What would you put into a new gaming PC right now?

If you had $2,000 to spend on a new PC build, what would you buy? Even with a couple grand to play with, you'd have to make sacrifices: You can't spend a quarter of your money on tempered glass and RGB lighting if you want Cyberpunk 2077 to run smoothly at 1440p with ray tracing on. And what if you had $500? Can you put together a budget PC that'll do the job when the year's biggest RPG releases?

Just for fun, we're holding a hypothetical PC build-off in the PC Gamer forums. The competition is simple: Pick a budget limitation ($500, $1,000, or $2,000) and then create the best parts list you can. We'll feature our favorite builds in each budget category here on the site.

Power is important, but your build should be well-rounded, attractive, and practical. A PC with the best CPU and GPU on the market isn't likely to win best in show if it's also outfitted with 8GB RAM from a company with six 'z's in its name, no SSD, and a case made entirely from extra-brittle plastic.

Here are the forum threads that explain the rules of our game, and where you can enter:

If you're crowned the best part picker, we'll feature your build on the site, so make sure you give it a good name. Mythological creatures are always a good fallback if you can't think of anything. 

If you want to join in, the deadline for designing your build is May 4. (We recently extended it from April 27.)

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the rise of personal computers, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early PCs his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.