaming PC Build for $2000 in 2018

In Custom Builds, High-End Builds by Branton41 Comments

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Playing games at 4K hasn’t been entirely possible on a single graphics card up until recently. Thanks to the new GTX 1080 Ti, this is the first single card 4K-capable gaming PC that I’ve been able to put together!

Packing an 11GB GTX 1080 Ti, a brand new i5 8600K, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1.25TB of storage, this build comes in at right around $2000. It’s definitely capable of playing AAA games at 4K resolutions with awesome frame rates and blowing your mind at the same time!

If you have any questions about this build, feel free to ask me in the comment section

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. 

High-end Desktops ($1000-$1500):
– iBUYPOWER AM002i (i7 7700 + GTX 1070 + 8GB RAM)
– iBUYPOWER AM900Z (i7 7700K + GTX 1070 + 16GB RAM)
– CYBERPOWERPC GXiVR3000CPG (i7 8700 + GTX 1070 + 16GB RAM)

Ultimate 4K Gaming PC build for $2000

Updated: January 1st, 2018

  • Corsair Graphite 760T

    An awesome full tower ATX case with a huge window and tons of room for all of your hardware.
    View

  • 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).
    View

  • Intel i5 8600K

    3.6GHz 6 cores/6 thread CPU. Great for workstations and gaming builds alike.
    Does not come with a CPU cooler.
    **Due to their popularity, you might have to shop around to get one.
    Check Newegg Check Amazon

  • Cryorig H7 CPU Cooler

    Since the i5 8600K does not come with a stock CPU cooler, you need an aftermarket unit like the the Cryorig H7.
    View

  • MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X

    11GB GDDR5x VRAM, HDMI / DisplayPort/ DVI connections.
    View

  • EVGA 650 G3

    650W power supply, 90% efficiency, 5-year warranty.
    View

  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    16GB dual channel 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, CL16.
    View

  • WD Black 1TB HDD

    7200RPM, 64MB cache.
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  • Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD

    M.2-based NVMe SSDs are the fastest option on the market right now. 3200MB/s read, 1500MB/s write.
    View

Estimated
$1999
At Amazon
Get This Build

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. If this is the first gaming computer you’ve ever built, it might seem like a daunting process that only an expert could complete, but you would be wrong. Building your own gaming PC couldn’t be easier, and there are a ton of concise guides out there that will walk you through the process.

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!

In-depth Walkthrough

Instead of me typing out a ton 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.

Or, if you did want a ton of words, I’ve put together somewhat of a crash course to building your gaming PC that you might want to check out.

Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same build, but the process is really similar. There’s really only 1 way to do things, and it’s pretty hard to mess anything up if you’re being careful.

Add-ons/Upgrades

Below you’ll find some suggested add-ons for this build, some I’ll mention more in-depth further down this page, but some are pretty self-explanatory like optical (DVD/CD) drives. Although not entirely necessary, optical drives can sometimes come in handy and I strongly recommended having one; if you have an old PC kicking around, its optical drive will more than likely work for you and you won’t need to buy a new one.

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
    View

  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

    A lot of people are moving away from internally mounted optical drives, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better external optical drives to consider.
    View

Details

This is the ultimate single GPU 4K gaming PC build, without a doubt. It hasn’t been until the release of the GTX 1080 Ti that a single card 4K build was even really possible without lowering the settings so low that gaming wouldn’t be enjoyable anyways.

Keep in mind that the price listed above is just for the core components and you will still need to add anything that you don’t already have; mouse, keyboard, audio, those kinds of things.

The case in this build is an awesome one from Corsair’s Graphite lineup. The 760T is a full sized case that has tons of room for everything in this build and any future upgrades you might want to add. It comes with 3 120mm fans from the factory, but you can always upgrade those as you see fit. As far as cable management goes, the 760T is awesome and offers a good amount of options as well as rubber grommets for all cable-routing holes.

The ASUS Z370-A is a top-rated motherboard that’s perfectly suited for this build. It has all of the ports, headers and slots you’ll need for everything in this build and then some. Along with the basics, this board also boasts integrated RGB lighting, amazing 8-channel audio, reinforced PCIe slots, 3D-printing mounts and tons of other features. 

Intel’s brand new 6 core/6 thread i5 8600K is a complete and utter beast when it comes to pretty much anything. It readily blows the old i7 7700K out of the water and is an all-around incredible CPU regardless of what you’re using it for. That said, if you’re the kind of person who has to have the best of the best, then the i7 8700K is definitely what you want. 

Since the i5 8600K does not come with a stock CPU cooler, I’ve added on a Cryorig H7 CPU cooler to keep you covered. It’s an awesome air CPU cooler and will keep your 8600K cool, even while overclocked. If you would prefer a closed loop liquid cooler instead, I’d suggest checking out something like the NZXT Kraken X52

The 11GB GTX 1080 Ti is a complete and utter powerhouse when it comes to gaming. It completely blows away the last generation Titan X Pascal as well as its little brother the GTX 1080. Simply put, the GTX 1080 Ti is the best card you could buy right now in terms of price vs performance. MSI’s GTX 1080 Gaming X is no exception and it’s easily one of the best options on the market. 

EVGA’s 650 G3 is an absolutely amazing power supply that offers a platinum level of efficiency for the cost of a gold-rated supply. It offers 90% efficiency or higher under typical loads, an amazing 7-year warranty, and it also comes with a self-tester so you can test it for faults on the off chance there is one. I use a G3 unit and I really think you should to!

