Not everybody can afford a high-end gaming PC. That’s partly because PC parts generally aren’t cheap, but it can also be the result of differing ideas on what “high-end” actually means. PC Gamer’s high-end PC build guide is aimed at a price tier of $2,000 / £2,000.
A $700 or $800 PC is head and shoulders above any console you can buy. Sure, you can go cheaper with a PC, but racing to the bottom isn’t what PC gaming is about. And once you start dipping below $600 it’s hard to see the advantage of the PC anyway. Console makers get their parts in bulk on the cheap, and it’s hard to fight against that kind of scale with retail parts. At the next tier of $1,300, you can see improved frame rates and quality settings due to the graphics cards that become available. And at this tier of $2,000 (give or take $100 or so), we try to push a good bit further with the highest-end graphics cards within reason.
The price point also doesn’t account for the operating system or any peripherals. Check out our buying guides to the best mouse, keyboard, and gaming monitor for our favorite picks to pair with your new rig.
In our latest build, we’ve updated the CPU and motherboard to use one of Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors. It isn’t a huge performance gain over the Core i7-6700K, but the price difference is mostly negligible, so it was an easy upgrade to make. To complement it, we also moved up to a Z270 motherboard.