HomeGuidesBuilding A Gaming PC On A $3000 Budget Tim F. October 27, 2013 Guides, Pc Hardware Enthusiasts that have $3000 to spend have several options. Generally once it comes to a budget of over 2k many gamers get into water-cooling. This consists of cooling several components of the system with water. The components vary, but generally it consists of a loop that runs through a CPU block to the video cards (multiple video cards, especially with such a high budget) up through a pump, through a radiator and into a reservoir. Loops like these are personalized and depend on many of the components such as the case, number of radiators, number of fans, number of components cooled, etc. Thus, in this case, we will avoid going into the water cooling aspect of the build even though it is highly recommended. With $3000 for this pc build it’s going to be an extremely powerful computer, one that on the average 1920x1080p screen would be pointless. With such a powerful PC the recommended monitor setup would consist of either a very hi-res monitor (2560×1440 or 2560×1600) or three monitors. This can get relatively expensive, at around $800. When planning your build keep in mind that screens are NOT cheap. They can potentially account for 1/4 of the total build cost. So with a 3k budget you are in for a $2200 build and $800 worth of screens, or you can stick to having a build of $3000 and plan to purchase (or already have) screens separately. This article will consist entirely of the build and screens will not count towards the total cost. Processor i7-4930k – $580 This cpu is probably the best top tier processor if you have the money to spend on it, which at this budget, you do. Being a 6 core processor it will be able to last in the future especially as games begin to take advantage of multiple core CPU’s. Note: This processor is not a very efficient CPU in terms of value for performance. Having such a high budget however allows us to get one the most powerful CPUs on the market, and one that in the future will be very valuable especially for multiple gpu performance. Some might think that adding the i7-4960x (3.9GHZ) would be a better option, but its not as you can easily overclock the i7-4930k to 4.5GHZ with relatively no hassle for half the price. CPU – Cooler Corsair H100i – $100 Performance means power, which in turn means heat. A good cooler for the processor is necessary especially for the beastly SandyBridge-E and this liquid CPU cooler will do the job perfectly. As we have mentioned before watercooling the whole system would be the best option, but this cooler gives a set and forget setup. Motherboard Gigabyte X79-UP4 – $235 High performance, fast, powerful, sturdy motherboard capable of 64GB of RAM, 4 video cards in CF/SLI and amazing overclocking potential, this board is perfect. RAM G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB – $185 This RAM is fast, has low latency, quad channel. Just what an enthusiast needs. In games quantity or quality of RAM is not extremely important. This RAM is not the best but one of the best in terms of its value and is more that enough for a gamer. Hard Drive Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB– $130 A good reliable SSD for windows and several programs. Almost all SSD’s operate at the same speeds, this one was chosen because of its reliability and reputation. Another possibility would be to go with 2x128GB (Kingston) or a cheaper single 256GB SSD and have twice the amount of space. WDC Black 2TB – $150 Reliable and durable HDDs for all your games and gamer needs. Case Cooler Master HAF 932 – $ 125 Great case, with good airflow. Looks appealing and is big enough to fit potential water cooling accessories. Note: We liked this case so we recommend it, but seeing as its more of a “looks” thing you can change to your personal preference. Note : Full ATX is a must with options for additional fans and space for a 240mm RAD. Power Supply Corsair 1200W AX1200i – $300 The PSU goes up to 1200W for potential future card upgrades and water-cooling. This is a 80+ Platinum certified power supply which means its efficiency and output is the top of the range. Video Cards 2x R9-290X 4GB – $1170 Great video cards that perform well in CF, they also have high VRAM which is beneficial in high resolution setups. We recommend you do not get the reference version card as it runs hot and the fan is quite loud. Another option if your a Nvidia Fan boy is to go for 2XGTX780’s in SLi or wait for the GTX780Ti to come out. We haven’t mentioned the Titan as it’s overpriced and you should get better performance with a CF or SLI setup. Conclusion This build has great potential. It will run a bit hot because of the video-cards but the case has great airflow and it’s something a couple extra fans can easily remedy. Spending this much on a rig is a bit overkill and once you start paying too much for components you start to experience diminishing returns on performance. What this means is that even though you are paying for the best, and most powerful, your purchase is not worth the performance increase. Something to keep in mind is that a card such as the R9-290X will run pretty much every game on ultra-settings. You might of course require more raw power for multiple screen setups and insane resolutions, but the idea is that you can spend $2000 now for a build and save $1000 to spend the next year. That or you could also invest in water-cooling. Custom water-cooling setups can get quite expensive but they reduce heat, allow for decent overclocking, and increase component durability. We want to point out that this build is an option. If you really want to spend $3000 on a build you should definitely do some research and figure out builds that could prove more useful to you. Dartist False advertising there are no 290X graphic cards that look that great…great value though… http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou The R9-290X has just been released. The image was to illustrate a non reference R9-290X (which are yet to be released) I think Asus will be the first to pounce on the R9-290X with a DirectCU II version.