The best PCs are the ones that are put together with one’s own hands. Yes, you got it right, it is always recommended to build your own PC rather than getting a pre-built one and the reasons are many. Custom build PCs are exactly according to your preference and much less pricier than the prebuilt ones even with exact same specifications.
Best Gaming PC Build under $2500 – Component Breakdown
When we are building a gaming PC with a $2500, we surely don’t want to compromise on the CPU as it is the core element for better gaming performance. And for this purpose, I decided to choose an Intel Core i9 10850K, a truly outstanding Intel processor for gaming!
I won’t say this is the best one out there, but if you are an Intel freak, this is surely one of the best gaming CPUs from Intel. Moreover, do keep in mind, this is a very pricey CPU with extremely poor power consumption and temperatures, but nothing some undervolting and tweaking can’t fix.
MSI RTX 2080 Ti Ventus OC (Graphics Card)
What’s the point of building a $2500 gaming PC when there isn’t a top-quality graphics card? Therefore, I decided to go all out on a budget with 2080Ti, because a graphics card can make or break the deal for a gaming PC. the 2080Ti will cover you for a 1440p high refresh rate, 4K in the ultra, and all other related details without breaking. As I mentioned, it is the most expensive component in our list, but don’t feel bad; it is future proof, you probably won’t be needing any other card for years. And, not to forget, this card is the best option if you are planning to jump into high-performance ray tracing in games.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra (Motherboard)
The prebuilt PCs come with all the good specs but not the motherboard. Manufacturers mostly use a low-end motherboard, which can halt the reliability and durability of the CPU. Therefore, one of the biggest advantages of building your own PC is that you can add in a high-end motherboard and have a great gaming experience.
I would recommend Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ultra motherboard for this PC build as its IO and other features beat the other competitors, VRMs are amazing, and it can allow for extreme clocks on Intel Core i9 10850K CPU. If you are willing to spend $2500 on a PC build, your PC definitely deserves the performance and look and feel of Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra.
Noctua NH U12A (CPU Cooler)
It’s not a brainer that Gaming PCs run hot easily. Therefore, they need a good cooling setup to keep everything balanced. I rarely think of any other brand other than Noctua when it comes to air cooling solutions, mainly because they are best at what they claim.
The latest Noctua NH-U12A has been the reviewer’s best choice since the day it launched. It offers outstanding cooling performance while not making noises like a tractor. Also, not to forget, this CPU cooler is very easy to install! One more thing that had us impressed is the Noctua six-year warranty.
Crucial MX500 (Storage)
Storage is always the best option for Intel-based PCs. For the best gaming PC build under $2500, we have decided to use Samsung 970 Evo Plus along with Crucial MX500 SSD, and that too for a reason. The robust speed of the Samsung 970 Evo Plus, coupled with the stability and capacity of the Crucial MX500 SSD, gives the optimum result for an operating system. Moreover, this duo will take your gaming experience as there will be fast loading times and a good amount of capacity for the game library.
However, if you ever feel like running low on capacity, you can always throw in some more SSD according to your preference and needs. But, for the speed, you are pretty much covered with Samsung 970 Evo plus.
G-Skill Ripjaws 32GB (Memory)
Dual-channel memory is always better than one! And, even the cheaper builds these days have a dual-channel memory, so there is no point in having a single one in a PC worth $2500. I suggest getting this G-Skill Ripjaws 32GB (2 x 16GB) DD4 RAM as this is completely compatible with Intel processors. Also, this RAM is one of the personal tried and tested components for gaming, and trust me when I say it gives a whole new level of smooth gameplay. Also, it is quite stable during rendering as well.
Fractal Design Meshify C (PC Case)
For a PC Case, my recommendations always involve something that is roomy and has a good airflow setup as gaming PCs do run hot quite too much. And, hands down, I have never come across a better option than Fractal Design Meshify C. It comes with one of the best airflow setups as it’s made of mesh. Don’t worry; the mesh doesn’t feel or look cheap; rather, it looks premium and eye-catching when placed on a computer desk.
Also, this PC Case can fit in all your essential and miscellaneous hardware, including water cooling or custom tubing, thanks to the huge space! It can even fit 240mm radiators.
EVGA Supernova 750 G3 (Power Supply)
The bad power supply is the first thing that made us switch to building a custom gaming PC. Therefore, we surely won’t skimp on this one! For PSU, you can’t go wrong with EVGA Supernova 750 G3. It is highly compatible with our recommended CPU (Intel Core i9 10850k). Moreover, you’ll be impressed by the quality of cables, full modularity, and of course, EVGA’s official warranty. So, now say goodbye to poor power supplies with this one of the best PSU for Intel i9 Processors.
Custom Gaming PC Build – Buying Guide
When it comes to CPU, you should aim for getting the best of best in the given budget (never compromise on CPU!). For gaming, the perfect choice will be Intel Core i7-i9 or AMD Ryzen, depending on your preference and usage. If you ask for my recommendations, go for the Latest Intel Core i7 for the best gaming performance, or if you are an AMD enthusiast, get Ryzen 9 3900X. You surely won’t regret these purchases.
