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 GTX 1080, the 7th generation Intel i7 7700K, 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)
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:
- Install the Power Supply into the Case
- Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
- Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
- Mount the CPU cooler
- Place the rear I/O plate
- Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your GPU in
- Install any storage
- Plug everything into the appropriate spots
- Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!
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: July 23rd, 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!
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.
Zotac GTX 1080 AMP
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 1TB HDD
3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
540MB/s read, 520MB/s write = amazingly fast!
CM Hyper 212 EVO
The i7 7700K does not come with a stock CPU cooler, so you’ll need an aftermarket unit like this one. View
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
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! View
Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD
An M.2-based NVMe SSD like the 960 EVO is a step up from basic M.2 or SATA SSDs. They offer significantly more speed, but at a 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
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.
The GTX 1080 isn’t quite the “end-all” that we were looking for when it comes to single-card 4K gaming, but in 1440p this card is extremely impressive. Don’t get me wrong, it does well in 4K as well, especially compared to any other option outside of the GTX 1080 Ti or Titan Xp, but don’t expect max settings and 60fps+ in every single game in 4K. That all said, Zotac’s GTX 1080 AMP! Edition is definitely a step (or two) up from the reference design offering significantly better cooling, a higher core clock and RGB lighting.
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!
The 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 “standard” Hyper 212 EVO, but there are a lot of other potential options available. Like the Corsair H100i liquid cooler, for instance. Its 240mm radiator would fit perfectly in the Phanteks P400 case and it would keep the i7 7700k nice and cool. But, the Hyper 212 EVO 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.
16GB 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!
EVGA’s G2 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 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.
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.
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.
Acer Predator XB271HU
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
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
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.
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!