Best $1500 Gaming PC Build – The High-End

In $1500+, Custom Builds by Branton416 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 the extremely powerful 11GB GTX 1080 Ti, the Ryzen 5 1600, 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 Ryzen processor and a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, this is without a doubt the build you’re looking for!

Without 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 EasyPCbuilder.com? 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: September 8th, 2017

  • Corsair Carbide Spec 02

    Good cable management, great cooling profile, side window, and comes with 2x 120mm fans!
    View

  • MSI X370 SLI Plus

    AM4 socket motherboard, X370 chipset, 2-way SLI compatible. Integrated 7.1 audio, and 6x USB 3.0 ports.
    View

  • AMD Ryzen 5 1600

    3.6GHz 6 core/12 thread processor.
    View

  • Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition

    11GB GDDR5x, incredible performance meant for high-end gaming!
    View

  • Corsair Vengeance LPX (16GB)

    2x 8GB DDR4 RAM at 3000MHz. Dual channel, CL15.
    View

  • EVGA 650 GQ

    650W semi-modular power supply, rated for 90%+ efficiency. 5-year warranty!
    View

  • Seagate 1TB HDD

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

  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD

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

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Suggested/Optional

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

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
    View

  • Phanteks P400 "Tempered Glass" Edition

    Want to up the ante on your case to something a little flashier? The Phanteks P400 is definitely the case I’d recommend! It comes with built-in RGB lighting as well as a 300mm RGB light strip!
    View

  • Corsair H80i V2 Liquid CPU Cooler

    Instead of air cooling for your CPU, why not try a closed loop liquid cooler? Corsair’s Spec 02 case is guaranteed to work with the H80i V2.
    View

  • Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD

    An M.2-based NVMe SSD like the 960 EVO is a huge step up from basic M.2 or SATA SSDs. They offer significantly more speed, but at a much higher price /GB in comparison.
    View

  • 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!
    View

Details

This $1500 gaming PC build is going to eat up anything you throw at it, you’re pretty much guaranteed “future-proof” for a really 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.

The GTX 1080 Ti is currently the fastest card on the market when it comes to sheer gaming performance. Its 11GB of GDDR5x VRAM is enough to chew threw absolutely anything you can throw at it without an issue. 4K? Not an issue, the 1080 Ti has you covered and it won’t let you down. The only way to upgrade from the 1080 Ti is to wait for the next flagship card, or to double down and add another 1080 Ti. Zotac did it justice with their GTX 1080 Ti AMP edition which offers great cooling, RGB lighting, and a nice sleek backplate. For display connections it has 3x Displayport 1.4, 1x HDMI and 1x DVI-D.

Corsair’s Spec 02 case is what I recommend in a lot of builds for a very good reason – it works great, looks great (imo) and doesn’t cost a lot. But, it’s not really a “high-end” case like this build deserves, I mean it’s not low quality by any means, it’s just not high-end. That being said, I would much rather be recommending a nicer looking higher end case like the Phanteks P400 in this build, but couldn’t fit it into the budget (the GTX 1080 Ti was more important). So, if you like the build, why not build it inside the P400 instead?

AMD’s R5 1600 has been blowing minds since it released earlier this year, not only because its part of AMD’s first set of CPUs since 2012, but because it’s absolutely phenomenal and costs less than your average i5 while easily outperforming them. It’s a 3.6GHz 6-core 12-thread processor that comes with a very decent stock cooler, it overclocks well and performs incredibly.

The MSI X370 SLI Plus is a solid motherboard giving us exactly what we need for a build at this level running a new Ryzen 5 processor. It features a great integrated 7.1 audio chipset and a very good built-in ethernet controller. It has tons of SATA ports for added storage and it’ll support 3200MHz+ RAM without an issue. You’re also getting 4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0, 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 only require 8GB, 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!