16GB of DDR4 RAM is more than enough for most dedicated gaming PCs, even those that are aiming for 4K. That being said, I picked you a dual channel pair so you can easily upgrade to 24 or 32GB if you wanted to by simply adding more sticks of the same 3200MHz speed. If you’re feeling flashy, there’s also RAM available with RGB lighting – something to keep in mind!

As far as storage goes, 1.25TB spread across a WD Black HDD and a Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD is going to make sure that you don’t run short anytime soon. There’s also a reason for the two drives, the SSD is meant to be your primary boot drive (where Windows and your primary programs are installed) and the HDD is meant to be used as a mass storage drive (for the bulk of your games, etc); this will ultimately make your PC perform better than having everything on a single drive.

This build is completely capable of playing AAA games in 4K at 60fps, less intensive games will run at much higher frame rates and you might even hit 144+ depending on the game!

Operating System

When it comes to picking out an operating system, you pretty much have two options.

Windows, or Linux.

Windows is the better of the two when it comes to out-of-the-box compatibility with programs and games; but Linux is favored by more advanced PC users for its heightened security and its ability to be heavily modified.

The choice comes down to which one you prefer. Generally speaking, I’d recommend going the Windows 10 route unless you’re already familiar with Linux. 

Extras

If this is your very first PC, chances are you’re lacking things like a mouse, keyboard, monitor and some kind of audio peripheral. If that’s the case, take a look through the items listed below for some of my recomendations.

  • 28" Asus PB287Q

    28″, 4K(3840×2160) 60Hz, 1ms response time – Great for gaming.
    View

  • Razer Blackwidow Chroma

    Green mechanical switches, Razer Chroma RGB lighting, integrated USB 2.0 and audio pass through!
    View

  • Razer Mamba Tournament Edition

    Razer Chroma RGB lighting, dedicated DPI toggle buttons & rubber grips. My personal favorite.
    View

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H7

    The best gaming headset you can get, in my opinion.
    View

WiFi

WiFi is never the ideal solution for a gaming PC’s internet connection. Just due to the nature of how WiFi works, it will almost always be inferior to a wired connection. That said, if you absolutely need/want to use a WiFi connection, you’re going to need a WiFi adapter.

  • TP-Link Archer T6E

    Internally mounted AC1300 WiFi adapter. Operates on both 2.4 and 5GHz bands.
    View

  • TP-LINK TL-WN722N

    USB WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz
    View

Conclusion

This is the ultimate single card 4K gaming PC build this far into 2017. It’ll handle AAA games at 4K resolutions while putting out 60fps or better, less intensive games are going to run at significantly higher fps and you’ll exceed 144fps in quite a few.

Using this build for streaming? Make sure you read my guide on how to stream from Twitch

If you came here looking for an awesome build for $2000, or you want the best single card 4K build you can find, this one is it, without a doubt.

If you have any questions about the build or the suggested peripherals, feel free to ask me in the comment section!

Order The Ultimate 4K Gaming PC Build!
Author
Branton

Branton

Hi! I'm the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on every facet of PC gaming! Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

41 Comments on "Ultimate 4K Gaming PC Build for $2000 in 2018"

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Steve
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Going to ask a legit noob question. I want to build this (and thank you so much for the details), but why would I choose this over a best buy build that seems similar price that’s prebuilt? I know it seems like flame bait, in just want to know… I want to get the best for this price and am scared to build my own.

Alex
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Hi Branton,
Great article and very helpful! I have one question: would it make a big difference in the gaming experience if I used the 1080 instead of the 1080 Ti, in order to save some bucks? Thank you in advance.

Jerry
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He Branton, is it really a big difference between the i7 7700k vs i5 8600k? Will I notice the performance while gaming/programming?

Randal
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Hi Branton, I have been reading your articles for a while now, very impressive might I say. I had a couple of questions. I was planning on doing this build with the I7 8700k that you mentioned as well as adding another 16gb of ram. Later down the line I would like to add a second GTX 1080ti. Is there any changes or considerations I should make/take before I start my build?

Lime
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Is it any improvement for the same price since this got posted?

Lime
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Hey, what monitor do you recommend for this PC for 500$? I also wonder how can I get the best WiFi connection with cable.

Michael
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also any difference going with the i7 x series?

Michael
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Would it benefit to go with this motherboard with its own dedicated cooling instead and is this case compatible? ASUS ROG Maximus IX Code LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI M.2 Z270 ATX Motherboard with onboard AC Wifi and USB 3.1 / CASE – Corsair Graphite Series 780T Full Tower PC Case – Black. Im new to the whole pc build thing just starting research so i don’t know if it benefits to have a dedicated cooler besides what the motherboard already has / if its necessary. Would the system perform any better/ different or is it an unnecessary price increase? Thank… Read more »
Jim H
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Hey — Just a list of questions I have about the build for future reference. How many GHz can the cooler allow the 7700k to be pushed to? I’m aware that the built-in turbo function is pushing it to around 4.5? Is that a possibility with the cooler or even further than that? The 200$ MSI Z270 should have no compatibility issues with anything considering it’s basically just a step up from the 150$ I assume. If there is some issue or there’s another 200$ board I should get please let me know. I was thinking about upgrading to a… Read more »
Jerry
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Can I buy a GTX 1070 instead of the 1080ti into this build just to make it a bit cheaper? and also because I don’t really like playing VR and as far as I know 1070 is also a great card that will run every game at 90+ fps.
Or should I just wait for the release of the 1070ti?