Want to make the best 4K gaming PC for $ 2500? Look no further because I will give you a recommendation of what you can get for your money. Such a gaming PC will blow everything in 1080p and 1140p, giving you a great gaming experience even in 4K resolution at 60+ FPS.
Not only for playing games, but this configuration will be capable of any other job such as video processing, programming, photo processing, streaming, etc.
We will also compare the price of the two variants you can buy. The first option is to make your gaming PC from the recommended components, and the second option is to purchase a prebuilt PC from the same or similar parts.
4K Gaming PC Build
Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital
ASUS TUF Gaming B660M-PLUS WiFi D4
Intel Core i7-12700KF
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 LHR 10GB GDRR6X
EVGA Super Nova 750 G5
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3600
WD BLACK 1TB SN750 SE NVMe
To assemble your new desktop PC from the listed components, you need to follow the guide to building your first PC. I’ve described the whole building process in detail, and if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s also good to read some helpful tips on building your first PC.
4K Prebuilt Gaming PC
Don’t have the time or energy to build your PC configuration? In that scenario, you have a prebuilt PC that will work for you immediately after taking it out of the box. Everything is set up with a pre-installed operating system and drivers. All you have to do is turn on your computer and install your favorite games. If you’re interested in this approach, let’s look at what’s on offer for $ 2500 with similar specifications as the recommended configuration above.
Skytech Shiva Gaming PC Desktop
Asus Prime B550M-A (WI-FI)
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
Graphics Card (GPU)
Gigabyte Vision RTX 3080 10GB GDDR6X
Solid State Drive (SSD)
WD Blue SSN550 M.2 1TB NVMe PCIe
Hard Disk Drive (SSD)
Team T-Force Vulcan Z DDR4-3600 (2x8GB)
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
EVGA G5 750W 80+ Gold
Operating System (OS)
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Case: InWin 101
Fan: 3x ARGB InWin Jupiter
Please note that brands listed in the specification will vary depending on the stock vary.
4K Gaming PC Build vs. 4K Prebuilt Gaming PC
Comparing these two systems, we can draw several conclusions:
- The performance of these two systems is similar, but I give a slight plus for the latest Alder Lake CPU if you assemble the PC yourself. This recommendation doesn’t mean that the AMD Zen3 5600X will disappoint you. On the contrary.
- The price of these two systems is very similar, but I again prefer the Alder Lake configuration due to RGB AIO cooling, RGB RAM, and the Phanteks case with better airflow.
- You aren’t sure which components you will get in a prebuilt PC because it depends on the state of the manufacturer’s stock.
- You have more freedom to choose parts if you build your PC from scratch.
So, take a prebuilt PC if you don’t have the time, will, and prior knowledge to build your PC. Get a prebuilt PC if you want a system that will work right out of the box. For brave users who wish to fully control what they are installing in their future gaming system and get the most out of it, I recommend building a PC on your own.
Components for 4K Gaming PC Build for $ 2,500
Suppose you have dared and decided to make a gaming PC yourself. Congratulations. Next, I will briefly describe the proposed components for one Alder Lake gaming system. Such a gaming system will be enough for comfortable gaming in 4K resolution. Also, keep in mind that only the essential components are listed, but you will need peripherals (mouse, keyboard, headset, or monitor) that you may not currently have.
Case – Phanteks P400A Digital
Phanteks P400A Digital is a real example of how a quality build comes at an affordable price. Its attractive but simple design will easily fit into your interior. You can choose between black and white case colors.
The P400A is an excellent case with plenty of room for even the most powerful components that will cool well thanks to well-designed ventilation. Best of all, this great case costs just under $ 100, but if you don’t like the design, check out other affordable cases in this price range.
Motherboard – Asus Tuf Gaming B660M-Plus WiFi D4
Asus TUF Gaming B660M-Plus WiFi D4 for the 12th generation Intel processors (Alder Lake) comes with a B660 chipset, slightly weaker than the strongest Z690. The board is in micro ATX format and exceptionally well equipped with new technologies. It has 4 DDR4 RAM slots for 128GB and will support 5333MHz speed without any problems on the standard XMP profile.
