With a budget of $1,500 you can build a powerful gaming machine that will smoothly run all the latest games in 1080p and 1440p resolution without any performance hiccups. In the following guide we’ll show you which components you have to buy in order to build this kind of gaming rig and enjoy all the benefits it provides.
Read also: The Best 144 Hz Gaming Monitors Under $200 in 2022
Powered by the mighty Intel Core i5-12600K desktop processor, our $1,500 PC build is able to crunch all the stuff you throw at it, so you shouldn’t worry about experiencing any system bottlenecks or performance drops. Being built for 1440p gaming in mind, our $1,500 PC features the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card which is able to deliver outstanding performance at 1080p resolution, and good performance at QHD resolution. With such powerful CPU and GPU, our PC build is also perfectly suited for playing VR games, as well as playing games with raytracing enabled.
Part List for $1,500 PC Build
|Processor||Intel Core i5-12600K, 10-Core, 4.9 GHz Processor||View|
|Motherboard||MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi, ATX||View|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3200 MHz Kit||View|
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming OC 12G||View|
|Solid State Drive||WD Blue SN570 NVMe 1TB||View|
|Power Supply||EVGA 700 GD, 80+ Gold Certified||View|
|Case||Corsair 4000D Airflow Mid-Tower Case||View|
Grand Total: $1,490-$1,570
*The shown grand total price is purely informative and is subject to change.
**The estimated price includes only PC components. Costs of Windows operating system license, and other peripherals are not included.
Our $1,500 PC build also comes with a hefty Noctua NH-D15 cooler, which should keep your Intel Core i5-12600K cool even if you overclock it. For storage, there is the excellent WD Blue SN570 1TB M.2 NVMe drive which is on par with the Samsung 980 PRO in terms of performance, and you also get 16GB of DDR4 memory, which should be enough for achieving snappy system performance.
$1,500 PC Build Gaming Performance
|Game||1080p @ Ultra||1440p @ Ultra|
|Battlefield 2042||84 FPS||64 FPS|
|Call of Duty: Warzone||115 FPS||90 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077||58 FPS||37 FPS|
|F1 2021||93 FPS||66 FPS|
|Fortnite (Competitive)||360 FPS||260 FPS|
|Forza Horizon 5||87 FPS||72 FPS|
|Halo Infinite||68 FPS||55 FPS|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||77 FPS||60 FPS|
As you can see from our benchmark table above, our $1,500 PC build is able to deliver top-notch performance at 1080p resolution, and is also perfectly suited for achieving enjoyable 1440p gaming experience on medium to high settings. In fast-paced first person shooters, such as Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends, our $1,500 rig can deliver more than 120 FPS on ultra settings at 1080p resolution, or up to 100 FPS at 1440p resolution. Even with ray tracing and DLSS set on ultra, this rig can run Cyberpunk 2077 at around 60 frames per second, which is simply great performance.
PC COMPONENTS LIST
Processor: Intel Core i5-12600K
Cores/Threads: 10C/16T | Base Clock: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.9 GHz | TDP: 125 W | PassMark Score: 27,400
The Intel Core i5-11600K is the standout processor for gamers. Featuring six performance and four efficiency cores, as well as 16 threads, this CPU isn’t only able to offer great gaming performance, but it does so at a price point that won’t break your bank. Boasting a turbo clock of a whooping 4.9 GHz, this mighty CPU can run the most demanding games without any performance hiccups, and is perfectly suited for heavy-duty workloads such as video editing and 3D rendering.
The Core i5-12600K also features integrated graphics, and has a fully unlocked multiplier, meaning you can overclock it. Another big advantage of this CPU is that it fully supports DDR5 RAM, as well as PCIe 5.0 interface. With such great performance and support for newer technologies, the Core i5-12600K proves to be a very future-proof processor, which is why it is an essential part of our $1,500 PC build.
Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
Supported Sockets: 115X, 1200, 1700, 2066, AMD | Dimensions: 165 x 150 x 161 mm | Noise Level: 24 dBA | Fans: 1 x 140 mm
Since Intel Core i5-12600K doesn’t come with a bundled thermal solution, buying an aftermarket cooler for this CPU is a must in order to keep it as cool as possible and extend its lifespan. The world-renowned Noctua NH-D15 is a perfect match for the Core i5-12600K. Weighing a whooping 1.3 kilograms, and featuring two 140 mm fans, this behemoth of a cooler can keep the Core i5-12600K stay frosty even when being highly overclocked.
Being produced by a top-tier manufacturer, the Noctua NH-D15 is a very popular cooler in PC DIY community, and is considered to be one of the best air CPU coolers in the world. This CPU cooler is a good investment, as it will keep your CPU cool and quiet for years to come, thanks to its exceptional performance and build quality.
Motherboard: MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | Chipset: Intel Z690 | Memory Support: 4 x DDR4-5200 (O.C.) | Features: 3 x PCIe x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x1, 6 x SATA3, 4 x M.2
MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi is an excellent motherboard to pair with the Intel Core i5-12600K. It features three PCIe x16 slots, with one supporting the new PCIe 5.0 interface, and it comes with a whooping four M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs. The board also features 14+1+1 power stages VRM, which makes it great for overclocking CPUs such as the Core i5-12600K.
