Last Updated on April 4, 2020 by Jake
In order to maximize the enjoyment of modern gaming, a powerful PC is a must. Building your own gaming PC allows you to customize in ways that you cannot if you buy a pre-assembled PC. Also for the same amount of money, you can have a more powerful and customizable PC by building your own. Our goal with this post is to highlight some components that you could buy to make the best gaming PC under $1500.
With the help of the GeForce RTX 2080 XC, the i9-9900K CPU, and 16GB of DDR4 DRAM chips, you can build an absolute beast of a gaming PC under $1500 – and a PC that will remain relevant for many years to come.
If you have never built a PC before, make sure you do your research and know what you’re doing. While building isn’t necessarily difficult, you really need to have a good understanding of what you need to do. Here is a great video we’ve found on how to build a gaming PC.
Components Needed to Build a PC
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the building process. It’s important that all components you choose are compatible with one another. For instance, the motherboard form factor needs to be compatible with the PC chassis you have. A motherboard, which is capable of overclocking your CPU, is necessary to get the best out of the CPU.
Component #1 – PC Case
The first thing we will look at is the PC case. Most motherboards are built to conform to the ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) form factor. As such when getting a gaming PC case, you should get one that conforms with the ATX form factor. The form factor will determine if the motherboard can fit perfectly into the case and all components can be properly connected. Look for a case that has excellent airflow and cable management features.
Rosewill ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Computer Case
- DUAL RING RGB LED FANS: Illuminate your gaming PC case with 4 pre-installed 120mm dual ring RGB LED fans. Switch between 3 fan speeds and backlight color modes with the included remote control.
- 3-SIDED TEMPERED GLASS: This tempered computer case features three sides of sleek and sturdy tempered glass for you to display every component of your gaming PC for all to admire.
- E-ATX SUPPORT: The spacious CULLINAN V500 supports Extended ATX (EATX) motherboards with a larger form factor length of 13 inches for more functionality instead of 9.6 inches.
- EXCELLENT AIRFLOW: Engineered to keep your case well-ventilated and system temperatures low. Further optimize airflow to your components by selecting between High and Low fan speeds.
This PC case is large and has more room than most cases. It also has some great lighting effects that will add a great vibe to your game room. The fans that come with it have LED lighting, which is quite eye-catching. This chassis has three tempered glass panels. This makes for a wondrous RGB display once the PC is up and running.
Dimension – 223 x 490 x 477 mm
Weight – 10.5 kg
Motherboard Support – ATX, Micro-ATX and XL-ATX, E-ATX
Radiator Support – 3x 120 mm / 140 mm fans
Drive Bays – 3.5”: 0+1, 2.5”: 4+1,
GPU Clearance – 420 mm
Expansion Slots – 7
Input/output Ports – 4 x USB 3.0, Fan Speed Control, 1 x Audio/Mic
NZXT H500 – Compact ATX Mid-Tower Case
The is one of the best PC cases for under $100. Coming in at just $70, it will allow you to save valuable dollars, which will help you to make the best gaming PC for under $1500. One side has a tempered glass panel, which will allow you to see all of the visuals of the LED RGB lighting of the motherboard. Cases with tempered glass panels make for aesthetically pleasing computers.
Dimension – 210 x 460 x 428 mm
Weight – 7 kg
Motherboard Support – ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX
Radiator Support – 2x 120 mm fans (1 rear, 1 top)
Drive Bays – 3.5”: 2+1, 2.5”: 2+1,
GPU Clearance – 381 mm
Expansion Slots – 7
Input/output Ports – 2 x USB 3.1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Audio/Mic
Component #2 – Motherboard
When getting a motherboard, get one that can support 8th and 9th Generation Intel processors. Basically, you need a Z370/Z390 motherboard (Intel 300 Series Chipsets). The motherboard should also have an ATX form factor as the cases we reviewed support ATX motherboards. We also have a separate post on the best motherboards that are compatible with Intel processors.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero
- Designed for 9th 8th Generation Intel Core processors maximize connectivity, speed with Dual M.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, on board 802.11AC Wi Fi and ASUS optimum II for better DRAM overclocking stability
- Revamped 5 way Optimization over clocks Intelligently based on smart prediction and thermal telemetry while FanXpert 4 delivers dynamic system cooling
- Aura Sync RGB lighting with addressable headers features a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to synchronize effects across an ever expanding ecosystem of AURA Sync enabled products
- Pre mounted I/O shield ensures streamlined installation and represents ROG's attention to detail and quality
The first motherboard we will be looking at is the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero. Not only does this motherboard has a striking RGB lighting system, but it also supports Coffee Lake processors both Intel 8th and 9th Gen, multiple GPUs using SLI or Crossfire technology.
