Enthusiast Build – $3,500

A high end gaming PC build when performance is all that matters.

For the enthusiast build we went for the gusto, featuring AMD’s top-end Ryzen 9 5900X, 12-core processor, and the powerful, and sleek XFX MERC319 Radeon 6800 XT. 4K gaming readily pushes the 8-10GB of VRAM found in NVIDIA’s RTX GPUs. The 16GB found in the 6800XT can easily take the VRAM-hungry games (and aftermarket mods!) that are out there. Granted, you can alleviate the VRAM usage by enabling FSR or DLSS which will also prolong the lifespan of GPUs. The 6800XT runs neck-and-neck with the 3080 in a variety of games, making which one you choose a matter of price. With the severe shortage of GPUs, prices are quite inflated still, but with the recent collapse of BTC and the political landscape, we might be seeing prices come down soon; likely not to MSRP, but at least not the $2000+ scalping levels we’ve been plagued with. We’ve kept the overall cost of this build down to just under $2000, so that leaves $1500 in the “$3500” budget to find an available GPU at the performance you need.

AMD’s 5900X is still suffering from the same availability woes that plague the GPU market. With the 5800X being fairly available, it might be worth the consideration, usually going for right around $400. Losing 4 cores for an “enthusiast” build is unfortunate, but it’s either that or step down to the 3900X which loses out on the gaming efficiencies that Zen3 provides.

ComponentManufacturerProductPrice (US)
CPU:AMDRyzen 9 5900X$549
Motherboard:GIGABYTEX570 AORUS MASTER$359
Memory:G.SkillTrident Z Neo CL16 (2x16GB)$229
Storage:GIGABYTEAORUS 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD$349
Graphics Card:XFXMERC319 Radeon 6800 XT 16GB~$800 (MSRP)
(yeah, we know)
CasePhanteksEnthoo Evolv X$199
Power SupplySeasonicFocus Plus 850, 80+ Platinum, Fully Modular 850W$158
CPU Cooler:DEEPCOOLCastle 360EX RGB AIO$119

The case itself supports a wide range of water cooling options with support for up to a single 420mm radiator at the front and a single 360mm radiator at the top. Additionally, it can even accommodate a second mini-ITX system.

We decided to go with 32GB of RAM giving new games, such as Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, plenty of breathing room so you can leave other memory-hungry applications open without worry (yes Chrome, we’re looking at you). ‘Prosumers’ or content creators who also game could definitely benefit from the added memory as well and may even be tempted to even go up to 64GB. We also went with a single 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD to provide ample storage for your OS and game library without having to worry about micromanaging multiple Steam locations or balancing other launcher install directories.

As far as monitor recommendations go, well there’s a wide variety of options at this end of the market and really it’s going to come down to specific-taste. If ultra-wide tickles your fancy (it certainly does for us) then the Samsung CHG90, 49″ 1800R curved, 3440 x 1440, 144Hz monitor is definitely a great choice. Sure, it’s expensive at just under $950, but it does tick off a lot of boxes, including FreeSync 2 HDR support.

Now, if 4K is what you’re after, then the Acer Predator X27, 27″ 3840 x 2460, 144Hz monitor is going to be your best bet. Featuring support for G-Sync Ultimate, this one ticks just about every box as well.

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