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 or 4K with the help of the powerful RTX 2080, the i5 9600K, 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 Intel i5 9600K processor and an RTX 2080 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 powerful gaming PC build!
If you have any questions ask me in the comment section!
The Best High-End Gaming PC Build for $1500Updated: April 9th, 2019
Mid-tower ATX case, great layout, big tempered glass window, full PSU shroud, comes with 2x 120mm fans.
MSI Z390-A Pro
LGA 1151 socket motherboard on the Z390 chipset. Fully supports overclocking. Comes with 6x USB ports, 4x 4-pin fan headers, and a dedicated aio pump header.
Intel i5 9600K
4.6GHz (turbo clock) 6 core/6 thread beast of a CPU. Awesome performance while gaming.
Arctic Freezer 33 eSports ONE
An aftermarket CPU cooler is required for this build. Arctic’s Freezer 33 is a great option. View
Gigabyte RTX 2080 OC
8GB 256-bit GDDR6, incredible performance meant for high-end 1440p/4k gaming! Can easily outperform a GTX 1080!
Seasonic FOCUS+ Gold 650
A very high-quality 650W fully-modular gold-rated power supply. Comes with a 10-year warranty!
Corsair Vengeance LPX (16GB)
2x 8GB DDR4 RAM at 3000MHz. Dual channel, CL15.
WD Blue 1TB HDD
3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
Kingston A400 240GB SSD
A good 2.5″ SSD to use as your primary boot drive.
- A small Phillips screwdriver
Size #2 works well as a general rule.
- An anti-static wristband
Optional but recommended.
- Patience And lots of it.
That’s really all you need to assemble your new desktop. All of the mounting hardware and cables will come with the parts listed above. The only time you might need something extra is if you’re modifying the build on this page.
Windows 10 (USB Installer)
Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
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 970 EVO Pro 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
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. It has more than enough power to comfortably handle 1440p as well as 4K gaming. To put it plainly, this build is packing A LOT of power for the price.
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.
Case: NZXT's mid-tower ATX H500 is one of the best cases you can buy without spending more than $100. It features a great look with a full PSU shroud, awesome airflow, and more than enough room for everything without being too bulky.
It comes with 2x 120mm fans which are enough, but adding more is possible. There's even plenty of room for liquid cooling radiators.
Motherboard: MSI's Z390-A Pro is a great motherboard for the price that boasts all of the features we need for this build and them some. It features a great integrated audio chipset and a very good built-in ethernet controller. It has 6 SATA ports for added storage and it'll support 4000MHz+ RAM without an issue on the stock XMP profile. You're also getting a total of 6 USB ports, multiple fan headers and everything else you'll need in a build at this level.
Processor (CPU): Intel's brand new 9th gen i5 9600K is an absolute beast when it comes to gaming, content-creation, CAD, video editing, streaming, and pretty much anything else - especially overclocking. This is thanks to its incredibly fast 6 cores+6 threads that'll push up to 4.6GHz without even requiring any overclocking. With overclocking, you can hit 5GHz without a problem.
Since the i5 9600K does not come with a CPU cooler, I've included Arctic's awesome Freezer 33 eSports ONE. However, there's a lot of other options available, so why not check out my list of the best CPU coolers to use in 2019?
Graphics Card (GPU): Nvidia's brand new RTX 2080 is a complete and utter beast when it comes to 1440p and especially 4K gaming. Its 8GB of 256-bit GDDR6 VRAM is enough to chew threw absolutely anything you can throw at it without an issue.
Gigabyte's RTX 2080 OC is one of the less expensive options, but it's an RTX 2080 nonetheless. It features 3x Displayport 1.4, 1x HDMI and 1x USB type-C making it perfectly suited for VR gaming and multi-monitor setups.
System Memory (RAM): 16GB of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM from Crucial's Vengeance LPX line is everything you need, and then some. Most games still only require 8GB or so, but sooner than later that'll transition into more and more games requiring more and more RAM - 16GB is a safe amount for now. You can always add more down the line if you need to.
Power Supply (PSU): Seasonic makes some of the world's best power supplies, full stop. Their FOCUS+ Gold is one of the highest rated power supplies you could buy. It's fully modular which means you only connect and use the cables you have to - this translates into less clutter and a cleaner looking build. It has no problems reaching efficiency levels above 85% on average and can even hit 90% which is fairly impressive. This supply also comes with a 10-year warranty, just in case anything were to ever happen.
Storage: With 1.24GB of internal storage, you shouldn’t run short anytime soon. Ideally, the SSD should be prioritized as your primary boot drive (where your OS and important/boot programs are installed) and the HDD can then be used as your mass storage drive.
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 want to learn more about what makes an SSD and an HDD different, check out this guide/comparison where I cover the most important differences between an SSD vs HDD.
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 powerful GTX 1080 and the i7 8700K 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, chances are you'd be getting ripped off.
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.
Picking a good monitor can be a very subjective decision, especially with so many different designs and price points. To help ease your decision making process, I've put together this guide on how to pick the best monitor for gaming!
Even more important than picking a good monitor is picking a good chair. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair is the quickest way to stop enjoying your gaming sessions. To make sure that doesn't happen, I've put together this buyer's guide showcasing the 16 best chairs to use for gaming!
Acer Predator XB271HU
A good 31.5″ 1440p 144Hz monitor with G-Sync compatibility and a curved VA panel.
Corsair K70 RGB
Cherry MX Silver mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard!
Logitech G502 HERO
The G502 HERO is a super versatile RGB mouse fit for every gaming situation!
Kingston HyperX Cloud II
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 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.
A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band View
TP-Link Archer T4U V3
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
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 great 4K experience - this build does just that. The 8GB RTX 2070 won't break a sweat rendering most games, and the Intel i7 9700K is just the cherry on top when combined with 16GB 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!
|Motherboard||MSI Z390-A Pro||
|Processor||Intel i5 9600K||
|Graphics||Gigabyte RTX 2080 OC 8GB||
|Power Supp.||Seasonic FOCUS+ Gold 650W||
|RAM||16GB DDR4 (3000MHz)||
|HDD||WD Blue 1TB (7200RPM)||
|SSD||Kingston A400 240GB SSD (SATA)||
|CPU Cooler||Arctic Freezer 33 eSports ONE|