No matter how amazing your gaming CPU is, if you don’t have a fairly equivalent graphics card, it’s never going to be a perfect gaming PC. If you have a budget, go for the best consumer GPU available in the market, that is Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. Though I have my eyes on the new Nvidia RTX 3090, it is a little on the expensive side.
Anyways, RTX 2080 Ti has the best performance to value ratio, and I am pretty sure no other graphics card can beat its performance. If you are a beginner and looking for a less expensive variant, go for Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti.
No matter what your hardware specifications are for a gaming PC, you’ll surely be needing a CPU Cooler to keep your PC away from all the thermal issues. Gaming PCs run hot easily, and if these heating issues are not catered properly, you’ll surely be in big trouble. Therefore, go for a CPU Cooler that gets the job done pretty well while also not taking up a lot of space in your PC case. My always go-to brand for CPU Cooler is Noctua, do check out their coolers and decide according to your need!
Memory and Storage
When building a PC worth $2500, you’ll surely don’t want to corner Memory and Storage after getting such a good CPU and GPU. For Memory, you’ll be needing 2 x 16GB of fast 3200MHz. This Memory will be sufficient for all your gaming, multitasking, and browsing needs, or if you want to turn your PC into a workstation for rendering and production. Also, a dual-channel memory is always a better option than a single!
Go for a dual setup for Memory as well! Get a separate boot drive with class consistency and sustained speed; as we mentioned in our build, Samsung 970 Evo Plus is a very good option available in the market, or you can go for similar variants as well. For capacity, the sky’s the limit! I would suggest going over a 500GB SSD, but if you want to build a bigger gaming library, you can decide whether you want 1TB or 2TB. Whatever you choose, do keep in mind the rule of thumb, SSD over HDD!
Go for a PC case that has the best airflow, as you’ll surely be needing that with a gaming PC. Also, not to forget, the PC Case should be roomy enough to accommodate all your hardware components, including water cooling and large radiators. When going for PC Case shopping, look for a mesh design case.
Pre-Built Gaming PC under $2500
Not everyone wants to build or customize their own PC. There can be many reasons; maybe you don’t want to get into the technicalities of connecting hardware, you want to get a PC quickly, or maybe it’s just a personal preference. Whatever your reason is, you can always shop for a prebuilt gaming PC as there are tons of options available out there.
Here are two of the most liked to prebuild gaming PCs under $2500:
- Features Intel Core i7-10700F
- Comes with Nvidia RTX 2060
- 32GB RAM paired with 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD
Alienware is a very renowned name in gaming PCs, mainly because of its unique aesthetics. However, aesthetics are not the dealmaker for everyone. But, Alienware R11 holds the ground with its undeniably outstanding features.
Inside the beautiful and compact chassis of Alienware R11, it houses Intel Core i7-10700F paired with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, the perfect combo for smooth gameplay. This gaming PC comes in various configurations, so there’s a little room for options and preferences. It is a little on the pricey side but still under the $2500 budget.
Not to forget, the Alienware R11 features 32GB RAM along with 1TB SSD and 2GB HDD. These specifications will help you make a huge gaming library while not compromising on the lag-free gaming experience.
- Features Intel AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Comes with AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
- 16GB RAM paired with 512TB SSD and 1TB HDD
Undoubtedly, the first pick was Alienware R11; all credit goes to the new Intel CPU lineup. But, the second on our recommendation list also belongs to Alienware because no one can do better than Alienware when it comes to gaming PCs. The Alienware R10 is for the ones who are into AMD processors rather than Intel ones.
The Alienware R10 accommodates AMD Ryzen 7 3700X under the attractive black chassis. This chip is not only good for day-to-day productivity tasks but for gaming as well (duh! That’s the whole point). It is very much comparable to Intel Core i7, though.
Moreover, the Graphics Card also belongs to AMD. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT makes this PC a true gaming one. Not to forget the 16GB RAM, the multitasking companion. Though I would have enjoyed it more if there was a little room for upgrading, sadly, the design of the chassis doesn’t allow that. Anyways, as a first machine, Alienware R10 is not a bad option at all!
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
How much does it cost to build a high-end PC?
There is no exact figure when it comes to building a PC. You can build a PC for as low as $800. However, if you want to run high-end games (AAA titles), you’ll be needing specs according to that. A high-end PC would cost you somewhere around $1500 – $2500, depending on what hardware you are going to throw it in.
Is it cheaper to build a PC or buy a pre-built?
When it comes to price, building a custom PC is much cheaper and more rewarding than a prebuilt PC. Also, you can add hardware and specifications according to your usage and preference. While on the other hand, even though the prebuilt PC is expensive, it is an easier and quicker option.
Why are prebuilt PCs bad?
Prebuilt PCs come with a bad power supply and poor quality build. Even though you can easily find the latest and robust CPUs and GPUs in prebuilt PCs, the presence of a single cooling fan, poor quality of power supply (PSU), and an average motherboard will surely make your experience dull.
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