Best $1500 Gaming PC Build – The High-End

In $1500+, Custom Builds by Branton307 Comments

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Building a gaming PC with $1500 should give you a high-end gaming experience – this build does that and more! You’ll be able to game comfortably in either 1440p 144Hz or even 4K with the help of a Gigabyte GTX 1080, the 6th generation Intel i7 6700K, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM!

The following ~$1500 build is going to last you an extremely long time in terms of gaming desktops, and I’m pretty sure that it’ll completely blow your mind with the sheer gaming power it possesses. If you’re trying to build a gaming PC with a brand new Kaby Lake i7 and a GTX 1080, this is without a doubt the build you’re looking for!

With wasting any more time on this introduction, let’s get down to this seriously badass gaming PC build!

If you have any questions ask me in the comment section!

  • A couple different styled/sized screwdrivers
  • Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
  • Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. Building your PC is actually a lot easier than it sounds, and it’s something that you can easily accomplish by yourself. The actual build process is pretty straight-forward, and it’s about as easy as matching shapes together.

If you’re still thinking that it’s a super-difficult process, just click (or tap) below, skim through the video, and then you’ll know for sure.

Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
  1. Install the Power Supply into the Case
  2. Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
  3. Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
  4. Mount the CPU cooler
  5. Place the rear I/O plate
  6. Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
  7. Plug your GPU in
  8. Install any storage
  9. Plug everything into the appropriate spots
  10. Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!

Video Walkthrough

Instead of me typing out a ton of of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.

The Best $1500 ‘High-End’ Gaming PC Build

Updated: February 9th, 2017

  • Phanteks P400 "Tempered Glass" Edition

    Great cable mangement, great cooling profile, PSU shroud, big side window, integrated RGB lighting & comes with a 300mm RGB light strip!

  • Gigabyte GA-Z270XP-SLI

    LGA 1151 socket, Z270 chipset, 2-way SLI compatible, integrated 7.1 audio, and 6x USB 3.0 ports.

  • Intel i7 7700K

    4.2GHz core clock/4.5GHz boost clock, 4 cores/8 threads, 8MB smart cache.

  • Gigabyte GTX 1080 Gaming G1

    8GB GDDR5x, incredible performance meant for high-end gaming!

  • Corsair Vengeance LPX (16GB)

    DDR4, 3000MHz, CL15, 2x 8GB sticks.

  • EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G2

    650W, fully modular, 90% efficiency, 7-year warranty!

  • Seagate BarraCuda 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!

  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD

    540MB/s read, 520MB/s write = amazingly fast!

  • Cryorig H7

    The i7 7700K does not come with a stock CPU cooler, so you’ll need an aftermarket unit like this one. View

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Potential Upgrades

Although not entirely necessary, some add ons like optical drives can sometimes improve your experience. If you’re installing your operating system from a disc opposed to a USB flash drive, then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.

  • Corsair H80i V2 Liquid CPU Cooler

    Instead of air cooling for your CPU, why not try a closed loop liquid cooler? Corsair’s Carbide 300R case is guaranteed to work with the H80i.
    *You don’t need air CPU cooling if you’re choosing to run liquid CPU cooling!

  • Samsung 950 PRO M.2 SSD

    If you thought SATA SSDs were fast, just wait until you step into an M.2-based NVMe SSD, not to mention the fastest M.2 currently on the market – Samsung’s 950 PRO! Up to 270,000 read IOPS, +180,000 more than the 850 EVO!

  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

    External optical drives are pretty much the standard anymore. Most “modern” cases don’t even come with internal optical drive bays!


Well, I kind of ran over your budget by about $25, so keep that in mind. This $1500-ish gaming PC build is going to eat up anything you throw at it, you’re pretty much guaranteed “future-proof” for a long time. Keep in mind that the price above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don’t currently have.

gigabyte-gtx-1080Let’s start with the brand new, and completely insane GTX 1080. It’s not quite the “end-all” that we were looking for when it comes to single-card 4K gaming, but in 1440p this card is nuts. I mean, it does extremely well in 4K also, especially compared to any other single card, but don’t expect max settings and 60fps in every single game, if you were to pick the path of 4K. That all said, this 1080 from Gigabyte is definitely a step up from the reference design.