EVGA’s GQ power supplies are very reliable and tend to have an awesome reputation and receive positive reviews everywhere you look. 650 watts is a lot of power for this build so you won’t need to upgrade the power supply anytime soon unless you’re planning on going big with a couple of GTX 1080 in SLI.

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 Ti and the noteworthy Ryzen 5 1600 will keep you gaming in comfort for years to come.

In comparison, if you were to go down to your local Best Buy and pick a prefab PC up for $1600 (I’m including the cost of OS), you wouldn’t get anything near the level of this beast. In fact, you would be getting ripped off, hard.

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 need.windows-10-home

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.

Extras

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.

  • Acer Predator XB271HU

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

  • Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

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

  • Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum

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

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H7

    Easily one of the best gaming headsets you can get, in my opinion.
    View

  • Logitech Z623 2.1 sound system

    If you like a lot of bass then you’re definitely going to want to check out the Z623 by Logitech. 200W RMS/400W peak, 130W sub.
    View

WiFi

If you have the option, you should definitely be using a wired connection over WiFi for the simple reason that a wired connection is generally faster and more reliable. But, if you have to use WiFi then you’re also going to need a WiFi adapter.

Picking an adapter is a little more complicated, but it doesn’t have to be something that gives you a headache. Your first course of action is to determine what kind of WiFi router/adapter you’re working with. Does it support both 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz, or only 2.4GHz? If it supports both 2.4 and 5GHz it’s an AC, if it only supports 2.4GHz it’s an N.

If you only have an N router/modem, you only need an N adapter to go with it, an AC adapter will work but it won’t give you any added benefits. If you have an AC modem/router, you should definitely pair it with an AC adapter in your PC so you can take advantage of the faster 5GHz band.

Sometimes internal adapters are better and sometimes USB adapters are better, it really depends on how your setup is and how far away you are from your WiFi modem. If you’re going to be tucking your PC away underneath of a desk or something similar, you’ll probably want to use a USB adapter with a USB extension for the maximum amount of reliability. If your PC is going to be on a desk free of obstructions, an internal adapter will be more suited for you.

  • TP-Link TL-WN722N

    A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band
    View

  • TP-Link Archer T4U V1

    A reliable AC1300 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
    View

  • Rosewill AC1300 Internal WiFi Adapter

    A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter.
    View

Conclusion

When everything is said and done, this $1500 custom gaming PC is a complete 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 11GB GTX 1080 Ti won’t break a sweat rendering most games, and the Ryzen 5 1600 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 that can double as a strong workstation to boot.

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

Order This $1500 Build!

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Author

Branton

The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on PC gaming and putting together awesome builds! Thanks for stopping by!

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

  1. I’m not as interested in OC and I’m wondering if a i7 -7700 would be a good way to save some money? I’ve got a 1070 right now and I’m looking to upgrade my old 3rd Gen i5 to game and stream. Or is OC something I’m REALLY missing out on?

    1. Hey Nick,

      Overclocking isn’t necessarily something that you’re “missing out” on per say, but an i7 7700K (without an overclock) is noticeably faster than the i7 7700 and will give better performance. If you really wanted to save ~$60 you could opt for the i7 7700 and its stock cooler, otherwise, the 7700k is definitely the way to go.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Hello Branton,
    I am planning to build a pc based off this build but I will replace the mobo with a ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero LGA1151 ATX and change the graphics card to a GTX 1080 ti FE. I was wondering if the performance would be negatively or positively impacted, and if the case would allow space for the 1080 ti FE. Thanks.

  3. Hey, will this case work with all the stuff?
    Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-02 Mid Tower Gaming Case with a gtx 1060 6gb instead of gtx1080

    1. Hey Jordan,

      It’ll definitely work! Just don’t pay more than $300 for your GTX 1060 6GB if possible – there’s a major shortage on them and the prices have gone through the roof lately.

    1. Hey Travis,

      That specific GTX 1080 must have gone out of stock today, try this one instead – it’s not in stock until July 17th, but it’s currently the best price on a GTX 1080 that I can find.

