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The Best $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build – July 2021

By Ari Altman | Published June 24, 2021 | Updated July 20, 2021

Critical Update: if you actually want to start gaming on a new PC any time before Fall 2021, you have two options: go for one of the very few pre-built PCs still on the market, or build up a system using an older video card that you have on hand. That’s because GPUs are being scalped worldwide due to the biggest cryptocurrency mining craze in history. We present both options in this guide. Based on current trends, we believe that GPUs will finally be available again at retail prices in September 2021.

Do you want to build the best high-end gaming PC possible for $1,500? Then you’ve come to the right place! The build we profile here offers the best balance of CPU and GPU power you’ll find in any build on the ‘Net, along with high-end yet cost-effective parts in every other category. The goal: maximum frames per dollar without skimping on the stuff everyone else does, like a quality power supply and a big solid-state drive. The last thing you want is a hot rod engine in an old beater chassis, so we make sure your gaming PC build checks off all the boxes!

For July 2021, we recommend builders of the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build go for AMD’s amazing Ryzen 5 5600X, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that is by far the best value among high-end gaming chips. After many months of near-zero availability, it’s finally easy to buy most days, making it a clear choice. We recommend you add Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB to this build, which equals the last-gen RTX 2080 Super in performance. This build is also equipped with a fast 1TB PCIe solid-state drive and 16GB of high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM. For the case, we recommend a sleek tempered glass model from Corsair, while the build is anchored by a high-efficiency Gold-rated 700W fully-modular power supply. By the way, if you want to accessorize your new build, check out our top keyboard, mouse, and monitor recommendations at the end of this build guide. Learn more about this build and .

We update this build monthly, as prices and components in this market change quite frequently, and a few dollars here or there could buy you a lot of performance. If you need help building your system, check out our step-by-step Ryzen PC assembly guide!

Throughout our guides, we provide links to Amazon, Newegg, or B&H for our US readers, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with substitutions made based on regional availability. Your use of these links helps support this site, allowing us to continue to update this guide regularly.

The Pre-Built Option

  • TOO HOT! – PRICE MISTAKE?!? Asus, the leading manufacturer of Nvidia GPUs and high-end motherboards, jumps into the pre-built race with its awesome GA15DK, which undercuts most of the no-name manufacturers with an awesome price and top-notch components. It packs in the unbeatable AMD Ryzen 7 5800X eight-core, 16-thread CPU that clobbers Intel’s offerings (and AMD’s previous-gen CPUs as well), along with an Asus GeForce RTX 3070 8GB video card. Also on the component list is 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive, and a 1TB hard drive for plenty of game storage space.

    The Guru’s Tip

    We're trying to keep our pre-built recommendation as close as possible to our target price of $1,500, and right now, this is definitely the best option out there. So many systems are selling for around $1,500 that definitely aren't worth it!

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The DIY Build

  • AMD’s Zen 3 architecture made a huge splash in the PC industry. Beating Intel on a clock-for-clock basis for the first time in decades, and with far lower power consumption, the Ryzen 5 5600X is the perfect CPU for this build. And it brings along with it the most advanced platform in the business, which will provide you tremendous upgrade potential down the line should you wish to drop in an even more powerful CPU.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU comes with the Wraith Stealth cooler, and while it's effective, we recommend an upgraded cooler later in this guide for lower noise levels.

  • This feature-packed board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs (the top slot being Gen 4), seven USB ports, and built-in WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5. It also has an ample power delivery system, with 12+2 phases.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This board also has a modern Type-C header, allowing you to use the Type-C port built into the case we recommend for this build.

  • The new king-of-the-hill in the midrange segment is the RTX 3060 Ti 8GB, which offers simply exceptional performance per dollar, beating last-gen’s $700 RTX 2080 Super! Unfortunately, since its launch it’s been hard to find in stock, as with all the GPUs launched around the same time.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While the RTX 3060 Ti was "launched" at $400, we don't anticipate ever seeing that price again. When it restocks, it will be closer to $500.

  • To get the most out of your PC Build, you want 16GB of RAM, and this kit comes in at a great price. But more importantly, with a combination of serious speed (3600MHz) and serious timings (16-18-18), this isn’t just a slow 3200 kit rebranded to sell at a higher price, it’s the real deal!
    The Guru’s Tip

    With this 2x8GB (16GB) configuration, you'll still have the option to add another two sticks later on to bring the total up to 32GB!

  • Harnessing the power of cutting-edge TLC V-NAND, the NVMe protocol, and the PCIe interface, this SSD is by far the fastest drive at its pricepoint. It can hit sequential speeds of up to 3500MB/s! Note that you’ll need a to affix it.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This will slip right into one of the motherboard's M.2 slots.

  • The 4000D is simply the best performance-oriented case you can get for the money, thanks to its fantastic airflow design, dual 120mm fans, and a plenty of builder-friendly touches, like excellent cable routing, captive screws, and plenty of fan mounts.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Get a closeup view of this case and ask questions about this build in our YouTube overview, shown at the top of this guide!

  • This awesome fully-modular 700W Gold-rated unit is easy to find in stock most days, unlike most other competing models, so grab it while you can! It provides plenty of power for this system, along with great efficiency and low noise levels.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This PSU was a great deal when released at around $110, and is an amazing deal now!

  • This cooler is the perfect pick for the Quiet Gaming PC Build. Thanks to its advanced design, it offers nearly-silent operation despite excellent cooling capability. It uses our favorite all-around 120mm fan, the excellent Arctic P12 PWM. Learn more in our !
    The Guru’s Tip

    While not technically necessary for this build, upgrading the cooler will provide much lower noise levels and slightly higher boost.

  • Windows 10 was a big step up from Windows 8.1, and Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every six months. And the USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 10 can also be downloaded at a savings of around $10 - all you need is a flash drive with at least 8GB of capacity.

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Optional Products

  • Pick up a great keyboard at a great price with the G213. It’s quick, quiet, and responsive, and it also has sweet RGB backlighting, of course!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The lighting on this model can be controlled via the GHub software.

  • Offering cutting-edge performance, there’s nothing like the Basilisk X for anywhere near the price. Ultra-sensitive sensor, Razer’s awesome HyperSpeed wireless system, and perfect ergonomics. It’s a great mouse!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Remember, you're getting a great wireless mouse for the same price as many wired mice.

  • If you need a good headset at an unbeatable price, we recommend Corsair’s excellent HS60 Pro Surround headset. Light, comfortable, and stylish without being in your face, it’s a great headset for gaming, and can even be used with mobile devices that have a 3.5mm analog jack.
    The Guru’s Tip

    To provide surround effects, this headset uses a USB adapter, which you connect in line with the attached 3.5mm audio plug.

  • Offering up a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS panel capable of a 170Hz refresh rate, and enhanced with FreeSync frame-syncing technology, this is a true high-end monitor that won’t break the bank! Gigabyte may be new to the monitor market, but it’s making a huge splash, offering up tremendous quality at low prices. Previously, you couldn’t get anything but an inferior TN panel for this price!
    The Guru’s Tip

    FreeSync was once an AMD-only exclusive, but now it works on both AMD and Nvidia systems.

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Total Cost: $1475

(as of July 2, 2021)
The Pre-Built Option
The DIY Build
Optional Products