The Best $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build – September 2021
Due to the ongoing cryptocurrency mining craze, it’s currently impossible to buy video cards at retail prices. Therefore, you have two options if you want to game now. Either buy a pre-built gaming PC or build up a new PC using a GPU selling for over the retail price. We present both options in this guide. Based on current market conditions, we do not believe this generation of GPUs will ever return to MSRP, so lower prices will have to wait until late 2022 when the next generation arrives!
Your Ticket to High-End Gaming!
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!
This Month’s Build, Featuring Intel and Nvidia!
For September 2021, we recommend builders of the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build go for AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that is by far the best value among high-end gaming chips. And after nearly a year of waiting, it’s finally possible to order a GPU to go along with this CPU, namely Nvidia’s ultra-popular GTX 1660 Ti 6GB. Yes, prices are elevated above MSRP, but that’s just a fact of life right now, and rather than keep waiting, we suggest you jump into gaming… or go for the pre-built gaming PC we list down below!
This build is also equipped with a fast 1TB PCIe solid-state drive and 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM. For the case, we recommend a sleek tempered glass model from Corsair, while the build is anchored by a Gold-rated 650W fully-modular power supply. Learn more about this build and post your questions in our YouTube overview.
If you want to accessorize your new build, check out our top keyboard, mouse, and monitor recommendations at the end of this build 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. Throughout our guides, we provide links to Amazon, Newegg, or B&H for our US readers, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with substitutions made based on regional availability. Your use of these links helps support this site, allowing us to continue to update this guide regularly.
The Pre-Built Option
The High-End Gaming PC –
ABS Master 10400F/RTX 3060 Ti @Newegg$1400
INSANE DEAL! This pre-built system offers a ton of power for the money, making it a far better value than building your own. It packs in an Intel Core i5-10400F 6-core, 12-thread CPU, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060Ti 8GB video card, 16GB of DDR4-3000 RAM, and a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive. As a bonus, it has a full suite of addressable RGB fans, plus an included gaming keyboard and mouse!The Guru’s Tip
Given the current GPU situation, you are seriously better off buying this pre-built gaming PC versus going the DIY route unless you truly want to have the building experience.
The DIY Build
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X @Newegg$273 The Guru’s Tip
This CPU includes a Wraith Stealth cooler, and for this build we suggest you use it.
MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi$190 The Guru’s Tip
This board also has a modern Type-C header, allowing you to use the Type-C port built into the case we recommend for this build.
Video Card –
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB$592 The Guru’s Tip
Yes, this is selling for over twice its MSRP, but chances are prices will remain inflated for many months to come. If you'd like a better deal, consider the pre-built machine we listed earlier in this guide.
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black$85 The Guru’s Tip
With this 2x8GB (16GB) configuration, you'll still have the option to add another two sticks later on to bring the total up to 32GB!
Solid-State Drive –
XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe$110 The Guru’s Tip
This will slip right into one of the motherboard's M.2 slots.
Corsair 4000D Airflow$95 The Guru’s Tip
Get a closeup view of this case and ask questions about this build in our YouTube overview, linked to earlier in this guide!
Power Supply –
EVGA Supernova 650 G3$80 The Guru’s Tip
This power supply has plenty of headroom for upgrades to your system down the line.
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130 The Guru’s Tip
Windows 10 can also be downloaded at a savings of around $10 - all you need is a flash drive with at least 8GB of capacity.
The 24-inch 165Hz Gaming Monitor –
Asus VG248QG$200 The Guru’s Tip
This monitor is a perfect match for the GPU recommended in this guide!
The Budget Gaming Keyboard –
Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard$47 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$38 The Guru’s Tip
Remember, you're getting a great wireless mouse for the same price as many wired mice.
The Mainstream Gaming Headset –
Corsair HS60 Pro Surround$48 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.
Total Cost: $1555
The DIY Build
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 5600X @Newegg ($273)
- Motherboard – MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi ($190)
- Video Card – Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB ($592)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black ($85)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe ($110)
- Case – Corsair 4000D Airflow ($95)
- Power Supply – EVGA Supernova 650 G3 ($80)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)