The Phanteks P400 “Tempered Glass” Edition case gives you a sturdy and secure place to mount all of your shiny new hardware and has numerous expansion slots for extra fans and drives. I just picked one up for myself, and I absolutely love it! It looks very clean, the entire side panel is one sheet of tempered glass, and the cable management is almost perfect. It comes with integrated RGB lighting all over the place and a 300mm RGB light strip in case you need even more LEDs!

i7-6700kThe i7 7700K is part of Intel’s newest line of processors dubbed Kaby Lake which released in January 2017. It’s a powerful CPU offering up really great performance and a huge amount of overclocking potential! Seriously, it’s already been pushed up to 4.9GHz on air cooling by some of the more reputable tech sites!

With that in mind, we need an aftermarket CPU cooler for this build, regardless if you plan on overclocking or not – the i7 7700K does not come with a stock cooler. I’ve included the power-packing Cryorig H7, but there are a lot of other potential options available. Like the Corsair H100i liquid cooler, for instance. Its 240mm radiator would fit perfectly along the top of the 300R case, and it would keep the i7 7600k nice and cool. But, the Cryorig H7 will work just fine for most people.

The Gigabyte GA-Z270XP-SLI is a solid motherboard giving us exactly what we need for a build at this level running a new Kaby Lake CPU. It features a great integrated audio chipset and a very good built-in ethernet controller. It has tons of SATA ports for added storage and it’ll even support up to 64GB of RAM (not that you would ever need that much…anytime soon). You’re also getting 6x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 3.1 port and support for a 2-way SLI config.

vengeance-lpx-ddr416GB of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM from Crucial’s Vengeance LPX line is everything you need, and then some. Most games still require 8GB or less, but sooner than later that’ll transition into more and more games requiring more and more RAM – so, 16GB is a safe amount for now. You can always add more down the line if you need to.

With 1.25GB of internal storage, you shouldn’t run short anytime soon. Your Samsung 850 EVO SSD should be used to install your operating system on, as well as any games you plan on playing regularly, everything else can go on your HDD without a problem. There’s a lot of options for storage upgrades in this build, so you can pick larger / more drives if you want. Just make sure you get enough SATA cables for everything if you do add more drives!

If you’re looking to get a high-end gaming PC build without breaking the bank, you’re in luck, because this setup is exactly what you’re looking for. The insanely powerful GTX 1080 and the i7 7700K will keep you gaming in comfort for years to come.

If you were to go to Best Buy and pick a prefab PC up for $1500, you wouldn’t get anything near the level of this beast. In fact, you would be getting ripped off, hard. Even most prefab gaming PCs in the $1500 range are going to be gimped with either an overkill CPU and a weak ass graphics card, or some other unrealistic combo.

Operating System

When it comes to choosing which operating system to run, you’re going to have to consider a couple of points. Your budget, and what you really

If you don’t mind putting up an extra ~$100 for a copy of Windows, that would be your best path to the most compatibility with programs, drivers and everything else. I usually suggest Windows 7, but if you want to take advantage of DirectX 12 (you do) then you will need to grab yourself a copy of Windows 10.

However, there is a free alternative, and that’s Ubuntu. It’s a Linux based OS which is actually compatible with a lot of programs and games. As Linux is becoming more and more popular, more dev studios are extending their support out to Linux based operating systems as well.

When it comes down to actually installing your operating system, you have a couple of choices to make. Do you want use Ubuntu? If yes, then you will need to create your own bootable flash drive, or something similar. Or, if you want to use Windows, do you want to use the factory disk? If so, then you will need to make sure that you grab the DVD drive linked above.


If this is the absolute first gaming PC you’ve ever owned, then chances are high that you don’t have a very good keyboard + mouse combo, or that your monitor is sub-par/non-existent. To really enjoy your experience, you’re going to want some high-quality peripherals to accompany this high-quality build.


    A great 27-inch 144Hz 1440p monitor with G-Sync capabilities and a 1ms response time!

  • Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

    Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard for around $120!

  • Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum

    The G502 Proteus Spectrum is a super versatile RGB mouse fit for every gaming situation!

