The Best $1500 High-End Gaming PC Build – October 2021

By Ari Altman | Published October 14, 2021 | Updated October 14, 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 go the DIY route using a GPU at 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 October 2021, we recommend builders of the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build go for Intel’s Core i5-10600KF, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that is by far the best value among gaming chips today. And after nearly a year of waiting, it’s finally possible to order a GPU to go along with this CPU, namely AMD’s new Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB. While marked up above its original MSRP, it’s actually the best deal on the retail GPU market at this point. So 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.

Parting Thoughts

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 or Newegg 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


    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 3060 Ti 8GB video card, 16GB of DDR4-3000 RAM, and a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This deal is way too good to pass up. Most systems with a 3060 Ti sell for $500 more!

The DIY Build

  • CPU

    Intel Core i5-10600KF


    The overclockable Core i5-10600KF offers up six cores, 12 threads, and a Turbo speed of 4.8GHz, which all translates to excellent gaming performance! AMD’s CPUs in this price range (of which there are basically none) couldn’t come close to competing. That gives Intel the clear advantage in terms of price/performance. In fact, the 10600K is a better gaming CPU than even Intel’s 11th-Gen models. And take note: the only difference between the bargain-priced 10600KF and the standard 10600K is that the KF doesn’t have built-in graphics.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU does not come with a cooler, so make sure to pick up the one we recommend later in this guide!

  • Motherboard

    MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge WiFi

    This feature-packed Z490 board gives you everything you need for a premium PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs, eight USB ports (including Type-C), and built-in 802.11ax (WiFi 6) networking plus Bluetooth.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This motherboard has a modern Type-C to allow you to use the USB Type-C port on the case we recommend.

  • Video Card

    Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB


    Get into your serious PC gaming today with the Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB. It has plenty of power to tackle any modern game, easily beating any Nvidia GeForce GPU anywhere near its pricepoint. And Sapphire is AMD’s preferred design partner, thanks to its highly-refined cooler designs that always come out on top!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Yes, this GPU is selling for around 1.5x its MSRP, but that actually makes it the best deal on the GPU market today. If you want an even better deal, go for the pre-built PC we recommended earlier in this guide!

  • Memory

    Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black

    To get the most out of your PC Build, you want 16GB of RAM, and this kit comes in at a great price. But more importantly, with a combination of serious speed (3600MHz) and serious timings (16-18-18), this isn’t just a slow 3200 kit rebranded to sell at a higher price, it’s the real deal!
    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

    Harnessing the power of cutting-edge TLC V-NAND, the NVMe protocol, and the PCIe interface, this SSD is by far the fastest drive at its pricepoint. It can hit sequential speeds of up to 3500MB/s! Note that you’ll need a jeweler’s-type screwdriver to affix it.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This will slip right into one of the motherboard's M.2 slots.

  • Case

    Corsair 4000D Airflow

    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, linked to earlier in this guide!

  • Power Supply

    EVGA Supernova 650 G3


    EVGA offers a ton of value in its Supernova line, and this model is no exception. You get 650W of Gold-rated power, fully-modular cables, and a zero RPM under low loads for silence and increased lifespan. The best part: an incredible 7-year warranty and EVGA’s unbeatable customer support.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This power supply has plenty of headroom for upgrades to your system down the line.

  • CPU Cooler

    Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Black/White

    Maximize the performance of your PC with this powerful but affordable cooler from Arctic. Featuring a 120mm fan equipped with hydraulic bearings, it’s both quiet and capable. Learn more about this awesome cooler in our massive 120mm cooler shootout!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The CPU in this build doesn't include a cooler, so this cooler isn't just recommended, it's required!

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive

    Windows 10 was a big step up from Windows 8.1, and Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every six months. And the USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 11 will be a free upgrade to all owners of Win10, and the update will roll out in late-2021.

Optional Products

  • The 27-inch G-Sync Gaming Monitor

    Gigabyte M27Q

    Offering up a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS panel capable of a 170Hz refresh rate, and enhanced with FreeSync 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

    Gigabyte has recently entered the monitor market, and is really making a splash with its awesome value per dollar!

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    Pick up a great keyboard at a great price with the G213. It’s quick, quiet, and responsive, and it also has sweet RGB backlighting, of course!
    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

    Offering cutting-edge performance, there’s nothing like the Basilisk X for anywhere near the price. Ultra-sensitive sensor, Razer’s awesome HyperSpeed wireless system, and perfect ergonomics. It’s a great mouse!
    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

    If you need a good headset at an unbeatable price, we recommend Corsair’s excellent HS60 Pro Surround headset. Light, comfortable, and stylish without being in your face, it’s a great headset for gaming, and can even be used with mobile devices that have a 3.5mm analog jack.
    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.

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