  4. Hey i was looking at your build and i have been looking for the cheapest price for the parts to build it and noticed the EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G2 link lead me to the EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G3 version, will it matter if i get the g3 version and also would you say that this build is one that wont require improvements for a while. By the way I have no experience in building a pc and appreciate you posting this. Thank you!

    1. Hey Khan,

      Whoops, my mistake, that link should go to the G2 model – but there’s no harm at all in using the higher quality G3. Considering that the GTX 1080 is the 2nd best consumer graphics card out right now (second only to the GTX 1080 Ti) and the i7 7700K is arguably the best CPU for gaming, this build definitely won’t need upgrades for quite some time!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  5. Hey how many fans does the case come with? Do I need to buy more then you recommend? Will everything fit in the case without a problem? Does the led strip come with a controller? Also can this cpu fan good enough if I overclock the i7 7700k, if so what how many GHz? And lastly I would like to ask if I need a static free wristband? Sorry for the loads of questions but it the first pc I’m building and I ordered all the part and all I’m waiting for now is the case. Thank you for the awesome build!

    1. Hey Khan,

      The P400 comes with 2 fans, if you needed more I would definitely recommend more 🙂 That’s not to say you couldn’t add more for some extra customization though! Everything will fit without an issue or I would have picked a different case. The Hyper 212 is definitely good enough, or again I would have picked a different CPU cooler. An anti-static wristband is completely optional, chances are that nothing will happen if you don’t use one but if you wanted to be extra safe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick one up.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey again, Khan!

      Awesome, good to hear!! You should have put about a pea-sized drop of thermal paste on your CPU, but as long as it’s not squishing out the sides you’ll be good to go. One negative is, especially with the paste you linked, that it’s conductive and if it seeps out onto your motherboard you could fry components. If your PC booted up, everything is functioning correctly! The last step is making sure all of your drivers are up to date – don’t forget your GPU drivers!!

  6. So how do I know if it is seeping or not? Will I be OK if nothing happened or if it heats up will it potentially seep out?

    1. It’ll be squishing out from in between your CPU and heatsink, it would have been noticeable as soon as you locked your heatsink down. If you’re that concerned that you might have used way too much thermal paste, your best bet would be to take your cooler off, clean the old paste off with rubbing alcohol, put a new drop (the size of a small grain of rice) on, and then you can be worry-free 🙂

  7. Hey Branton, this blog is so helpful and you’re a beast for updating it after all these years. If I wanted to have 32gb or ram and wanted to swap out the graphics card for a EVGA GTX 1080 FTW Edition would I still be able to use the same motherboard you’ve got listed above? Thanks in advance!

  8. Hey I love this build and I am going through the process of getting all the parts.
    I am having a hard time getting the computer case>
    Can you recommend any other ones from amazon to see if I can get it shipped to Canada EH

  9. What is the normal temperature of the i7 7700k? I have low of 35 and high of 65/70 is that bad if your just searching the internet? I know the max is 100 but I couldn’t really find a answer? My cpu fan also makes noise sometimes when idol like it’s working hard. This is the build listed above and I built it 2 weeks ago, would I need to reduce the paste for the cpu?

    1. Hey Khan,

      The i7 7700K usually runs a little warm (which is fine) but 70c is a little too warm for just browsing the web, 40-60c is considered “normal” for general use and 70-80c is “normal” under load. What are your gaming temps like? Do they hit above 80c at all? Either way, I would double check that your CPU cooler is functioning correctly – depending on how much paste you applied and how you applied it, there could be some air pockets causing the higher than normal temps.

  10. I just started up the pc and checked the temp and it was 46 min and 76 max with the core going up to 60+ definitely might be the paste. Do I have to take it all apart or can I just take the fan out put new paste and put it back in with everything in it?