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H7

    The best gaming headset you can get, in my opinion.

  • Reflex Lab Mouse Pad

    Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″!


If you have the option, you should be using a wired connection over WiFi for the simple reason that a wired connection is generally faster and more reliable. The mobo in this build has great built-in ethernet controller, and you can just plug in and get going immediately. But, if you need WiFi then you’re also going to need a WiFi adapter.

There are a couple routes you can choose. You could get a decent USB-based WiFi adapter for around $20 and it would give you what you need. Alternatively, you could get a more reliable internally mounted WiFi adapter for about $35.

  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800

    Internally mounted WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz or 5GHz.


    USB WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz


When everything is said and done, this $1500 custom gaming PC is a complete ****ing beast for the price. Buying a prefabricated desktop equivalent of this would easily run you upwards of $2000 if not closer to $2500 or more!

Investing around $1500 into a gaming PC should ensure flawless 1440p gaming along with a really solid 4K experience – this build does just that. The 8GB GTX 1080 won’t break a sweat rendering most games, and the 7th generation i7 7700k is just the cherry on top when combined with a good amount of fast DDR4 RAM.

All-in-all, this build is exactly what you’re looking for, if what you’re looking for is a high-end gaming experience and a strong workstation to boot.

Have a question? Ask me below and I’ll answer ASAP! 

Order This $1500 Build!

Not the one for you?



The first game that I ever played on a PC was Ultima Online in 1999, and since then I have been hooked on PC gaming, and putting together awesome builds. Thanks for stopping by!

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307 Comments on “Best $1500 Gaming PC Build – The High-End”

  1. Oh. So if I plug the 6+2 pin into the 8 pin slot and the other info the 6 pin slot does that mean the +2 bit will be left hanging? o_O

    1. I’m not 100% sure exactly how CableMod has their cables setup, but you can usually peel the +2 right back to hide away with everything else behind the mobo.

    1. Hey Jake,

      You definitely need to upgrade to DDR4 RAM when using a 6th-gen Skylake processor like the i7 6700K, unfortunately. DDR4 and DDR3L (used in laptops) are the only “good” options to use that don’t run the risk of damaging your system.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving,Branton. Finally got the last of my parts and am ready to build. 🙂 Thank you so much for all the help!! Couldn’t have done it without you

    1. Same to you, Taylor! Glad to hear it, you’ll be up and running in no time now 🙂 If you need any more help before you’re finished, feel free to let me know!

  3. Hey Branton. I’m hesitant in getting those Corsair fans because the reviews say they’re a bit loud. Now I’m wondering if I should get them at all? Buy different fans? Or just get LED strips and keep the stock fans from the 400c and H7

    1. That’s just the nature of fans, especially if you want LED lighting. Even a $400 bladeless fan from Dyson will still make some audible noise 🙂 I used the AF120s for quite a while in my case (just upgraded), and while you can hear them, it’s not something that’s overbearing and they’re still one of the quieter/better options available that offer LED lighting without going too crazy on the price – there are definitely worse options is what I’m trying to say. If you’re really worried and you don’t mind spending a bit more, the new SP120s released not too long ago and they’re definitely a bit quieter, plus they offer RGB lighting & they’re 4-pin opposed to 3-pin, meaning they can be controlled and don’t have to run at 100% all the time like a 3-pin fan would – they’re what I just upgraded to, definitely $$$, but they seem worth it so far!

      1. Okay… Because I’m still on a budget, I decided to just keep the AF140 and 120 and opted out of the SP120’s for the CPU Cooler and just use the stock fan.. So, essentially, it’ll be 2xAF140’s in front for intake and the 2xAF120’s on top for exhaust, the stock 120AF in the back for exhaust and stock H7 fan for the whatever it is. Lol. Is that fine? :3

        1. I’m sure that’ll work perfectly! You can always add the other fans down the line, it’s super easy to change them out 🙂

  4. Hey Branton, I just wanted to know if there are other cheaper ASUS monitors would run as well as the one you recommended above. Thanks

    1. Hey Hason Chan,

      Definitely! If you don’t mind dropping G-Sync or going to a smaller size that is, otherwise, monitors are really one of those things where you should “get the best one you can” as it’ll easily outlive the rest of your components. But, it’s completely up to you!