TUF Gaming B660M-Plus has an excellent integrated 7.1 audio chipset, 2.5Gbps Ethernet controller, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.2. In addition to two M.2 NVMe 2280 slots, the board comes with 4 SATA ports for additional storage. You also get 8 USB ports on the back (6x USB 3.2, 2x USB 2.0) and 2x USB 3.2 ports for the front panel, multiple connectors for fans, etc. So, the board has everything you might need to build at this level for an Alder Lake configuration.
CPU – Intel Core i7-12700KF + Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2
Intel’s 12th generation Core i7 12700KF is a powerful 12-core processor for gaming, content creation, streaming, etc. The KF suffix in the label suggests that the processor has an unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking and lacks an integrated graphics card. The lack of an already weak integrated chip isn’t a problem because I suggest a potent discrete graphics card with this CPU.
As for overclocking with Core i7 12700KF, you can quickly go over 5GHz. However, for any severe overclocking adventure, I recommend installing an AIO CPU cooler such as the NZXT Kraken X63 or X73. The CPU will run at 5Ghz with the turbo mode even without overclocking.
Intel doesn’t ship the cooler with powerful CPUs, like Core i7-12700KF. It’s known that Alder Lake, in addition to excellent performance, also has excellent heat dissipation. So it’s best to immediately consider a good AIO cooling such as Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L.
MasterLiquid ML240L is a versatile AIO CPU cooler that will offer you good cooling despite the low price. The third generation of the two-chamber pump and the wider space on the radiator enables good and quiet heat dissipation. The water pump and the fans have RGB lighting that you can control via the included controller.
You can easily install this cooler, even if you encounter the AIO system for the first time. The standard package doesn’t include an accessory for mounting on the LGA 1700 socket, but this doesn’t prevent you from directly requesting this upgrade kit from CM.
Graphics Card – MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 LHR 10GB GDRR6X
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 with 10GB GDRR6X is a powerful 320-bit graphics card that will give you a great gaming experience. RTX GPU chips can boast real-time Ray Tracing for an even more realistic display of details in games. The RTX 3080 requires 3 x PCIe 8pin connectors from a 750W PSU. The graphics card has 3x DisplayPort v1.4a and one HDMI 2.1 (Supports 4K @ 120Hz) from the video output, and NVIDIA is behind full VR support for its RTX models.
The MSI model has excellent cooling plus some discrete RGB lighting. The dimensions of the graphics card are 323 x 140 x 56mm, so there will be no problem fitting it into the planned Phanteks case.
RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB
16GB of DDR4 RAM is enough for a gaming PC. For the recommended configurations you would do on your own (AMD or Intel), I chose the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 at 3600Mhz. It’s a high-performance RAM that will beautify the case’s interior with RGB lighting.
If you intend to do some more demanding work, you can immediately go to 32GB (2x16GB), although the board has 4 RAM slots in case of subsequent expansion. Always take RAM in pairs to keep your system running in dual-channel mode.
PSU – EVGA SuperNova 750 G5 750W, 80+ Gold
EVGA SuperNova 750 G5 is a compact, high-quality, reliable, and utterly modular power supply that the manufacturer has guaranteed for as long as ten years. The power supply is 80+ Gold certified with at least 91% efficiency under typical load.
Since the SuperNova G5 is entirely modular, you don’t have to worry about excess cables that you won’t need. Also, the modular PSU is ideal for good cable management, with which you will have good airflow. 750W is enough to power all components, and in case of any problems, you have + 24/7 technical support from EVGA.
Storage – M.2 WD BLACK SN750 SE
I chose a fast WD BLACK SN750 SE for the storage space. It’s a PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD with a capacity of 1 TB that will make your operating system and applications run much faster than on a classic SATA SSD. If you are a demanding user, you may find this small for all the favorite games you plan to install. In that case, this may be your primary disc with a few favorite games on it.
You can set up a secondary SATA SSD with a capacity of 1TB or more that will hold other games and essential data. This combination will unload the primary disk, and generally, everything will work much more comfortably.