It also has an integrated Intel 802.11ac WiFi so you don’t need to buy and install a WiFi card. The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero has all the needed ports, expansion slots, interfaces, and supports 64GB 4400+ (OC) MHz RAM.
The MSI Z390-A PRO
- Supports 9th i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K and 8th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
- Supports dual channel ddr4 memory, up to 4400(oc) MHz
- Turbo M.2: PCI-E gen3 x4 interfACe maximizes performance for NVME SSDS
- Core boost, 8+4 pin CPU power connector, ddr4 boost
- Built for reliable operation
The MSI Z390-A PRO is a great budget friendly option. Although this motherboard may not be as aesthetically striking as the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero, it supports both 8th and 9th generation Intel core processors and functions wonderfully.
It has all the needed ports, expansion slots, interfaces, and supports up to 4400 (OC) MHz RAM. The main negative of the MSI Z390-A PRO is its lack of an integrated WiFi card. This means you have to buy a separate WiFi card.
Component #3 – Central Processing Unit
The processors we recommend for the best gaming PC under $1500 are Intel’s 8th and 9th generation processors. Benchmark processors of 2019 include the i7-8700K and CPUs.
These are 8th generation processors. You should research the performance of the processor before buying as it’s probably the most important component of any PC build. A CPU cooler and is a good investment if you plan on running your PC continually for long periods of time.
Intel Core i9-9900K
- 8 Cores / 16 Threads
- 3.60 GHz up to 5.00 GHz / 16 MB Cache
- Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets
- Intel Optane Memory Supported
- Intel UHD Graphics 630
The i9-9900K will cost you nearly $500 and as such, it will take up a huge chunk of your budget.
You get what you pay for though, as this processor can reach clock rates of over 5.3 GHz without any problem and will remain relevant for many years to come. Its 8 cores and 16 thread allow it to work overtime and give you far more processing power than you’ll likely ever need. It also has an impressive 16 MB smart cache.
Intel Core i5-9600K
A cheaper yet capable alternative to the i9-9900K is the . The i5-9600K can cost a couple hundred less than the i9-9900K. It can reach speeds of 5.0 GHz when overclocked. It runs on 6 cores and 6 threads and is a very powerful processor. As with the Intel Core i9, this processor will remain relevant for many years to come.
Component #4 – Graphics Processing Unit
The GPU is essential when it comes to gaming since it is specifically designed to handle pixels on your monitor screen. There are many processors out there. The ones we will be looking at include the GeForce GTX 1080 and the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080. Both have 8GB of VRAM.
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC
- Real Boost Clock: 1815 MegaHertZ; Memory Detail: 8192MB GDDR6, Memory Bit Width: 256 Bit , Memory Bandwidth: 448 GB/s
- Dual HDB fans and all new 2. 75 slot cooler offers higher performance cooling and much quieter acoustic noise
- Adjustable RGB LED offers configuration options for all your PC lighting needs
- Built for EVGA Precision x1, EVGA all new tuning utility monitors your graphics card and gives you the power to overclock like a Pro
- 3 Year Warranty
The EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC is one of the fastest GPU you can get at a reasonable price. Even with that, it is priced over $700 so if you want to stay under $1500 on your PC build, you may need to cut back on other components. It has 2,944 GPU cores, a base clock of 1,515 MHz, which can be boosted to 1800 MHz. The RTX 2080 has 8GB GDDR6 of VRAM at 14 GT/s memory clock speed.
It can run all the new games with ray tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling). DLSS can boost performance by up to 40%. This GPU produces vibrant well-detailed UHD and 4K display.
EVGA GeForce RTX 2070
- Real Boost Clock: 1710 MegaHertZ; memory Detail: 8192MB GDDR6
- Dual HDB fans and all new cooler offer higher performance cooling and much quieter acoustic noise
- Adjustable RGB LED offers configuration options for all your PC lighting needs; Requirements Minimum of a 550 Watt power supply.An available 6 pin PCIe power connector and an available 8 pin PCIe power connector;Total Power Draw 175 Watts
- Built for EVGA Precision x1 EVGA all new tuning utility monitors your graphics card and gives you the power to overclock like a Pro
- 3 Year Warranty
This is another great GPU. Although the EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 is about $250 cheaper than the RTX 2080 XC, it is very capable. However, it doesn’t support DLSS. It does support ray tracing though.
The EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 is a Turing GPU just like the RTX 2080 XC. It has 2304 GPU cores, a base clock of 1,410 MHz and a boost clock of 1,630 MHz. It has 8GB GDDR6 of VRAM at 14 GT/s memory clock speed.