  5. Hi Branton, there is a used gaming pc with a i7 6700,16 gb of ram, 128gb ssd, 2tb hdd, and a nvidia gtx 970 on Craigslist for $700. It also comes with a keyboard and mouse which is good since this is the first build for me. It doesn’t say what the mother board is or anything about a monitor. My budget is 1300-1400 and I was wondering if it’s a bad idea to get used parts like that and if I should do and spend the rest of my money on a graphics card like a 1080. I was previously looking at your last list for 1200 dollar builds too but I thought this was a bargain.

    1. Hey Luke,

      That sounds like a pretty good deal assuming everything is in good condition. I’d jump on it, see how it performs and if it’s what you’re aiming for, then maybe consider upgrading the GPU if you feel that it’s not giving you what you want – it’ll be cheaper that way than building it new, and you might find that the GTX 970 gives you the performance that you’re looking for.

  6. Hey Branton still haven’t decided if i’ll go for this one or for the 1200 dollar build, but i have a question about this one.
    I’m a newbie when it comes to building PCs, but i’ve been reading stuff around the internet trying to find a nice build and this one seems to be pretty good.
    i’m not huge fan of the case though so I was wondering if you could maybe recommend me a white case (with maybe a window?) for this build? It would be cool to have enough room to work with in there as well.
    Oh, and there seems to be a typo below in teh CPU cooler description. It says something about an i5 but this buil uses an i7 so i’m guessing there’s a typo?
    Thanks in advance c:

    1. So I was looking around for cases abit myself and stumbled uopn a case called “NZXT S340 Mid Tower Case (white)”
      So I’m wondering if that case would work with this build and if so is it something you’d recommend?

      1. The S430 would work for sure, just keep in mind that it does not have a 5.25″ bay for optical drives, so you will need an external ODD if you’re going that route.

    2. Hey Charlie,

      I think you’ll be happy with the S430 🙂 Yep, that’s definitely a typo, thanks for keeping me honest!

  7. I’m not much of a gamer(minus a few mmorpgs) and am building my first PC. My #1 priority is that it run all my adobe cc design and editing software smoothly with a budget around 1000usd. Would an i7-6700k with a 8gb 1060 work better for my needs? Or would they not work well together .
    thanks !

    1. Hey Ryan,

      An i7 6700k and a 6GB GTX 1060 would work great for you what need, you definitely don’t need a GTX 1080 if you’re not heavily into gaming in any event 🙂

  8. Branton is this price in Canadian dollar or us . This would be my first built I m still deciding if i build th 1500.00 on or should i purchase the Asus Rog g20cb-db71 is 1800.00 canadian , what do you think branton

    1. All prices are in USD. On the price of this build comes to around $2000 CAD – better to get it through so you avoid a lot of the import fees. Although the Asus ROG prebuilt desktop looks pretty sweet and has a nice compact form factor similar to a console, you can get a lot more power if you build one yourself.

      I guess it comes down to, do you want a console-sized gaming PC with little room for expansion; or a bigger one with significantly more potential for just a few loonies more? The choice is yours!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  9. Hi i would like to know if i buy the cpu in another country and then i buy the h7 cpu cooler in usa , if it would work together

    1. Wait actually i found it here. But i could not find the cryorig h7 . Can you please tell me an alternative

      1. So please tell me an alternstive to the cpu cooler and please tell me a 1070 thst would work thxxxx

  10. Would the tp-link ac1900 express adapter for this build? I’m going to be using the wireless route and am looking for the best connection and speeds. Also I saw it has heat sink does it require an additional fan? I’m new to building a pc this would be my first. Thank you

    1. Hey Eric,

      I believe the TP-Link Archer T9E is the adapter you’re referencing? If that’s right, then it would work perfectly! The heatsink comes with a pretty good fan, but you could add another one for what’s called a “push/pull” setup – this will allow for even better cooling but it’s probably not necessary unless you’re planning on doing some heavy overclocking.

      Hope that helps and Happy Holidays!