Suppose you have a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and headphones left over from your old PC. Then it would be best to have nothing more to buy than the estimated budget for this 4K Gaming PC build for $ 2500.
But if you don’t have peripherals, you’ll have to get them to complete your gaming PC. Furthermore, I will recommend cheap but enough quality peripherals that will not burden you with the planned budget for building your gaming PC.
Monitor – ASUS VP28UQG 4K Monitor
The ASUS VP28UQG is a 28″ gaming monitor with a TN panel and a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K). The build quality is average but solid. You can’t raise the screen vertically, but you can control the horizontal tilt from -5 ° to 20 °. I wish the screen frame were thinner, and the monitor had better ergonomics, but it shouldn’t be too strict given the price.
Due to the lower price, Asus opted for the TN panel, which has significantly narrower viewing angles than IPS or VA panels. But given the size of the screen, you’ll hardly look from the side rather than sit in front while gaming or watching movies.
The TN panel is also good because of the fast response of 1ms, so it’s suitable for FPS games. There are no noticeable ghosts or blurring during fast action. Thanks to the 4K resolution, the image is sharp and clear.
The screen is flicker-free and has an integrated blue light filter for reduced eye strain. VP28UQG also supports AMD FreeSync but is compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync through Adaptive-Sync. As for the connectors, Asus 4K gaming monitor has two HDMI and one DisplayPort, enough for most users. The monitor has no built-in speakers and has one audio output for headphones.
The OSD menu is quite simple and easy to navigate, thanks to the 5-way joystick located on the back of the monitor (red). There’s also a GamePlus option in the OSD menu through which you can set a timer, FPS counter, and various variants for crosshair overlay.
Keyboard mouse combo – HAVIT Mechanical Keyboard+Mouse+Headset Kit
Havit keyboard comes in 104 Key full-size, so it takes up sufficient space on the table. This kit contains a mechanical gaming keyboard, wrist rest, mouse, and headset. The build quality is good but nothing special. The design is quite decent and oriented towards the gaming population.
For this price, you get a mechanical keyboard. It comes with Outemu Blue switches and an RGB backlight. The mouse comes with six levels of DPI sensitivity (800/1600/2400/3200/4000/4800) with easy adjustment. The headphones are a budget variant, the sound quality is mediocre, and the RGB works appropriately.
Lighting effects come with 14 predefined settings on the keyboard and seven on the mouse. The headphones have also implemented RGB lighting, which will complete the atmosphere.
Given the relatively low price of this kit, one should not be too critical. If a small budget limits you, it’s worth taking. You get a rounded offer that’s hard to resist, especially for this money. You can’t ask for more. Alternatively, you can peek at my list of best gaming keyboards under $ 50.
Operating system (OS)
Today you can choose between two popular PC operating systems: Windows and Linux. If you are tight on budget and don’t want to spend more than buying hardware, you choose one of the Linux distributions.
Popular distributions of Linux (which visually most resemble Windows) are Linux Lite, Zorin OS, and Ubuntu. These are all free distros of the Linux operating system. Linux’s only downside is that they require more customization and have narrowed support for games and programs, unlike Windows.
If you want a legitimate copy of Windows, I recommend getting at least the basic version of Windows Home. Windows has many games and programs, has ironed drivers, and runs pretty smoothly.
You can install Windows on your PC in two ways, via a USB flash drive or an optical drive (CD or DVD). Here you can find a pre-installed Windows 10 on a USB flash drive. See the instructions here to install your copy of the OS on a USB flash drive.
So, if you are looking for a 4K gaming PC that will successfully handle all new AAA games, you can do so for around $ 2500. Expect great performance in 1080p, 1440p and 4K with 60+ FPS. For $ 2500, you get a great Phanteks case with good airflow, the latest Alder Lake architecture from Intel, a premium RTX 3080 graphics card, AIO RGB cooling, etc.
The recommended prebuilt PC is also a good solution if you still don’t have time to build your own. Also, the ASUS VP28UQG monitor is the initial 4K gaming monitor, and buy it only if you have a small budget for more expensive models and still want to try high-resolution gaming. Lastly, if you have any additional questions and suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.