Our Best Gaming PC under $1500 in 2020 & 2021

Build the best high-end gaming PC money can buy!

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Now we’re into the higher tier of gaming PCs, with the amount you’ll be spending on the graphics card, you are getting the power to manage those 4k resolutions, as well as achieving huge FPS in 1440p. Of course, with increased cost, the components are going to have the premium look and feel, making this rig one to admire by other gamers out there.

Unfortunately, due to various factors, the prices of the hardware listed fluctuate daily. We aim to update all of our builds as much as we can to ensure they are as close to the specified build price as possible.

Build Details

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As previously mentioned, we’re going to be utilizing one of AMD’s 3rd generation Ryzen processors to give this gaming PC the processing capabilities required to match the games you’ll be playing, and the high resolutions you’ll be wanting to view them in. The Ryzen 5 3600 offers 6 cores and 12 threads alongside a base clock of 3.8GHz providing the foundations to run the latest AAA games at over 100FPS. The base clock can also be boosted to a maximum of 4.2GHz, enabling that little bit more power, giving you improved overall performance.

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Purchasing a motherboard that’s not only a top notch, but one that’s optimized for gaming, should be on the top of your agenda when considering a new build. With MSI, you know you’ll be getting the quality necessary for this $1500 rig. Their X570 Gaming Edge WiFi Motherboard gives you the 3rd generation Ryzen CPU support required, along with a plethora of features to get the most out of your components, including audio boost, core boost and lightning Gen 4 PCI-E. This board also comes WiFi ready, so there is no need to go out and buy a separate WiFi card if you’re not using ethernet.

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When RAM is concerned, you’re going to need the correct memory speeds to match that of your processor, as well as enough capacity to cope under intense workloads. Corsair’s Vengeance range is potentially the best of the best in terms of value for money and overall quality. The RGB Pro 3600MHz variant we’ve chosen here has the speeds we need, coupled with some nice RGB effects that all gamers are looking for. We’ve also gone with 16GB for this gaming PC as you can’t really justify spending the extra cash on improving memory capacity that you’ll struggle to max out in the first place.

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This graphics card from EVGA is what makes this gaming PC’s capabilities go above and beyond those in similar price ranges. The RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid Gaming is powered by the all-new NVIDIA Turing architecture, giving you the best gaming experience to date. The real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading compound the immersion, allowing your games to showcase their stellar graphics. Alongside these elements, the card also comes with 4 display ports, 1 HDMI, and USB-C outputs, allowing for a multi-monitor gaming setup.

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The Crucial BX500 we’ve gone for here gives you plenty of storage with a 1TB limit and due to it being an SSD, you’ll be getting a huge speed increase over the older HDDs. The speeds you’ll actually be getting are up to 540/500Mb/s read/write allowing for fast game loading and general improvements throughout all your programs.

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This Cooler Master case offers maximum airflow and fantastic aesthetics through its front panel mesh design, coupled with RGB fans, and tempered glass side panel. The RGB fans differ from the normal 120mm and 140mm variants coming in at the 200mm mark, giving them enough cooling power to keep your components at optimum levels. Additionally, the black color it comes in compliments the industrial-like design and makes the RGB colors pop, especially when gaming long into the night.

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Reliability and efficiency are necessities in any power supply you buy for a gaming PC so choosing a trusted brand with a certified rating is essential. This Seasonic 650w power supply that we’ve selected for this build is 80+ bronze rated, meaning that it certifies an 80%+ efficiency at whatever workload you’re putting it under. Moreover, with Seasonic being one of the most trusted brands out there when we think of power supplies, the internals are going to be of excellent quality, making this piece of kit last well into the future.

What Games Can This PC Run?

With any gaming PC you’ll want to know what games it can run and what FPS you’re likely to be expecting. The list below shows off some of the more graphically intensive games as well as some popular ones for you to get an idea of how this $1500 rig is performing.

Fortnite

If you’re looking to play Fortnite in 4k on the highest graphical settings, it’ll be playable at around 40-50 FPS. If you’re looking for much better frames at max graphics, use 1440p instead to ensure a silky smooth experience.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

With PUBG being rather unoptimized, you may not be able to hit playable frame rates in 4K on max settings. With some settings adjustments or dropping it down to 1440p, it’ll be a fantastic experience.