  11. Awesome. Another thing I was thinking was about connectivity with the os. Some of the things I saw online said it wasn’t universally compatible

    1. You’ll find similar reviews on pretty much every single WiFi adapter out there – it’s more of a Windows 10 issue than anything and it doesn’t happen all the time. Asus’s AC68 (another widely popular AC 1900 model) has similar reviews. There’s also the Rosewill RNX-AC1900, but again it has some reviews which point to the same driver issue.

      Hope that helps!

  12. You can delete the above comment. Just realized I had both pages pulled up and commented on the wrong one. I went for the $1,200 build. Also just realized the CPU cooler doesn’t add to cart because it’s not currently available. I’ll need to tag on one of those.

  13. Hi I was wondering if this set up would work with an evga supernova 850 g2 uprgade and the gtx 1080ti when it comes out.

    1. Hey Mauricio,

      It definitely would! The 1080 Ti is hopefully going to be pretty insane, I’ll be picking one up as well 😀

  14. Also, sorry for the double comment instead of just asking in one comment, what are some cool looking cases I could sub out for the carbide series?

    1. It’s no worries 🙂 There are tons of other case options, it just depends on what you like to see! Personally, I think the NZXT Phantom line (there are a couple different models) is pretty nice looking. NZXT’s S340 looks pretty cool as well, imo. But, there are loooooooads of other options out there.

  15. Hey is there any point in upgrading from 60Hz to 120Hz and is so could you please recommend good monitor for under $500 with 120Hz. Thanks

    1. Hey Jake,

      It really depends on the resolution you’re aiming for and the types of games you play. In some games, 144Hz is definitely a huge bonus, but it’s not necessarily something that will benefit you in every single title (some are still locked at 60fps like Fallout 4). If you play lots of FPS or MOBAs, I would definitely suggest going with 144Hz.

      That said, this build can support either 1440p @ 144Hz or 4K @ 60Hz as far as AAA games go, but with esports or indie games you could definitely go with 4K @ 144Hz. It all depends on the resolution you want!

  16. Hello Branton, this will be my first time building a pc and am still trying to understand everything so I must apologize if I sound out there in the ether. With the build that you have listed here, could I swap the gtx 1080 with a gtx 1080 zotac amp extreme and upgrade the fans to quieter ones to reduce as much fan noise as possible. So obviously it’ll handle any game pretty well, but if I wanted to start getting into 2D and 3D animation and stop motion, would the memory and motherboard serve well enough for me to start in the video editing and not run out of memory too soon. Sorry for the really long post but I hope it isn’t too stupid of a plan for a pc lol

    1. Hey Michael,

      Awesome, I’ll do my best to help you so we can make this a nice, streamlined process 🙂

      You can definitely change out the graphics card for Zotac’s AMP Extreme edition! That said, you won’t be getting any extra power, just an extra fan and different aesthetics. I’m not sure if you mean the case fans or the GPU fans, but the case fans can be changed out to anything you like – changing GPU fans isn’t the best idea in a high-end card, however. 16GB of RAM will do just fine depending on the scope of your potential projects; I mean, if you’re pulling off absolutely massive renders then you might want to consider doubling down on RAM, but the current 16GB will be sufficient for most.

      Hope that helps!

  17. Thank you Branton. and I was just talking about overall general noise coming from the computer. But after thinking, I think I will just go with what you have in the amazon cart that comes from the link. With it being my first build and still a little worried about putting it all together anyways, start with this and go from there. I’m sure it’ll take me awhile to figure it all out and use it to its full potential and when I need to upgrade, ill be back lol. Once again thank you and hopefully I don’t break anything once I get it and try to put together.

    1. It’s not a problem! The amount of noise generated by this build won’t be anything too major, case fans are relatively easy to change post-build if nothing else. There’s nothing to be worried about! As long as you follow along with a build guide and you make sure to have the motherboard’s wiring diagrams handy (they’ll be in the manual) then you’ll be good to go!

      If there’s anything else I can help with, just let me know 🙂

    1. It’s really more comparable to my $1200 build in terms of performance. Personally, having RGB isn’t worth ~$400 to me, but if that’s what you want then that’s what you should get!

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