best $1500 high end gaming pc build

Do you want to build the best high-end gaming PC possible for $1,500? Then you've come to the right place! The build 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 build checks off all the boxes!

For January 2020, this build features AMD's Ryzen 7 3700X, an eight-core, 16-thread CPU that equals Intel's processors on a clock-for-clock basis thanks to its advanced Zen 2 architecture, and vastly undercuts Intel in price per core. In this build, we recommed you cool it with a powerful dual-fan air cooler. You also get a cutting-edge X570 motherboard, offering the latest in connectivity, including PCIe 4.0. The Zen 2 platform is backing up the RTX 2070 Super 8GB GPU, the perfect GPU for 1440p gaming. But this build 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 RAM, which have both seen massive price cuts over the past few months. For the case, we recommend a sleek tempered glass RGB model from Thermaltake, while the build is anchored by a 650W Gold-rated power supply. Another option, however, is to go with a pre-built system rather than a DIY build, and you can find our top pick by scrolling down below!

To learn more about this month's build and to post all your questions, jump over to our YouTube build overview!

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. 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 build guide.

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The $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build - January 2020

The Pre-Built Option

  • The High-End Gaming PC:

    iBUYPOWER Trace 9230V2

    If you're not sure you want to build your own gaming PC, but you definitely know you want something incredibly fast, well, we have a great option for you: the Trace 9230 v2 from iBuypower. Offering up an Intel Core i7-9700K, a GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB, 16GB of RAM, and a 240GB solid-state drive and a 1TB hard drive, it's a great setup for gaming, and one you can game on the day it arrives!

    The Guru's Tip:

    You also get some nice pack-ins with this system, like a keyboard, mouse, and built-in WiFi.

The Build-Your-Own Option

  • CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

    AMD's Zen 2 architecture is here, and it's made a huge splash in the PC industry! Matching Intel on a clock-for-clock basis, but offering far better value and far lower power consumption, the Ryzen 7 3700X is a dream chip at a great price. And it bring along with it the most advanced platform in the business!

    The Guru's Tip:

    At this point, there's really no reason to consider Intel at this pricepoint, as it has stopped production of nearly all of its retail CPUs, sending its limited supply to OEMs.

  • Motherboard:

    ASUS Prime X570-P

    This X570 board offers a huge range of features at a very reasonable price, including dual M.2 slots using the cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 interface, a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for video cards, eight USB ports, and RGB controls for this system's built-in case lighting.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While some previous-gen X470 boards now ship with the updated firmware required to boot the 3700X, we still recommend X570 for its superior PCIe standard.

  • Video Card:

    ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini 8GB

    The RTX 2070 Super is the high-end video card enthusiasts had been hoping for when the RTX line first launched in Fall of 2018, but it wasn't until the "Super" version arrived in August of 2019 that they got what they wanted! It will let you jump right into high-end gaming, even tackling 4K gaming with ease.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The RTX 2070 Super is way ahead of the RTX 2070 (as in 15% faster) - don't be fooled into accidentally buyign a standard RTX 2070 if the one we link to is backordered!

  • Memory:

    Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB DDR4-3200

    Because games and other applications can take serious advantage of RAM speed on AMD's latest CPUs, we're spec'ing a fast DDR4-3200 kit for this build.

    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:

    Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe

    A massive price war in the SSD market is leading to better values every month, and our favorite pick is Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB, the best drive under $100! It features QLC NAND and the ultra-fast PCIe interface, allowing it to blow past similarly-priced SATA drives!

    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:

    Corsair RM650 (2019)

    This awesome 650W Gold-rated unit offers a fully-modular design, and a zero-fan mode, despite coming in at a great price. It's backed by a 10-year warranty and the best customer support in the business.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this unit offers up dual CPU (12V EPS) power connectors. You need those two connectors to provide full power to all X570 motherboards, which have adopted a dual EPS connector standard in order to support CPUs with up to 16-cores!

  • CPU Cooler:

    ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO Red

    Maximize the performance of your eight-core CPU with this powerful but affordable cooler from Arctic. Featuring dual 120mm fans with hydraulic bearings, it's both quiet and capable.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While the system can run on the downdraft cooler that comes with the Ryzen 7, it will be faster and quieter with this upgraded tower 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 Premium Wireless PC Headset:

    Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 Headset

    Want an awesome set of cans to go along with your gaming system? Then pick up the G935 Wireless from Logitech, by far the best headset available for under $100! You get amazing sound quality, the best 7.1 surround in the business, and of wireless freedom, which is rare at this pricepoint

    The Guru's Tip:

    See 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 Pro Gaming Mouse:

    Razer DeathAdder Elite

    HUGE PRICE DROP! This is the mouse that every other company has tried to copy of over the years, and few have matched it. Now available at a huge discount, the DeathAdder is a must-have accessory!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this mouse in our shootout review.

  • 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!