best $1500 high end gaming pc build

Important Update: Due to the non-availability of nearly every video card at retail, we recommend that most gamers purchase the pre-built PC we list in this guide, rather than wait on GPUs to restock.

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 2021, the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build continues to feature 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 terms of cost per core. It's backing up the awesome new RTX 3070 8GB, which equals the previous king-of-the-hill RTX 2080 Ti for less than half the price. The only catch is that it will be sold out for months, so we're recommending you buy an older EVGA GeForce card and immediately register it for a Step-Up to EVGA's RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra. It's as simple as getting in the queue. 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! 

If you do go the DIY route, you'll find that this build is equipped with the best gear for the price. That includes a fast 1TB PCIe solid-state drive and 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM. For the case, we recommend a sleek new tempered glass model from Corsair, while the build is anchored by a high-efficiency Gold-rated 750W power supply. 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. Learn more about this build and post your questions in our YouTube 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. Need help assembling your Ryzen PC? No problem - check out our first-person-view assembly video!

We provide links throughout our guide to Amazon or Newegg for our US readers, as well as dedicated links to Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany for readers in our regions, with substitutions made where specific products are not available in those countries. Your use of these links ensures that we can continue to update this guide regularly.

The $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build - January 2021

The Pre-Built Option

  • The High-End Gaming PC:

    ABS Gladiator 9700F/RTX 3070 Gaming PC @Newegg

    HOT DEAL - The only way to start gaming on an RTX 3070 today! In case you haven't noticed, Nvidia's new RTX 3070 hasn't been available anywhere since it launched on Oct. 29th, so save yourself the headache and pick up a pre-built ABS system from Newegg with the 3070 pre-installed! This desktop features a high-powered Intel Core i7-9700F eight-core CPU, the all-important RTX 3070 8GB video card, plus a 1TB solid-state drive and 16GB of RAM.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is honestly the only way you're going to get an RTX 3070 in your hands unless you spend 24/7 hunting one down, and we're going to be honest: this pre-built PC is on the verge of selling out too, which we know because almost all of the other ABS desktops with RTX 3000 GPUs are now gone!

The Build-Your-Own Option

  • CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X @Newegg

    AMD's Zen 2 architecture 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 the perfect CPU for the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build. And it brings along with it the most advanced platform in the business! It will provide you tremendous upgrade potential down the line should you wish to drop in an even more powerful CPU, and the 3700X also includes the awesome Wraith Spire RGB cooler, so there's no need to spend extra on one for this build!

    The Guru's Tip:

    AMD soft launched its newer Zen 3 processors on Nov. 5th, which sold out within hours. While they are impressive, there's an across-the-board price hike. The 8-core 5800X costs $450, so it definitely won't make the cut for this build. For now, we still believe the 3700X is the right pick, although once the six-core Ryzen 5 5600X is available, it will be worth considering for those interested in its gaming performance (for content creation, the 3700X will still win out).

  • Motherboard:

    ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/ac @Newegg

    This feature-packed B550 board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs (one being Gen 4), six USB ports, four PCIe slots, plus built-in wireless networking and Bluetooth.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the case we recommend for this build has one USB 3.0 Type-A port and one USB Type-C port, but most mid-range motherboards, including the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming, don't have a Type-C header. If you'd like to enable that port, go for MSI's B550-A Pro, the only sub-$150 board to support the new standard. Just note that at that price, you have to give up built-in WiFi/Bluetooth to get the header!

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce GT 1030 (Temporary Card)

    CRITICAL UPDATE: Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3070 8GB is what we recommend for this build, but it soft launched on October 29th, and has not been available for purchase ever since. Widespread availability probably won't happen until March 2021. Therefore, we highly recommend that PC builders pick up this older EVGA GPU, which will allow you to use EVGA's Step-Up Program to immediately get in queue for the awesome EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra. You'll have your system up and running while everyone else mashes F5 on their keyboards for the next few months! As an alternative, you can simply buy the pre-built system we listed earlier in this guide and start gaming on the RTX 3070 without the wait!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To take advantage of the Step-Up Program, you must be a resident of the US, Canada, or the EU, and you must register your card with EVGA within 14 days of purchase. Note that the RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra is $610, and we've incorporated that price into our overall budget. When you trade in the older card, you will only pay the difference between the two cards.

  • Memory:

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Steel DDR4-3600 17-19-19 @Newegg

    Because games and other applications can take serious advantage of RAM speed on AMD's latest CPUs, we're currently spec'ing a fast DDR4-3600 kit for the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that 8GB of RAM is no longer sufficient for gaming, which is why we recommend a 2x8GB (16GB) configuration. And you'll still have the option to add another two sticks later on to bring the total up to 32GB!

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG Gammix S11 1TB @Newegg

    The SSD price wars are heating up again, and one drive rises to the top: the Gammix S11 1TB from XPG. Easily beating every SATA drive, despite a similar price, this model uses the PCIe interface, fast TLC NAND, and an aggressive SLC cache mode for simply unbeatable performance under $150!

    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:

    Corsair 4000D Airflow Black @Newegg

    The 4000D is simply the best performance-oriented case you can get for the money, thanks to its fantastic airflow design, dual 120mm fans, and a plenty of builder-friendly touches, like excellent cable routing, captive screws, and plenty of fan mounts.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Get a closeup view of this case and ask questions about this build in our YouTube overview!

  • Power Supply:

    Silverstone ET750-G

    Nearly every high-quality power supply on the market has been sold out since March, but this one has miraculously shown up back in stock, and delivers 750 Watts with a great Gold rating! It provides plenty of power for this system, along with great efficiency.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Please avoid the knock-off units from no-name manufacturers that are flooding the market, like junk from Apevia, GameMax, and RaidMax.

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 on USB @Newegg

    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:

    As of our latest update, the USB version of Windows 10 is in stock, but you can always go for the downloadable version, available on the same product page, and install it from an 8GB or bigger flash drive.

Optional Components

  • The Mainstream Gaming Headset:

    Corsair HS60 Pro Surround

    Want an awesome set of cans to go along with your gaming system? Then pick up the HS60 Pro Surround, by far the best headset available at its pricepoint! You get great sound quality and comfort, plus top-notch build quality, which is rare at this pricepoint.

    The Guru's Tip:

    To provide surround effects, this headset uses a USB adapter, which you connect in line with the attached 3.5mm audio plug.

  • 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:

    The lighting on this model can be controlled via the GHub software.

  • The Pro Gaming Mouse:

    Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed Wireless

    We don't know how Razer has done it, but somehow it has added wireless capability to its awesome Basilisk mouse and dropped the price at the same time! Witness the new Basilisk X, the best mouse anywhere near its price range. With a comfortable shape informed by Razer's classic Deathadder, but with a more ergonimic fit, the Basilisk X also packs in a 16K sensor and of course Razer's new HyperSpeed wireless system.

    The Guru's Tip:

    So one thing that has been dropped from this mouse to hit its amazing pricepoint is RGB lighting, but given the performance on tap, we think that's just fine!

  • The Best 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor:

    Gigabyte M27Q @Newegg

    Offering up a 27" 2560x1440 IPS panel capable of a 170Hz refresh rate, and enhanced with frame-syncing technology, this is a true high-end monitor that won't break the bank! Gigabyte may be new to the monitor market, but it's making a huge splash, offering up tremendous quality at low prices. Previously, you couldn't get anything but an inferior TN panel for this price!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model was designed around AMD's FreeSync technology, but Nvidia has enabled its use on GeForce cards, which means you save money versus a G-Sync monitor!