Component #5 – RAM
Getting the necessary RAM for your gaming PC is quite easy. The RAM chips you get should include a capacity of 3000MHz DDR4 SDRAM/DRAM. Most games require just 8GB of RAM to run perfectly, but you can get 16 to 32GB of RAM for a pretty good price. Most gaming motherboards can support up to 64GB of RAM so you have a lot of room to work with.
Component #6 – Operating System (OS)
Although an operating system is not technically a component, it’s required to run your PC. The best operating system to run for a gaming PC is the 64-bit version of Windows 10. This is because it’s easy to acquire games and software for Windows 10. You can play almost every single PC game in the world on Windows 10. The best way to install Windows 10 is via a Windows 10 USB Flash Drive.
A Windows 10 Pro English USB Flash Drive is available to purchase online. You can also create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive yourself if you have a CD image of the OS.
Ubuntu is a good option as well – it is free and powerful. However, it doesn’t have as many games as Windows 10. Creating a bootable Ubuntu flash drive is a good idea if you wish to make use of a Linux OS while keeping Windows 10 as your primary OS.
Component #7 – Storage
The basic storage options include HDD and SSD. While SSD is faster and quieter, it is also more expensive. If you want, you could have both an SSD and an HDD. The SSD can store the OS and other important software and the HDD can be used to store all other files.
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
- Innovative V-Nand Technology: Powered by Samsung V-Nand Technology, the 860 Evo SSD offers optimized performance for everyday computing as well as rendering large-sized 4K videos and 3D data used by the latest applications
- Continuity tester/Wire tracer
- Secure encryption: Protect data by selecting security options, including Aes 256-bit hardware-based encryption compliant with Tcg Opal and Ieee 1667
- Warranty and compatibility: 5-year limited warranty; Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Server 2003 (32 bit and 64 bit), Vista (SP1 and above), XP (SP2 and above), MAC OSX and Linux
- Included contents: 2.5 inches (7 millimeter) SATA 3 (6 GB/S) SSD & user manual (All other cables, screws, brackets not included); Reliability (MTBF): 1.5 Million Hours Reliability (MTBF)
We recommend the Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB, which should provide more than enough space for your OS, important software and important games. It is also very fast. It uses the SATA 6 GB/p/s so as you can imagine, it transfers data at a quick pace. With this SSD, you can say goodbye to slow load screens.
WD Black SN750
- An exclusive WD BLACK SSD dashboard with gaming mode improves game performance
- Non-heatsink model available in capacities ranging from 250GB to 4TB
- Ideal for enthusiasts building custom desktops or gaming rigs
- NVMe drive not compatible with SATA interface
The WD Black SN750 has a capacity of 250GB and uses the PCIe 8 GB/s interface.
Component #8 – Power Supply Unit
Getting a PSU should be a simple affair. When getting a PSU, you need to consider the wattage requirement. Even with the most power-hungry gaming rig, you won’t need a 1,000-watt PSU. An 800-watt PSU will work for most systems.
Most importantly, the PSU needs to fit into the chassis/case. Most PSU will fit in an ATX case since they are not longer than 5.5 inches. Check the PSU clearance for your PC case, and ensure the PSU can fit.
Modular PSUs are great as they allow you to plug in just the power cables you need.
- 80 PLUS Gold certified: High efficiency operation for less excess heat and lower operating costs
- 100% All Japanese 105 capacitors: Premium internal components ensure solid power delivery and long term reliability
- Zero RPM Fan Mode: Virtually silent operation at low and medium loads. 6th generation Intel Core processor Ready (Intel Skylake and Z170 motherboards)ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 standards and is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2, 2.31 and ATX12V 2.01 systems
- Fully Modular: Make your builds and upgrades easy, with clean, great-looking results
- Ten year warranty: Your guarantee of reliable operation that will last across several system builds.SATA Connector:11
This modular power supply unit is 80+ Gold Certified, which is an indication of high efficiency. It produces less heat, operates silently, and fits in ATX-compatible cases. This power supply unit also has a ten-year warranty.
Now that you have finished building your PC, you need peripherals such as a WiFi card (if not already built in), a monitor, keyboard, mouse, game controllers, and headsets. Check out our other posts reviewing these items if you want an in depth look at our recommendations.
As you can see, you don’t need to spend a total fortune to have an extremely powerful gaming PC. For under $1500 you can build a PC that will get the job done. You can play games in full HD or even experience 4K gaming for a somewhat reasonable cost.
The best part about a custom PC is that it’s upgradable when components become outdated. Since this best gaming PC under 1500 USD features the latest in computer hardware, it won’t be falling out of use anytime soon.
Make sure you are taking care of your PC! Take a look at our post all about thermal paste and how it can keep your PC running well for the long haul.
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API