This is post 4 in our series of the best gaming pc builds. We’ve already written about the best builds under $500, $1000, and $1500, and now it’s time for my favorite of the 4 builds, the $2,000 gaming rig. With our previous builds we made a recommendation that you set aside a certain percentage of your overall build in order to accommodate the right GPU and Processor. For the $2,000 build we’ll leave your options more flexible for other peripherals.
While there are multiple SLI and Crossfire options for your gaming PC in this price range we recommend the superclocked GTX 570 or if you’d like to stick to the 25% option in our previous build you could go with the GTX 580. Radeon fans should look at the HD 6970 although it’s more than a little tempting to purchase the less expensive HD 6950 and flash the bios.
We really feel that until we see what the AMD’s Bulldozer series has to offer that there is really only one CPU that is appropriate for this price range of PC, Intel’s i7-2600k. In performance tests overclockers have been able to keep the 2600k stable at around 4.5GHz. Even if you don’t want to overclock the i7-2600k boosts to speeds of up to 3.8GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. If you are an AMD fan, we recommend you wait a couple months or if you can’t wait purchase an AM3+ ready motherboard with the Phenom II 1100T X6.
In this price range there are a lot of solid motherboards to choose from. Because of options that we still recommend you add to this build we’ll try to stay in the $200 price range and go with the Sabertooth P67 or the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe.
*Update 7/22/2011 – It’s probably in your best interest to go with a Z68 motherboard at this point in the year. We like the Asus P8Z68-V PRO. For Z68 motherboards consider using a smaller SSD as cache to give it SSD-like performance with Intel’s Smart Response Technology. Also make sure to check out the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3.
At this point we’ve spent nearly $900 on some incredible pieces of hardware for your gaming rig, but we still have quite a bit going forward. $1100 will give us just the budget we need to make this into an incredible machine.
Wikipedia states that “if a computer becomes low on RAM during intensive application cycles, many CPU architectures and operating systems are able to perform an operation known as “swapping”… Excessive use of this mechanism is called thrashing and is generally undesirable because it lowers overall system performance, mainly because hard drives are far slower than RAM… if a program attempts to allocate memory and fails, it may crash.” When you spend $2,000 the last thing you want to have is your game slow down or crash because of insufficient memory. We’re going to recommend that you upgrade to at least 8GB of ram. Make sure to purchase your Ram all at once and in multi-channel kits. For this build we’ll go with the Corsair Vengeance 1600 speed which comes in 4 GB Dimm sticks. Our build price will assume you upgraded to 16GB.
With the increased popularity of downloadable online games it’s becoming increasingly important to increase the speed of your read/write times. The Intel 510 series has the fastest SATA III read and write times at up to 500GB/s for Read and up to 315MB/s for write times. To save a little money we’ll go with the 120 GB version which has 450/210MB/s read and write times.
For HDD we wanted to go with a hard drive that is up to the latest Sata 3 specifications. We went with the
Western Digital WD2002FAEX which has a capacity of 2 TB, is 7200RPM, and 64MB Cache.
This leaves you an additional $250 for your OS and additional cooling options. You could also consider using one of the higher-end GPUs that we listed above or even go with the 240GB Intel 510 SSD.
What do you think?
While no build can match what every gamer is looking for we want to know what you think. What would you replace or modify with this build? Let us know in our comment section below.