Monster Hunter: World

As Monster Hunter: World is such a large and graphically intense game, 4K will require compromises for solid frame rates. We recommend turning the resolution down to 1440p for the best experience.

League of Legends

League of Legends is a lightweight eSports title so you won’t have any problems playing in 4K with this PC build.

Dota 2

Dota 2 should be playable at 4K 60 FPS with plenty of room to breathe- as high as 130-140FPS, in fact. We highly recommend playing with a 1440p/144hz monitor with this build and this game.

Overwatch

At 4K with Ultra Settings enabled, you should generally be sticking right around the high 50s and low 60s in Overwatch. If you find yourself dipping more often than you like, consider adjusting some settings or your resolution scaling.

Rainbow Six: Siege

At 4K, you may need to make some settings adjustments to maintain a stable 60 FPS. In 1440p and Max settings, though, you should experience anywhere from 70-80 FPS in this game.

Warframe

This build is more than powerful enough for playing Warframe at 4K, Ultra settings and 120+ FPS.

Grand Theft Auto V

Playing at 4K, you should be able to achieve 40-50 FPS with Very High settings. You may want to adjust your settings or turn down the resolution to achieve 60 FPS, however.

Team Fortress 2

TF2 is primarily a CPU-centric game, so running this game at 4K60 should still be quite feasible with the i5 in this build. However, if you experience spikes of bad performance, you may need to turn down some settings.

Building Tips

With this being a more entry-level build, you may be new to the whole PC building scene, so we’ve detailed a few tips and tricks to help you succeed. If you’re a more experienced builder you can skip this section, or potentially brush up on some techniques you might not have heard of.

Use Anti-static Equipment

Electrical components are fragile at the best of times so taking care when building is essential. However, what many don’t consider is the effect static electricity can have. If a static discharge occurs, it can damage your components beyond repair, which then means a whole lot of wasted money. You can avoid any potential component damage in a couple of ways, with the most common being; using an anti-static mat for your components and wearing an anti-static wristband when assembling.

Prepare your toolkit in advance

You’re going to want to get your tools ready because you don’t want to start to assemble your rig and not be able to due to not having the correct equipment. There aren’t masses of tools you need to successfully assemble a PC but what is essential, is a screwdriver with multiple bits. There are a few screws that are needed to secure both the components and assembling the case itself. These can usually be fitted using the same Phillips bit, with the most common being #2. However, make sure you have a #1 and #3 just in case.

Budgets

This article is all about the best high-tier gaming PC you can get for $1500, but if you’re wanting to mix and match some of these components with cheaper, or even more expensive ones, it’s most certainly possible.

Essential Software

Operating System

Now you have your fresh new build, you need some operating software to actually use the machine. There is no disk drive in this one so you may be wondering ‘how am I going to install my operating system?’ well, it can actually be installed via USB. Whether you go with Windows or Linux, you will have to download the respective files onto a spare USB and plug it in when booting.

Graphics Card Drivers

You want to be looking at the highest resolution possible and that means ensuring you have the latest graphics card drivers installed. This is vital in your new build as you could be stuck with stock drivers that are not only out of date but give you a sub-optimal resolution. Go to the maker of your graphics card website which in this case is Nvidia, and find the correct drivers.

Antivirus Software

You’re going to want to protect your PC from any attacks, so installing antivirus software is a must-have. There are a variety of providers with different levels of protection but if you’re just wanting a piece of free software, we recommend Avast. Avast’s antivirus protection is the most basic you can get, but for free, there’s no complaining from us.

Web Browser

Choosing the web browser that caters to all your surfing needs is always down to personal preference. We would recommend either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as these are the fastest browsers out there, and the most widely used across the world. Some argue that while Chrome is the fastest browser out there, it does utilize a lot of memory, so choosing Firefox could be the way to go if you feel the same.

Conclusion

As shown by both the components you’ll be getting coupled with the performance in the latest AAA games, this high-end gaming PC under $1500 is a stellar choice. Whether you want to be playing your games in 1080p, 1440p or even 4k, you won’t be running into any problems, thoroughly enjoying your experience as a result. Additionally, due to the improved budget over the $800 and $1000 builds we’ve detailed previously, the aesthetics are on another level, making this the centerpiece to any gaming room. If you did end up building this rig, enjoy your new PC! Be sure to check out our other articles if you have any issues or want to explore different options!

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