$1,500

Do you want to build the best high-end gaming PC possible for $1,500? Then you've come to the right place! The system we profile here offers the best balance of CPU and GPU power you'll find in any build on the 'Net, along with high-end yet cost-effective parts in every other category. The goal: maximum frames per dollar without skimping on the stuff everyone else does, like a quality power supply and a big solid-state drive. The last thing you want is a hot rod engine in an old beater chassis, so we make sure your gaming PC checks off all the boxes!

For September 2019, we're recommending the potent combination of Intel's Core i7-9700K eight-core CPU and AMD's new RX 5700 XT 8GB to give you the best bang-for-the-buck you'll find in a high-end gaming PC. But this system features more than a great CPU and GPU; also on the build list is an ultra-fast PCIe-based 1TB solid-state drive and 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM with RGB lighting, which have both seen massive price cuts over the past few months. The system is anchored by a 750W Gold-rated power supply that will allow for unlimited overclocking headroom. For the case, we recommend a sleek tempered glass RGB model from Thermaltake, while the system is cooled by a dual-fan tower cooler from Arctic. By the way, if you want to accessorize your new build, check out our top keyboard, mouse, and monitor recommendations at the end of this guide.

We update this build monthly, as prices and components in this market change quite frequently, and a few dollars here or there could buy you a lot of performance. To see our past builds and prices, just flip over to the $1,500 Build Archive page.

We use Amazon's real-time pricing engine to give you the most up-to-date U.S. prices available, and we also include links to Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany, with regional substitutions made when necessary. Your use of these links ensures that we can continue to update this guide regularly.

The $1,500 High-End Gaming PC - September 2019

The Pre-Built Option

    The Premium Gaming PC:

    CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Supreme SLC8260A2

    HOT DEAL! We're not sure how CyberPowerPC is making money on this, but if you're not deadset on building your own PC, you should do yourself a favor and pick up this system!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Sporting a Core i7-9700K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB, 16GB DDR4, and a 1TB PCI-E NVMe SSD, this thing is for real! Good luck spec'ing that out on your own for this price!

The Build-Your-Own Option

    CPU:

    Intel Core i7-9700K

    Thanks to massive discounts on the 9700K in the wake of AMD's launch of its Ryzen 3000 series, gamers can now get huge gaming potential at a bargain price. The eight-core 9700K is truly unbeaten when it comes to gaming. It boosts to 4.9GHz out of the box, and can be pushed to 5GHz with the cooler we recommend later in this guide.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The 9700K wouldn't be our pick for content creation, but that's not what this build is all about!

    Motherboard:

    MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus

    Being one of the least expensive Z390 boards currently available, this motherboard is an excellent buy for a gaming-focused PC. It of course supports overclocking of your CPU, while also including dual M.2 slots, six USB ports (including a Type-C port), and RGB controls for this system's built-in case lighting.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Want to add wireless networking to your build? See the optional wireless card listed later in this guide!

    Video Card:

    MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB

    Get a huge jump into gaming with the new RX 5700 XT 8GB from AMD, which actually beats Nvidia's ultra-popular RTX 2070, despite a much lower price. In fact, it provides the best price/performance of any high-end GPU ever released!

    The Guru's Tip:

    While a few AMD board partners have announced custom-designed versions of the RX 5700 XT, none have hit the market yet. They'll run a bit quieter in exchange for a higher price. Your best bet for actually getting one this month is backordering the Sapphire RX 5700 XT Pulse.

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200

    Because games and other applications can take serious advantage of RAM speed on Intel's latest CPUs, we're spec'ing a fast DDR4-3200 kit for this build. And of course, it has awesome RGB effects that you can sync with your motherboard and case!

    The Guru's Tip:

    We strongly recommend 16GB of RAM, as we've found many games released over the past few years can take up over 8GB on their own!

    Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    Thanks to a major SSD price war, prices keep dropping on great drives. The SX8200 Pro 1TB offers high-end performance at a mainstream price, thanks to its PCIe interface and TLC NAND. It's far superior to every SATA drive, even though it sells for around the same price!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that to affix any M.2 drive to the motherboard, you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver set.

    Case:

    Thermaltake V200 Tempered Glass RGB

    Thermaltake knocks it out of the park with its awesome V200. Offering a distinctive style at a surprisingly-low price, this case simply has no competition. It serves up three 120mm RGB fans, a fourth 120mm fan in the rear, plus a full-size tempered glass side panel.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you can control the RGB lighting built into the case fans via the motherboard simply by connecting them to one of the board's 4-pin 12V RGB headers.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-650FX

    This awesome 650W Gold-rated unit offers a fully-modular design, and a zero-fan mode, despite coming in at an exceptionally-low price. It's backed by a 10-year warranty and the best customer service in the PC industry.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Due to US tariffs on China, the cost of power supplies is skyrocketing in the US, so expect this unit to jump in price as soon as the current stock is depleted!

    CPU Cooler:

    ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO Red

    Maximize the performance of your 9700K with this powerful but affordable cooler from Arctic. Featuring dual 120mm hydraulic bearing fans, it's both quiet and capable.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Don't be tempted by the best-selling Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. It's far inferior to this cooler.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    There's no doubt about it: Windows 10 is the best OS ever, and Microsoft keeps making it better, with major feature updates every Spring and Fall.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This USB 3.0 version of Windows installs in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    The 802.11ac CNVi Adapter:

    Gigabyte CNVi WiFi Wireless-AC Upgrade kit

    Add high-speed 802.11ac wireless networking to your build for a great price with this excellent M.2-based card.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This slots right into the short M.2 WiFi slot in the middle of the motherboard.

    The Bargain Gaming Headset:

    HyperX Cloud Stinger

    Want an awesome set of cans to go along with your gaming system? Then pick up the Cloud Stinger headset from HyperX, by far the best gaming headset available for under $50!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review right here!

    The Budget Gaming Keyboard:

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    Offering amazing features for the price, the G213 is by far the best pick among gaming keyboard under $50. Offering great responsiveness plus RGB lighting, it's both stylish and functional.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model even includes a wrist rest for additional comfort during long gaming sessions!

    The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G703 Lightspeed

    This is one of the lighest, fastest, most comfortable mice on the market, and on top of all that, it's wireless.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This mouse can even be charged wirelessly using the PowerPlay Mouse Mat.

    The Bargain 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor:

    Acer XF270HU

    In our opinion, there's no single component that's more important to determining the quality of your gaming experience than your monitor. Sure, you need the right video card, but without the right monitor, you might end up burning GPU power and getting nothing for it. With this monitor, you get a 2560 x 1440 TN panel capable of a 144Hz refresh rate, and more importantly, frame-syncing via FreeSync, which will work in tandem with the RTX 2070 in this system to provide absolutely lag-free gaming without the slightest hint of tearing.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While FreeSync was originally developed for AMD video cards, Nvidia has finally seen the wisdom in allowing its use on Nvidia GeForce cards - all it requires is the latest drivers!