    1. Hey Khan,

      Was the max temp a spike or a consistent temp? Your best bet is to take the CPU right out and clean it off with some rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball or something similar, make sure it’s completely clean before you put it back and then apply only a drop of thermal paste in the middle of your CPU, it should be about the size of a grain of rice roughly.

  11. Hi Branton,
    Your PC Build helped me out tremendously and I wanted to say thanks! I live in Canada and I am unable to purchase the Phanteks P400 “Tempered Glass” Edition so I have changed around some of the parts to fit my own custom build. I really want to be safe in purchasing all these parts so I was hoping you could take a look at the compatibility of all these parts.

    Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB – Tempered Glass, Premium ATX Mid-Tower Case Cases CC-9011098-WW

    GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI LGA1151 Intel 2-Way ATX DDR4 Motherboard

    EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G3, 80 Plus Gold 650W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 7 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-G3-0650-Y1

    NZXT Kraken X62 All-in-One CPU Liquid Cooling System, Black (RL-KRX62-02)

    Seagate 1TB BarraCuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive (ST1000DM010)

    Corsair Vengeance RGB LED 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4-24000) C15 – Intel 100/200 Series PC Memory (CMR16GX4M2C3000C15)

    TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800)

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive

    Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)

    Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K (BX80677I77700K)

    I’m still looking for a graphics card, as the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP is sold out… Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Liam

    1. Hey Liam,

      Not a problem and I’m glad it was helpful! Changing the case isn’t a bad idea anyway, that way you can pick something more personalized.

      Your build looks great, Corsair’s 570X is an amazing case, good choice! Right now I’d suggest Gigabyte’s GTX 1080 G1 Gaming, it’s a great card that’s built using high-end materials – definitely a solid replacement for Zotac’s GTX 1080 AMP Edition.

      If there’s anything else, just ask!

      1. Yikes! So I was just about to proceed with my check out when I realized my total was 2000$ due to shipping. I really like the case so I would like to keep it in my build. Do you think I should go with a lower graphics card like 1070? Or should I change my i7 to an i5? Please let me know if you have any recommendations for lowering the price but still keeping compatibility. My max that I can spend is only about 1720$.

        1. That really sucks! Shipping can be a nightmare sometimes, I know how it is as I’m also in Canada. Have you tried sourcing the parts through maybe Newegg.ca or Amazon.ca? The shipping costs would no doubt be dramatically lower as a result. Just as an example, the GTX 1080 G1 Gaming is $659 CAD ($524 USD) at Newegg.ca and only has $9.99 in shipping charges opposed to $103 or whatever it is through Amazon.com. On Amazon.ca it’s a little more expensive at $689 CAD but has free shipping for Prime members.

          Another option which would save you a considerable amount is swapping the i7 7700K for an R5 1600; the R5 1600 + a compatible motherboard would ultimately cost less than the i7 7700K does on its own. There would be a performance difference with this switch, but it would also save you a considerable amount while still allowing you to game how you want to. You wouldn’t necessarily need your Kraken X62 for this switch either, potentially saving you a bit more (if you don’t mind ditching that amazing cooler). What I definitely wouldn’t recommend is switching to a GTX 1070, they’re way more expensive than they should be right now (cryptocurrency mining boom) and your GTX 1080 gives you significantly better value.

          Hope that helps!

  12. Wow, that was a fast reply! I am definitely going for the GTX 1080 G1 Gaming due to the 20% sale. I am very excited to build this PC, and I am confident it will succeed because of your help!
    Liam

  13. The wireless adapter you linked isn’t for sale on Amazon. Is there an alternate one you would suggest? I’m a newbie when it comes to building gaming rigs.

    1. Hey Ben,

      I’m actually just going through right now and updating the WiFi section on all of my builds with more info and different suggestions. Check out my $700 build (that’s just how far I’ve made it so far this morning) to see the updated section. If you’re looking for an internal AC WiFi adapter, this one from Rosewill is great.

  14. hey
    very good build, i am using some of the components and they are worth buying
    thank you for sharing

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