The PRO Z690-A WiFi can also boast with PCI-E steel brackets, 6 layer PCB, extended VRM heatsink, and native liquid pump fan support. For connectivity, there is an integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 module, and you also get 2.5G LAN which is able to deliver better network experience. Another big plus is the fact that this board comes equipped with USB 3.2 Gen2x2 controller, meaning it can offer 20 Gbps data transfer speeds via USB Type-C port. The only major downside of this motherboard is the fact that it has no RGB lighting, which some users may not like.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3200 MHz
Speed: DDR4 3200 MHz | Stock Latency: 16-18-18-36 | Operating Voltage: 1.35V | Capacity: 2 x 8GB
Corsair is widely known as a producer of high-quality memory sticks. The Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory kit is no exception in that regard, as these sticks can boast with CAS 16 latency, and premium PCB components. Thanks to the pre-installed aluminum heatspreader, these sticks also run quite cool, and are able to provide better overclocking headroom then DDR4 memory sticks made by other manufacturers.
The Vengeance LPX sticks also feature XMP 2.0 support, meaning you can easily overclock them without too much hassle. Although they don’t feature any extra gimmicks, such as RGB lighting, these memory sticks are able do their job really well, and deliver where it matters the most – in performance.
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming OC 12G
Base Clock: 1,837 MHz | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | TDP: 170 W | Outputs: 2 x DP, 2 x HDMI
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 is an excellent performance-segment graphics card designed for 1080p gaming on ultra settings, as well as competitive 1440p gaming. It ticks all the right boxes, as it can offer 12GB of VRAM, outstanding shading performance, and very good raytracing performance for a reasonable amount of money.
The GeForce RTX 3060 can easily run the most demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 at more then 60 fps on ultra settings in 1080p, and can deliver up to 144 fps in eSports titles such as Rainbow Six Siege and Call of Duty: Warzone. The card can also boast with low power consumption, and is also great for mining cryptocurrencies, if that is something that interests you.
Solid State Drive: WD Blue SN570 NVMe 1TB
Capacity: 1 TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Max. Read Speed: Up to 3,500 MB/s | Max. Write Speed: Up to 3,500 MB/s
These days games and applications have become pretty big in terms of space they occupy on hard drives. To reduce their loading times and make the system performance much more responsive, you’ll need something faster than the ordinary 3.5-inch hard drive. This is why our $1,500 PC build comes with the ultra-fast WD Blue SN570 NVMe SSD that can boast with read and write speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s.
Delivering 7x the performance of a SATA SSD, the WD Blue SN570 is able to provide super-quick loading times, much lower power consumption and heat output. With storage capacity of 1TB, this drive offers enough storage space to store all of your data, accommodate multiple PC games, a Windows operating system, and variety of applications that you prefer to use on daily basis.
Power Supply: EVGA 700 GD 80+ Gold Certified
Form Factor: ATX | Capacity: 700 W | Efficiency rating: 80 PLUS Gold Certified | Modularity: Non-modular
EVGA is known for making high-quality power supply units for desktop computers. The EVGA 700 GD is the latest example of EVGA’s fine engineering, as this PSU holds a 80 PLUS Gold certification that guarantees 90% efficiency at 100% operating loads. This means that less energy gets wasted during power conversion, which is great for lowering your electricity bills.
Featuring power capacity of 700 W, and the ability to deliver 58 amps over +12V rail, the EVGA 700 GD is able to power up lots of high-end PC components, and offers enough headroom for future system upgrades, which is great if you plan to upgrade your CPU or GPU someday. Although it is not modular, the EVGA 700 GD is quite affordable, and can offer a lot of power for an inexpensive price.
Case: Corsair 4000D Airflow Mid-Tower Case
Form Factor: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 453 × 230 × 466 mm | Radiator Support: Up to 360 mm | I/O Ports: USB Type-C x 1, USB 3.0 x 1, HD Audio x 1 | Drive Bays: 2 x 3.5″, 2 x 2.5″
Featuring lots of space and expansion slots, as well as sleek and elegant design, the Corsair 4000D Airflow is an ideal case for building a powerful and silent desktop computer. With enhanced ventilation, this case is able to provide outstanding system airflow and improve your overall cooling performance.
The Corsair 4000D Airflow can also boast with the Corsair Rapidroute cable management layout which allows you to easily and cleanly route your cables through a single channel. The case features 25 mm of free space behind the motherboard, which is more than enough to organize all of your cables and make a clean-looking build.
Due to its spacious interior, this case can house up to six 120 mm fans along with a 360 mm radiator in front, and 280 mm radiator in the roof. There is also enough space to accommodate GPUs measuring up to 360 mm in length, and CPU coolers measuring 170 mm in height, which is great if you plan to install Noctua NH-D15 cooler in your PC.